Today, Afnic, the association responsible for .fr domain names, is publishing its annual review of the .FR and presenting the performance of the TLD over 2019 along with estimates for 2020.
The popularity of the .FR TLD has been confirmed in 2019
With 3,428,951 names in stock at 31 December 2019, the .FR gained 3.7% in 2019 with a net balance of 123,655 names. Although somewhat in decline compared to 2018 (4.4% increase), this growth is still well above that of the French market as a whole, which grew by just 2.0% for all TLDs combined.
The .FR has thus continued to advance, gaining ground year on year to achieve an all-time high in 2019 with 37.7% of market share.
Sources: Afnic for .FR and ZookNIC for other TLDs
This momentum can be explained by two driving forces:
- The creation of .FR domain names, which continued on an upward trend in 2019 with a +5% variation between 2018 and 2019.
- The Maintenance Rate* of .FR in 2019 which, although down slightly compared to 2018 (82.7% vs. 83.9%), remains extremely satisfactory and well above that of .COM at around 78%-79% worldwide in 2019.
Distribution across the entire country based on economic regions
Another interesting indicator brought to light by Afnic is the distribution of .FR across the entire country, which, although not an entirely accurate reflection, demonstrates the economic dynamism of the regions.
Île-de-France, for example, accounts for 30.5% of .FR. Other regions with significant market share include:
- Auvergne Rhône Alpes (12%, up 3.9% in 2019),
- Occitanie (7.7%, up 3.2%),
- Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur (7.6%, up 4.1%),
- and Nouvelle Aquitaine (6.8%, up 4.8%).
In conclusion, Afnic estimates that if the growth of .FR continues in 2020, it should come in at just under 3% based on the long-term trend that will see .FR move towards the average for ccTLDs in the European Union. In any case, the symbolic 3.5 millionth .FR domain name milestone should be crossed this year!
“In a context of heightened competition among the different TLDs and with the major social media platforms, Afnic’s efforts directed towards VSEs/SMEs to help them master their online presence retain their full importance. Mechanisms such as Réussir-en.fr enable us to go beyond the problem of Internet naming and to return it to its rightful place as part of a much wider approach to building an effective mechanism for online presence. And so it is that Afnic remains more than ever a key player in the French internet development”, explains Pierre Bonis, CEO of Afnic.
- Download the Afnic Study “The .FR ccTLd in 2019“
- Discover the other Afnic studies on the domain name market
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, donates 90% of its profits to its 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 80 employees.