We are a family that celebrates the moment, in the moment. October is for Halloween, November is for Thanksgiving, December is for Christmas, January is for Angie's birthday, I get February 2nd, and the rest of February is dedicated to Valentine's Day. So, I have always found it uninteresting to be the first one to play Bing Crosby before pumpkins are put away. That said, once Thanksgiving is over - I am ready to celebrate the holidays and want to listen to songs that take me back or songs I want to share with Evelyn.
In order to get music these days there are a number of ways to do it; Spotify, iHeart Radio, Beats Music, the failed iTunes Radio, or Pandora and I have held a paid subscription to all that have one and spent hours consuming music out of each. All of these products have something going for them but, for me, when it comes to holidays - iHeart Radio curates playlists and stations to a sublime level untouched by the other apps.
When used at a high level radio becomes the soundtrack for the consumer's life, that could be touching ballads that remind them of the intimate moments of fall, the pulse-pounding club jams that sound better with the top down, or in this case, the songs that remind you of traditions and moments you have shared with friends and family.
This is one of the reason there aren't any new "classic" Christmas songs - because it is nearly impossible to capture that magic. But this season, iHeart Radio is doing it 24 hours a day on their app, everywhere you go.
Make no mistake, I love Beats music but it has not curated a holiday list to near the level that iHeart has - and for all the emotional algorithm it boasts, I find myself listening in an echo-chamber of songs and artists I already own and rarely, if ever, discover new music that excites me that wasn't a referral from a friend.
If I had one musical wish it this Christmas would be that, for someone to create an app that helps me actually discover new music that I might not come across on my own. Music for me is the most powerful art form on Earth and that discovery is the most important part of the next phase of the industry. But this holiday, if you need a musical companion to get you in the mood, the undisputed champ is clearly the crew at the iHeart Radio app.