Songs like “White Christmas”, “Feliz Navidad” or Wham’s inevitable “Last Christmas” belong to the holiday season like Santa, mistletoes and Christmas trees. But whenever radio stations start their holiday programming, a common complaint is that they’re playing the same old classics year after year after year. So is that really true?
According to data published by Nielsen, the myth that holiday music is just about the classics and lacks a modern touch is in fact a misconception. As our chart illustrates, songs recorded in the past two and a half decades dominated radio airplay, streaming and sales of holiday music in the United States last year. Just 35 percent of all holiday songs played on the radio in 2016 were recorded before 1990, i.e. for every “Last Christmas” radio DJs played two less dated tunes.