Feature Chart

Moneyball Christmas 12-3-18


Chart Explain 12/3/18

Playing secular Christmas titles is a personal choice. As to whether these titles do damage or not, to the ministry you’ve built and maintained for the previous 11 months is another question.

Our format has instances of stations that do very well embracing secular titles, adding during the Christmas season, seeing great ratings gains during the Holiday book.

I won’t answer that question in this text, but I will add this thought along with all of the others, and that is, if you gain non-believing audiences during the Christmas season, what are you doing during your Christmas programming that can, either change their lives, or get them to stay once your Christmas programming is over?

Last year, I addressed that 21-day challenges are ineffective, to which one programmer adamantly called me out to say they have seen great gains by doing that very programming ploy.

I followed their results last year and stand by my words that the 21-day challenges don’t work.  They sound hopeful on the air, but truly, the benefit of these are to the station and not to the listener; something the listener knows instinctively.

Last week, a different station asked this pointed question, “Does it hurt us to go 100% Christmas if we have other stations in the market doing Christmas?”

Stations who have embraced Christmas in the past, who then do less Christmas in a following year will only take one Christmas season to be re-reminded of the reason why they really embraced Christmas music in the first place.

I don’t believe it’s because it is the BEST on-air ministry, but because it is the best stewardship of the audience you have built throughout the year.  YOUR audience will find the iHeartRadio offering in your market of Christmas songs if you don’t offer it yourself.

However, I do believe there is a way to maintain your ministry and your audience by finding the right balance for our format in the Christmas season.  A great example of this is WMIT in Asheville, 106.9 The Light, who is a teaching-talk/music hybrid, but who, during Christmas switches the music mix to Christmas, but who maintains fully the ‘savior’ message, not becoming a different station just because the time of the season has changed things.

I believe they benefit greatly from this, by NOT losing their audience.  Do I think their audience will sample or listen to the iHeartRadio offerings of Christmas in their market?  Yes, absolutely, but what won’t happen is their audience vacating the radio station until after Christmas, in fact, I believe December 26th, their audience will return to a normal use without fallout.

This week’s chart is the Top 30 songs played at Secular AC during Christmas and can be a great tool for CCMs who utilize Christmas music.  Many stations wonder what songs to embrace, if any, from the secular charts.  

These are the most played for a reason, so if you’re using secular titles to draw new audience, these are not just the most played, but also the highest researching songs in the mainstream.

Keep in mind that if you research Christmas titles at your station, you should consider researching these titles with a salt & peppering of your best testing Top 10 songs that are not Christmas titlse; and also well known Christian Christmas songs like Downhere’s “How Many Kings.”  By doing so, you will quickly see that YOUR audience is NOT at all the same audience who created this most played list of secular titles.

However, Christmas is a time of personal nostalgia, so the familiarity of these titles is a tried and true measurement of pacifying an audience who likes the ‘feeling,’ of Christmas.  I can promise, your audience wants that but also something so much more meaningful.

Feel free to hit me on Facebook, or at straightpathmande@gmail.com with any questions, statements, compliments or criticisms.  

The Moneyball Chart Methodology

Instead of one chart that focuses specifically on airplay, the Moneyball Chart combines airplay with sales, streaming and research for the purpose of finding the Momentum in Music, which is most times the differentiator on songs that stall and the ones that continue to chug along.

The Moneyball Chart is created based on a points system, where each column of information can add a maximum of up to 10 points for that column, with the points from each column adding to the overall totals.

The Moneyball Chart is an indicator of songs that are working; songs that are bearing fruit and therefore the Moneyball Chart, may have drastic differences from the charts you have become accustom to, revealing some artists and titles in a higher position much earlier than they show up on the airplay charts, and also, often songs that have moved to recurrent on most of our playlists continue to show fruit indicating that we may have retired those titles too early.

The Moneyball system works Nationally, or locally, so if you are interested in seeing what this information looks like specific to your station, specific to your market and your competitive situation, let us create a custom sample for your station specifically.  Email Rob Wagman StraightPathMandE@gmail.com