Sunday, December 11, 2011

Do we have true "International" Domain Registrars?

Do we have a true global registrar? From stats, it seems most of the top 15 ICANN Accredited registrars are  only as big as their countries of origin and 80% of the domains under these registrars' management are owned by registrants from those registrars' countries of origin. Does that make sense? Ok, let me break it down to you.

The largest registrar in the world is GoDaddy with over 50 million domains; GoDaddy is an American company with HQs in Arizona , in the United States, and over 80% of domains at GoDaddy are owned by Americans;  the same trend obtains for the second largest domain registrar(eNom) and the third largest domain registrar, Tucows(based in Canada).

The fifth largest domain registrar, Schlund+Partner which owns the giant 1and1 Internet domain registrar has over 80% of its registrants from Germany, it's country of origin. MelbourneIT of Australia, the sixth largest ICANN Accredited Registrar has over 80% of domains owned by registrants from Australia; Same situation obtains from the Wild west Domains of the United States the 7th largest ICANN Accredited registrar. of the Internet Conglomerate GMO Internet of Japan, has the overwhelmingly majority of domains owned by Japanese registrants. In fact all the top 15 registrars show the same trend perhaps with exception of the Reseller Club from the Directi Group of India, which has somehow relied on the global market for its growth and not just the Indian market.

Which brings me to my original question; do we have a true "international" domain registrar? All registrars seem to cater for a specific target local market and market their domains with culture of those local markets in mind thus alienating other global users in my opinion. Can registrars be "truly global" when all of them begin from somewhere, a small market, like a city or a country? It seems all the registrars eventually adopt and internalize the local cultures of their countries of origin and they keep these cultures with them even as they expand to new markets globally. So in my opinion, amongst the giant registrars, none of them has a true global outlook. A better way would be registrars to launch new operations in underserved regions with those regions' cultures in mind. For example, GoDaddy's image and culture might not appeal to a registrant in say Middle East, North Africa and or  East Africa so, for a registrar to appeal to a cross section of markets, it must learn to be a world wide local player, setting up nd marketing strategies  that appeal to local tastes and cultures.

But I see a situation where small registrars in emerging markets will follow the same trend; build a local loyal following in the local markets, get ICANN Accreditation and proceed to conquer global markets while maintaining the local accent. So the idea of an "International" domain registrar is not something that's very feasible :) but registrar must find ways of appealing to diverse markets by for example, establishing a local presence.

World's largest Domain Registrars
  1. GoDaddy::US
  2.  eNom::US
  3. Tucows::Canada
  4. Network Solutions::US
  5. Schlund+Partner::Germany
  6. MelbourneIT::Australia
  7. WildWest Domains::US
  10. Moniker::US
  11. Key-Systems::Germany
  13. Xinnet::China
  15. OVH::France
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