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Nielsen report sees net ad spend in 2022 up 10.5% to €5.83bn

4 minute read | June 2023

Cinema and Out of Home are the biggest risers, but Digital accounts for two-thirds of absolute growth

Amsterdam – June 6, 2023 – Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics, has today released its annual Net Ad Spend Report 2022 for the Netherlands. The results see net ad spend in the country rise 10.5% to €5.83 billion in 2022. After an increase of over 20% in 2021, this was the second consecutive year of double-digit growth. The end of all pandemic measures contributed significantly to the much higher ad spend, especially in early 2022, but the continuing robust growth of Digital also made a substantial contribution.  

Growth in economy and ad spend despite pandemic and political uncertainty

At 4.5%, the Dutch economy grew slightly less in 2022 than in 2021. The initially strong growth at the beginning of the year eased slightly as the year went on, with a slight decline in Q3 ‘22. In the final quarter, this was reversed again to a cautious +0.6%. 

Due to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine in early 2022, causing political unrest across Europe, resulting in surging inflation, higher energy prices and low consumer confidence, household consumption contributed more than half to economic growth. This positive boost came mainly because more people were in employment and higher wages were paid. Industries previously affected by the pandemic, such as Hospitality, Transport, Leisure/Culture and the Travel and Staffing sectors, also contributed substantially to economic growth, and subsequently to higher ad spend. These rose by €555 million on balance and are now more than 25% above the level of 2019, the year before the pandemic. 

The development of ad spend is normally in line with that of business investment, but in 2022, as in 2021, it was way out of line. This was mainly due to the recovery spending in Media after the pandemic and the strong growth of Digital. In 2022, the growth in ad spend was slightly tempered, but still substantially higher than total business investment. 

Cinema and Out of Home again biggest risers  

Apart from Door Drops, all media types saw ad sales revenues rise in 2022. As in 2021, Cinema and Out of Home again saw the biggest growth with +96% and +35% respectively. The pandemic hit both media types hard, but they showed resilience once the restrictions were eased and removed. However, with a 65% share of the €555 million increase in net ad spend, Digital was by far the biggest contributor to market growth.  

At over 8%, Television also had an excellent year and ad spend rose to record levels. Radio was very comparable, at just under 8%. Print saw an upturn in advertising revenues for the second year in a row. Whereas most media types now achieve advertising turnovers higher than pre-pandemic, Print lost 20% in that period. This was especially true for door-to-door newspapers and magazines. Dailies performed the best, dropping by just -2%. Sponsorship was on the rise again, especially thanks to the return of events, even despite restrictions still being in place during the first two months of 2022. 

Market shares 

Media spending on Digital, Cinema and Out of Home grew faster than the market average, leading to market share growth. Cinema’s share almost doubled, but is extremely modest at less than 0.2%. Out of Home passed Radio in ad revenue and consequently had a larger market share for the first time. Digital’s share grew to almost 58% in 2022. All other medium types saw their market share in net ad spend decline slightly.

Denis Rochat, Market Leader Benelux, Nielsen, commented: “Our report paints a positive picture for the Netherlands when it comes to the advertising market. We are seeing strength in spending across many different forms of media and this contributes to a double digit growth overall. Despite some pandemic restrictions still being in place during the early part of 2022, alongside the ongoing political uncertainty across Europe, the Netherlands advertising market looks to be flourishing now.”

About Nielsen

Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences—now and into the future. Nielsen operates around the world in more than 55 countries. Learn more at and connect with us on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram).

About the survey

To calculate the net ad spend, Nielsen surveys media owners in the Netherlands. They are asked to provide the net advertising revenue for the year in question, after discounts and after agency commission. Nielsen aggregates these into a total figure per media type. Where necessary, figures are weighted and extrapolated to give the most complete picture possible of the actual amount of net ad spend per media type and of the market. The net ad spend in 2022 and the comparison of these expenditures with those of previous years are based on the following media types: television, radio, cinema, digital, newspapers, door-to-door newspapers, magazines, out of home, sponsoring and door drops.

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