“Solid” 2018 Sees PIR Reorganising and Boosting Revenues and Renewals in Challenging Times

Public Interest Registry published their 2018 annual report
Thursday, highlighting what for them was a “solid year for .org, from exceeding
financial goals to continuing to grow a strong user base with high renewal
rates. These results are a direct reflection of PIR’s commitment to promoting
quality domains in the .org base.” For 2019, the .org registry is ‘putting an
even greater focus on combating abuse and making significant investments in
education and outreach initiatives.’

It was a year that saw domain names under management for
.org drop to 10.3 million at the end of 2018 from 10.4 million at the end of
2017. Renewals though increased by 100,000 from 6.7m to 6.8m while the renewal percentage
increased from 75.7% to 77.4%.

But .org wasn’t the only top-level domain in the top 10 by
registration numbers to drop with .de and .uk also dropping by around 100,000
according to Verisign’s Domain Name Industry Brief, but .net (500,000) and .ru
(400,000) dropped even further while .info dropped from being the eighth
largest TLD with 6.4 million registrations to sliding out of the top 10 meaning
their registration count was somewhere below 4.8 million registrations which is
what the tenth largest TLD (.tw) had at the end of 2018.

As the annual report notes, they are challenging times with
there now being 1,250 gTLDs including PIR’s .ong and .ngo and 4 others, currently
with just shy of 8,000 registrations, compared to the 6 when .org was created
in 1984.

Financially 2018 was a year in which PIR note they exceeded their
financial goals with net bookings growing $1.1m to 93.0m and operating income jumping
$7.0m to $45.9m. For 2018 mid-year PIR made some “bold” business decisions, that
led to a strong financial performance, and results specifically reflecting an ongoing
commitment to high ethical standards. Mid-year also saw a realignment of
marketing incentives a renewed focus on the quality (not just the quantity) of
.org registrations. The .org Community grew as the result of this change. There
were more quality registrations and more users. This led to significant
contributions toward Internet Society’s work for an open, globally-connected,
secure and trustworthy Internet for everyone.

Other achievements in 2018 highlighted in the report were reorganising
the management structure to align with strategic priorities, sharpening efforts
to further improve the quality of the .org base, maintaining the robust .org
renewal rates, and producing strong financial results in support of the
Internet Society and their work to keep the Internet free and open for all. The
report also details PIR’s plans for 2019, which include initiatives aligned
with PIR’s mission to help educate those who are making a difference in their
communities through the power of .org.

In 2019, PIR is building upon these efforts through the
launch of the Quality Performance Index (QPI) initiative, which helps reward
those registrars who are growing and maintaining trust in the .org domain while
identifying areas of improvement for registrars when it comes to online trust.

The Report also details PIR’s robust anti-abuse program, its
policy and privacy initiatives, and expanding education and outreach efforts. For
2019, PIR is putting an even greater focus on combating abuse online and making
significant investments in education and outreach initiatives. PIR also is
establishing a .ORG Impact Awards program to recognise the incredible work of
organisations across the globe, and creating a PIR Grants Program to connect
PIR with highly motivated individuals and groups with mutual aspirations to
help them further their missions.

“PIR achieved the ambitious goals we set for ourselves in
2018, thanks in no small part to the inspiring work of the .org community. It’s
the people and organisations using .org to make a positive impact on the world
who motivate us to remain diligent in our stewardship of the .org domain,” said
Jon Nevett, who was appointed President and CEO of Public Interest Registry in
December 2018.

“This year, we are in the midst of a number of exciting
initiatives aimed at providing even more support for the broad .org community
and our domain industry partners. These include maintaining .org as the most
trusted domain extension, amplifying our education and outreach efforts, and
continuing to expand our already robust anti-abuse program.”

To download the 2018 Annual Report in full, go to: https://pir.org/pir-2018-annual-report/

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