VeriSign Issues Quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief; Overall Domain Name Registration Tops Past Record at 66.3M

Report Shows Domain Name Registration Increased Three Percent Over Q2 2004;

Overall Improvement in Global Economy and Pay-Per-Click Advertising Market

Driving Growth

Dec 01, 2004, 00:00 ET from VeriSign, Inc.

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VeriSign, Inc.
 (Nasdaq:   VRSN), the leading provider of intelligent infrastructure services
 for the Internet and telecommunications networks, today released the
 VeriSign(R) Domain Name Industry Brief for the third quarter of 2004,
 underlining key industry data for domain name activity worldwide. According to
 the report, 5.1 million new domain names were registered in the third quarter
 of 2004, representing the highest quarterly growth in Internet history. In
 total, worldwide domain name registrations reached a record high of 66.3
 million domain names. Other important trends in Internet usage continued at
 strong levels, including renewal rates and the percentage of domain names
 associated with Web sites.
     Increasing Growth
     An average of 1.2 million new registrations for domain names ending in
 .com and .net were added each month in the third quarter of 2004 -- a 33
 percent increase over the third quarter of 2003. This record-breaking increase
 in domain name registrations continues a trend seen throughout 2004; growth
 rates for domain name registrations have reached historically high levels in
 each of the past four quarters. The causes for this growth include a steady
 improvement in the global economy, an increasing population of regular
 Internet users with better access to the Internet, and the growing importance
 of domain registrations for use in the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising market.
     Increasing Quality and Usage
     The report also highlights a continuing trend in the overall quality of
 the domain name base.
     -- Live Web sites: In a recent study of all .com and .net domain names, 77
        percent of these names are currently associated with a Web site; 64
        percent are live sites and 13 percent are parked sites. The number of
        live Web sites increased seven percent since the previous quarter,
        indicating that organizations are buying domain name registrations with
        the intent of putting them to real use.
     -- Renewal rates: Registry renewal rates are currently at 72 percent,
        demonstrating that domain name registrants are increasingly making the
        decision to keep their domain names.
     -- Growth opportunities: The domain name industry is experiencing a
        revival in value of domain names for the communications traffic they
        generate. The PPC advertising market is driving much of this domain
        registration growth.
     "As the operator of much of the intelligent infrastructure underlying the
 Internet, we are able to provide a unique view into growth and development
 trends of the Internet," said Raynor Dahlquist, acting vice president of
 VeriSign's Naming Services. "There has been a resurgence in domain activity
 with the use of domains for online advertising. Additionally, the leading
 indicators of health of the industry are strong, with renewal rates and usage
 rates remaining at high levels."
     Trends in Top Level Domain Composition
     In terms of market and brand awareness, .com is still the most popular
 domain name extension and accounts for 47 percent of all domain name
 registrations globally. This is followed closely by country code Top Level
 Domain names (ccTLDs), which are domain names ending in country codes such as
 .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), and .jp (Japan). ccTLDs now account for
 37 percent of domain registrations. Interestingly, the majority of all ccTLD
 domain names are registered with a few registries including .de and .uk.
 Additionally, alternative gTLDs (.biz, .info, .name, etc.) proved they remain
 strong growth areas by adding an approximate average of 90,000 registrations
 per month.
     Importance of .Net
     The report also highlights the critical role that the .net Top Level
 Domain plays in the health and functioning of the overall Internet. While .net
 accounts for only eight percent of the world's domain names, it represents 58
 percent of worldwide hosts and 30 percent of the world's name servers. Every
 day, infrastructure providers, online retailers, community organizations, and
 government entities utilize .net as their primary domain or name servers to
 facilitate delivery of over 155B e-mails and roughly 30 percent of global e-
     This quarter, VeriSign also issued a Channel Report as a part of the
 Domain Name Industry Brief. Domain name registrars and resellers are offering
 new product bundles and services which have helped fuel the domain name
 growth. The Channel Report further details the importance of the channel and
 provides an inside look at how the channel sells.
     VeriSign publishes the report to provide Internet users across the world
 with significant statistical and analytical research on the domain name
 industry and the Internet as a whole. Copies of this quarter's Domain Name
 Industry Brief, as well as previous reports in the series, may be obtained at
     About VeriSign
     VeriSign, Inc. delivers intelligent infrastructure services that make the
 Internet and telecommunications networks more reliable and secure. Every day
 VeriSign helps thousands of businesses and millions of consumers conduct
 commerce and communications with confidence. Additional news and information
 about the company is available at
     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
 any VeriSign Naming Services; the possibility that the services described in
 this announcement 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, 2003 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.

SOURCE VeriSign, Inc.