In a digital age where the domain name system forms the backbone of the internet, the European country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) have exhibited a modest growth, according to the latest reports from the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR). Despite facing a challenging environment characterized by increased deletions and a competitive global market, European ccTLDs have managed to sustain growth, albeit at a slower pace compared to the surge experienced during the pandemic.

Reg trends in european ccTLDs

As of early 2024, registered domains across EU member state countries have risen to an estimated 82 million, marking a 0.4% increase over the previous year. This growth has been unevenly distributed, with countries like Poland, France, and Italy leading the pack, primarily through their national ccTLDs. Conversely, .com domains have seen stagnation and a decline in numbers across most European countries.

The median market share for European ccTLDs stands at approximately 54%, with a median growth rate of 1.4% in 2023. This growth, although modest, underscores the resilience of European ccTLDs in a market facing downward pressure from increasing deletions and a shifting digital landscape. The adoption of DNSSEC, a crucial internet security protocol, has reached a 10.5% rate, highlighting ongoing efforts to enhance the security and trustworthiness of European ccTLDs.

Global Domain Name Market

Price dynamics have also seen changes, with the median registrar price for buying a European ccTLD decreasing over the past year to 9.4 EUR, including tax. This contrasts with the .com domains, which are sold at a higher price of 12.5 EUR. Despite this, renewal prices for ccTLDs have been on an upward trend, currently averaging around 15.7 EUR.

The usage of domains within European ccTLDs reveals a healthy mix of developed websites, parked sites, and domains without web content. Of the developed sites, a consistent increase in the adoption of SSL certificates has been noted, with a recent rate of 77%, indicating a strong emphasis on website security and user trust.

On a broader scale, the global domain market is estimated to encompass between 360-370 million domains across 1,456 recorded TLDs. The distribution leans heavily towards .com domains and ccTLDs, with the latter accounting for 38% of the global share. The global market dynamics reflect a nuanced landscape where growth rates vary significantly across different TLDs, with .com domains experiencing stagnation due to a rising long-term deletion ratio.

The European ccTLDs’ resilience in maintaining growth amidst these challenges speaks volumes about their importance and relevance in the digital ecosystem. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, driven by technological advancements and regulatory changes, European ccTLDs stand at a crucial juncture. Their ability to adapt and innovate will be key to sustaining growth and ensuring the long-term viability of the European digital identity.