The Gift That Keeps on Giving – Holiday Season Radio Listening


Although the most recent holiday season has faded from memory for most, on the radio airwaves there are a few final presents just now being unwrapped for Adult Contemporary (AC) stations. The release of Nielsen’s holiday book portable people meter (PPM) ratings reveals a surprising result from the end of the 2017 listening year. The AC format set a new all-time high for audience share in during the holiday season.

AC stations are more likely to flip to the “all-Christmas” music format at the end of the year than other formats, and this year AC reaped the rewards big-time. Across Nielsen’s PPM markets the AC format set an all-time record for highest audience share (among all listeners 6+) in both the December survey (10.5% in 2017) and the Holiday survey (13.9% in 2017). In both months, AC was the top-ranked format, jumping ahead of News/Talk, which generally ranks No. 1 in 6+ audience share during the rest of the year.