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Eurovision New Year: Is March madness working?

Happy Eurovision New Year!

The 1st of September marks a special moment in the calendar for all Eurovision fans. From this date onwards, any song that is released by an artist is eligible for next year’s contest. But any Eurofan will know – we’ll more than likely see a huge rush of songs drop around March time. This has got us thinking, is there a certain time of year that correlates to success? In the tables below, we take a look at the last five contest’s top 10 placings and what date these songs were selected to represent their country.

2016PositionSongSelection DateSelection Process
11994 – Jamala (Ukraine)21 February 2016National Final
2Sound of Silence – Dami Im (Australia)11 March 2016Internal
3You Are the Only One – Sergey Lazarev (Russia)05 March 2016Internal
4If Love Was a Crime – Poli Genova (Bulgaria)21 March 2016Internal
5If I Were Sorry – Fans (Sweden)12 March 2016National Final
6J’ai Cherchรฉ – Amir (France)29 February 2016Internal
7LoveWave – Iveta Mukuchyan (Aremnia)02 March 2016Internal
8Color Of Your Life – Michaล‚ Szpak (Poland)05 March 2016National Final
9I’ve Been Waiting for This Night – Donny Montell (Lithuania)12 March 2016National Final
10What’s the Pressure – Laura Tesoro (Belgium)17 January 2016National Final
Average Release Date:01 March 2016
2017PositionSongSelection DateSelection Process
1Amar Pelos Dois – Salvador Sobral (Portugal)05 March 2017National Final
2Beautiful Mess – Kristian Kostov (Bulgaria)13 March 2017Internal
3Hey Mamma – Sunstroke Project (Moldova)25 February 2017National Final
4City Lights – Blanche (Belgium)08 March 2017Internal
5I Can’t Go On – Robin Bengtsson (Sweden)11 March 2017National Final
6Occidentali’s Karma – Francesco Gabbani (Italy)11 February 2017National Final
7Yodel It! – Ilinca ft. Alex Florea (Romania)05 March 2017National Final
8Origo – Joci Pรกpai (Hungary)18 February 2017National Final
9Don’t Come Easy – Isaiah (Australia)08 March 2017Internal
10Grab the Moment – JOWST (Norway)11 March 2017National Final
Average Release Date:03 March 2017
2018PositionSongSelection DateSelection Process
1Toy – Netta (Israel)11 March 2018Internal (Song only)
2Fuego – Eleni Foureira (Cyprus)02 March 2018Internal
3Nobody But You – Cesรกr Sampson (Austria)09 March 2018Internal
4You Let Me Walk Alone – Michael Schulte (Germany)22 February 2018National Final
5Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente – Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro (Italy)10 February 2018National Final
6Lie To Me – Mikolas Josef (Czech Republic)29 January 2018National Final
7Dance You Off – Benjamin Ingrosso (Sweden)10 March 2018National Final
8La Forza – Elina Nechayeva (Estonia)03 March 2018National Final
9Higher Ground – Rasmussen (Denmark)10 February 2018National Final
10My Lucky Day – DoReDos (Moldova)24 February 2018National Final
Average Release Date:23 February 2018
2019PositionSongSelection DateSelection Process
1Arcade – Duncan Laurence (The Netherlands)07 March 2019Internal
2Soldi – Mahmood (Italy)09 February 2019National Final
3Scream – Sergey Lazarev (Russia)09 March 2019Internal
4She Got Me – Luca Hรคnni (Switzerland)08 March 2019Intenral
5Too Late for Love – John Lundvik09 March 2019National Final
6Spirit in the Sky – Keiino (Norway)02 March 2019National Final
7Proud – Tamara Todevska (North Macedonia)08 March 2019Internal
8Truth – Chingiz (Azerbaijan)08 March 2019Internal
9Zero Gravity – Kate Miller-Heidke (Australia)09 February 2019National Final
10Hatriรฐ Mun Sigra – Hatari (Iceland)02 March 2019National Final
Average Release Date:01 March 2019
2021PositionSongSelection DateSelection Process
1Ziiti e bouni – Maneskin (Italy)06 March 2021National Final
2Voilร  – Barbara Pravi (France)30 January 2021National Final
3Tout l’univers – Gjon’s Tears (Swizterland)10 March 2021Internal
410 Years –  Daรฐi og Gagnamagniรฐ (Iceland)13 March 2021Internal
5Shum – Go_A (Ukraine)09 March 2021Internal (ESC version)
6Dark Slide – Blinde Channel (Finland)20 February 2021National Final
7Je Me Casse – Destiny (Malta)15 March 2021Internal
8Discoteque – The Roop (Lithuania)06 February 2021National Final
9Russian Woman – Manizha (Russia)08 March 2021National Final
10Last Dance – Stefania (Greece)10 March 2021Internal
Average Release Date:01 March 2021

Despite broadcasters having around 7 months to reveal their entries, many opt to select their song in between February and March – so this part of the data won’t be surprising to many Eurovision fans. Only three songs that made the top ten from the last five years were not selected in these months. It is however, interesting to see that 1st of March worked out as the average release date for three of the last five years. This seems to correlate to the event of the so called ‘Super Saturdays’. which occur each Eurovision season. These are the Saturdays where many Eurofans watch multiple National Finals at one time through split screens or on multiple devices.

So what’s so special about March? March is traditionally the month of the Heads of Delegation meeting and the deadline to inform the organisations of your song and act. So why don’t broadcasters release their song at a quieter time in the Eurovision calendar when they can get the spotlight all to themselves? Well if the last five years are anything to go by – the Eurovision broadcast teams will tell you that their current strategies are spot on with waiting until the deadline. While many Eurofans may roll their eyes at another March release date, it’s certainly delivering results with 40% of the top 10 of the last five years being selected in March.

As well as that, let’s face it – Eurovision is only on the minds of most for one night a year and because of this, it’s very clear first impressions matter. Regardless of whether we hear the song for the first time from 1st of September or 1st of March – it’s what the acts do in May that will capture the hearts of the voters. Nevertheless, it is important to keep Eurofans on side in the mist of the season. Therefore, March is the clear time of year that broadcasters believe the hype between the media and the hardcore fans is at its peak. Evidently, March ticks so many boxes as the perfect release time for an entry. While in theory, fans may want to grow a longer attachment to a song, a later release date helps keep your song fresh in the minds of Eurofans, who will be replaying their contest playlists long before May. It seems to be at the right time of year to build up any potential momentum and coverage between fans and the mainstream alike, for an entry before the contest. With 7 of the top 10 of 2021 selected in March, and diving deeper into that, all favouring roughly the second week of the month, it will be interesting to see if that trend continues. If 2021 is anything to go by – keep your diaries clear for the first two weeks of March 2022!

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