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Christmas Rush to Begin on Radio - Rush to Play Holiday Music You Hate



Radio's Rush to Christmas

Radio's Rush to Christmas

Graphic: Corey Deitz
In the same way retailers seem to start hawking Christmas decorations and artificial trees earlier and earlier each year (in some places in late August) radio stations that go "All Christmas Music" also seem to try to get the jump on everyone else sooner every year. Last year, Portland radio station Charlie FM (97.1) began jamming the jingle bells on November 9. That's not even a week-and-half out from Halloween!

Two days later on November 11, 2011 another Portland radio station, K103-FM, dumped regular programming for a cornucopia of Christmas carols.


New research has just been google-ized and browser-ized, Try this on for size: KYXE-FM in Yakima, Washington began playing holiday tunes on October 10, 2011. We have a new winner of the Fool for Yule Duel. Well, some may think it's foolish to begin playing Christmas music so early but here's the bottom line. A station can make money doing it with the right sales angle and I can assure you that if there's a radio station in your town that is a repeat offender of the "All Christmas Music" format then it was previously successful offering it.

Stations don't repeat promotions or programming events that are not successful. Unlike the government which can afford to keep wasting money on non-successful ventures, commercial radio stations cannot. That's not to say every radio station that plays holiday music is a commercial one. Many Christian and religious-based radio stations turn to the All Christmas Music format because it's a natural addition to their regular programming and it tends to draw new listeners to a station which some might usually shy away from simply because its religious-oriented.

So, stations that revel in running over Grandma for the holidays do it for money or exposure. Either way, it's can be a winner for them. For terrestrial radio station the temporary All Christmas Music format is not quite the novelty it once was, though. Twenty years ago a station playing ACM didn't have to compete with channels on satellite radio devoted to genres of Christmas music, online streams from the likes of Pandora and iHeartRadio which you can customize, and even the holiday music provided by cable and satellite TV.

Yet, Christmas Music on the radio is inevitable. The only question is how soon will it invade your ears and begin camping out next to your anvil and stirrup? We could be hours away from a new world record?

Close to this subject is the music itself and by that I mean specifically, the songs. Edison Research has just released findings about Christmas songs after testing many on 200 women between the ages of 30 to 49 who admit they enjoy listening to Christmas music. Why they chose this small sliver of guinea pigs escapes me. But, here's what they found out.

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