Recession Weighs on Web Address Growth

Maybe sexy Super Bowl ads aren’t helping the domain name business as much as we thought.

Domain registrar VeriSign’s (VRSN) latest report on the state of the industry shows that while more than 10.1 million new Web addresses were registered in the fourth quarter, this was a 17 percent drop from the period a year earlier.

The report, which drew from data provided by VeriSign, domain-data provider ZookNIC and the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, also showed a yearlong decline: New domain registrations averaged 11.9 million in 2008, compared with 12.2 million in 2007.

The slowdown in new URLs is clearly a reflection of the recession’s impact, says VeriSign spokesman Tom Galvin. “Any type of broader economic weakness is going to affect” that, he said, and it’s something the industry saw in the early part of the decade as well.

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