The domain industry had its best April ever in terms of new domains sold in gTLDs, according to my tally, despite much of the Western world spending the month in coronavirus lockdown.
There were a total of 5,291,077 domain adds in April, across all 1,253 gTLDs currently filing transaction reports with ICANN.
That’s up almost 100,000 on the 5,191,880 adds in April 2019 and the best April since the first new gTLDs started coming into circulation in 2013.
While a measly 100k jump may be less impressive than expected based on the enthusiastic descriptions of the lockdown bump coming from registries and registrars over the last few months, it makes a bit more sense when you factor out Chinese volume success story .icu.
.icu, currently the largest of the new gTLDs, was having a bit of a growth spurt at the start of 2019, and added 267,287 domains in April last year. That was down to 56,714 this April. The TLD has been declining for the last few months.
Looking at the TLDs that seem most obviously related to lockdown, the standout is .bar, which added 26,175 names this April, compared to just 151 a year ago.
It’s been well-reported that many restaurants and bars affected by coronavirus switched to online ordering and home delivery, and .bar appears to be a strong beneficiary of this trend.
.bar currently has more than 100,000 names in its zone file, roughly double its pre-lockdown level.
.com fared well, adding 3,382,029 domains this April, compared to 3,360,238 in the year-ago period.
But .xyz did better, relatively, adding 256,271 names, compared to 200,003 a year earlier.
Also noteworthy was .buzz, which has been performing very strongly over the last 12 months. It added 60,808 names this April, compared to just a few hundred.
This table shows the 20 gTLDs with the most adds in April 2020, with their April 2019 numbers for comparison.
|TLD||April 2020 Adds||April 2019 Adds|