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  #21  
Old 09-27-2011, 09:56 AM
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A Glimpse from Inside the Industry

As I’ve said many times over the years here in the Christmas radio threads, several factors figure into any radio station’s decision to switch to all Christmas. First and foremost, the switch is about ratings. Heck, anything a commercial radio station does is about ratings.

If a station has been struggling in their market ratings, Christmas music may be a way of salvaging a bad year. They have nothing to loose. Often these stations reemerge after the season with a new format.

From the other angle, a successful station may hesitate to join the all Christmas ranks for the opposite reason. They simply don’t want to break a successful format that has kept them at the top in ratings. All Christmas is a gamble. Let’s face it, not everyone is like us when it comes to all Christmas. You only have to click the links in the previous posts here to read debates from non Christmas forums about Christmas music.

Then there are few stations with a proven track record that have also managed to do well switching to all Christmas during the season. WODS in Boston, Massachusetts comes to mind. These stations have built a strong reputation with Christmas music through the years and count on their listeners to stay with them during the switch and afterward.

The switch to all Christmas is always a hot topic. Pressures and statistics within local markets determine when and if your favorite station will make the switch. Every year someone here at MMC and other Merry Network forums loudly complains that the station from last year didn’t go all Christmas this year. Some of the more savvy stations will put up a poll to gauge the minds of their listeners. Many will also host online Christmas music for the same reason. Some will go online only.

Simply put, switching to all Christmas just isn’t something that just happens. The timing of the switch and the logistics thereof is something that is studied from year to year in use for planning for the future. In fact, radio ratings and consulting companies offer seminars and packages to help stations decide.

Here’s one inside look at the radio industry’s take on holiday music.

From From Wikipedia:

Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (BDS), is a service that tracks monitored radio, television and internet airplay of songs based on the number of spins and detections.

From BDSradio’s website:


BDSradio Reveals Holiday Music Secrets

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT
Webinar Registration
Join us on Wednesday October 12 at 2pm CT for “BDSradio Reveals Holiday Music Secrets.”

As the calendar turns to Fall, programmers are gearing up to unleash the full power of their Holiday music catalog to produce another winning winter book. But before you make that hot chocolate and comb through your library, attend BDSradio Reveals Holiday Music Secrets. Andrew Forsyth examines trends from previous seasons to see how top stations manage their holiday rotations to generate big ratings. With tools found exclusively in BDSradio, Forsyth analyzes shifts to holiday music, the most popular titles, stations’ library size and more.
____________________________

What totally amazes me about this whole deal is that we are only talking about the same top 100 Christmas tunes (another studied and rendered bland subject) across the board. Stations that make the switch will only stick to what has been systematically ingrained into our minds as the comfort songs of Christmas. In fact, most stations will buy a nationally produced package making it possible for someone in California to listen to the exact same thing that is playing in New York. The only thing different is local breaks for commercials, etc. The best of these packages is Randy Sherwyn’s “Christmas Across The Lands”. Randy conducts and produces artist interviews and researches Christmas trivia to include in his broadcast. He’s not afraid to step outside the top 100 either!

I’m not knocking the commercial thing. Hey, it works! Even I get a sense of “It’s Christmas” the rare times I tune in during the season to a commercial radio station. The rest of the world has caught up! I’m just saying that there is just so much more Christmas music that doesn’t get its due. Why would anyone want to listen to a radio station play the same tunes contained on about five CDs in their collection? The greatest interest for me is the logistics, not listening. (Can’t ya tell?)

That’s why I always search out seasonal programming from non commercial sources like public radio and localized internet radio/podcasts. There is where one may get a glimpse of Christmas on a more local level. From chorale music to regional released Christmas music, these stations will blow all the “Official Holiday/Christmas” stations out of the water.

To illustrate this, what would your Christmas be without the Merry Podcast & Merry Christmas Radio? We have our own little corner of the Christmas music/content world of which few others even know! And all with our own flavor driven by membership! That’s a large part of the Sounds of Christmas for me!
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  #22  
Old 09-27-2011, 12:16 PM
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Add WLTE Minneapolis/St. Paul to the list of stations that get an annual boost from Christmas music. The anticipation for "The Twin Cities Official Christmas Music Station" to hit the air is huge after November 1st.
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  #23  
Old 09-27-2011, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RadioJonD View Post
We certainly aren't the norm. The Crew takes care of the few that don't make nice!
...but let's not dwell on that.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Yuletide Junkie View Post
Add WLTE Minneapolis/St. Paul to the list of stations that get an annual boost from Christmas music. The anticipation for "The Twin Cities Official Christmas Music Station" to hit the air is huge after November 1st.
WLTE, 102.9 Lite FM made the big list in 2010 on November 11th.

Minneapolis/St. Paul scored two other Christmas stations in 2010.

KQQL, 107.9, on November 26th.

KSJN, 99.5, Minnesota Public Radio on November 29th.

I would be interested in locally produced Christmas programs on KSJN!


Originally Posted by Yuletide Junkie View Post
...but let's not dwell on that.
Deal!
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  #25  
Old 09-29-2011, 09:11 PM
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Custom Channels

Another look into the business end of Christmas radio.

Custom Channels "The Christmas Channel Experts" is back this year with their seasonal programming package for radio stations online content. If your favotite station has a web player that looks like one of these, it's a Custom Channels customer.

Custom Channels also does brackground music for stores and restaurants.

Notice the linked flyer says "You can go "live" with your channel starting Friday, November 18 through New Years Eve, December 31 - a six-week promotion. Extra weeks in November are available at an additional cost."

From the FAQ page:

Why would I want to direct my listeners online instead of to their radio?

Your station faces competition for your listeners' ears from a multitude of sources - especially during the holidays. If you have listeners who want to hear Christmas Music, chances are they know where to find it. Maybe it's their own CD's. Maybe it's your "All-Christmas-Music-All-The-Time" competitor. Maybe it's one of hundreds Internet-only specialty channels (Like Pandora). Chances are, when your listeners want to hear Christmas Music, they won't be listening to your station. With a Holiday Channel, you can tell listeners that when they want to hear Christmas music, that you've got them covered with music that matches their tastes and familiar personalities and imaging. Holiday Channels are one way your station can fight back and at least ensure that your brand, name and product are available to your listeners when they want to hear Christmas music - and so that they don't have to go someplace else to get it.
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  #26  
Old 09-30-2011, 10:38 PM
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Thank you for all of this information, Jon. Very interesting and informative.
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  #27  
Old 10-08-2011, 06:04 AM
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You know another season is fast approching when it's once again time to start wondering when will we start hearing the sounds of the holidays on the air waves.....and the timing seems to change from year to year.

Trying to keep up with Jon too is also part of the fun.

ML
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  #28  
Old 10-09-2011, 05:35 PM
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Sirius/XM Fan/Subscriber Forum

Here's the annual XM-fan Christmas thread with rants, raves, and speculation about the line up this year.
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  #29  
Old 10-09-2011, 06:26 PM
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WLQT 94.5 - Dayton, Ohio USA

WLQT Lite 94.5 Dayton Ohio

Date currently unknown. Last year WLQT went all Christmas on Sunday, November 14.

From the website (next to the possible cover of Michael Bublé's 2011 Christmas album):

We are still Dayton's Christmas Music Station and will be playing your Christmas favorites this holiday season!

Local discussion on Radio-Info.com.

Last edited by RadioJonD; 11-08-2011 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Added Local Discussion Link
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  #30  
Old 10-09-2011, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RadioJonD View Post
WLQT Lite 94.5 Dayton Ohio

Date currently unknown. Last year WLQT went all Christmas on Sunday, November 14.

From the website (next to the possible cover of Michael Bublé's 2011 Christmas album):

We are still Dayton's Christmas Music Station and will be playing your Christmas favorites this holiday season!
Thanks for the info. That's the station I listen to. I was wondering what was going to happen since they switched channels since last year.
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