Nominet has introduced the "Domain Name Industry Report", which states that the domain name industry is thriving both globally and in the UK. Nominet documents important analysis of global domain name statistics, registrant statistics and trends in the UK, as well as an overview of the UK registrar market.
Global Registration Trends
Statistics reveal that the total number of domain name registrations in the last five years increased by 30% compared to 10% in 2002. 65% of all domain names registered are generic top level domains (gTLD). This is further evidence of the increased awareness of the importance and value of an online presence. Organizations recognize the benefits of using a generic domain name to get targeted customers to their company’s websites.
Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) Registration Trends
The trends illustrate that the registration of country code top level domain names (ccTLD) in general have raised steadily by 30% in the last two years. 36% of global domain name registrations worldwide are country code top level domains. The .CO.UK extension is in position 3 of the top 5 ccTLDs. The top 5 account for 55% of all ccTLDs and 20% of all global registrations. New registrations in the .CO.UK market grew by 19.7% in 2006 in comparison to the top ccTLD .DE which grew by 11.1%.
.UK Second Level Domain Registration Trends
The .UK registry is experiencing a continuous and well balanced growth. The 6 millionth .UK domain name was registered in June 2007. Approximately 92% of .CO.UK domain name registrants are based in the UK or lists a UK address. The most popular second level domain in the UK market is the .CO.UK, which accounts for 91.3% of all .UK registrations. The Nominet paper also reports that a .UK name is on average, 11 characters long and is most likely to be used in conjunction with one of the top five keywords; Net, Home, Web, Shop, and Sport.
The volume of .UK registrations has increased annually by approximately 20% since 2002—partly due to a strong renewal rate in the .UK space.
Nora Nanayakkara, Sedo's Director of Operations for the UK, comments "The Nominet paper is of great interest and is packed with fascinating information about the .UK namespace. Their research demonstrates the growing strength of the .UK TLD and the numbers clearly show that a .UK address is favoured by UK online browsers. That preference, combined with record online advertising numbers reported by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the increase in online shopping by UK consumers means that it is vital for UK businesses to ensure they have the best possible online address. There are thousands of instantly memorable and descriptive .CO.UK names available for sale at Sedo, which would make very valuable additions to UK businesses".
Research carried out earlier this year by YouGov, conveyed that British Internet users are six times more likely to choose a .UK rather than .COM address when looking for information via an Internet search engine. Nominet mentions that a second independent survey conducted in August 2007, revealed a similar trend amongst UK marketing professionals, with more than 60% choosing a .CO.UK domain name as a primary website address.
The Secondary Domain Name Market Trends
In March 2007 Sedo announced that annual statistics for 2006 compiled by domain marketplace Sedo and DNJournal showed a 153% growth in the value of all published .CO.UK domain sales worldwide, in comparison to a growth of 79% in 2005. Since 2004, there has been an overall market growth of 353% for .CO.UK domain sales in the secondary market. In the past year, the total volume of CO.UK Internet domain name sales in the secondary market grew already by over £1.5 million.
The top 5 highest published .CO.UK sales in 2007
Recycle.co.uk (Private sale) – £150,000
Ink.co.uk(Private sale) – £130,425
Phones.co.uk (Sedo) - £120,000
Fly.co.uk(Sedo) - £87,500
Connected.co.uk(Private) - £80,000