The .cat domain is the fastest-growing domain in Spain
Its use increased 17% in 2014, as compared with a growth of only 3% for the .es extension
The .cat domain extension was the fastest-growing in Spain in 2014, with an increase of 17% in the number of active domain names. This increase contrasts with the stagnation of other domains, such as .es, which only grew by 3%; .com, which fell by 9%; .net, which was down 11%, and .org, with a decrease of 9%. These figures, collected by Red.es, the puntCAT Foundation and ntldstats, show the percentage difference in new registrations and removals of domain names with the extensions in question. In addition, it is worth noting that, following the trend of an increasingly segmented market, 2014 saw the appearance of a large number of new domain extensions aimed at linguistic communities or cities, such as .eus (Euskadi – the Basque Country), .gal (Galicia), .berlin or .scot (Scotland), among others.
With regarding to the .cat domain, 2014 was the most successful year in its history. Specifically, 23,534 new .cat domains were registered, exceeding even the figure for 2006, the year in which the domain extension for the Catalan-speaking community was made available, which saw a total of 19,856 new .cat registrations. In addition, only 11,349 .cat domains were removed and 56,238 were renewed, which means that the rate of renewal of .cat domains was 80%, one of the highest in the world of domains. Thanks to this increase, on 31 December 2014 the number of active .cat domains had reached 83,300. At present, in mid-April, the figure of 88,000 active .cat domains has already been exceeded.
Business Sector and Market Share
With regard to types of users, .cat domains are mostly used by businesses, retailers and freelancers, as more than 60% of websites with a .cat extension belong to these groups. As far as its market share in Catalonia is concerned (where .cat accounts for 86.3% of all active domains), .cat continues to occupy the third position, with a market share of 13%, behind .es (40%) and .com (37%). This represents an increase of two percentage points from the 11% figure of late 2013.
At provincial level, the .cat domain names registered in Catalonia are distributed as follows: 75% in the province of Barcelona; 13% in Girona province; 7% in the province of Tarragona and 5% in Lleida province. As for the .cat domain names registered outside Catalonia, the vast majority are in the rest of Spain (10.4% of all registered .cat names, distributed primarily between the Balearic Islands, Madrid, La Rioja, Galicia and Valencia Autonomous Region), although they also have a significant presence in France, where about 1% of active .cat domain names are registered.