LOS ANGELES — At least on paper, the final ratings sweep of calendar year 2015 looked to be even more intriguing than previous "Holiday" reports.
Naturally, there was the typical all-Christmas music programming strategy embraced by at least one station (generally the AC) in just about every PPM-market.
Additionally, some NFL flagships looked to garner audiences as the playoff picture took shape leading up to Super Bowl Sunday.
That, however, did not really materialize as a +.9 by Atlanta's WZGC (not the flagship of the NFL's Falcons) is the strongest gain racked up by more than 50 sports stations we monitor.
Wildcard for "Holiday" 2015 though appeared to be with talk and all-news properties as several polarizing political candidates stoked their presidential bids.
Controversies popped up continuously.
Perhaps strong numbers will manifest themselves with January results, given that with the exception of KNX, Los Angeles (+.1); WCBS-AM in Long Island (+.2); and KCBS-AM in San Jose (+.1), the remaining 12 cases of all-news outlets experience downtrends (December 2015 – "Holiday" 2015, 6+).
Over and above that, of the more than 120 talk stations we track in the 48 PPM-markets, the highest December 2015 – "Holiday" 2015 improvement was a relatively modest +.7 by (public) WUNC, Raleigh.
Thus, the huge headline for "Holiday" 2015 is what it has been in comparable summaries of the mostly December period: It is extremely challenging to beat a station that knows how to effectively play all-Christmas music. Much more often than not, that station is an AC.
Our three previous RadioInfo "Holiday" 2015 scoreboards have specifically addressed adult contemporary (Thursday, 1/28), hot AC (Friday, 1/29), and country (Monday, 2/1).
Among other tidbits, this comprehensive analysis summarizes all stations that finish #1 and #2 in "Holiday" 2015; differential between the top two spots; and perhaps most vital of all – formats most dramatically/negatively influenced by all-Christmas music programming. For that, we have broken it out by format and by each PPM-market.
Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings information in this RadioInfo analysis of the "Holiday" 2015 report are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.
The first installment of January 2016 numbers is scheduled to be released in approximately one week.