The Custom Channels Blog

Tis The Season To Play Christmas Music Online

Posted by John on November 19th, 2010

What is the role a radio station’s digital tools might play in competing with other radio stations that change format this time of year to all-Christmas music?  For years, SBR Custom Channels has recommended that our clients fight back against the all-Christmas FM station by going all-Christmas themselves – with an online streaming side channel on their web site and mobile app.We know that a streaming side channel is not likely to keep the AC competitor from dominating the ratings during the November-December ratings period.  But it does do many important things:

  1. It muddies the water and keeps the competition from being the only outlet promoting their exclusive position for Christmas music.
  2. It tells listeners that your station cares about them and wants them to listen to YOUR brand, not another brand for Christmas music.
  3. It gives your station’s listeners access to unique Christmas music from your format’s artists that they won’t hear on the local AC outlet. This applies to Adult Rock, Country, Classic Rock Alternative, Urban… any non-AC format.  There is a LOT of Christmas music that AC doesn’t or can’t play on the air.
  4. It keeps the regular format more regular on the main signal during the holidays.  Having a 24/7 all-Christmas streaming side channel takes a lot of pressure off having to play a lot of Christmas music on the FM airwaves.
  5. It’s probably most salable streaming/digital asset a radio station can do all year. It can make money while doing all of the above.

Worried about sending listening on-line and just compounding the problem?  Forget it. Those in your audience who want Christmas music know where to find it.  The only certainty is that if a radio station isn’t providing it, the listeners will find it from someone else who IS providing and monetizing it.  Digital side channels playing all-Christmas music makes economic and programming sense.

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