Breaking Into Christmas

The hardest genre of music to break a new song in is Christmas or Holiday music.

Why is this genre so hard to crack into? People don’t want to hear new Christmas music.

One of the primary things Christmas music is used for is to help people getting into that ‘holiday spirit’. There is a strong nostalgic feeling associated with Christmas music that people crave during this time of year, reminding them of Christmas pasts and the feelings associated with that.

A new Christmas song can’t have that impact, unless it actually breaks into the genre, gets some decent airplay, enough to make it a nostalgic tool the following year and every year after that.

So why do people bother trying to write new Christmas songs? Why not just keep redoing the same old ones? Because on that rare occasion where your song does join that elite list of Christmas ‘classics’ and gets played year after year, the royalties and annual revenue from sales can be fairly significant. Alan Cross talks a bit more about this on in post “Why Do So Many Artists Record Christmas Music? For The $$$” in which he also shares some songs that have crossed over into the realm of being considered a Christmas classic.

One of the successful Christmas albums that Alan mentions is Michael Buble’s “Christmas” which came out in 2011 and has been a huge success annually ever since. Interestingly enough, over the weekend my brother pointed out that he felt the one original track on Michael Buble’s Christmas Album “Cold December Night” was the best track on the whole album, but how often do we get to hear that track? How many radio stations have included it in their Christmas music rotations? Buble’s renditions of already well known Christmas classics are the main contributors to the success of this album, not the one original track.

Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe” could be considered a new Christmas song that has cracked into most stations’ annual Christmas play list but is it getting airplay because it’s a good Christmas song or because it’s Justin Bieber? 10 years from now will a handful of new young artists be covering “Mistletoe” during the holiday season like oh so many have been doing with George Micheal/WHAM’s “Last Christmas”?

We want to hear our favorite Christmas songs because they remind us of Christmas past, the memories and the emotions associated with it, but at the same time overplayed Christmas songs are one of the biggest complaints during the holiday season. Telus could be considered one of the main culprits when it comes to over playing a song. Their annual holiday add campaigns tend to always use the same Christmas song. In some cases it has breathed new life into a forgotten classic, but personally I find that new appreciation for which ever song they’re reviving doesn’t last and before long, it has also become over played.

In all fairness, this year Telus went with the new Christmas song from The Tenors “When We Are Together” and thanks to Telus’s use of the song, it will most likely be heard again next year and the year after that, which I don’t mind. Maybe more people should try and champion new Christmas songs and help create new memories and holiday feelings.

To try and help create new Christmas Classics I’ve shared some tracks below of new Christmas songs that I enjoy. Give them a listen, add them to your play lists, create new Christmas memories.

Happy Holidays

Delta Deep – Take Me Home For Christmas

Paper Lions – Holding Off Christmas

The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

VERA – Christmas Together

Some stuff on iTunes to check out:
My Sister Ocean “The First Snow”
Tamara Boyes “Christmas Snow”

And finally…a weird one:

Autolegs “Get Your Santa On”

Did we miss any? Let us know and we will try and add them to this post.


About thef3k

Danny Fournier is a marketing expert with over 15 years working within the music industry, including 5 years with a major label. With university degrees in both Marketing and Sociology, Danny brings a unique perspective to marketing with a strong understanding of the needs of the end user and how to engage them. Along with his music and business background, Danny has worked as a corporate trainer, facilitating and write courses for corporate audiences. Danny has been commended for his facilitation skills and understanding of adult learning.
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