When does “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” actually start?

By Jaime Marconette
, Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
November 28, 2023
— 3 min read
By Jaime Marconette
, Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
November 28, 2023
— 3 min read

As temperatures cool and calendar pages turn, many define this period as simply “the most wonderful time of year.” However, is it possible to use music streaming behavior to reveal when this wonderful time of year does indeed start?

The Andy Williams classic “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” doesn’t give an exact start date, but looking at streaming trends of the Holiday / Seasonal genre does show when US listeners start turning to Holiday music. Looking at the second half of 2022, the week of Halloween shows the most significant leap in Holiday / Seasonal genre listening as streaming volume nearly doubled the week ending 11/3/22 to kickstart the genre’s ascent from 93.2m On-Demand Audio (ODA) streams the week ending 10/27/22 to a yearly high of 2.4B the week ending 12/22/22, representing a +2400% increase over that time.

U.S. Holiday/Seasonal On-Demand Audio Streaming vs. Week-Over-Week Change Percentage (2022)

Now that we’ve isolated the week ending 11/3/22 as the first significant leap in Holiday / Seasonal listening, we can use daily streaming data to see which exact day this occurred. US music listeners turned to Holiday / Seasonal music the very next day after Halloween on November 1, 2023 when a 70% day-over-day lift in ODA was seen 11/1/22 over 10/31/22.

Daily U.S. Holiday/Seasonal On-Demand Audio Streaming Week Ending 11/3/22

So who is the typical US Holiday listener? Luminate Insights Artist & Genre tracker shows through consumer research that the largest audience generation is Baby Boomer (32%) and that their #1 method of music discovery is through Television (+68% more likely than the average US music listener). Holiday music listeners are also:

  • 60% more likely to be physical music listeners than the average US listener and twice as likely to listen to music on vinyl records / LPs
  • 64% more likely to use Pinterest than the average US Music Listener

Is it ever too early for Holiday music? Many fans will say “no,” but the data shows that overall, listeners wait until November 1st to start getting fully into the season.

Top U.S. Holiday/Seasonal Songs On-Demand Audio (2022): 1: 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' by Mariah Carey with 229.7 million ODA streams in 2022. 2: 'Rockin Around the Christmas Tree' by Brenda Lee with 216.1 million ODA streams in 2022. 3: 'Jingle Bell Rock' by Bobby Helms with 196.2 million ODA streams in 2022. 4: 'Have a Holly Jolly Christmas' by Burl Ives with 181.8 million ODA streams in 2022. 5: 'Last Christmas' by Wham! with 167.8 million ODA streams in 2022.

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By Noah Elwell
February 20, 2024
— 3 min read

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