‘Tis the season for… streaming Christmas music?

Alex Van Den Top – Staff Writer 

With streaming services on an explosive rise, especially among millennials and Gen Z, how will the majority of Americans listen to Christmas music this holiday season: Through the radio? Or through streaming sites? The answer, for now, is both. 

As it turns out, many of Americans still actively choose to listen to the radio. An annual Nielsen Music 360 Report shows that almost half of people are discovering new music through radio waves and not through services such as Spotify or Apple Music. This is not to say that music streaming services are not making headway. Futuresource Consulting predicts streaming site subscriptions will reach into the 300 million mark by 2022.  

So why do people still choose to listen to the radio? Piet Westerbeek, general manager of an adult contemporary radio station in Sioux Center, says music streaming does not account for the fact that listeners like knowing what is going on in their community—especially around Christmastime. 

“When you use a system like Spotify, based just around music,” Piet said in a phone interview, “all you’re going to hear is the music or commercials and advertisements that don’t really pertain to your area as much as what we do here.”   

However, there are some who might disagree. Senior Kaileen Roelofs, a millennial and self-proclaimed avid Christmas music fan, said she is choosing Pandora over traditional FM radio this Christmas season.  

“If I’m in the car, I’ll listen to the radio, but if I’m at home I’ll do Pandora for my Christmas music. I guess I don’t even have a radio at home, it’s just easier to do it on my phone,” Roelofs stated. 


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