Inside the Christmas streaming surge with Deezer's Adam Read

Inside the Christmas streaming surge with Deezer's Adam Read

Festive favourites by Mariah Carey and Wham! are out in front in the singles chart, according to the latest Midweek charts flash.

Mariah Carey finally made it to No.1 last week in a chart packed with Christmas classics.

This week, Taylor Swift is putting up a fight without the encumbrance of the OCC’s ACR rules on catalogue for her new single Willow (No.3). But Jess Glynne’s Amazon Original cover of This Christmas is just a few hundred sales behind at No.4, and is a definite Christmas No.1 contender. Glynne’s sales are up 4.6% week-on-week and she, too, is not being held back by ACR – unlike the majority of her festive rivals.

Here, Adam Read, Deezer's UK & Ireland Music editor, takes us inside the Christmas streaming....  

How significant is streaming of festive music on Deezer?

“This year, we noticed the turning point for festive music streams happened earlier, and even bigger, than before. Interestingly, we had a small but noticeable spike at the end of September. The real turning point for Christmas streams was at the end of October, which was two to three weeks earlier than previous years. By the end of November, our Christmas Collection was our most visited channel in the UK.  

“This year we’re promoting a fantastic range of content on our Christmas Collection. It includes over 30 editorial playlists, albums, podcasts, plus exclusive artist-curated festive playlists from the likes of Mariah Carey, Dua Lipa and Gregory Porter. We’re also bringing fans a special advent calendar through our social channels, filled with exclusive Christmas content. Users can even get another chance to listen to our brilliant Deezer Original Big Christmas from 2019, filled with incredible covers from artists worldwide.”

What are the key tracks – and what drives particular songs beyond the festive theme?

“Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, Wham!’s Last Christmas and Shakin’ Stevens Merry Christmas Everyone are currently our Top 3 streamed Christmas tracks in the UK. Outside of having a festive theme, I think the key quality of a successful Christmas song is the personal hook. Specifically, how a song makes you feel and your ability to connect with it. If a song sticks with a listener – like through a popular TV advert, the soundtrack of an iconic Christmas film or through a connection with your own Christmas tradition – it can become a streaming success for years to come. Additional promotion around Christmas has to be creative. The traditional promo routes are there, but thinking outside of the box will give the track the best chance of shining in a very crowded market.”

This year, we noticed the turning point for festive music streams happened earlier, and even bigger, than before

Adam Read

How will ACR rules affect the battle for the Christmas No.1?

“Despite ACR being a disadvantage for these older tracks, the continuous growth of streaming audiences in general means the outright number of streams for the big Christmas hitters will rocket up again.”

What are the opportunities for new or recent Christmas songs?

“We have many opportunities for new and recent Christmas songs, like dedicated playlists for frontline releases such as The Christmas List or our festive mood playlists. There definitely are some contenders for future festive classics, such as 2019’s releases from Mabel and Taylor Swift, which users are still loving this year. For 2020, we have Celeste’s brilliant A Little Love, Liam Payne & Dixie D’Amelio’s festive pop smash Naughty List and Griff’s beautiful Love Is A Compass. All these tracks are showing early signs of really connecting with audiences this Christmas.” 

To read our full report on Christmas streaming, subscribers can click here.

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