Morning Music Notes – Unfortunately, Christmas Music Sells

Christmas Music is Lucrative (Too Bad It’s Highly Annoying)

Remember when December 1 would roll around, and you’d start hearing Christmas music in shopping malls and in grocery stores, and then you’d see Christmas displays (ignore the shitty ones at my house). Well, that December 1 date has gradually gotten pushed back and now pretty much happens the second Halloween is done (hell, even before at some places). I hate most Christmas music. There are about 10 different songs, sung by about 1000 different people, so you get 100 versions of the same song with the same lyrics (Snow? Check. Winter? Check. Sleigh bells? Maybe).

It turns out that there is a HUGE market for this kind of things (via The Hollywood Reporter).

“Arbitron says it’s not unusual for ratings to double once a channel makes the temporary switch to Christmas music. KOST-FM in Los Angeles, for example, saw its share rise from 4.6 to 9.2 last year after it switched, and WLTW-FM in New York jumped from 6.0 to 12.3.”

“Nine times out of 10, many new listeners pour in, outweighing the listeners that do opt out,” says Strassell, adding that once in a while a station might see a 20 percent post-Christmas ratings boost that lasts through the winter. “In fact,” says Davis, “playing Christmas music is all about having a larger audience after Christmas than you did before. People who find the station often stick around after the holidays and discover a new favorite station.”

Pfft – who listens to the radio anymore?

My Morning Jacket Hops on Christmas Bandwagon

Speaking of Christmas, what are you getting me? My Morning Jacket are releasing a holiday-esque iTunes Sessions EP (via Consequence of Sound). The iTunes Sessions EP will feature a new track, called Welcome Home, as well as covers of Christmas tunes. This will be a digital-only release, so if you don’t have a computer, how on earth are you reading this? then you will have be to resourceful.

The Flaming Lips Team Up With the (Still Active?) Plastic Ono Band

Have you popped over to Atlas Eets – the Flaming Lips website which is streaming their holiday rarities tracks on infinite loop? I once tried streaming something on infinite loop, but it turns out it was the footage from A Clockwork Orange, and let’s just say things didn’t end up so good. On the heels of the holiday rarity set, Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band have teamed with the Lips (?!) for the song Atlas Eets Christmas (via Consequence of Sound).

If you don’t want to wait for the song to randomly show up on the loop at the website, you can check out an ‘extracted’ version of the song on YouTube. Yoko Ono will continue her collaborations with the Flaming Lips, showing up at their New Year’s Freakout show in Oklahoma City. Nothing like ringing in the New Year with a 70 year old woman. That sounds just like my last 4 New Year’s actually. But I won at Bingo, so hey, win-win?

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band and The Flaming Lips – Atlas Eets Christmas
[youtube tmMCDm-KvtA]

Live Nation and Hertz Team Up – WTF?

In this day and age, business is all about mergers and acquisitions, as well as seeking new partnerships. Facebook and Spotify, MySpace and Justin Timberlake, PeteHatesMusic and Radiohead (in our dreams!). The latest partnership is with Hertz (the rental car company) and Live Nation (the ticket selling company). They have teamed up for a multi-year deal called Movin’ With Music (via The Hollywood Reporter). The deal comes into effect January 1, and will include unnecessary items such as VIP parking at Live Nation gigs and a streaming with Hertz Live Radio, which will be available at Hertz stores and on buses. At the end of 2012, a Hertz music store will be set up, to allow you to exchange loyalty points for exclusive music downloads. This is a CAR RENTAL company, don’t forget. This shows that companies truly feel you need to diversify or die.

Mark Frissora, Hertz CEO and chairman of the board, described the Movin’ With Music program as a return to the company’s roots. “The first thing you heard when you turned on a Hertz vehicle was the AM-FM radio,” he said. “Now when concert-goers turn the key they could be listening to from a band whose concert they’re holding tickets to.” Hertz will also provide custom directions to out-of-town attendees at Live Nation venues via its NeverLost GPS software, a first-of-its-kind feature for the rental car industry.

Russell Wallach, president of Live Nation Network, the tour promoter’s sponsorship arm, acknowledged that Hertz “maybe [isn’t] the brand you associate with music,” but “we’ll work with artists to create unique, engaging music programs to get you music fans excited about Hertz,” he told the crowd at the press conference.

And if you turn on the radio now, you’ll be bound to hear some Christmas music. Perhaps My Morning Jacket’s new iTunes Session EP, or that Flaming Lips collaboration with Yoko Ono. BAM – tied together all of the news for you into one brilliant sentence.

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