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AFNIC publishes 2009 French Domain Name Industry Report

Home > Observatory and resources > News > AFNIC publishes 2009 French Domain Name Industry Report

First issued in 2007, the French Domain Name Industry Report aims each year to raise the profile of domain names and the players involved, at the same time providing some useful guidance for analysing the market’s strengths and weaknesses. Among the highlights of 2008/2009, this new edition shows that:
The .fr domain name is doing well, despite the economic climate

The 2009 report shows that .fr stood up well to the 2008/2009 economic crisis, growing 25% over the year compared with an average of 8% for the other Top Level Domains worldwide. The .fr domain now accounts for 33% of all domain names registered in France. This is closely connected with the fact that .fr domain names account for over 80% of the net growth in the market, boosted partly by being French people’s favourite domain name and partly by simpler and more highly automated procedures.

The report also marks the 1.5 millionth .fr domain name, registered on September 10, 2009. It also reports a doubling in the rate of growth of .fr names since 2006 when individuals were first given access to it (they now represent half of all new registrations), as well as a continuing very high renewal rate for .fr names, of around 80%.

The report also says the secondary domain name market continues to grow rapidly: a rise of 35% in the number of deals over the last year. .fr domains are the highest-priced in such transactions, showing what a valuable asset such domain names can be for their holders.

The domain name industry presents a varied picture, but concentration is increasing

The 2009 report says the median charge for a domain name is still quite low (around €12 before VAT), though there are great differences between registrars catering for businesses and those targeting individuals. However the great variety of product bundles on the market makes it hard to produce comparisons based on charges alone.

Moreover the structure of the registrar market continues to change, with concentration growing faster among the registrars selling to individuals than in the business field.

The .fr domain name is felt to be meaningful, and very widely used

The 2009 report also says that .fr domain names are associated with speaking French (the French-speaking world), with local appeal and with a sense of belonging.

Also, three quarters of .fr domain names actually point to an operational website. Predominantly business websites (almost half of all names), for only 3% of them are clearly personal ones. Most users in fact use their domain names for personalized e-mail addresses.

Big changes on the way

The 2009 report also reveals that the worldwide domain name industry can be expected to change considerably in the next few years, as ICANN creates new generic domains and new technology develops, like the Internet of Things.

It also shows that the use of IPv6 addresses has grown rapidly in the .fr domain during the past year: some 5% of .fr names support IPv6 for DNS servers and 2% for the webservers, though the proportion for e-mail servers is lower.

Download the French Domain Name Industry Report – 2009 Edition (9.5 Mo – 128 pages)
URL: or

(Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération )
Non-profit organization, AFNIC is in charge of the administrative and technical management of the .fr (France) and .re (Reunion Island) Internet domain names.
AFNIC brings together public and private members: representatives from the French government, Internet users and Internet Service Providers (Registrars).
Further information.


About Afnic

Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.

In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.

Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has nearly 90 employees.