The Domain Name Industry closed 2009 with a base of more than 192 million domain name registrations across all of the Top Level Domain Names (TLDs), an increase of nearly 15 million domain name registrations since the close of 2008. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the base of domain name registrations grew by two percent over the third quarter of 2009 and eight percent over the fourth quarter of 2008.
New registrations in the fourth quarter of 2009 came in at around 3.7 million domain name registrations per month to total approximately 11 million new domain name registrations across all of the TLDs in the last quarter of 2009. This reflects an eight percent increase in new registrations from the third quarter 2009.
The overall base of .com and .net domain names grew to 96.7 million domain names at the end of 2009. This represents a two percent increase over the third quarter and a seven percent increase over the same quarter in 2008. New .com and .net registrations were added at an average of approximately 2.4 million per month in the last quarter of 2009 for a total of 7.3 million new registrations in the quarter. The renewal rate for the fourth quarter of 2009 was 71 percent which represents a slight change from the third quarter of 2009 which was approximately 70.5 percent.
VeriSign's average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load during the fourth quarter was 52 billion per day with peaks as high as 61 billion per day -- roughly equal to the average and peak queries per day in third quarter 2009. DNS query load jumped 48 percent for the daily average and 31 percent increase for peak daily queries, as compared to fourth quarter 2008.
VeriSign publishes the Domain Name Industry Brief to provide Internet users throughout the world with significant statistical and analytical research and data on the domain name industry and the Internet as a whole. Copies of the 2009 fourth quarter Domain Name Industry Brief, as well as previous reports, can be obtained at www.verisign.com/domainbrief.
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Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as the inability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new products and services and customer acceptance of any new products or services, including VeriSign Internet Domain Name Services; the possibility that VeriSign's announced new services may not result in additional customers, profits or revenues; and increased competition and pricing pressures. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.
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