Monday, January 23, 2012

Australian ccTLD: A $500 million dollar business!

Some Perspective From Australia

The domain industry is one of the smallest and closed industries in the world. It consists of a  few thousand players who know their stuff, some of whom shape global internet policy. In the West, the domain industry emerged from the ashes of the dotCom bust and generating millions for the early users but how much is the domain industry really worth? How much does it contribute to the economies of countries?

According to a research by Deloitte Access Economics on behalf of Australian Domain Name Authority, auDA and AusRegistry, the Australian domain industry created 4330(2470 full time) jobs and added $475 million to the Australian GDP in 2011 alone. According to the report, there were 2.3 million .au domain names in 2011 and 60,000 new .au domain names are being added to the  Australian domain namespace every month! Now that's a very healthy growth for a country with a population of just 30 million people, Australia has truly become a domain planet. You can read the Report Here

Now to the nitty gritty, how does domain business in the ccTLD namespace alone generate almost half billion dollars? According to Deloitte, 57% of the revenue or $269 million alone is generated from the registration and hosting of .au domain names while services such as web design and infrastructure account for the remainder.

More interesting Stats from the Deloitte Access Report on Australian Domain Namespace:
  • The .COM.AU range of second level domain names accounted for 85% of all domain registrations in the .AU namespace.
  • 80% of .AU domain names are registered in the major population centres(cities).
  • Wages paid to those working in the industry was $275 million(the industry is labour intensive!)
  • Australia has 35 .AU Accredited Registrars managing 2.3 million .AU domains, definitely a booming business for the players.
  • There are 289 Australian based webhosting businesses.
  • Companies make up the largest share of .au domain names accounting for 53% of domain registrations; nonprofits account for 18% while sole traders and registered business account for 14% and 11% of domain registrations respectively.
  • Factors that may influence future rate of .au domain registrations include the introduction of new gTLDs, IDNs, social media, search engines. Read Full Report Here
Percentage of Australian Businesses with web presence

This research puts the value of ccTLDs in perspective, showing these country specific domains can add great value to the economy if well managed. Key success factors from Australia include knowing your long term target market particularly the business community, maintaining a world class registry infrastructure, a good competitive environment, consumer awareness initiatives on the importance of the cctld namespace, allowing innovation in the market(domain reselling and aftermarkets). Simple lessons some struggling ccTLD registries can begin integrating into their systems continuously.

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