Submitted by Peter Åstedt
Let’s go down to if it’s really worth it to make a Xmas song. If you make a mega-hit like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and then the world plays the shit out of the song every December each year, yes you probably will laugh when you go to the bank. The problem I see is how many songs that never get any recognition.
I was driving in my car today. Last year one of my favorite stations decided to just play X-mas music the whole of December. It was awful so I turned that station off and forgot about the station until March when I released that they had stopped the X-mas music. Maybe they understood the problem with their decision because this year, they are just playing X-Mas songs here and there. There are people that just love X-mas and want to have X-mas music, and the glitter and the decorations and just love it so much that they can have it all year round, but I am guessing they are pretty few and far between. It’s probably the same people that eat hard bread with ketchup, there are people doing that, but luckily, they are few and far between as well.
Is it worth it than to record a X-mas song? Like I wrote earlier, if you get the megahit you are granted money each X-mas almost forever. The problem is to get that X-mas hit. Because in the station today that just played some X-mas music they still played the same ten songs that the rest of the planet are playing. I guess in total it is a hundred songs that are played all over the world over and over again. The problem is that your written song has a very small chance to be part of that playlist. If you thought getting a worldwide hit is hard to get, then a X-mas worldwide hit is a big chance there is a real Santa at the North Pole.
That of course doesn’t stop people from doing it. I think I have received at least a 100 new X-mas songs just this year. Most of them will never be played. Mainly because X-mas songs are cheesy, and when you get a new cheesy song you really don’t take it seriously. The one that makes it to the worldwide hits is also cheesy the reason why you play them is that they are nostalgic. Somehow someone made a good PR effect and manage it to get nostalgic.
Why is it so hard then to market a X-mas song? The first is that it’s just relevant for around three weeks a year. And we start to program also very early in November when most people still think X-mas is far away. To be able to market your X-mas song you need to record it on the beach in July. You can’t do like the guy I just uploaded with his new X-mas song on the distribution, having a release tomorrow in the middle of December trying to make a X-mas hit. From what I know, most stations already have put their lists on and are just now programming the stations in January. Can’t he reuse the song next X-mas? This year I got a lot of people trying that. Songs that were given out in 2012 and have done nothing that was tried once again for the X-mas chart. No, you get kind of tired of that they reuse the songs. Sure, the big hits but like I explained it’s nostalgia.
To be honest, doing X-mas songs is a waste of time. Too a short window for promotion. Too short awindow for usage. And so very small a chance to become something. Next year just lock yourself up and write and record hits to be released early next year. There you have a better chance since everyone is always delayed in January since they haven’t finished all things before X-mas.
Maybe I’m the X-mas Music Grinch.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.