April 15, 2020
Here's what happened with Australian domain registrations during the month of March 2020.
Released by auDA, the registry statistics report for the month indicates 44,776 new domain registrations, up significantly on February's 41,712 but down 1.4% year-over-year.
The end of March saw 3,169,412 au domain names under management, down 0.6% year-over-year. That works out to around one address registered for every 8 Australians.
Registrations of .com.au addresses was pretty steady - 2,829,881 under management at the end of March 2020 compared to 2,831,796 for March 2019 (-0.1% YoY)
The .net.au namespace continued to take a dive, with just 228,144 at the end of March, down 7.3% year over year. The only extension to see a boost YoY was .org.au, with 73,292 names under management; up 1.4%.
The full registry statistics report for March can be viewed here.
10 years ago, there were only around 1.5 million Australian domain names under management, so the number has more than doubled in a decade. While the market has matured and growth is reasonably stable, there will be a boost in the not-too-distant future with the option to register directly under .au - this is called direct registration.
Many businesses are expected to grab the .au version of their .com.au, if only as a defensive measure.
This change has been in the pipeline since 2015, or perhaps even earlier. It's been a long road to this point and some delays along the way. In August last year, auDA said it was expected direct .au registrations should be available in the first half of 2020 - and there's only 2 months to go until June; so the clock is ticking. Perhaps given the recent turn of events around the world, this may be delayed once again.
If you're curious about the history of the .au domain space, you can find out more here. While it has had its ups and downs and various challenges, something that has remained solid all the way through is its reputation and trust among local and foreign online users - a .com.au has and continues to enjoy a high degree of trust.
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