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Global Registrant Survey Final Phase Results Available

LOS ANGELES - 15 September 2016 - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today published [PDF, 2.85 MB] findings of its Phase Two Global Registrant Survey. The study, conducted by Nielsen, examines domain name registrants’ perceived sense of trust, choice and experience in the current domain name landscape.

The completion of this study concludes separate consumer and registrant survey efforts that serve as inputs for a community-based review team assessing the New gTLD Program in terms of competition, consumer trust and consumer choice (CCT).

“The findings of this survey are similar to phase one results, showing there is stability across the domain name landscape,” said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s Global Domains Division. “The global registrant and consumer studies will play an important role in measuring the success of the New gTLD Program. I look forward to the CCT Review team’s interim report later this year.”

Online survey participants included 3,349 domain name registrants aged 18+ in 24 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America. The survey was administered in 18 languages.

Key findings:

Perceived awareness of new gTLDs remains steady, declines with legacy gTLDs

  • New gTLDs that were in both phases of the survey show similar awareness levels, with higher awareness reported in South America and Asia Pacific.
  • Awareness of several legacy gTLDs dropped slightly (by five to seven percentage points).

Among new gTLD registrants, registering a single domain remains the most common practice

  • More than 30 percent of survey respondents indicated they registered a name in a new gTLD.
  • Of those who registered domains in a new gTLD, fifty-two percent had registered one name only, while thirty-four percent said they registered two to three domain names.
  • Reported registration of new gTLDs is highest in the Asia Pacific region.

Registrants generally trust the domain name industry

  • Trust in the industry generally remains high, particularly in Asia.
  • Registration restrictions elicit higher levels of trust.
  • Positive reputational characteristics, such as business expertise and dependability, contribute to trust in the domain name industry.

Many registrants choose alternative identities over domain names

This was a new series of questions added in Phase Two to gauge the use of alternate online identities, such as social media accounts, blogs or other tools.

  • Twenty-four percent of these respondents said they chose to use a social media account instead of a domain name.
  • About 17 percent of the respondents said they did not renew a domain in favor of using an alternative method for managing an online identity.

About the Global Registrant Survey and Supporting Materials

ICANN commissioned the Global Registrant Survey in response to recommendations from the Implementation Advisory Group on Competition, Consumer Choice and Consumer Trust. Among the 66 metrics [PDF, 472 KB] recommended, a subset of 11 were identified as best being measured using a global survey of Internet users and domain name registrants. ICANN conducted an open RFP and commissioned Nielsen to conduct the study in November 2014.

In Phase Two, Nielsen surveyed 3,349 domain name registrants aged 18+. The survey was administered in 18 languages in June 20-July 11, 2016. Participants were drawn from 24 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Domain name registrants were selected based on their having registered at least one domain name and being a decision maker in domain name registration. Significance testing was performed at a 95 percent confidence level throughout the report.

More than 1,150 new gTLDs have been delegated since the launch of the program in October 2013. The survey focused on a rotating list of new gTLDs with the greatest number of registrations at the time the questions were developed. Respondents were also asked about their awareness and familiarity with regionally relevant TLDs, including Internationalized Domain Names.

Learn More

Phase 2 Global Registrant Survey Full Report [PDF, 2.85 MB], including the questionnaire as an appendix

The phase 2 and phase 1 registrant data tables are available in multiple pieces:

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.


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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."