By Rich Merdinger, DNA Chair

As we kick off NamesCon 2017, it’s more important than ever to understand where and how the domain name industry has grown to what it is today. At The DNA, we keep tabs on data, charts, and research related to the domain name industry. Today, we are publishing our first comprehensive look at the industry’s registration growth. Below, we reflect on what the most recent stats are telling us.

The big takeaway? Overall, the numbers demonstrate that the market for domain name registrations across the board is not a zero-sum game. The introduction of more choices and options has led to an overall expansion of the domain space, where growth in one area does not necessarily come at the expense of another. With emerging markets ramping up Internet access, and half the world’s population already online, there is tremendous room for continued growth of all domain name registration and usage.

We encourage you to view the report here and continue the discussion with us at NamesCon, where the DNA will host a session on “10 Ways to Creatively Use Domain Names in Your Branding and Marketing Campaigns.” Check out the entire DNA NamesCon schedule here. We look forward to your input and to seeing you at NamesCon!

DNA Domain Names At A Glance Infographic January 2017

Figure 1: Overall Domain Name Registrations are Growing

Takeaway: Total domain name registrations (.Com, .Net, Country Code Top Level Domains, and new Domain Name Extensions) grew 13 percent to reach 334.6 million registrations, with the highest rate of growth coming from total new domain name extension registrations, which increased 145 percent in 2016 to reach a total of 27.6 million registrations. From major brands to corner stores, businesses continued to build upon their ‘dot-com’ strategy to include a new generation of domain name extensions. The DNA expects that more marketing agencies and businesses will adopt blended domain name branding strategies, mixing together traditional extensions (e.g. .BIZ, .COM, .INFO, .ORG) with Country Code Top Level Domains (e.g. .AU, .CA, .NL, .UK); and new domain name extensions (e.g. .CLUB, .ONLINE, .ROCKS, .TODAY).

DNA Domain Names At A Glance Infographic January 2017 V2 copy

Figure 2: Strong Registration Growth Worldwide for New Domain Name Extensions

Takeaway: New domain name extension registration growth is a global phenomenon. Meaning: Every region saw solid new domain name extension registration growth in 2016 ranging from the U.S., with a 152 percent, to China, with 275 percent rate of increase. Probably no surprise for those inside the industry, but the increases were high in the Asia-Pacific region, with Russia, Brazil, and India showing the highest rates of increase, respectively. With so much of the world registering new domain name extensions, the DNA expects marketers to become more sophisticated in how they use meaningful domain extensions in a variety of memorable combinations to ensure global marketing campaigns stand out on either the left or right of the dot.

Figure 3: Top 10 New Domain Name Extensions Registered

Figure 3: Top 10 New Domain Name Extensions Registered

Takeaway: In looking at the top ten new domain extensions by names registered, what caught our attention is the diversity of domain names being used worldwide. A look at the top 10 shows a wide range of subjects and memorable alphabet combinations. Half of the top 10 reveals a distinct preference for shorter, three-letter extensions. A company’s online presence is often spread across several different platforms and regions. While the nuts and bolts of a business may still live on a primary website, the DNA expects that a vast majority of companies will increase the number of new domain name extensions used within a global marketing strategy. Top ten new domains, like .TOP, .CLUB, or .ONLINE, not to mention hundreds of others, offer marketers a simple, flexible, pinpoint-control tool that makes it easier for businesses to connect target audiences with content—regardless of where the content is, or how small the device screen is.

Figure 4: New Domain Name Extensions as an Inexpensive Option

Figure 4: New Domain Name Extensions as an Inexpensive Option

Takeaway: The highest new domain name extension sale in 2016 ($181,720) was still approximately one-twentieth of the cost of the highest premium, legacy domain name purchase ($3,770,000). The majority of new domain name extensions are an economical choice for marketers that affords them the ability to get creative and further build out their domain name strategy.

Figures 5-6: Who is Seeing Your Domain Name & Internet Usage Growing Worldwide

Figures 5-6: Who is Seeing Your Domain Name & Internet Usage Growing Worldwide

Takeaway: The number of Internet users worldwide grew to more than 3.5 billion. Meaning: Over fifty percent of the world’s population is now online. The DNA predicts that in 2017, domain names will continue their steady growth as more consumers depend on memorable domain names to connect with their everyday brands, services, and favorite celebrities. The DNA believes that the greatest market potential lies with the millions of businesses and hundreds of millions of individuals who will look to connect their identity with an online presence that maps to their product, profession, interest, or social media presence.

View the full report at http://thedna.org/domain-name-stats/