Christmas Music NOW?

Santa Claus on the phone

A fresh NuVoodoo QuickTurn Study fielded just a few days after Halloween gives us indicators of what could be an early season for Christmas music. As you’re reading this, many stations have already flipped the Santa switch. To benefit programmers who can’t afford a custom study to help them make their Christmas programming choices, we fielded a NuVoodoo QuickTurn Study on November 3.

This new study includes 1,889 Adults 18-64 nationwide and shows strong anticipation of the upcoming vaccinated holidays. In 2021 a 44% plurality said they were looking forward to the holidays more than the prior year (referring to the pre-vaccine 2020 holiday season). The holidays this year are a little less hotly anticipated, but we still found a strong 33% eagerly awaiting the holidays.

As you might expect, households with children under age 18 are even more excited about the coming holidays. Among those households a 44% plurality are looking forward to these holidays even more than they were in 2021.

Nearly 3 in 5 among this sample will at least say they’re looking forward to Christmas music as the holidays approach – and nearly 1 in 4 say they can’t wait for it. As we’d seen the presence of children in a household lift holiday anticipation, so too does it lift the appetite for Christmas music.

We asked respondents first to predict when they’d like to hear Christmas music mixed into weekend programming. Most say they wouldn’t want that until after Thanksgiving. A 10% sliver say they’re ready now and another 20% come on board as we creep up to Thanksgiving. Again, the presence of children in a household lifts interest in holiday music significantly.


Finally, 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. Among households with children present, 36% are ready to go as Thanksgiving looms closer – and, of course, the demand breaks big time once the turkey’s been cleared.

And one more thing. From this sample of 1,889 respondents, we found 20% who could make it into a Nielsen-type ratings sample, labeled “RPS Yes” below. After rebalancing the demos among that smaller group and re-tabulating, we found that 43% say they’d use an all-Christmas-music as Thanksgiving approaches – nearly half again what we observed in the overall sample.

We do these QuickTurn Studies with national samples and turn them around in less than 48 hours. 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 at an attractive price.

Next week: what holiday shopping is likely to look like in terms of expenditures and whether people will be lured back to in-store shopping.