European ccTLDs Experience Slowed Growth in 2023

In a recent report released by CENTR, the organization representing country code top-level domain operators primarily in Europe, it was revealed that the growth of European ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) has slowed down significantly in 2023. Despite the slowdown, these domains continue to see growth, albeit at a reduced pace compared to the surge experienced during the pandemic.

The Global TLD report highlighted that the year-over-year growth for European ccTLDs stood at 1.4% in 2023. This figure represents a stabilization following the exceptional increases seen during the COVID-19 pandemic when digital services and online presence expanded rapidly. The report suggests that the market hit its lowest point in January 2023 but showed signs of recovery thereafter, although it dipped again towards the end of the year.

One of the key factors contributing to the sustained growth, despite the overall slowdown, is the strong renewal rates among existing domain registrations. However, the report notes an increase in deletions throughout 2023, although these remain relatively low compared to longer-term averages. This indicates that while the existing base of domains is being maintained, there is a struggle to attract new registrations.

CENTR’s analysis points out that European ccTLDs are more likely to be developed into functioning websites compared to generic top-level domains (gTLDs) like .com, which results in higher renewal rates. For instance, Verisign reported a renewal rate for .com and .net domains that hovers in the low-to-mid 70% range, whereas European ccTLDs often see higher figures.

The report also forecasts that the average growth rates for European ccTLDs in 2024 are expected to remain similar to those of 2023. The challenge for ccTLD registries will be to maintain high renewal rates while also attracting a sufficient number of new registrations throughout the year.

In conclusion, while the growth of European ccTLDs has slowed, the market is stabilizing, and the domains continue to perform well in terms of renewals. The focus for the future will likely be on strategies to boost new registrations and manage the increasing rate of deletions to sustain growth in the evolving digital landscape.


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