Are those silver bells that are ringing or is that the sound of cash registers inside Maine's small businesses? According to the National Retail Federation, 19.3% of all retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. Or, think of it this way, almost 20% of all retail dollars will get spent in a 7% splinter of the year. To compete for their fair share of holiday spending, retailers turn to advertising.
As the number of advertising media have grown and audiences have become more fragmented, targeting holiday shoppers has become more difficult. But advertisers have discovered that radio stations that play all holiday music coalesce listeners. So when Maine small business wants to target holiday consumers, the handful of radio stations that play all holiday music is an effective and efficient choice.
Consumers Gravitate To Holiday Music On The Radio Between Black Friday and Christmas
Arbitron the radio ratings company now known as Nielsen Audio, studied listening levels of 33 radio stations that switch to all Christmas music. The study compared the number of listeners attracted by each station during the holiday period to the number that listened during non-holiday periods. All data was collected using Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) technology. Here is what the study revealed:
- On average, Christmas music stations had a 91% increase in their listenership...almost double their non-holiday audience
- Listening levels to Christmas music stations increase significantly after Thanksgiving and peaks on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- On average, 19.2% of all Adults 25-54 tune-in to Christmas music stations on Christmas Eve through Christmas Day
What Happens When The Jingle Bells End?
Besides bringing good cheer to listeners, the temporary change to all Christmas music can have a positive effect on station listening long-term. Greg Strassell, Senior VP of Programming at CBS radio told the Hollywood Reporter, "Nine times out of 10, many new listeners pour in, outweighing the listeners that do opt out." Strassell adds that once in a while a station might see a 20 percent post-Christmas ratings boost that lasts through the winter.
Concurring with Strassell, Darren Davis, Executive Vice President of National Programming at Clear Channel, told The Hollywood Reporter, "Playing Christmas music is all about having a larger audience after Christmas than you did before. People who find the station often stick around after the holidays and discover a new favorite station."
For many of Maine's small businesses, the holiday shopping season is critical for survival. Spending precious marketing and advertising dollars, therefore, needs to be spent where they will have the greatest return on investment. Radio stations that play all holiday music including REWIND 100.9 in Portland, Maine make retailers cash registers sound like Carol of The Bells.
What Were The Most Played Songs on The Radio Last Christmas?
According to The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, an organization that collects royalties for its members based on radio air-play, the top 10 holiday songs played in 2012 were
- Sleigh Ride Most popular version performed by Leroy Anderson
- Winter Wonderland Most popular version performed by Eurythmics
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Most popular version performed by Harry Connick, Jr.
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Most popular version performed by The Carpenters
- Santa Claus Is Coming to Town Most popular version performed by Bruce Springsteen
- Do You Hear What I Hear? Most popular version performed by Whitney Houston
- The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open
Fire) Most popular version performed by Nat King Cole
- Jingle Bell Rock Most popular version performed by Bobby Helms
- Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree Most popular version performed by Brenda Lee
- It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Most popular version performed by Bing Crosby