If you’re a fan of Dutch football, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve watched a video by Netherlandssoccer on Youtube…
At the time of writing, the channel, which makes videos about the national team’s past and present, has over 60k subscribers and over six million views.
They’ve told the stories of various teams and tournaments, but what is their own? We spoke to them to find out…
So, when did you start Netherlandssoccer?
We started Netherlandssoccer on the 22nd of July, 2011. Back then we were 13 and 14 years old.
And who is “we”?
We don’t want to be personally associated with our channel – we only want the name Netherlandssoccer to be associated with good content and looking back on some great memories. We have always been driven by passion and not by fame. That’s why we never tell our names. The only thing I’ll let you know is that we are two cousins behind this channel.
Why did you create the channel?
One day in the summer of 2011, we were bored, so we decided to search for some Dutch football videos on Youtube but only found one made with pictures and some annoying dance music in the background. Since I liked editing videos, and my cousin knew everything about Dutch football, we decided it would be fun to make our own channel and sometimes upload a video there.
We made a top 15 goals by the Netherlands as our first video. Already when we started getting a few views and subscribers we felt a responsibility to upload more. Every view and subscriber felt like a blessing. People were watching our videos. Of course, most of our videos were garbage in 2011 but since football channels didn’t become a thing until like 2013, we still got some recognition. We literally had a party every time we got a new subscriber.
What has driven you to keep making videos all these years?
The thing that remains the same from 2011 is that we still feel blessed for every subscriber we get. Our goal is to inspire people and make them feel the same emotions as they felt during the game, and every time someone presses the subscribe button it’s like a confirmation that we made something good.
We get so much love from our fans through the comments, it keeps the motivation going. Some people even say that our documentaries are better than the ones on TV and that NOS should hire us. Of course, my biggest hobby is to edit videos, it’s something I want to work with in the future as well.
Did you ever expect to have such a big audience?
The key part with our channel was that we didn’t really make it for the audience from the start. We still edit most of our videos with the idea that it’s something we want to show our kids when we get older and not only something to get up on our channel for the views.
If you would have asked us in 2011 if we’d ever hit more than 60k subscribers we would have said no, simply because our imagination of ”big audience” always has been fulfilled. A little more than two years after we started our channel, we hit 1000 subscribers, which isn’t a lot for two years, but we felt like such a big channel.
One year later during the World Cup, we grew to more than 15k subscribers and felt the exact same feeling as when we hit 1000 subscribers, and it’s still like that today. Every milestone is equally special and the term ”big audience” grows for us at the same pace as our subscriber count grows.
Has the bigger audience changed how the channel operates?
Kind of. Nowadays we usually upload our content on ”better dates” to be more relevant. For example, we release episodes for our series ”The Story” just before the Netherlands play their games and upload ”timeless” videos such as the throwback videos on days when there are no games in the Champions League or other big competitions.
Which videos are you most proud of?
We actually made a ”top 10 Netherlandssoccer videos” recently where we rank our best videos. It’s hard to pick out a few since they are all different and great in their own ways, but we are very proud of the Throwbacks against Costa Rica and Uruguay, they are two of our best videos in terms of how you experience the videos.
We ranked episode 8 in The Story as our best video, since it was the first time in five years that we could make a video about the present with a good outcome, the video really shows how much fun we had making it.
We usually don’t make videos about clubs, but when a dutch club does something amazing, like Ajax in the Champions League last year, we can’t resist making an Our Story about that as well. It turned out great and we are very proud of that one. I also have to clarify that we don’t like Ajax more just because we have a video about them. We would have done the same with PSV, Feyenoord or any other club if they did something like that!
My favourites are the “Our Story” videos telling the stories of Euro 2008 and the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, how long do they take to make?
It’s hard to say since we don’t really keep track of it, but we are two people working on every project. My cousin searches through literally all interviews available and notes all the good parts, we both put the interviews together, and I search through all the match footage and commentary to make the montage of the game.
And then you of course also have the parts where you need to finetune it, create a thumbnail, title, description, Facebook posts, etc. The World Cup 2014 Our Story was the biggest project of the ones you mentioned since we partially made that during the tournament itself. I’d say all together, we put around 150-200 hours of work into that. The ones that we make after the tournament was played, such as 2010 and 2008, are probably about 50-100 hours.
Will you be adding to the series after Euro 2020?
Our goal is to upload an Our Story 2020, but YouTube has made it tough for football channels to survive. The content ID match system just improved at the beginning of 2020, which makes YouTube detect uncut videos that are shorter than 4 seconds. Previously it was 7 seconds. This makes it hard to get the match footage up on Youtube without it getting blocked. But if we give all the footage we use a good portion of editing, it should be possible!
The channel often looks back at the best ones, but which is your favourite Oranje match ever?
The game against Spain in 2014. It was such sweet revenge. It’s not only our favourite game, but it’s also probably one of the best moments in our life so far.
And the most painful?
The most painful game is without a doubt the final against Spain in 2010. It hurts to even talk about it.
What do you think the team’s chances are of winning their second European Championship this summer?
We are going to upload a video called ”top 10 teams to win the Euro 2020” in May. I’m not going to reveal our place for the Netherlands, but with players such as Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Georginio Wijnaldum and (hopefully) Memphis Depay anything is possible.