Holiday Programming Disrupts Other Formats

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February 18, 2014

Holiday Programming Disrupts Other Formats

The holiday season was most certainly a cheery one for formats such as Soft AC and Adult Contemporary stations, but not so much for some other formats. The Christmas format acted like ratings rocket fuel for Soft AC — new Nielsen data from the 45* non-embedded PPM markets show the format’s share shot up 83% between November and the Holiday ratings period. That’s up sharply from the 57% ratings boost Soft AC experienced during the same period in 2012.  Soft AC is second only to AC in the number of outlets that go with all holiday programming. AC’s PPM share in the Holiday Survey was 61% higher than in November, slightly less than the 76% surge it experienced in 2012.

For a second consecutive year, Country is the format that took the biggest ratings hit during the holiday book, (which covers the period from December 5, 2013-January 1 2014). Country’s audience share dropped 13%, the same percentage decline it experienced from November to the Holiday Survey in 2012.

It wasn’t the only format disrupted by Christmas programming. Regional Mexican (-8%), CHR (-5%) and Rhythmic CHR (-3%) each experienced a larger negative impact from holiday programming in 2013 that in 2012. On the other hand, Classic Hits was flat after declining 4% in 2012, perhaps due to more stations in the format flipping to all Christmas in 2013. As expected, AC blew past News/Talk, CHR and Country to capture the 6+ top spot during Nielsen’s Holiday Survey.

Entercom’s KOIT, San Francisco (96.5) says the station had a “record-breaking” holiday book and not just on the air. KOIT reports a 71% increase in website visits during the fourth quarter from the third quarter and a 47% increase in streaming listening in 2013.

The media team here at The Radio Agency certainly takes the holiday season into consideration when planning campaigns. It is the only ‘holiday’ Nielsen recognizes with its own four-week long book. We have many clients that go dark during this period and many that have the desire to only air between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Please let us know if you would like us to customize a radio campaign around all the exciting holidays coming up in 2014.

*45 MSA PPM markets are metro surveyed cities only, otherwise known as non-embedded PPM market(s).

Tami Freeman is the Media Director of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website