.COM and .NET renewals lowest in years, but Verisign sees lockdown bump anyway

Verisign, which manages the .COM and .NET top-level domains, has published its report for the second quarter of 2020. Like many other registrars and registries, it posted an increase in registrations during the coronavirus lockdown restrictions. The total number of new registrations in the .COM and .NET TLD zones reached 11.1 million, as compared to 10.3 million during the same period of 2019.

Verisign domains saw 1.41 million more registrations in the second quarter; this also exceeds 2019 indicators (10.3 million). It appears that the authors of the report considered it unethical to name the coronavirus pandemic as the main cause of this growth and used a funny euphemism that the growth was driven primarily by small businesses in North America getting online.

However, not all indicators seem optimistic. The resource Domain Incite notes that 72.8 percent of .COM and .NET domains were renewed. This is markedly lower on 2019, with 74.2 percent. Moreover, the figure is an all-time low in the past three years. However, it is unlikely that the pandemic has contributed to this decrease. It was probably caused by active promo campaigns of registrars throughout 2019. As usual, many users want to register their domain names cheap, but do not extend the registration of many “discount” domains after a 12-month period. Additionally, the company’s expenses soared by 2.6 percent during the second quarter, as compared to the same period of 2019, and reached $314 million, with net profits totaling $152 million.

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