Christmas music is perfect for file-sharing networks to offer royalty-free, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. The songs have a short shelf-life and they're so well known -- Nat "King" Cole's version of "The Christmas Song" is among the leaders -- that people can rationalize not paying for them.
More than 1.2 million people were offering digital copies of "The Christmas Song" on file-sharing networks recently, reported BigChampagne, an online media measurement firm in Los Angeles.
"You don't want to look at that stuff in July," BigChampagne Chief Executive Eric Garland said. " And you don't want to go out and buy the complete Christmas works of Olivia Newton-John. You want this song and that song."
Legal holiday music purchases did well, too. This year's seasonal CD sales have better than the last three years, thanks to the success of Billboard's chart-topping "Noel" by Josh Groban.
Holiday songs are also selling well as legal downloads, with Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" the top holiday track on Apple's iTunes store last week,