The trend of going all-Christmas earlier has picked up during the past few years, most notably among stations owned by iHeartMedia. This year that trend accelerated. The company says more than 80 of its stations across the country made – or will make – the move to all-holiday music at 5pm local time today (Nov. 5). The all-at-once effort ties in with the second annual iHeartRadio Holiday Special, a virtual concert hosted by Mario Lopez airing Nov. 24 at 7pm Eastern across its AC, hot AC and classic hits stations. The virtual show will feature Kelly Clarkson, Michael Bublé, Train and Pentatonix performing popular holiday classics. It will also stream on the iHeartRadio app, and video stream on iHeartRadio’s YouTube and Facebook pages. A VR performance will be available in the Horizon Venues app on Meta Quest.
“Our listeners always anxiously await the day our stations flip to Christmas music,” said Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. “Kelly Clarkson, Michael Bublé, Train and Pentatonix have some of the best songs of the holiday season, and we’re excited to have them perform on our show.”
The company’s holiday programming also includes numerous channels on the iHeart app, including “iHeartChristmas,” playing holiday favorites; “North Pole Radio,” hosted by Santa Claus and featuring a message line where kids can leave Christmas wishes for the big man himself; “iHeartChristmas Classics,” the place to hear all the timeless holiday classics; as well as iHeartChristmas R&B, iHeartChristmas Country, and iHeartChristmas Rock.