.COM vs. All Others: New Research Reveals Domain Registration Trends and Churn Rates for Eight TLDs | WhoisXML API

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.COM vs. All Others: New Research Reveals Domain Registration Trends and Churn Rates for Eight TLDs

The web hosting review platform WhoIsHostingThis.com has recently commissioned a study to research domain registration and churn trends across eight top-level domains (TLDs). The investigation covered a sample of 1 million domain names and their WHOIS records gathered from WhoisXML API’s extensive domain intelligence database.

Researchers found that:

  • Fewer than a third of domains are registered for more than a year
  • Over 40% of registered domains expire every year
  • New users re-register about 29% of expiring domains
  • There is a 70% yearly churn rate on average for the studied TLDs
  • The churn rate is the highest for .CN domains, going above 98%

The complete results of the study are available on: https://www.whoishostingthis.com/blog/2019/12/05/domain-study

The Sample

WhoisXML API provided access to the WHOIS records of 1 million domains across seven generic TLDs (gTLDs) and one country-code TLD (ccTLD) from its database that contains more than 20.0B+ historical WHOIS records and 1.2 billion domains and subdomains across over 7,596 TLDs. The sampled domains have been in existence since 2012, and comprised the following:

Sample Size TLD
796,501 .COM
84,153 .NET
53,691 .TOP
35,844 .ORG
17,655 .INFO
7,111 .CN
3,840 .XYZ
1,205 .BIZ


The purpose of the research was to better understand domain registration behaviors over time across a set of popular TLDs. According to Richard Kershaw, Senior Executive at WhoIsHostingThis.com:

“We wanted to find out more about domain registration behavior, so we commissioned this study of 1 million domains, and it turns out the churn rate for domains is much much higher than I think many would expect.”

The analysis revealed that only 29.79% of the domains studied are re-registered for more than a year. Out of the 70.21% unrenewed domains, 41.22% had lapsed, while new registrants reserved 28.99% of abandoned domains. In short, only about 1 out of 3 domains remain registered for a year or more.

The study hints to different motives for reserving and letting domain names go shortly after. Short-term entrepreneurial activities may drive many first-year registrants’ purchases. Domainers, on the other hand, typically make speculative purchases for trending terms to later resell domains to clients. Besides, 2nd-year higher renewal costs may discourage re-registrations.

Some temporary domain registrations are also likely to be tied to cybercriminal activity. Various TLDs in the study, such as .TOP, .BIZ and .INFO, are often abused during phishing and other attacks before quickly being taken down.

In Alex Ronquillo’s words (Sr. Director of Business Development at WhoisXML API):

“Significant activity we’ve observed recently is likely due to trends in global entrepreneurship, but our clients are much more creative in the analysis. I’ve learned that there is much more at play here, especially with new international privacy laws, along with the prevalence of phishing and brand impersonation attacks. We believe that if the world’s most critical researchers are unable to back their theories with reliable data, we all fail to extract the narratives required to produce a safer, smarter future.”

For the detailed results of the study, feel free to check: https://www.whoishostingthis.com/blog/2019/12/05/domain-study/.

To learn more about WhoisXML API’s extensive domain intelligence database, try: https://www.whoisxmlapi.com/whois-database-download.php

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