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The Global Domain Report 2024

Global Domain Report

Trends, Growth, and the Future of Digital Identities

In an era where digital presence is not just a convenience but a necessity, the domain industry continues to exhibit its resilience and adaptability. The Global Domain Report 2024, a collaborative effort by InterNetX and Sedo, both part of the IONOS Group, brings this dynamic sector’s current state and future trajectories to light.

Results of the Global Domain Report by InterNetX and Sedo

Dive into the heart of the digital age with the Global Domain Report 2024, This comprehensive report is the gateway to understanding the dynamic world of domain names, offering rich, data-driven insights backed by the informed perspectives of industry stalwarts.

With a laser focus on trends, shifts and developments, it dissects the interplay between artificial intelligence (AI), the burgeoning tech industry and the domain landscape.

Global Domain Report
Global Domain Report

The steady growth of the domain industry

In 2023, the domain industry again proved its resilience and capacity for steady growth, marking a significant 2.5% year-over-year increase. This progression is evidenced by the notable figure of 358.8 million registered domains by the end of 2023. Such enduring expansion is primarily driven by the accelerating pace of digitalization across all sectors of the economy, a surge in e-commerce activities post-COVID-19 and the quintessential need of businesses to carve out their digital identities in a crowded online space. As we move forward, the importance of a robust digital identity and executing strategic domain acquisitions continues to amplify across large companies and SMEs.

The legacy and evolution of gTLDs

The legacy of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) within the digital landscape remains unparalleled. Specifically, .com continues its reign with an impressive 159.6 million registrations, far outstripping its counterparts, .net and .org, which boast 13.1 million and 10.8 million registrations, respectively. This impressive dominion underscores the enduring appeal and recognition of these gTLDs among businesses and individuals. However, the revelation of a slight .com decline of -0.6% year-over-year and its saturation sparks discussions on the future trajectory of this TLD.

Leveraging local identity: The role of ccTLDs & geoTLDs

Leveraging local identity through ccTLDs (country code top-level domain) and geoTLDs (geographic top-level domains) offers businesses a powerful tool to establish a regional presence and precisely target specific markets. The global ccTLD landscape is incredibly varied, encompassing 308 ccTLDs, including Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), offering broad opportunities for localization. These extensions establish a strong local presence and affinity, which are crucial in markets where local branding and language are pivotal in consumer preference and loyalty.

The cultural connection is further enhanced through domain names that resonate with local customers, tying businesses directly to their geographical identities. However, the strength of ccTLDs for SMEs lies in their ability to provide a secure, recognizable, and regionally relevant online identity, encouraging a more localized and personalized consumer experience in the digital realm.


African ccTLDs are growing strong

In this segment, the rise of African ccTLDs is particularly noteworthy, emblematic of the continent’s rapid digital evolution and increasing significance in global market trends. African ccTLDs are not just catching up; they’re leading growth, exhibiting an impressive 25-30% annual expansion rate. This surge highlights Africa’s burgeoning role in the digital realm, underpinning the continent’s growing influence.

The application and popularity of ccTLDs vary significantly from one country to another; some nations prominently use their ccTLD as the primary domain of choice, while others see only minimal adoption. For instance, the United States‘ ccTLD, .us, remains overshadowed by the ubiquitous .com and other gTLDs, never achieving the same level of prevalence within its borders.

geoTLDs & cityTLDs

While ccTLDs are popular for establishing a local digital presence, there are other options. GeoTLDs (geographic top-level domains) such as .asia, .lat, and .cat (Top3 geoTLDs 2023) also offer significant opportunities catering to specific regional, cultural, or linguistic communities.

The remarkable surge in .lat registrations in 2023, boasting an unprecedented growth of +2,131% as the digital namespace for the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community, highlights these domains‘ growing acceptance and practicality within the industry. Additionally, cityTLDs like .amsterdam, .berlin, and .tokyo (Top3 cityTLDs 2023) provide targeted and unique branding potentials, enabling businesses and organizations to connect directly and meaningfully with local audiences.

The significance of ccTLDs for European SMEs

The significance of ccTLDs for European Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) cannot be overstated, with these digital assets playing a critical role in fostering regional relevance and cultural connection. Particularly within the EU Member States, the European domain market in 2024 has seen domains registered surpass the 82 million mark, signaling a modest year-on-year growth. The top 5 European ccTLDs .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .nl (Netherlands), .fr (France) and .it (Italy), have robustly contributed to this upward trajectory. These ccTLDs act as trust markers in the digital landscape and present an affordable entry point, with the median registrar price for a European ccTLD dropping to €9.4, compared to €12.5 for a .com domain as detailed in the first CENTRstats TLD Market Report of 2024.

AI and the rapid emergence of .ai

AI technology is expected to reshape the domain industry significantly. It will change domain name strategies and open up untold avenues for innovation, fostering an environment ripe with opportunities yet teeming with challenges. As AI permeates the domain industry, it will shape the future trajectory, guiding strategic choices and setting new benchmarks for successful domain name management.

In this framework, the extension .ai has seen a phenomenal rise, closely tied to the burgeoning field of AI. The .ai ccTLD notably experienced year-on-year growth of 162%, the highest among all TLDs at InterNetX. Top sales at Sedo and a skyrocketing interest in .ai domains underscore the high demand, with the „“ sale exhibiting a staggering increase in value over fifteen years. With about 65% of .ai websites hosted in the USA and a considerable presence in Europe, Canada, and India, this ccTLD is predominantly used by businesses intertwined with AI, showcasing a dynamic and evolving tech landscape. The cost of registering a .ai domain surged by nearly 17% in 2023, underscoring its premium over .com domains.

Pioneering digital identity with new gTLDs

The domain industry has witnessed a revolutionary shift by introducing and gradually adopting new gTLDs, marking 14.7% year-on-year growth. This surge is a testament to evolving internet usage and the quest for unique branding opportunities, allowing enterprises to carve out innovative digital identities. Leading the charge in usage trends, .xyz continues to dominate, especially popular among sectors like blockchain, Web3 and cryptocurrency. Other gTLDs such as .cfd, .app and .click reflect diverse business adventures into new digital domains. Despite many of these domains serving as redirects, there’s a clear indication of a gradual transition towards fully developed websites, showcasing a landscape filled with potential and ongoing digital transformation.

new gTLD
new gTLD

Strategic TLD use in the tech sector

In the tech industry, where innovation and competition are relentless, the strategic use of TLDs by tech firms underscores their critical role in shaping online identities and market dominance. The Global Domain Report 2024, leveraging insights from, shed light on how TLDs underpin the digital presence of the tech sector. Notably, despite the myriad TLD options available, giants in the tech industry still predominantly favor gTLDs, with .com leading the charge. However, a subtle yet significant shift is observed in the adoption of ccTLDs, new gTLDs but in particular tech TLDs like .dev, .app, .xyz and .support, reflecting a nuanced strategy to cater to localized markets and bolster brand identity amidst IT terms. This strategic divergence underscores a blend of tradition and innovation and highlights the evolving dynamics of domain registration within the global tech landscape.

The future outlook for the domain industry

In 2023, the domain industry demonstrated resilience and adaptability, thriving amidst shifting economic and societal trends. As we reflect on the industry’s journey, it is clear that the blend of traditional gTLDs, innovative new gTLDs, and culturally significant ccTLDs has created a vibrant marketplace.

For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), securing a memorable domain name remains crucial as a cornerstone of their online identity and marketing strategies. As we move ahead through 2024, the integration of artificial intelligence is set to revolutionize domain strategies further, offering both fresh opportunities and new challenges. This ongoing evolution confirms that the domain industry remains dynamic, prepared to embrace future innovations to meet the changing needs of the digital landscape.

Global Domain Report
Global Domain Report

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