In radio broadcasting, airplay is how frequently a song is being played on radio stations. A song which is being played several times every day (spins) would have a significant amount of airplay. Music which became very popular on jukeboxes, in nightclubs and at discotheques between the 1940s and 1960s would also have airplay.
The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (January 2020)
For commercial broadcasting, airplay is usually the result of being placed into rotation, also called adding it to the station's playlist by the music director, possibly as the result of a Pay for Play sponsored by the record label. For student radio and other community radio or indie radio stations, it is often the selection by each disc jockey, usually at the suggestion of a music director.
Most countries have at least one radio airplay chart in existence, although larger countries such as Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Japan, and Brazil have several, to cover different genres and areas of the country.
A song which was successful in the airplay charts but weak in sales was commonly known as a "turntable hit" when radio stations played only vinyl singles. Airplay can be a crucial element in securing a singer's 'hit', and alongside social networking websites it is an effective method that artists use to make their name known.
Radio airplay is monitored through audio fingerprinting technology with the help of automatic content recognition service. World recognizable music airplay service providers are Radiomonitor, ACRCloud, BMAT, and Soundcharts.
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- Barnes, Ken (3 January 2002). "Country rules on the radio; There's not a Britney in this airplay bunch". USA Today. p. D1. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
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- Posniak, Alan (2 October 1968). "Badger Beat: Wisconsin Bands and Combos". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
Consequently, what we ended up with was a turntable hit (so called because it received lots of play on disk jockeys' record turntables).
- DeKnock, Jan (17 July 1992). "The case of the airplay-poor hits". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- Ramirez, Erika (25 August 2011). "Aaliyah's Top 10 Billboard Hits". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 25 August 2011.