How Coronavirus is changing web browsing habits in the Netherlands


Like most countries around the world, consumers in the Netherlands have been adapting to the new normal of social distancing in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. And as the population spends more time at home – the ways in which the online population have been using the internet has changed rapidly.

In this article, I have used Kantar’s latest NOBO Internet Measurement data to highlight some of the ways in which Coronavirus is changing browsing habits in the Netherlands.

One of the most notable changes has been the significant increase in visits to national news websites. The 13 top local Dutch online news brands accounted for between 6 – 6.5 million daily visitors in January and February 2020. On 15th March, daily reach of these sites peaked at over 9 million visitors as the country was ordered to lock-down.

The fact the consumers head to trusted news sources during times of crisis also bears out in Kantar’s latest research from its COVID-19 barometer of 30 global markets in which national media channels were named as the most trustworthy information sources during the pandemic.

And in the Netherlands, this rise of the general national news sites is highlighted when compared to a large global social media brand like Facebook which has seen a slight erosion in its reach – from an average daily reach of 7.5m in January and February to a low of 6.8m in early March. Since the government restrictions have been in force – national news sites have consistently reached more people than Facebook on a given day; a first since the NOBO project was started.


All of the general Dutch news sites have seen large and significant growth in reach. Interestingly this increase is coming from younger demographics who traditionally consume less local news media. We have also seen a strong uplift amongst lower socio-economic groups too who do not normally visit these News brands in such high numbers.

Away from news, the impact of social isolation and restrictions on peoples movement are evident with falling visits on sites and apps like Google Maps – which typically has a reach of 3.5m users per day – this has in the most recent days of lockdown fallen below 2m daily.

And while users become more familiar with schooling and working from home arrangements, we have seen a doubling in daily reach of children’s entertainment app NPOZapp, and a fourfold increase in the daily reach of videoconferencing site Skype.

Another interesting change in behaviour that is reflected in peoples online activity is as a direct result of the closing of gyms and sports clubs across the Netherlands. As people were forced to think creatively about how they could continue with their favourite sport or leisure activity. In the chart below you can see the huge uplift in visitors of 500% to Yoga Magazine, as people access remote video yoga classes that can be done from home.

Karin Schut the Director of the Industry body Vinex commented “in this fast-changing environment, it has been hugely beneficial to the Online media industry in the Netherlands to have access to fast and accurate day by day reporting of the behaviour of the Dutch online population. Allowing the industry to tailor its online offering to the market in this most difficult of times.”

For more information about the NOBO Internet Audience Measurement, please reach out to Jonathan Brown and for more on Kantar’s insights around the impact of the Coronavirus, visit the
dedicated insights page here.


Any questions, please contact:

Jonathan Brown
MD Media Division NL


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