Love songs see huge spike in Radio Airplay on Valentine’s Day

Radio stations are doing their best to help get you in the mood for the most romantic day of the year.

It’s Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year, and couples everywhere are snuggling up and enjoying each other’s company. Of course, this kind of occasion needs a soundtrack, and as the hopeless romantics we are, we couldn’t help wondering what effect, if any, this special day has on what’s being played on the radio airwaves. Turns out quite a bit!

We had a look at 11 very popular love songs from different areas to see if there was a change in the amount of airplay they were getting as Valentine’s Day was approaching. We looked at the three month period from January 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2019 in order to see the evolution in airplay before and after February 14th, aka Valentine's Day.

We gathered radio airplay data from the US, the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and Mexico, and the songs in question were:

1. The Beatles - Something

2. Coldplay - Yellow

3. Journey - Faithfully

4. The Pretenders - I'll stand by you  

5. Diana Ross and Lionel Richie - Endless love

6. Heart - All I wanna do is make love to you

7. Dolly Parton - I will always love you

8. Percy Sledge -When a man loves a woman

9. Elton John - Your song

10. John Legend - All of me

11. Ed Sheeran -Perfect

These songs were interesting to observe since they get lots of airplay all year round but in several countries, there were SERIOUS spikes in airplay come Valentine’s Day. 

First, we looked at the density of airplay in each country. This simply means taking the number of radio stations in each country into account, by dividing the number of plays with the number of radio stations in each country. Looking at the countries together, as can be seen below, the overall spike in airplay density on Valentine's Day was huge.

Overall density of plays

In countries like Canada, the UK, and Mexico, especially, there were dramatic spikes in airplay density on February 14th and then an enormous drop immediately afterward. 

Density of plays in Canada
Density of plays in UK
Density of plays in Mexico

Besides looking at density, we also looked at the total number of plays per day for the chosen songs in each country. On the chart below, the orange bar represents the number of plays on Valentine’s Day while the pink one represents the average number of plays on the other days. As you can see, there is growth in the number of plays in all of the countries on Valentine’s Day, with the aforementioned countries again having the biggest spikes but with countries like Germany and Italy also seeing significant more plays for our chosen songs.

Number of plays per day

Obviously, there are hundreds, if not thousands of love songs we could have chosen to look at. So while our little investigation might not be completely able to stand up in court, it seems clear that many radio stations are doing what they can to help you celebrate this special day with your loved ones. We hope you find the soundtrack that's just right for you.

Happy Valentines Day!


But this trend only speaks for Valentines Day - what about the rest of the year? Check out our analysis of the music industry trends to expect in 2022!

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