A sleigh-full of early Christmas flips this year, with the first one reported before Halloween, has also caused an earlier than usual annual return to the Billboard Hot 100 for Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
The song, a staple among holiday-formatted stations each year, entered at No. 39 on the Hot 100 chart dated Nov. 23. Additionally, Carey’s 1994 release returned to Billboard’s Streaming Songs list, up 58% to 15.2 million streams in the U.S. for the week ending Nov. 14, according to Nielsen Music.
iHeartMedia AC KOST Los Angeles played the song 43 times the week ending Nov. 17, while East Coast sister AC WLTW New York spun Carey’s classic 17 times. KOST went all-Christmas Friday, Nov. 8. WLTW ushered in the holiday sounds a week later, Friday Nov. 15.
This is the earliest appearance on the chart since the annual trend began in 2012, Billboard reports. Last year “All I Want For Christmas Is You” re-entered at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 30 on the Streaming Songs list on Dec. 1, 2018. That week the song accounted for 14.4 million streams, compared to the 15.2 million the week ending Nov. 14, 2019.
Carey is the first Christmas song back on the Hot 100 and Streaming Songs list this season. However, a number of other holiday favorites gained traction on the list as more radio stations play Christmas music and more options to stream holiday hits exist with special stations and playlists on platforms like iHeartRadio and TuneIn. “Last Christmas” by Wham is up 83%, but outside the Top 50 Streaming Songs with 8.2 million streams, Billboard says. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee increases 102% with 7.8 million streams and “A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives is up 75% with 7.3 million streams.
The list of radio stations flipping to Christmas music increases daily, with iHeartMedia AC “Q 105” WQHQ Salisbury-Ocean City making the move Monday, Nov. 18 at 12 noon.
Katie Hoyt, VP of Sales echoed sentiments of many who have already made the early flip to Christmas. “Listeners have been calling the station and messaging us on social media since October asking when we would be making the switch,” she said in a release. “It’s a Delmarva tradition that so many look forward to every year.”
We should hit peak Christmas music season on the radio within the next week and a half as Gary Berkowitz, President of Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting recently told Inside Radio, “If you have the position to yourself, waiting until Thanksgiving week is the best scenario. Another popular kick-off day is the Friday before Thanksgiving.”