The growth & perception of New Domains in 2016

The growth & perception of New Domains in 2016 header image

ICANN published its findings from the second phase of its Global Registrant Survey in mid-September, and the study offers some unique insight into registrants’ thoughts on the current domain landscape. In particular, the study shows some interesting trends for New Domains and their adoption. These are some of the most notable findings about New Domains.

Domain extension awareness is up

The study shows that overall, more people are aware of the existence of both legacy and new domains in addition to ccTLDs, year over year. Unsurprisingly, 99% of participants noted some level of awareness for legacy TLDs that include .COM, .INFO, .MOBI, and more. But only 64% of participants claimed of have some level of awareness of New Domains—showing that while awareness levels for these extensions are certainly growing, there’s an additional 36% of the population who still don’t know about the existence of these TLDs.

Over 1/3 of participants have registered a New Domain

35% of respondents claim to have registered a New Domain name. Of these registrations, 59% were for personal use and 50% were for businesses. (Because these numbers exceed 100%, respondents were likely able to select multiple responses.) 60% of respondents indicated that their New Domain was registered in order to protect their trademark or brand.

North America has the lowest level of New Domain awareness

Across the board, respondents from North America showed the lowest level of awareness for the existence of certain New Domain extensions, with Europe close behind. South America and Asia showed the highest level of New Domain awareness compared to respondents from other continents.

25% of respondents are considering switching to a New Domain

Of those who reported owning one or multiple New Domains, 1/4 of them are considering replacing their existing URL with one that uses a new extension. Asia, in particular, showed a strong inclination to make the switch, with 34% of respondents expressing interest in doing so. When asked what their motive would be to adopt a New Domain, the top reasons selected were to be more modern, to target specific groups, and to better focus on a particular topic.

.NEWS is considered the most trustworthy New Domain extension

72% of registrants rated the .NEWS domain extension as Very or Somewhat Trustworthy. .EMAIL and .ONLINE followed closely behind with 68% and 65% of registrant trust, respectively. These three domains also had the highest level of overall awareness among all of the New Domains currently available.

So what can we take away from this study? Although New Domains only make up about 6% of total domains, it’s clear that there is still work to be done to bring awareness of these extensions to the masses. It also shows that increasingly more people are interested in these alternative domain choices, and find them trustworthy.

If you want to learn more about the study’s findings, view the full results here.

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