Holiday, Broadcasting, Advice

How to Decide on Holiday Music for Your Radio Station

Deciding on holiday music to include on your radio station can seem challenging. Of course, you can likely come up with a pretty long list of holiday classics that you want to include. However, you can't stop there because you don't want your holiday programming to get repetitive and replicate most other stations. So, how do you go about the research to find new holiday tracks? We've got the lowdown on all of the best places to find a variety of tracks to keep your holiday programming unique.

Whether you have holiday programming planned or your holiday programming is already in full swing, it's important that you make an ongoing effort to find holiday music for your station. If your holiday programming is already happening, adding in some new tracks regularly will help keep the programming fresh so people can listen throughout the entire holiday season. If you are working on your holiday programming, it's a good idea to find a plethora of holiday music for your programming beforehand. That way, you know there will be variety from the beginning. Don't forget that you'll also want to add in some new holiday tracks along the way once your programming begins to keep it engaging. For general information on the importance of updating your programming at any time of the year, see this article.

With that said, there are plenty of resources for finding a variety of holiday songs for your station. Let's get into them:

  • Google "holiday song lists"
    • Googling "holiday song lists" will provide you with an abundance of results filled with holiday songs that you could potentially add to your programming. While you will likely see repeats from list to list, it's also likely that you'll get a few new songs from each list, so take some time to sift through as many lists as you can. Also, try searching for lists that compile "lesser-known," "alternative," "unique," or "underplayed" holiday songs. The more specific you get with your searches, the more variety you'll find.
  • Look at holiday charts like the Billboard Holiday 100
    • Billboard has a handful of holiday charts that can be great resources for staying on top of holiday song trends. Each year, many artists release new holiday music and typically a couple songs resonate as new holiday classics. The Billboard Holiday 100 chart is a great place to stay on top of these new holiday classics. Note that access to the Billboard Holiday 100 and most of their other holiday charts is limited to their Billboard Pro membership, which is a paid subscription that gives you access to all Billboard content (which could be helpful for programming purposes year-round). For more info on the Billboard Pro membership and to sign up, see this page.
  • Utilize Wikipedia
    • Wikipedia is a fantastic resource, especially when it comes to looking through discographies and finding music. Aside from artist discographies, there are holiday lists, Christmas and regional holiday music pages, and a variety of other holiday pages that can lead you to new holiday music. The information is endless, so just start somewhere and let yourself follow the trail from the original search.
  • Check out streaming services
    • Streaming services, such as Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc., are a great resource for finding holiday music for your station. Check out the charts, new releases, playlists, compilation albums, etc., and search around on artist profiles. Again, there's an endless amount of songs and information that you can utilize for programming your own station.

Finding more holiday music for your station can certainly be time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be challenging. There are lots of resources out there to help you add variety to your holiday programming, so take some time to research and sift through. Soon enough, you'll have a fantastic mix of holiday songs for your programming that will ensure that you have a unique and fresh offering throughout the holiday season.

For info on how to go about adding in holiday music to your radio station, check out our article entitled A Complete Guide to Playing Holiday Music on Your Radio Station.

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania