Total domain counts are falling. Here’s why


.Com is doing fine, but the same can’t be said for other top level domains.

Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) has published its quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief (pdf) for the first quarter of 2021.

The company calculates that total domains registered across all extensions fell 2.8 million, or 0.8%, since the end of 2020. Total domains fell 3.3 million, or 0.9%, compared to the first quarter of 2020.

This might come as a shock to people who have heard about exploding growth in domains during the pandemic and with Verisign raising its guidance for the year.

While .com continues to grow at a steady clip, total country code (ccTLDs) and new top level domains have fallen.

Verisign figures the total base of ccTLDs fell 1.5% compared to the end of last year and 0.6% compared to a year ago.

The biggest fall has been in new top level domains, which have plummeted 29.3% over the past year and 12.3% in the last quarter. This has to do with a handful of top level domain operators halting or reducing low-cost registration promotions.

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