Online Advertising in the Netherlands

Posted on 23. Mar, 2012 by in Digital Marketing, Stats & Trends

Netherlands FlagA few years ago the Netherlands was one of the fastest growing online markets. When the recession hit in 2008, this growth slowed, but Holland has bounced back. In mid-2011, comScore cited the Netherlands as ranking number 1 market worldwide in penetration for Twitter and LinkedIn. In terms of percentage of the population online, there were 14,872,200 internet users in the Netherlands (representing 88.3% of the population) in June 2011, according to Internet World Stats. That means nothing as a solitary stat, but compare it to the UK (82% online) and you can see that the Dutch take their internet seriously.

So what about online advertising in the Netherlands? In March 2012, the IAB (in collaboration with Deloitte) released the online ad spend report for Holland for 2011.  I’ve summarised some of the findings below, and hope it provides an insight into the Dutch market for you.


The economic climate has hit most markets in Europe, especially Greece, Spain and Portugal. The Netherlands has not been adverse to the crunch eitherm but despite slow economic growth and declining consumer confidence, the Dutch ad market was worth over €1 billion in 2011, an uplift of 12% from 2010.

As a comparison, ff we extrapolate the UK figures from the H1 IAB ad spend report, and assume a similar year on year growth for each channel, we can assume the UK online ad market is worth an estimated £4.5 billion in 2011, or €5.36 billion  (IAB have yet to release the full year results).

Category Breakdown

As expected, Search is the dominant online advertising channel, earning €530 million, just under half of all online ad spend. Display follows with €336 million, and Classifieds, Directories and Listings is third with €202 million.

To compare that to the UK, we can use the H1 UK figures again, and estimate that Search will expect to earn around £2.6 billion (€3.18 billion) in 2011, followed by Display at £947 million (€1.13 billion) and finally Classifieds at £676 million (€809 million).

Looking at the figures in a broader context, the expected growth for the total advertising market in the Netherlands in 2012 is 2.1%, with TV and online set to grow the most. This growth can be attributed to time spent online, as the graph below shows. The Dutch are spending less time consuming newspapers and magazines, and more time on the internet and watching TV – a pattern not dissimilar to most other major markets in Europe.

Netherlands Advertising Split by Channel 2011

Other Points To Note

  • The lagging economy has had an effect on the outlook for 2012. The report expects online advertising growth to slow to 7.7%  for 2012.
  • More than half of display advertising revenues come from traditional embedded formats.
  • Mobile websites and in-app advertising is small; within apps, tablets have a 36% revenue share while there are 6.4 times more smartphone devices then tablets.
  • Consumer goods, financial services and telecoms are the top spender amongst publishers.
  • Online retail and consumer goods were the sectors that have grown most in 2011.
  • Of the total reported online advertising spend in 2011, €117m was generated through affiliate networks.

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