Christmas Music NOW?

Santa dog

A fresh NuVoodoo Quick-Turn Study fielded just a few days before Halloween gives us indicators of what should be an early season for Christmas music. As you’re reading this, we’re already aware of stations that have flipped the Santa switch. To benefit programmers who may not be able to afford a custom study to help them make their Christmas programming choices, we fielded a NuVoodoo Quick-Turn Study on October 30.

This new study includes 1,855 Adults 18-64 nationwide and shows strong anticipation of the upcoming vaccinated holidays. Overall, a 44% plurality says they’re looking forward to the holidays more this year than last year. Anticipation is even stronger among 25-54’s and 35-64’s.

What’s surprising is that 20% say they’re looking forward to the holidays less in 2021 than last year. Sadly, those opinions are often fueled by economic troubles, family changes and personal woes.

Comparing this new holiday Quick-Turn Study with the one we conducted in 2020, we see a significant increase in positive feelings concerning Christmas music. With many vaccinated (and even boosted) against coronavirus, shots coming online for children, and numbers improving in many parts of the country, there are good reasons to be joyful this season. Even the number of Christmas-music Scrooges – those who don’t care for Christmas music – has dropped significantly from last year.

Now we get to the part where we ask respondents to make the tricky judgment of when they’d use an all-Christmas-music station. While we know people are terrible at predicting their own behavior, we can use their responses as a guide. And we see the number who say they would listen to an all-Christmas station in the next week or so jump sharply from 24% last year to 37% this year. That’s a strong increase on top of pent-up anticipation of being able to gather more safely with friends and family for the holidays.

Get the skinny on these data broken down by music format P1’s in a three-minute video with me and Carolyn Gilbert here.

We do these Quick-Turn Studies with national samples and turn them around in a day or two. And NuVoodoo has a solution when you have programming questions in your local market, but don’t have time or budget for a full-size perceptual study. We call them ASAP studies. They have a shorter interview and a slightly smaller sample so that we can get them through fielding more quickly. And they have a much smaller price tag, so it’s easier to justify getting answers from listeners.

Next week: what holiday shopping is likely to look like in terms of expenditures and where people shop.