Are Holiday Albums Profitable?
November 13, 2017
Andrea Balogun in Billboard, Business, Christmas, Holiday, Mariah Carey, Music Business, albums, holiday music, music sales, pentatonix, profit, seasonal music

Now that it’s November, we’re starting to get into the holiday music season.  I enjoy pulling out my favorite Christmas albums and getting into the Christmas spirit each year.  There are many to choose from each year, but there are always a few favorites from past decades that seem to get the most spins in our home and on the radio.  Many artists do lots of publicity singing carols by being a part of holiday specials and programs. But are these holiday albums profitable?

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With promotion starting well before Thanksgiving, each year there are new and established artists releasing Christmas albums.  This week, the top holiday albums on the Billboard charts cross all genres.  From Celine Dion to Hanson and from Michael Bublé to Elvis, with several recent releases.  But even an old favorite like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack from 1965 reaches the top ten each year.  This proves that no matter how new or old the album, Christmas albums can be very profitable for years to come.
An owner of Park Avenue CDs in Winter Park says he’s always surprised at how early record labels start asking for his Christmas order.  Steve Allen goes on to say that his customers ask for Christmas albums earlier and earlier every year.  He usually prepares to receive shipments in October but has considered ordering them earlier to meet demand.
John Hagelston of Rhino Records explains, “Christmas albums can be relatively profitable because many songs are in public domain and there are no licensing fees.”  That makes for a nice seasonal payday.
Releasing a Christmas album is very advantageous for new and independent artists who don’t normally get their songs played on the radio.  Clearly, Pentatonix knows what they’re doing as they already have FIVE Christmas albums under their belt. Two are in the Billboard top 10 holiday albums right now! There are lots of radio stations that pop up during the holiday seasons that strictly play Christmas music.  This means that these albums are excellent opportunity for artists.  Spending the time recording and promoting these albums seems to be worth it.
By: Andrea Balogun / Head Content Creator at Studio Workshop Group



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