AccuRadio does a Christmas deep dive

Last week we noted that many online music services are lagging behind some terrestrial stations in pre-Thanksgiving holiday programming, even though adding it doesn’t displace any non-holiday music — a choice that broadcast stations must gamble on.

AccuRadio dives deeply in holiday music this week with an extravagant array of 49 fine-tuned stations. (Disclosure: AccuRadio’s CEO is Kurt Hanson, who is also the Founding Editor of this site and newsletter. AccuRadio’s EVP of Programming is Paul Maloney, former Executive Editor of RAIN.)

The granular programming includes single-song stations (e.g. “Silent Night,” “Greensleeves”), world-music delineations (e.g. Latin, Celtic), genre categories (e.g. smooth jazz, rock, swing), and even one station which plays only carols starting with the word “Oh.” (Think about it — there are several of them.)

AccuRadio is always a relatively lean-back experience, compared to jukeboxes like Spotify, Rhapsody, and Rdio. This positioning works especially well during holidays, when users want to set a mood for parties and family gatherings, without having to lean in for adjustments. In 2012, AccuRadio’s December listening jumped 12 percent over November, which in turn showed a 14-percent increase over October, according to Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics. There were similar month-over-month gains in the 2011 holiday season.

AccuRadio is hooking the holiday effort into a contest to boost engagement — “AccuRadio Secret Santa.” Each day a new code word is embedded in the streams, which users can enter on a special page for a chance to win gadget swag like an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, a Nexus 7, and many other tech prizes.

Brad Hill