Skip to main content

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 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 and the Board approved plans to move ahead with an RFP. The survey will serve as a key input for the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review Team (CCT-RT), which began its work in January 2016.

  2. How will the CCT-RT use the survey in its analysis?

    1. The CCT-RT will employ the survey findings to answer several of the key research questions it is asking, including:

      • Do consumers trust new gTLDs?

      • Has the expansion of gTLDs been effective at promoting non-price competition between TLD operators?

      • Is segmentation or regulation of new gTLDs valuable to consumers?

      • Do consumers feel they have expanded choices in more languages and regions?

  3. Who was surveyed?

    1. In phase 1, Nielsen conducted an online survey of 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.

      In phase 2, Nielsen surveyed, 5,452 ages 18 and older, who met the same qualifications as above, and who represented the same 24 countries. The phase 2 survey, also included 600 teens ages 15-17, who spent at least five hours a week online.

  4. In which languages was the survey conducted?

    1. Both phases of the survey were 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.

  5. When did this survey take place?

    1. Phase 1 was conducted between February 2 and 19, 2015. Phase 2 was conducted between April 12 and May 2, 2016.

  6. What was the format of the survey?

    1. The survey was a 33-minute online survey composed of a maximum of 78 questions, including screening and demographics.

  7. Did survey takers know this was an ICANN-sponsored survey?

    1. No. This was a blind 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.

  8. 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 "" 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."

  9. Did the CCT-RT influence the survey questions?

    1. The CCT-RT was not formed at the time of the first wave of the survey, but provided input and additional questions for the second wave of the survey.

  10. 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 list was updated for the Phase 2 survey to reflect changes in registration patterns from Phase 1.

  11. Can I see all the survey questions?

    1. Yes, the complete survey is available as an appendix to the phase 1 final report [PDF, 2.48 MB] and the phase 2 final report [PDF, 2.88 MB].

  12. Can I see the data?

    1. Yes, complete data tables are available here for phase 1 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. Phase 2 data tables are available here by region [PDF, 1.12 MB], two by country here [PDF, 1.61 MB] and here [PDF, 1.65 MB], and one for the teen [PDF, 1.12 MB] respondents.

  13. Where can I learn more about the work of the CCT Review Team?

    1. The CCT Review Team's wiki contains additional information about the CCT Review Team's work plan and methodology along with a number of useful and important resources.  In addition, several videos of the Review Team's leaders are posted on the update from the CCT-RT's latest face-to-face meeting.

  14. How can I provide input to the CCT-RT?

    1. If you'd like to share your observations on the Consumer Study, you can email the CCT-RT at (publicly archived).