The Domain Name Association (DNA) announced the results of a recent global survey to ascertain Internet users’ attitudes toward new Internet domain-name extensions, such as “.club” and “.global,” that are being released through ICANN’s “New gTLD Program.”
This Domain Name Preference study was conducted in 10 countries and obtained over 5,000 completed responses. A results summary and analysis can be downloaded from the DNA website; the full survey results are only available to DNA members.
The survey was designed to measure global attitudes about awareness, acceptance, preference and knowledge related to domain names. Established top-level generic names and country-code names (gTLD and ccTLD) were tested along with new generic top-level names.
Specific conclusions, some transcending expectations, were derived from the collected data:
- Domain names continue to be highly relevant. While there is a slight preference for search as a tool to navigate the Internet, almost everyone (85% of those polled) types a domain name into a browser address bar part of the time. And the great majority checks the domain names (at least sometimes) before clicking on search results.
- Internet users around the world are very open to using domain names that include new domain-name extensions. Respondents consistently voiced an equal preference for new domain-name extensions as compared with .com or the local ccTLD (such as .ca in Canada), even though they may not have been aware of the new gTLD Program. There is a particular willingness to accept names that meaningfully indicate the expected content or use of a website (e.g., .secure, .bike).
- Nearly 60% of respondents voiced a preference for more domain name and domain-name extension options, and the fastest-growing Internet markets show the greatest interest in expanding domain name options: e.g., 75% in India, 69% in China. In countries with high Internet penetration, the “lesser” demand for new domain-name extensions is around 50% — that still represents a large potential market for a new product.The survey also supplied some reasons why new extensions would be welcome:
— >50% said new web addresses in meaningful combinations will be easier to remember
— >50% said new domain extensions will make it easier to obtain short, memorable names
- Internet users generally remain unaware of the opportunities in the new gTLD Program. Numbers varied widely from country to country but results indicate low awareness of the availability of new domain-name extensions and new types of domain names.
“Our survey results show that Internet users still employ domain names widely, voice a preference for more domain name and domain-name extension options, and ‘get it’ when it comes to the possibilities,” said Kurt Pritz, Executive Director of the DNA. “These are important findings for the Domain-Name Industry, indicating a bright future for all domain-name extensions. When Internet users generally become aware of the new domain options, we expect widespread acceptance and even eagerness to adopt them.”
The DNA chose Research Now, a global firm headquartered in the U.S., to conduct the survey.