Are America’s all-Christmas radio stations playing the right songs? P1 Media Group’s annual Christmas Music Research is here.  P1 Media Group, a global leader in media research and strategy, surveyed radio listeners nationwide likely to listen to an all-Christmas music radio station during the holiday season. We tested the appeal of the 40 most-played and 40 most-streamed Christmas songs from the 2021 Holiday Season, a total of 60 unique songs, according to Luminate’s holiday charts.


Key findings:


“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee is America’s #1 Christmas song, edging “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms for the first time in five years by a fraction of a percentage point. “Christmas music’s appeal remains as strong as ever amongst American radio listeners who listen to All Christmas stations ‘frequently’ or ‘sometimes’ and personally enjoy Christmas music on a local radio station during the holiday season,” says Ken Benson, Partner, and co-founder, of P1 Media Group. “As we often see, there is a lot to learn when we compare radio airplay to on-demand streaming data, even with holiday music.  Understanding streaming data can help broaden the appeal of your station.”


  • The Holiday Classics rule the Top 20, including “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and two versions of “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas,” and “Sleigh Ride.”
  • 2021’s #1 Stream and Airplay song ”Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” from 1994 is the newest song in the Top 20 and is the 6th highest testing Christmas song this year.
  • This list includes the 19 Christmas songs from the Top 40 most-streamed that didn’t make the Top 40 most-played airplay chart. The research suggests that these 19 songs should be considered for airplay.


Streaming Rank 2021 Airplay Rank 2021 Title Artist 18-54 Appeal Score
7 103 Santa Tell Me Ariana Grande 75.53
10 41 Underneath the Tree Kelly Clarkson 76.4
11 42 Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Darlene Love 80.53
13 238 Snowman Sia 68.37
15 47 It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas Perry Como 79.37
16 61 Run Rudolph Run Chuck Berry 77.9
19 86 Home For the Holidays Perry Como 79.77
22 133 Mistletoe Justin Bieber 65.8
23 84 Santa Baby Eartha Kitt 78.47
24 134 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Michael Bublé 82.7
29 64 Christmas Time Is Here Vince Guaraldi Trio 68.06
31 565 Deck The Halls Nat King Cole 79.53
32 222 What Christmas Means to Me John Legend 70.21
33 164 Winter Wonderland Darlene Love 78.26
34 125 Like It’s Christmas Jonas Brothers 68.3
35 204 Baby, It’s Cold Outside Dean Martin 75.29
37 308 Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Kristen Bell 72.67
39 196 You Make It Feel Like Christmas Gwen Stefani 65.68
40 67 Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays ‘N Sync 68.5


There are ten new entries for 2022:

      • #32 Frank Sinatra – Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
      • #34 Darlene Love – Winter Wonderland
      • #35 Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus is Coming to Town
      • #40 Michael Bublé – It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas
      • #42 Taylor Swift – Last Christmas
      • #53 John Legend– What Christmas Means to Me
      • #55 N Sync – Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday
      • #56 Sia – Snowman
      • #57 Jonas Brothers – Like it’s Christmas
      • #60 Gwen Stefani – You Make it Feel Like Christmas



Download the Top 63 Christmas Songs HERE!


Download the full press release HERE!




P1 Media Group conducted the online survey the weekend of October 28-30, 2022. We sampled 400 18-54-year-old radio listeners from the Top 50 American Radio Markets. Participants were required to listen either “Frequently” or “Sometimes” to an all-Christmas Music local radio station during the holiday season and rate their personal enjoyment of Christmas music on a local radio station during the holiday season a ‘7’ or higher on a 1 to 10 scale. We identified “Heavy Streamers” by asking each respondent “How frequently you listen to music on your smartphone, computer or other listening device from a streaming service such as Pandora, Spotify or Apple Music.” 50% of the sample responded they stream “everyday” and 25% answered a “few days” a week.  75% of the total sample were designated as “Heavy Streamers.”

The test list was compiled from the most-played Christmas Songs on American radio in 2021 and the most-streamed Christmas songs in America in 2021, according to Luminate. The full results are available  For more info, email Ken Benson

About P1 Media Group

With experience and passion, we’re shaping the future of radio. We offer the power of a large consultancy, and the understanding, empathy, and honesty of a small one, with a customized approach to help stations grow and engage with their fans.


Contact: Ken Benson

Phone: +1.360.910.4119