Sunday, October 3, 2010

Is it really beginning to look a lot like Christmas?

Last year, we published a few articles on how Country Music Radio can combat AC in their markets during the holiday season. It's time to re-read those articles from late-October (search: Christmas music). Most consultants and programmers frown upon trying to compete with the AC. Why? They had double digit 6+ and 25-54 numbers in the Holiday PPM. Some haven't come down yet. I guess they think the audience will freak out if they don't hear Lady A every 4 hours. 

It's simply the art of creating a holiday sonic sound design that offers compelling programming, fun and a real Reason For The Season. The real idea is to create vignette programming, Nights can be called Country 107.1 Christmas Wrapping. This is where we go deep this year. Work with sales and promotions to offer special sales for Country 107.1 listeners. Much like Groupon, the on-line coupon service, the sales promotion starts on the 7p-Mid Christmas Wrapping show. Then everyone emails each other the deal until it reaches a certain email level. 

Every programmer and manager of a CMR needs to read the Sean Ross interview with Dan Vallie about holiday programming at Radio-Info What an interesting quote from Vallie in the interview: 

"A station should be conscious of the incredible lasting benefit because of bringing so much cume, instead of worrying about Dec 26 when listening levels are low anyway.  If you believe in your product you should be confident in benefitting from the new cume, and not be foolish enough to believe that a country music P1 or talk radio P1, etc that came for Christmas music is going to stay in January. They came for Christmas music and you delivered. It’s only those that have a proclivity toward AC music that you have the opportunity to convert to a P1 for the rest of the year".    

We will be unfolding more Holiday programming ideas over the next few weeks. By Halloween, we should all have enough ideas, that we won't be sitting on our thumbs while AC's reel in listeners. 

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