2015 started off on a strong note for the domain name industry, according to the first quarter Domain Name Industry Brief (DNIB) from VeriSign.
VeriSign reported that at the end of the first quarter of 2015, there were 294 million top level domain (TLD) registrations globally, for a 6.5 percent year-over-year growth rate.
Not all TLD types are growing at equal rates. Looking at specific categories of TLDs, country code TLD (ccTLD) registrations came in at 136.9 million for an 8.2 percent growth rate. In contrast, VeriSign reported that the total base of .com and .net TLDs was 133.0 million, making a 3.1 percent year-over-year gain. VeriSign manages both the .com and .net registries under contract with ICANN and the U.S Department of Commerce.
As was the case throughout 2014, the .com domain remains the single largest TLD in the world, followed in the number two slot by the .tk ccTLD. One of the primary reasons for .tk's popularity is the fact that that TLD's domains are free. The .tk TLD is operated by freenom with the aim of making money from expired domains and other services.
Germany's .de takes in third spot, followed by .net in fourth and China's .cn in fifth.
The other category of TLDs are the New Generic TLDs (ngTLDs), which totaled 4.8 million at the end of the first quarter of 2015. The top ngTLD is the .xyz domain, which represents 17.8 percent of all ngTLDs currently registered.
VeriSign also helps to manage root DNS for the Internet and reported new highs for DNS query volume. Daily peak DNS query load in the first quarter was reported at 165 billion, for a 37.9 percent year-over-year increase. Average daily DNS query load was reported at 119 billion for a 40.2 percent increase.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.