I’m streaming of a white Christmas: Mariah and The Pogues set to enter Christmas Number 1 race?

Thanks to streaming, could festive classics from the likes of Mariah Carey and The Pogues be set to bother this year’s Christmas Number 1 race?

Next week the most important chart battle of the year will commence – the race to become the Official Christmas Number 1 2014; and for the first time ever, it’s not just the downloads and CDs that matter. What you, the British public are streaming will count towards the all-important place in chart history now too.

So while a host of new releases from the likes of Band Aid 30, The Peace Collective, Mark Ronson and The X Factor winner prepare to battle for the top spot next week, they face some serious competition this year from a number of festive classics that are being listened to in the homes, offices, on mobile phones and tablets of the nation by users of streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer.

While recent years have seen several vintage Christmas songs re-enter the Top 40 thanks to the inclusion of digital downloads into the charts in 2005, the addition of streaming into the Official Singles Chart from July 2014 means they stand an even stronger chance than ever this time round at competing for a Top 10 placing in the biggest and most prestigious chart week of the year.

OfficialCharts.com can exclusively reveal that already in 2014, Christmas songs and former Christmas Number 1s have been streamed 39 million times with a massive 18.7 million streamed in the last week alone (figures based on analysis of the top 1000 most streamed Christmas songs and former Christmas Number 1s).

The most popular is Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit All I Want For Christmas Is You, which was streamed an impressive 861,000 times last week, and that was just the first week of December!

As Christmas party season gets into full flow and these yuletide classics are added to playlists up and down the country, Mariah’s seasonal banger could end up back inside the Top 10 for the first time in seven years. While making it all the way to Number 1 might seem a stretch, its popularity on streaming services will propel the track harder than ever in that direction. Since the inclusion of streaming data into the Official Chart this summer, Number 1 singles have been racking up an average of 1.4 million streams in their chart-topping week.

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale of New York has also seen a significant boost this year thanks to streaming. The song, which was first released in 1987, is on track to enter the Top 10 this week for the first time since 2007 and in addition to downloads was streamed 552,000 times last week.

Other popular Christmas songs that can expect a boost up the chart include Last Christmas by Wham!, which is set to re-enter the Top 40 this week and was streamed 580,000 times in the last week alone, and Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, which is on course to re-enter the Top 40 for its fourth consecutive year and was streamed 264,000 times last week.

By comparison, the biggest-selling Christmas song this year is Band Aid 30’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which has sold almost 400,000 copies since its release on November 17. The charity track is also expected to re-enter the Top 10 this week following its physical release.

The race for this year’s Christmas Number 1 kicks off at 00:01am on Sunday, December 14 and will be announced at 7pm on Sunday, December 21 on BBC Radio 1 and OfficialCharts.com. The Official Top 20 most streamed Christmas songs last week appear below:

1 ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU MARIAH CAREY
2 LAST CHRISTMAS WHAM
3 FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK POGUES FT KIRSTY MACCOLL
4 MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE SHAKIN' STEVENS
5 DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS BAND AID
6 IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE MICHAEL BUBLE
7 IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR ANDY WILLIAMS
8 I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY WIZZARD
9 ROCKIN' AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE BRENDA LEE
10 LET IT SNOW LET IT SNOW LET IT SNOW FRANK SINATRA
11 DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS CHRIS REA
12 MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY SLADE
13 STEP INTO CHRISTMAS ELTON JOHN
14 SANTA TELL ME ARIANA GRANDE
15 MARY'S BOY CHILD/OH MY LORD BONEY M
16 I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS GREG LAKE
17 SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN MICHAEL BUBLE
18 ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU MICHAEL BUBLE
19 WHITE CHRISTMAS MICHAEL BUBLE & SHANIA TWAIN
20 HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS MICHAEL BUBLE

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