Launched in 2003, RadioWave was originally designed as a tool to monitor individual radio airplay frequency for independent broadcasters. As the first in the field, RadioWave created a new industry focused on the electronic monitoring of new media broadcast streams. Fusing radio and social media, the first format charts were launched in October of that year, and included spin rankings in the Pop, Country, Rock, and Christian formats.
RadioWave charts were officially licensed by Live365 as a service wide data provider in 2004. That same year, we extended our monitoring technology to include other independent service providers, specifically Shoutcast, Audiorealm, and Icecast. By the end of 2005, RadioWave had extended its reach to 800 electronically monitored new media netcasts.
In early 2006, RadioWave branched out to other streaming providers internationally when we launched our UK, Canadian, and Australian Top 10 charts. Later that same year, terrestrial simulcasts were beginning to play a bigger role in online streaming, opening up an entirely new batch of stations operating under the umbrellas of numerous groups. Clear Channel was the first terrestrial provider to receive wide monitoring, extending our reach to 1,200 new media stations. CBS, Cox Radio, Citadel, and Cumulus followed in 2007, and by the end of the year RadioWave had grown to 1,600 monitored new media netcasts and broadcasts. The same year, we launched our Smooth Jazz charts. The format was increasingly marginalized on corporate radio, while it was gaining in popularity among online hobbyists. Today, our Smooth Jazz 100 is one of the most quoted charts among all Smooth Jazz rankings provided by more traditional radio monitors.
One of the behaviors that made online netcasts unique was the power Program Directors had to schedule a wide range of formats on the same station, and weren’t locked into airing the bigger hits in a plays-per-day rotation. That lack of predetermined scheduling made for some very interesting charts as titles could hit #1 one week, and then drop completely out of the Top 30 the next. The addition of terrestrial simulcasts acted as and anchor to stabilize our charts since they operated under more traditional rotation rules. On the one hand, hobbyists lost some control over their effectiveness on the charts, while corporate radio provided a massive amount of data that not only affected rankings, but also our ability to supply an increasingly larger amount of useful trend and airplay data to a wider range of professionals. Eventually, to even the playing field, netcasts and broadcasts were divided into their own groups so that hobbyist and small netcasters could regain their influence.
With the rise of YouTube, we began examining the potential of social media, and the way it was shaping how consumers accessed new music. We began publishing YouTube data in 2008 as part of a video chart that would later include MTV, CMT, Yahoo, and eventually VEVO. YouTube and VEVO views were officially added to the new media rankings – specifically our Hits 100 chart – in 2012.
Wide user-driven streaming services, including Pandora, Spotify, and Accuradio followed in 2015
Today, RadioWave has 1,800 active stations on its panel, and monitors about 5 million titles per week. We’ve expanded our services to include daily updates on new media radio, video, and social media sources, as well as new music hitting radio playlists. We also feature album, single, and video reviews, features, recaps, and a Music Discovery service that allows artists – independent and majors – to provide their songs to radio stations and consumers.
We’re proud to boast that we’re pioneers in an industry that is now nearly two decades old. Some of our firsts include:
- Building an electronic monitoring system that gave a voice to previously ignored online hobbyists and small new media radio stations
- International airplay monitoring of stations outside of the US market, including Canada, the UK, and Australia
- Publishing our charts on Friday, when online Program Directors added new music to their playlists. This is now an industry wide practice, becoming standard 12 years after our launch
- Including social media in our backend data, as well as our public charts
- Building a platform for the monitoring of new media video services, including YouTube and VEVO
- The monitoring of social media networks, including Facebook, LastFM, MySpace, SoundCloud, and YouTube, in our SONET service
- Fusing online, radio, cable, satellite, and video sources into a single data platform
- A content delivery service specifically designed to get independent music to new media broadcasters
- Providing online broadcast data to performance rights organizations, which is then used to determine royalty payments to artists receiving online airplay
- Launching a reporting verification service that helps alert independent artists to questionable data reporting from other providers
RadioWave is a 100 percent self-reliant company. We've never needed third party data to power any of our monitoring and consumer platforms. If we see a need, we design a solution. It's that simple.
We have always been on the frontline of an industry that has matured. We find the fact that we now have competition as recognition of our pioneering work. It’s become such a quickly growing industry that we filed for a patent on our process, and now own the rights to our methods for polling online and social media content. We’ve never stopped looking for new avenues of data collection to provide to our industry customers and the consumers that have supported us over the years. As we’ve made advancements and improvements to solidify the reliability of our monitors, we’re able to supply the most accurate and up-to-date information of any other carbon copy reporting system. We’re a modern company with a lot of history in an industry that we pioneered, and we’ll continue to add data services that go well beyond simple airplay collection. We’re firm believers that knowledge is power, and we’re ready to provide our customers, both existing and forthcoming, with a much wider range of information as we continue to build new roads into the future.