Verisign’s Latest Report on Global Domain Registrations Shows the Numbers Can Be Misleading

I just got home pleasant family holidays opposite our home port in Floridapassing it in the beautiful Pacific Northwest near Seattle. Of course, the domain industry never rests, so there’s been a lot to catch up on since his return. While I was away Verisign
published its quarterly Domain Name Industry Overview (.pdf file) which always includes a treasure trove of information. The latest edition, covering the last quarter of 2021reveals that the year ended with 341.7 million domain names registered on all extensions in the world.

Given the boom in the secondary market for domains, this represents a smaller year-over-year increase in registrations than most would expect. Alone 1.6 million domains were added, pushing up the total only 0.5% but, in a moment, I’ll show you why the growth has been better than those numbers indicate.

While the overall growth rate was modest, it was a different story for Verisign’s flagship product. .com TLDs. 2021 ended with 160 million .com registered, a jump of 8.3 million of the previous year, which represents a healthy 5.47% increase for .com. Verisign also manages .report and, as has been the case for years, that TLD continues to surprise the waterending in 2021 with 13.4 million registrations – the same number .nets were a year earlier.

ccTLD ended 2021 with 127.4 million registered domains. It is down 5.3 milliona 4% decline year after year. Now, it would be very disappointing if we couldn’t follow a single cause – but we can. China’s .cn
underwent an area reduction in 2021 which cut a huge 9.4 million
domains of the TLD, representing everything
of the general decline of ccTLDs, then some. When you remove .cn from the equation, ccTLDs gained 4.1 million domains and enjoyed a 3.8%

With the .cn situation, you can also see why the total count of all TLDs seems to be so lackluster year over year.

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new gTLDs
while they produced impressive secondary market sales in select TLDs, their total number of registrations plummeted in 2021, ending the year with down 5.2% for 24.7 million after entering 1.3 million
below the previous year’s figure. In this group with hundreds of competing TLDsresults vary wildly with some clear winners at the top while most others are still working towards recognition and a loyal user base.