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WILL CHRISTMAS BE A BIGGER GIFT THAN USUAL IN Q4? (UPDATE)

Christmas music always commands a healthy chunk of the Q4 revenue pie, and even as physical and download sales continued to decline, we saw a year-over-year uptick in on-demand streams with well over 8.5 billion. That, of course, was after a year in which stores were open, parties took place and people touched cookies from the same damn plate.

In the surreal, nightmarish confines—and we do mean confines—of this annus horribilis, you’d have to be Scrooge not to believe that the holidays will provide even more succor than usual to a beleaguered world. And Christmas music will provide not only a semblance of normalcy in 2020 but also more than a little uplift to millions of sagging spirits.

In addition to perennials like Bing, Burl, Babs, Nat and Mariah and new-school giants such as Pentatonix and Michael Bublé, we expect new releases from Dolly Parton (whose A Holly Dolly Christmas is due 10/2), Carrie Underwood (My Gift, slated for 9/25) and even The Goo Goo Dolls (It's Christmas All Over, featuring classics and two new originals, expected 10/30), among others, to help light up the tree.

We know that numerous radio outlets had success last month with “Christmas in July” programming blocks, and we rather expect the carols and other seasonal songs will start jingling through the airwaves earlier than usual. Streaming services, meanwhile, are likely to break out the eggnog on their home pages and playlist modules well in advance of the usual holly-jolly start date.

 Also, Santa, if you’re reading this, we’d like a new President, please.

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