Verisign’s .Com continues to grow, but faces headwinds

.Com/.net base up about 5% compared to last year, but new TLDs are on the horizon.

Verisign reported earnings today as well as combined statistics for its .com and .net business.

The company added 1.55 million net new names during the third quarter, ending the quarter with 125.9 million active domain names in the zone for .com and .net. That’s a 5% increase over the zone at the end of the third quarter in 2012. In Q2 2013 it added 1.22 million net new names, which was also about a 5% increase in the base over the the same quarter in 2012.

It’s important to understand that in order to get 1.55 million net new names, Verisign has to sell a lot more domain registrations than that. That’s because every quarter domain names expire. In Q3, Verisign processed 8.7 million new domain name registrations.

So here’s the question on many peoples’ minds: can the registered base of .com domains continue to grow when hundreds of new TLDs such as .web hit the web?

It’s unlikely that owners of existing .com domains will switch to alternative top level domain names. Some with really bad domains might make the switch. But the real question is what happens with those 8 million+ new domain registrations Verisign processes each quarter. Will some of those be siphoned off by new TLDs? Will an accountant starting his business choose Adams.CPA instead of ( is already registered)?

If new TLDs siphon about 1.5 million new registrations away from .com each quarter, the .com base will start to shrink.


  1. says

    Verisign will likely continue to grow due to the soon to be released .com in languages used by more then 2.5 Billion people.

  2. Leonard Britt says

    Perhaps someone will have more precise figures but I would estimate 30 million .COM drops in 2013. What does that say about the registrant base – a lot of newbie domainers registering poor-quality domains and then dropping them. The new TLDs will be interesting to watch but I am afraid it could create a lot of sad stories of newbies entering the domain space, sinking a lot of money into all kinds of new possibly variations and then unable to renew them or sell them.

  3. UFO says

    There’s a big difference between versigns profitability and expansion and the fortunes of domainers.

    .com will remain the premier TLD for commerce (where all the money really is) and second / third tier type .com’s may well be dropped in favour of new TLDs. How many .com’s are issued or not makes no difference to the best .com’s because they are unique.

    Hence, the new TLDs may well be a success in terms of registries, but not for domainer investments simply because all the great unwashed will buy them rather than spending real money on a premier domain. Any decent business sitting on a new TLD will buy the .com like they have previously if they want to be credible.

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