Domain Name Market Infographic


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Summary of the Infographic:

Names were not only made to identify us, but to differentiate ourselves from others as well.

Since the Internet began, IP addresses have been ways of online identification, but although IPs were and are still fundamental to the way Internet works, there was a need to create a more user-friendly way of identification, and that’s when domain names were born.

Due to the Internet’s widespread commercialization and expansion, the demand for domain names is growing yearly, therefore a market created for buying and selling from this naming system is now firmly rooted, continues it’s remarkable growth and there is no end for it, it’s here to stay.

Nowadays, registering a domain name can be compared to having our own business card. It can reveal so much about us and our website at prima facie, that isn’t far from being our own personal card of presentation.

If you are thinking about buying a domain name, you may have a slight idea of what it is and how it works, but most people don’t. If you don’t understand much about the subject but feel in need of giving yourself or business a unique identity on the web, this infographic is for you. Here we have tried to provide a clear and easy comprehension of what a domain name is and explain some facts about the growing market.

The Basic Anatomy of a URL

As we know, a URL defines a website. Most of us are familiar with its format, but how is it composed? If we break up the anatomy of a URL into parts we will find that most of them have a third level domain, a second level domain and a top level domain (TLD) in it.

The Third Level Domain is the highest level domain names and it is situated left of the Second Level Domain. This part of the domain name is not always required, because a functional domain may be composed of just a Second Level Domain and a Top Level Domain.

A Second Level Domain is the part of a domain name that is located next to the Top Level Domain (TLD), prior the final dot in a URL. It identifies the administrative owner associated with an IP address.

The Top Level Domain, also known as TLD, is the last part of the domain name. It is located immediately following the final dot in a URL. For example, in the URL, the extension .com is the TLD.

At the same time, these TLDs are further subdivided into General Top Level Domain Names and Country Code Top Level Domains. On the one hand gTLDs are those extensions known as .com, .org, .gov, .net, and on the other hand, ccTLDs are those that identify a country, sovereign state or dependent territory, and are reserved strictly for their use.

DNS Provider Market Share

The market share of DNS providers is calculated based on the number of domain names that use their service. Cloudflare, Route 53 and UltraDNS are the top three DNS providers, computing a total of 65% of managed domain names, followed by Dynect and GoDaddy.

Domain Name Registrars Market Share

At this particular, GoDaddy, accounting a total of 31,2% of registered domains, is the leading company for domain name registrar followed by Enom, which carries an 8,1% and Network Solution with a 7,7%. Also we find other companies with a lower but significant market share in the domain name world such as Tucows and Schlund-Partner.

Domain Length

Domain names are composed of characters; they also have a length that is calculated counting the number of characters located before the TLD. About 37% of domain names are 6-10 characters long, 33% of domain names are 11-15 characters long, 15% of domain names are 16-20 characters long, 9,6% of domain names are 2-5 characters long, 4,2% of domain names are 21-25 characters long and a small 1,3% of domain names are longer than 25 characters. As we can see, the predominant domain names are those considered midsized.

Number of Name Server Stats

As to name server stats, 77,6% of domain names have two name servers, so that makes two name servers the most prevalent DNS structure. 31,2% of domains have three name servers, 9,5% have four name servers, 6,1% have more than six name servers, 3,5% have five name servers, 1% has six name servers and at last, 0,4% has one name server.

Country-Wise Total Domains

Stepping in Country-Wise Domain matters, we find that the United States of America is the leading country, holding a total of 79,4 million of this domains, followed by China with a total of 9,7 million. Behind China we find Germany with 6,2 million domains followed by the United Kingdome with 4,7 million domains. France, Japan and Canada find themselves in the same scale of 3 million domains with a slight difference between each other. Continues Australia with 1,6 million domain and at last there’s Spain and the Nederlands with about 1,4 million domains each.

The Current 22 gTLDs

Speaking of gTLDs, the list of the current top 22 domains starts with the most popular extensions known as: .com, .org, .edu, .int, .net and .gov, which were introduced to the market between the years 1985 and 1996:

  • .com gTLD is often but not exclusively used for commercial sites.
  • .org was created to be used by organizations but still is unrestricted.
  • .edu gTLD is used for education sites.
  • .int is for International Institution sites.
  • .net is a domain for administrative sites.
  • .gov is exclusively used for government sites.

Next we find the .mil gTLD that was introduced in the domain name market in the year 1996, and it is used for military websites URLs. Later, between the years 2001 and 2007, other TLDs entered the market and these are: .museum, .info, .coop, .name, .aero, .biz, .pro, .travel, .mobi, .tel, .jobs, .cat, each named after its intended use. In 2012 we met the .post suffix available only for the postal service sector.

Newer gTLDs have been presented to the market in the past year, yet there are 693 to be launched. In the top of the list we find .xyz gTLD with 990 thousand domains. The reason why this new generation of domain is getting so popular is because it’s considered easy to remember and that transcends all language barriers. The .science as well has entered the market, and until now it has 311 thousand domains. At the same time, other new gTLDs such as: .club, .party, .wang, .top, .link, .realtor and .website, all of them with more than 100 thousand domains.

Domain Names Growth

Knowing the importance of the domain market nowadays, several studies have been made, showing as result that, as for today, there are 288 million registered domain names managed by 58 million unique domain owners, were there’s a considered inequality since 77% of the owners are men and the remaining 23% are women. Seen from another spot, 74% of owners are individuals and the other 26% belongs to corporate owners.

Largest TLDs by Zone Size

Despite the increase of domain names, the largest TLDs by zone have not changed much, and they are ordered in this way:

  • .com with 117 million.
  • .net with 14,9 million.
  • .org with 10,5 million.
  • .info with 5,2 million.
  • .biz with 2,3 million.
  • .us with 1,7 million.
  • .mobi with 0,75 million.
  • .asia with 0,25 million.
  • .name with 0,17 million.
  • .tel with 0,12 million.

Most Popular Top-Level Domains Worldwide

The oldest TLDs, .com, .net and .org, account for almost 63,59% of the domain names in market. The .info extension is used by 1,45% of domain names, .edu is used by 0,27% of domain names.

In the ccTLDs regard, Russian .ru has the highest penetration followed by .de from Germany, .jp from Japan, .uk fron the United Kingdom and .cn from China.

As for the .com websites, 69% of them are in English.

Total Country-Code TLD (ccTLD)

Regarding Country-Code TLDs, at the top of the list we find the .us suffix, which holds a total of 134 million registered domain names, what stands for a total of 8,7% year over year growth. As for South America, the leader in ccTLD usage is Brasil and its .br suffix, with a toal of 3,6 million registered domain names. Traveling to the Old Continent, in Europe we find that the .uk ccTLD, from the United Kingdom, leads the market with a total of 10,5 million domains registered, followed by .de and .nl ccTLDs, from Germany and The Nederlands, both have a total of 5,5 million registered domains. In the meantime, the suffixes known as .ru, .cn and .tk, are the top asian ccTLDs, with a total of 4,8 / 11,9 / 28,6 million registered domains. As for Australia, we find that its extension .au holds a total of 2,9 million domains registered.

The Domain Name Industry Brief

The 2015 Domain Name Industry Brief by Verisign shows that between the geographical new gTLDs that have been delegated, 22 of them have more than 1000 registrations. This new gTLDs comprise 1% of the total of gTLDs.

Among those 22 new gTLDs, that have more than 1000 domain registrations, we find in first place .berlin, with 34,4% of registrations, followed by .nyc with 14,4% of registrations. As for .tokyo we find that it has 7% of registrations, .bayern 5,5% of registrations, .hamburg and .koeln have 4,4% of registrations, and .vegas, .moscow and .paris are between 2-2,9% of domain registrations.

Annual Historical Stats for All Known Domain Names Sold

It’s considered interesting to know the approximate yearly market sales for the domain industry. If we travel back in time to the year 1997 we’ll see that there was a reported total sale of $3 million. Two years later, the sales increased by $12 million, with a total of $15 million sales reported by the end of 1999. Just one year later domain names sale grew approximately 80% with a total of $24 million domain sales reported. Between the years 2000-2003 there was a decrease in the domain market, as for the end of 2003 there were only $2 million reported sales. The market comes back to life again in 2004, when $19,5 million where reported as sales for that year. Between 2005 and 2007 there was again a decrease for the domain market sales, until 2008 when there were $32 million reported annual sales. From the year 2009 to our days, we find that the domain name market has had its rises and falls but remains alive and it has not fallen out of $44 million reported annual sales.

Top 10 Sites by Sales Price

In today’s competitive domain industry it’s almost impossible to find a domain less than 6 characters long, and if you really need to purchase a short domain name it will usually require you to bid on that name or to purchase it from a direct owner, what makes them expensive domains.

A domain is not only valued by its total characters, it’s worth exactly what a buyer is willing to pay for it, due to his needs and the uniqueness of the domain.

As to know, the top 10 sites by sales price list is led by the adult content site domain with a total of $13 million dollars paid for it. Below is the site, in this case the company spent $11 million buying this domain. Next we’ll find the domain, for which its buyer paid $10 million. As for the adults sites and, its buyers paid a total of $9,5 and $8,8 for those domains. These are followed by, bought buy the social network “Facebook” for a total of $8,5 million. Next to is, for which its buyer paid a total of $7,5 million for the domain. The list is continued with the domain, for which someone paid a total of $7 million. The second last domain listed is, for which a total of $6,7 million where paid. The domain is found last on the list, but as with the other domains listed, the buyer paid a high price, in this case $5,5 million were paid for it.

To sum things up:

  • The 2014 closed with a base of 288 million registered domain names. Worldwide registrations have grown by 16.9 million, or 6.2%, year over year.
  • Both .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth of 2.7% in 2014. As of Dec. 31, 2014, the base of registered names in .com equaled 117.2 million names, while .net equaled 14.9 million names, followed by .org with 10.5 million names.
  • Largest Domain Registrars: GoDaddy – 31.2%, Enom – 8.1%, Network Solutions – 7.7%, Tucows – 6.5, Schlund+partner – 5%.
  • DNS Market Share: CloudFlare – 26.5%, Route53 – 16.3%, Ultra DNS – 12.5%, Dynect – 8.2%, GoDaddy – 7.2%.


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