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In the first three months of 2008, 14 million domain names were added to the internet, according to the first quarter 2008 Domain Name Industry Brief published by VeriSign. That’s a 17% increase over the fourth quarter of 2007, and 15% over the year-earlier period.

At the end of the first quarter, the total base of domain name registrations globally across all of the Top Level Domain Names (TLDs) numbered 162 million. That’s a 26% increase over the year-earlier quarter and 6% over the fourth quarter of 2007.

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That pace of quarterly growth is about the same as the average quarterly growth rate from 2007.

Among the key findings:

  • The total base of Country Code Top Level Domain Names (ccTLDs) was 63 million, a 33% increase year-over-year and a 9% increase quarter-over-quarter.
  • Across all of the Generic Top Level Domain Names (gTLDs) and ccTLDs, .com has the highest base followed by .de (Germany), .cn, (China), .net, .uk (United Kingdom) and .org.
  • The composition of the domain-name industry and rank order in terms of base size was relatively consistent, with the largest TLDs remaining in the same rank order with the exception of .cn, which edged past .net and moved into the third position.
  • The largest TLDs (base size) were .com, .de, .cn, .net, .uk, .org, .info, .nl (The Netherlands), .eu (European Union), and .biz.
  • At the end of the first quarter, the adjusted base of .com and .net domain name registrations was 84.4 million. The growth was at 5% quarter-over-quarter and 22% year-over-year.

Growth

VeriSign estimates that domain names registered with the intent of generating online advertising revenue represented between 8% and 10% of the .com and .net base.

New .com and .net registrations were added at an average of 2.6 million per month in the first quarter of 2008, for a total of 7.8 million new domain name registrations in the quarter – a 5% increase over the fourth quarter of 2007 and a 12% increase over the year-earlier quarter.

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Renewals

In the fourth quarter of 2007, the adjusted registry renewal rate for .com and .net was 74%. Renewal rates have historically been in the mid-70% range over the last few years. Quarterly renewal rates may deviate one to two percent in either direction each quarters.

India a Growing Force

The Q1 research also highlights the importance of India as an emerging online population. With more than 41 million internet users, India ranks as the eighth-largest online population in the world. However, the number of internet users comprises only about 4% of the population.

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At the end of the first quarter of 2008, there were 1.2 million domain-name registrations in India across all of the TLDs – or 46% growth over the previous year.

About the research: VeriSign publishes the Domain Name Industry Brief quarterly to provide Internet users around the world with significant statistical and analytical research and data on the domain-name industry and the internet as a whole.

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