Domain name market continues to grow

In the first half of 2017, the total number of domain names in the Netherlands rose to more than nine million. With the economy buoyant, demand for domain names was driven mainly by new webshops and company websites.

.nl: strong economy means fewer cancellations

The half-year growth figures for .nl were satisfactory. Although .nl's market penetration is very high and there are now numerous alternatives, our national domain continues to grow. By the end of June, there were more than 5.74 million .nl domain names. Growth was supported by the positive economic climate. When the economy is doing well, fewer domain names get cancelled. The recession was characterised by companies going out of business and cutting costs, leading to high cancellation rates. By contrast, companies are now hanging on to the domain names they have.

.com remains popular, but .eu contracts

An increasingly international outlook means that business demand for .com domain names is on the up. For international commerce, .com remains the TLD of choice. More than two million .com domain names are now registered in the Netherlands. Strikingly, however, internationalisation isn't benefitting .eu. The European domain has gradually contracted in the Netherlands over the last two years. What's more, .eu's active usage rates are low: only 15 per cent of the domain names are linked to active websites.

Growth of new gTLDs slows down

Notably, the growth of new gTLDs has slowed sharply in the Netherlands. In the second half of 2016, growth was 28 per cent. But in the first half of this year, it was just 6 per cent. The biggest loser was .xyz. For a while, .xyz domain names were given away free with .com registrations. Their popularity has dwindled rapidly, however, since that promotion ended. The Dutch capital's .amsterdam domain has been expanding gradually and now has about 26,000 registrations. That makes it the world's fifth biggest city domain, after New York, London, Tokyo and Berlin.

Outlook remains positive

With a population of just seventeen million, but nine million domain names, the Netherlands attracts a lot of international attention. The country is now one of the world's biggest on-line economies (Source: DINL). In that respect, the prospects for the next two years remain very positive.

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