All Americans Want For Christmas Is A Radio Station That Plays Holiday Tunes Constantly

While you probably work with that guy who just can’t wait to start blasting Christmas music right after Halloween, many radio stations switch to an all-holiday format right after Thanksgiving. And despite the inevitable Grinches bah humbugging* at the first strains of “All I Want for Christmas,” that trend isn’t going to change as it’s paying off for radio stations.

Whether you love Mariah Carey or not (and you’re probably at least humming her signature Christmas tune right now, aren’t you? Come on, give in) there are plenty of Americans ready to get their holiday on as soon as possible, reports Nielsen.

Radio stations that switch to the All Christmas, All The Time format near Thanksgiving in 2012 saw a 71% midday surge in listeners compared to their average ratings.

At night when it’s time to get extra jolly, ratings more than doubled, points out Nielsen: “During the course of the holiday ratings season, nights saw a 129 percent lift and — hold onto your eggnog — a 582 percent lift on Christmas Eve.”

That’s compared ton an average nighttime average, when the number of listeners tuning into normal radio stations in any 15-minute period was about 291,700.

The whole thing peaks on Christmas Eve, naturally, with 28.4 million Americans tuning in to an All Christmas format station last year in the top 48 markets.

What are we listening to the most? We’re a nation of varied interests across many genres, according to the report, ranging from the most-played new release of “Let It Snow” by Rod Stewart to that treasured favorite, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby.

It also varies by geography. For example in New York City, the most-played song last year was the aforementioned “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Ms. Carey (I probably am responsible for at least 143 of those plays). In Los Angeles, “Feliz Navidad” ruled the airwaves.

It’s worth reading Nielsen’s entire report, if only for phrases like “hold onto your eggnog.” And if you’re not humming a holiday tune by the end, I shall pronounce you positively Scroogean.

*Yes, I realize the Grinch did not say bah humbug. THAT WE KNOW OF.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas [Nielsen]

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  1. evogel says:

    We now have 2. But one plays the same 40 songs over and over and they don’t play newer songs, just old stuff. The other is a oldies and they play some off the wall ones. So you really need your own MP3 player loaded with Christmas songs.

  2. PhillyDom says:

    I like Christmas music, but not around the clock. This is why Internet radio exists. The stream I listen to most – Great Big Radio – has yet to play a Christmas song while I’ve been listening.

    And when I do want to hear holiday music, I listen to Soma FM, which labels its stream as a “wacky and eclectic holiday mix. Not for the easily offended.”