This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

10 Most Annoying Songs of Holiday Radio

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What, are you upset your easy listening radio station is playing holiday tunes before anyone's carved a Thanksgiving turkey? Get over it, gramps: You're already late to the party.

Last year, nearly two dozen stations across the country switched to the all-holiday format by Nov. 9, with Atlantic City, N.J.-based WEZW 93.1 FM starting the onslaught Oct. 17. By the time the holidays hit, between 300 and 400 (out of 11,500 U.S. commercial AM and FM stations) made the holiday format switch, said Mark Fratrik, a vice president, analyst and economist with BIA/Kelsey.

This year, KYXE-FM 104.9 in Yakima, Wash., started decking the halls Oct. 10 by launching its "North Pole Radio" on a new FM signal. Listeners were weeks away from buying a token bag of Tootsie Rolls for trick-or-treaters, but this station was already selling them on Burl Ives and candy canes.

"Consider it an early CHRISTMAS present for YAKIMA!" station parent company Broadcast Partners' spokesman Ken Moultrie said in a release at the time, with the all-caps emphasis all his. "The format has proven success with a unique mix of the best contemporary and classic CHRISTMAS songs with some surprises along the way."

So maybe Yakima won't be hearing Adam Sandler's Hannukah Song this holiday season, but its radio station will probably find a huge ratings boost in its stocking anyway. All-holiday radio first caught on in 2001 after stations switched as a means of helping listeners cope with fallout of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but radio research firm Arbitron (ARB) cranked up the cheer when it went to its Personal People Meter method of ratings data collection in 2007. Arbitron's ratings team began carrying around cellphone-sized monitors that could pick up broadcasts its carriers were hearing and detect the watermark of the station playing in the background, so when a listener is at the hardware store being shoved away from the last strand of LED lights and hears Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas, it counts toward the ratings.

All that merriment is pretty effective, too. A 33-market study conducted by Arbitron in 2009 found that the average market share for radio stations that switched to the all-holiday format rose 91%. Unfortunately, the format's getting a little too efficient for its own good. According to Andrew Forsyth, a consultant for Nielsen (NLSN), the average playlist size for all-holiday stations in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles shrunk from 752 songs in 2009 to 694 in 2010, while the average number of times each song was played during the holiday season rose to 33.4 from 30.5.

The folks at MediaBase, who've been tracking holiday playlists for the past few years, finally stopped doing so in 2011 after the season's Top 5 songs went unchanged and its Top 10 showed as much movement as an obese man in a chimney. Flee to Pandora (P), Sirius (SIRI) or your Apple (AAPL) iTunes playlist all you'd like, but the 10 songs that took MediaBase out of the holiday chart business are ubiquitous. Whether they sneak up on you in a store or great you at the pump of your nearest gas station, these holiday earworms bore their way into the subconscious thousands of spins at a clip. Consider yourself warned:

1 of 11

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,960.57 -123.23 -0.72%
S&P 500 1,978.34 -9.64 -0.48%
NASDAQ 4,449.5640 -22.5440 -0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs