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Radio Stations Celebrate Merry Christmas Ratings

Christmas formats set new records across multiple demographics

Radio programmers had to wait a little bit for this Christmas gift, but according to Nielsen’s holiday Portable People Meter data, 2015 was a record-setting year for Christmas programming on the radio. Though one less station adopted a holiday programming format than in record-setting 2014 and its total of 529, Christmas programming proved to be the top-ranked format nationwide and set a number of records in several demographics.

Listeners in the Persons 6+ and Persons 18–34 categories set records for listening trends for adult contemporary holiday programming, with 12.9% (Persons 6+) and 11.5% (18–34). Persons 25–54 matched its 2012 high of 12.1%. Meanwhile, hot adult contemporary set records for the 18–34 (7.7%) and 25–54 (7.4%) demographics. Classic hits holiday listening trends only set a record among the 18–34 demographics (4.2%), but reached four-year highs in the 6+ demographic (5.5%) and 25–54 demographic (4.8%).

The holiday format helped adult contemporary and hot adult contemporary have banner years, though the release of Adele’s latest album also had an impact on those numbers. However, not all stations saw an increase during the holiday season, as urban AC, pop CHR, urban contemporary and country registered decreases during the holiday season.

To see the full Nielsen report, click here.