Friday, November 13, 2009

WROR and WODS look for gold in Christmas season soundtracks

Beginning a little after noon, two Boston classic hits stations - WODS 103.3FM and WROR 105.7FM - are once again hoping to spin the soundtracks of the Christmas season - from classic carols to sappy-soft ballads - into ratings gold. Adopting a format that has proven popular nationally and locally, these two stations are playing all Christmas tunes, all the time.

Just a few years ago, it was all but taboo to go full-on holiday tunes before Thanksgiving Day weekend but stations here and around the country have been 'moving up' the holiday tune format earlier and earlier every year. The conventional wisdom among radio broadcasters was listeners would get sick of it and ratings would suffer. That wisdom looked more like wisdumb since WODS 103.3 begun converting to all-Christmas every November since 2003.

WODS 103.3FM has been switching to 100% Christmas songs for seven straight years. This is WROR's third straight year doing the seasonal format switch. Both stations have seen dividends from playing holiday tunes. Even though both classic hits stations will return to their regular playlists after midnight on Christmas Day, they've been seeing a sort of 'halo effect' in that some of these ratings are retained into the New Year. In addition when you have large number of retail businesses turned into holiday music formats, it amounts to a free marketing campaign for these stations, even though it is not reflected in the ratings.


Laurence Glavin said...

You wrote that such "listening" isn't reflecterd in the ratings. But with PPMs, even though people aren't literally "listening" (which is probably true for all "music" formatted stations except classical), nonetheless, the signals emitted by PPM-participating stations will register with the devices being carried by individuals in the vicinity of such outlets.

Boston Radio Watch said...

Sorry for the confusion. I had to clean up the last sentence. What I meant to say was : the immediate impact of 'free' marketing aspect for the holiday stations can't be truly be measured via ratings - PPM's or the old diary methodology.