Americas' Top Domains: Brazil and Canada?
The online dominance of .com and the United States can present a distorted view of cyberspace, especially when viewing the Americas. In fact, two major American economies, often overshadowed by the US, present significant opportunities for online business and domain investment: Canada (.ca) and Brazil (.br). As different from one another as these two markets are, each offers a largely untapped namespace and the prospect of dramatic commercial growth.
Brazil’s registry, Registro.br, lists 385,909 total registrations in the .br space, 92% of which are .com.br (commercially designated) names. Meanwhile, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) estimated in February that nearly 170,000 .ca names had been registered.
Although the Brazilian ccTLD registrations outnumber Canadian names by more than a 2:1 ratio, Canada’s Internet user population far exceeds Brazil’s. Roughly half of all Canadians—15.4 million—use the ‘net, while less than 2.3% of all Brazilians do so, accounting for 3.9 million users, according to the Computer Industry Almanac and eMarketer’s eLatin America Report.
So for every name registration in the .ca space, there are approximately 91 Canadian surfers vs. only 10 Brazilian surfers for every .br registration. Although the Canadian ccTLD is more densely subscribed in relation to the size of its population, the opportunity to reach this more mature, technologically savvy economy through a recognizable (and hence valuable) domain name may be greater. With 170,000 registrations (vs. more than 30 million in .com), Canada’s domain is comparably wide-open. Furthermore, research by Deloitte Touche and the Angus Reid Group (cited in CyberAtlas.Internet.com) suggests that Canadians strongly prefer to patronize .ca sites over others.