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Katz: Radio Is The Top Destination For Holiday Music, Equally Strong With All Ages.

Bad news for Scrooge: the results of a survey of 1,000 adults age 18+ across the U.S. show there's little to no “bah humbug” when it comes to Christmas music.

More than eight in 10 participants (84%) in Katz Radio Group's 2023 Holiday Music Study, conducted earlier this month, say they enjoy listening to holiday music, a share that's steady across three key age groups, even adults 18-34 (82%). The percentage of those saying they enjoy it “very much” is also consistent across the board, with a larger share of 18-34s (43%) vs. 35-54s (40%).

For those bigger fans of Christmas music, radio is their top listening choice, with two-thirds (66%) tuned in, compared to streaming, YouTube, or other options. Nearly all of these respondents (97%) say they like when their local stations start playing these songs, with close to one-third able to name one of those stations. “Radio is the best bet for brands looking to connect with consumers on a festive, high reach, high engagement audio platform during the holiday season,” Katz's report says.

The “very much” liking segment not only listens to holiday music while in the car, but also while doing other activities. “Perhaps a reason why radio is the top source of holiday music is that it is an anywhere-and-everywhere medium,” the report says. “Consumers want to enjoy holiday music while taking part in a variety of activities, even non-holiday related ones. Advertisers have ample opportunity to reach consumers in different mindsets, primed for relevant messaging.”

What attracts most listeners to holiday music also seems to be the same for all age groups: the tradition of hearing it this time of year, a feeling of nostalgia, improving listeners' mood, and adding to their enjoyment of the season. Even among the youngest demographic, all these reasons register significantly.

“Brands that advertise on radio during the holiday season, especially on stations playing holiday music, are tapping into high-reach, festive environments that resonate with consumers and maximize emotional connections,” Katz's report says. “In turn, they are reaching engaged and active consumers of all ages who are open to messaging and ready to act.”

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