Why Artists Continue to Release Christmas Music, When Mariah Carey Constantly Dominates the Field

Breaking Creatives Agency Christmas Music

Every year as the holiday season approaches, familiar tunes fill the airwaves, shopping malls, and streaming platforms. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is an eternal favorite, setting records and topping charts year after year. However, despite the undeniable dominance of this iconic track, artists from all genres continue to release their own renditions of Christmas classics and original holiday songs. But why do they do it? Let’s explore the enduring appeal of Christmas music and the drive behind artists to keep adding their voices to the festive chorus.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is currently #1 on Billboard’s Global 200 chart  for a second consecutive week with 101.7 million streams (up 38%) and 9,000 sold (up 46%) worldwide Dec. 1-7. The 1994 hit song has spent a record-tying 15 weeks at this chart position (matched only with Harry Styles’ “As It Was” in 2022).

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has been certified 16x Platinum, signifying over 16 million copies sold in the United States alone.

While the title of “Queen of Christmas” will continue to be held by Carey, many artists are still drawn to create their own Christmas music. Here’s why:

Artistic Expression: Artists often view holiday music as a unique opportunity to showcase their creativity. Whether it’s reinterpreting classics or composing original songs, it allows them to experiment with their sound.

Creating an original Christmas tune seems like an incredibly daunting task. Just try it for yourself! Try to write one bar of a holiday tune that doesn’t sound redundant or rips off a classic melody. 

Because Christmas music gives us a nostalgic feeling, it is also a great way for artists to connect with their fan base on a personal level. For instance, fans got a glimpse of Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton’s playful romantic relationship when they released “You Make It Feel Like Christmas”

Expanding Catalog: Releasing Christmas music adds diversity to an artist’s catalog, appealing to a broader audience during the holiday season. For example, a person may not be a fan of country music but after hearing Kacey Musgraves’ “Ribbons and Bows” in the grocery store and then at a holiday party, you might be inclined to check out her other music.

Releasing a holiday single is also a great way to garner more press opportunities, during a period between album releases as TV stations and other media outlets look for new and unique holiday content to share with their audience.

Longevity: A well-received holiday song can have a long-lasting impact on an artist’s career, providing recurring income and ensuring their music remains relevant.

In recent years, holiday music accounted for 25% of all music streaming during the holiday season, according to Nielsen Music. Christmas albums and singles continue to generate substantial revenue through streaming, physical sales, and radio airplay.

Brian Setzer, the former lead singer of The Stray Cats, released three full-length Christmas albums which allowed him to do a lucrative tour of family friendly Christmas shows for over 13 years!

According to the Guinness World Records, Carey’s holiday anthem holds the record for the highest-charting holiday song on the Billboard Hot 100 by a solo artist. In recent years, the song has consistently re-entered the top 10 during the holiday season.  In 2023, however, Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” made a surprising return to the Hot 100 chart 65 years after its original release! The song featured in the 1990 film “Home Alone” is having a resurgence largely due to the debut of its first official music video, featuring cameos from country stars Tanya Tucker and Trisha Yearwood. The video has 8.2 million YouTube views so far proving the importance of visuals, digital marketing and YouTube promotion.

Despite Mariah Carey’s perennial holiday chart-topper,  You can see from the above statistics that it’s a smart career move for artists to release festive celebration tunes. Not only does it create more revenue for the artist but it presents more marketing and public relations opportunities

Each year, when you hear a new holiday tune, remember that it’s not just about competition but about sharing the joy of Christmas in unique and meaningful ways. 

Contact us today to explore how we can elevate your music career, maximize your holiday releases, and create a festive buzz that lasts all year round.