The number of domain names registered worldwide by 2018 is expected to top the 305 million mark, according to a new report released by Global Industry Analysts. The new top level domain domains sanctioned by ICANN, which allow a URL to end in assignments such as .coke, .utah and .ladygaga, are primary drivers in this massive number but are also supported by additional activity in online advertising, e-commerce transactions and increasing Internet penetration the world over.
The availability of wireless hotspots and advent of new smartphones are also expected to be contributory factors in this explosive growth, which is seeing information and multimedia accumulating rapidly in remote cloud centers that also form the hub for new domain reseller services.
“While mature markets such as the US are likely to witness a decelerating growth owing to strong penetration of broadband and e-commerce, emerging countries are expected to post stronger growth owing to the increasing penetration of Internet and e-commerce spending,” said Global Industry Analysts, in a press release. “The beginning of 2012 marked the opening of an application period for new domain extensions uncovering new registration opportunities that would become available in early 2013.”
The new ICANN top level domains, while expensive, are allowing companies to improve user interaction, security, revenues and branding. It will also offer more elite and effective methods of protecting trademarks and brands, increase brand equity and reach more customers, including domain resellers and domain partners.
The domains also dovetail with regional language preferences which are more specific to a continent, country, city and village. According to the report, Europe accounts for the largest share of these domains worldwide.
Further, the development of more robust and reliable Internet connections in places such as Asia, is also spurring a new round of domain name registrations. Within the UK2 Group, which owns Resell.biz, there is already major data center upgrades in places such as Utah and Singapore. This trend is expected to accelerate as more CDN services come online and a greater number of people buy smartphones to access the web.