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Billboard Hot 100 Airplay: Wikis


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The Hot 100 Airplay, also known as Radio Songs, is a chart released weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States. It measures radio airplay, and is one of the three component charts, along with the Hot 100 Singles Sales and the Hot Digital Songs charts, that determine the chart positions of singles on the Billboard Hot 100.


Chart data collection

The Hot 100 Airplay chart is a weekly chart that ranks the 100 songs with the most airplay points (frequently referred to as audience impressions, which is a calculation of the number of times a song is played and the audience size of the station playing the tune). A song can pick up an airplay point every time it is selected to be played on specific radio stations that Billboard monitors. Radio stations across the board are used, from Top 40 Mainstream (which plays a wide variety of music that is generally the most popular songs of the time) to more genre-specific radio stations such as urban radio.

Per Billboard (as of October 2005):

"988 stations, comprised of top 40, adult contemporary, R&B/hip-hop, country, rock, gospel, Latin and Christian formats, are electronically monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This data is used to compile The Billboard Hot 100."

Strength of airplay

Singles usually enter the Hot 100 Airplay chart before any other, because in most cases, they hit the airwaves first before being made commercially available online or in stores. Prior to December 5, 1998, the Hot 100 was solely compiled of songs that were commercially available. This means that songs could enter the airplay chart, but would not be eligible for the Hot 100 unless a commercial single in stores was issued. "Don't Speak" by No Doubt, "Lovefool" by The Cardigans, "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia, and "Basket Case" by Green Day all did well on this chart, but were not allowed to enter the Hot 100, because no commercial single was issued, even though they would have probably been significant hits on the Hot 100 without the need of a commercial single.

Due to circumstances like this becoming a growing trend with major record labels to release singles only to radio (as they felt commercial releases were a factor in decreasing album sales) many in the music industry requested that Billboard rethink its long-standing rule of "singles only" on the Hot 100. Billboard carefully weighed the pros and cons of this type of change and conducted extensive research and polls of music and recording industry insiders to assess the need for such a revamp of the chart. It was concluded that allowing airplay-only singles into the Hot 100 was the most logical choice, as the chart has always been a reflection of what songs are most popular in the United States and this new rule would present an accurate tool for those in the music industry to gauge the popularity of their "product" and to analyze marketing strategies, etc.

Album cut implementation

After December 5, 1998, songs could chart on the Hot 100 with just airplay points. However, before they were allowed onto the Hot 100, they had to make the Top 75 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. Songs that charted on the Hot 100, without being issued with a commercial single release were known as album cuts. These album cuts however, were not very strong initially and did not usually chart very high; the first airplay-only single to hit number one came in June 2000 when Aaliyah's "Try Again" spent one week at the top.

This implementation was solely responsible for the end of number-one debuts. In the mid 90s, many songs were commercially released as singles after airplay was given a chance to grow to its maximum potential. This allowed songs to enter the Hot 100 at the top, a feat unheard of before 1995. Ten songs were able to do this, but after this change to the Hot 100, but only five singles (four American Idol participants and Britney Spears) have debuted at number one since.


The Hot 100 is often criticized for weighing airplay more than sales. In a market where many believe sales to reflect music popularity more than airplay, this can be considered unfair. Billboard, however, has adjusted the ratio given to sales and airplay ever since the Hot 100's inception in 1958. During periods in which singles were the main format in which people bought popular music (the 1950s and 1960s, for example), sales points were given more "weight" in Hot 100 calculation. As the singles market dwindled in the United States, it was necessary for Billboard to adjust the sales/airplay ratio to favor airplay points, as a song that topped the Hot 100 Sales chart would sell only a few thousand copies in a week.



Most weeks at number one

Goo Goo Dolls "Iris" topped the Hot 100 Airplay Chart for a record of 18 weeks in 1998.

This is a list of the songs which spent ten or more weeks in pole position on the tally:

18 weeks

16 weeks

14 weeks

13 weeks

12 weeks:

11 weeks

10 weeks

Most impressions in a week

"We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey scored 257 million impressions in the week ending June 28, 2005.

Most impressions in a day

"We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey scored 32.8 million impressions.

Most cumulative weeks at number one

Mariah Carey holds the record for the most weeks at number one in total with 93 weeks atop the chart. In year 2005 alone, Carey collected 20 weeks at number one on this chart with three songs: "We Belong Together" for 16 weeks, "Shake It Off" for 3 weeks and "Don't Forget About Us" for 1 week. Boyz II Men holds the second place with 50 weeks atop the chart.

Use in countdown shows

From November 30, 1991 until January 2, 1993, the American Top 40 countdown show used the top 40 portion of this chart as its main source.

See also

External links


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