ICANN Consumer Survey FAQ

  1. Why did ICANN commission this survey?
    1. ICANN commissioned this survey in response to recommendations from the Implementation Advisory Group on Competition, Consumer Choice and Consumer Trust (IAG-CCT). The IAG-CCT concluded its work in September 2014 and recommended to the ICANN Board 66 metrics to measure how the New gTLD Program has impacted competition, consumer choice and consumer trust in the domain name space. Among those 66 metrics, a subset of 11 were identified as best being measured using a global survey of Internet users. The IAG-CCT made this interim recommendation to the ICANN Board in March 2014 at the ICANN 51 meeting in Singapore and the Board approved plans to move ahead with an RFP. ICANN conducted an open RFP and signed a contract with Nielsen to conduct the study in November 2014.
  2. Who was surveyed?
    1. Nielsen surveyed 6,144 adults ages 18 and older, who spend 5 or more hours a week on the Internet for the Internet consumer survey. The respondents surveyed represented all five of ICANN's geographic regions. Respondents came from 24 countries, representing 75% of the world's Internet users: China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Vietnam, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. The results were reported at a 95% confidence level. Nielsen is also completing a survey of domain name registrants. That data will be published when the survey and subsequent analysis are complete.
  3. In which languages was the survey conducted?
    1. The survey was administered in 18 languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Simplified Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Turkish, Polish, Spanish, British English, and Bahasa.
  4. When did this survey take place?
    1. The survey was conducted between February 2 and 19, 2015.
  5. What was the format of the survey?
    1.  The survey was a 15-minute online survey composed of a maximum of 83 questions, including screening and demographics.
  6. Did survey takers know this was an ICANN-sponsored survey?
    1. No. This survey was a blinded survey, where the sponsor's identity is not known to the survey respondents. It is considered a best practice in the survey industry to withhold information from respondents that could potentially introduce bias or otherwise skew the results.
  7. How were terms defined?
    1. Most survey questions used plain language and left it up to respondents to discern the meaning of terms. For example, questions related to purchase restrictions left it to the respondent to interpret what such restrictions might encompass. ICANN was included as a response to some questions, without further context. In other cases, definitions were provided where factual information could help respondents appropriately respond to the question:
      1. TLDs: "As you are probably aware, website domain names can have different suffixes or extensions.  For example, some domain names end with .COM, while other common extensions are .ORG or .NET." Respondents were then given regionally relevant examples of websites. For example, respondents in China were shown "Google.cn" and told that "Google" represents the second level and ".CN" the TLD.
      2. New gTLDs: "As you may or may not know, new domain name extensions are becoming available all the time.  These new extensions are called new gTLDs."
      3. URL shorteners: "URL shortening is an Internet technique in which a URL may be made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page."
      4. QR codes: "A QR code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device (such as a camera).  Reading the QR code with your Smartphone takes you to a website or ad for more information."
      5. A series of questions about abusive behavior queried respondents on various behaviors:
        1. Phishing: "The attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in electronic communication"
        2. Spamming: "The use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited messages"
        3. Cyber squatting: "Registering or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else."
        4. Stolen credentials: "When hackers steal personal information stored online such as usernames, passwords, social security numbers, credit cards numbers, etc."
        5. Malware: "Short for ‘malicious software,' used to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information or gain access to private computer systems."
  8. How were new gTLDs picked for inclusion as responses to survey questions?
    1. In collaboration, Nielsen and ICANN identified those new gTLDs with the greatest number of registrations at the time of survey design in January 2015. In addition, a regionally relevant new gTLD was presented to respondents in appropriate countries/regions. The master list included the following new gTLDs: .EMAIL, .PHOTOGRAPHY, .LINK, .GURU, .REALTOR, .CLUB, .XYZ. The list was rotated when presented as to avoid order bias in the results.
  9. Can I see all the survey questions?
    1. Yes, the complete survey is available as an appendix to the final report [PDF, 2.48 MB]
  10. Can I see the data?
    1. Yes, complete data tables are available here by region [PDF, 5.03 MB] and country [PDF, 4.78 MB] with a user guide [PDF, 572 KB] available to help interpret the data.