InterviewsNational Music

Digital Radio Tracker: a simpler way to track streaming

DRT is a global internet radio monitoring service that tracks radio airplay

What made you come up with the idea for this project and how long were you developing it before launch?
Having a successful radio promotion company, I started to observe how music consumption was changing. No longer was music being listened to solely by terrestrial FM radio. We now have devices such as cell phones, tablets, smart speakers, smart TVs and even smart refrigerators all streaming music. There is internet radio now installed in more than 50 million cars. As a radio promoter, I started to notice more and more of the songs I was promoting were being played on these streaming stations and yet there was no way to track them. After doing some research, I realized the companies that were monitoring terrestrial stations had not made the change to monitor streams and I was thinking, “How can my clients monetize the airplay to their songs streaming, especially, on the overlooked Internet stations?” “How can they find out where or who is playing their music?” I began asking my associates, “If they were experiencing the same thing I was?” Once I heard they had the same problem that was the light-bulb moment for me! I began working on a way to track these digital radio streams, thus, Digital Radio Tracker, also known as DRT was born. It took a few years to develop the technology and to create a real user-friendly platform before we actually launched.
Founded by Michael Matthews in 2011, DRT is the leading global internet radio monitoring service that tracks radio airplay of songs on 5000+ radio stations. DRT’s remarkable customized technology specializes in detecting thousands of digital radio streams while tracking an array of Terrestrial FM and College radio stations without any special encoding required.

Give us a brief breakdown of how the process works and how it is beneficial.
DRT was created from a unique perspective of analyzing radio airplay data. DRT does not use any special encoding or fingerprinting like other monitoring companies. With other monitoring companies a lot of airplay data was lost due to the lack of encoding or a song going viral before it was encoded. However, we have developed our own technological software that allows us to not just track songs, but which version of a song is being played. For years the music industry was not able to discern which version of a song was being played because all versions were always encoded under that particular song title. With DRT, we have a Comprehensive Report that displays which version of the song was played by a radio station. The global airplay data that DRT collects is very useful to artists and bands because they can utilize the information to book shows and tours, set-up interviews, sell merchandise or promote their songs to other radio stations in their efforts to secure more airplay. Artists and bands can also use the airplay information to assist in collecting royalties on their music. They can use the data to develop promotional strategies and discover which markets to further expose their brand. DRT also offers a risk free guarantee to our clients! We do not charge for a report if there is no airplay data present.

Who are some of your favorite musicians?
Growing up in the music industry I have been exposed to a wide range of music. I’m a huge Metallica fan; I think they are one of the greatest bands of all time. Some of my other favorite artist/musicians range from Adele & Ed Sheeran, to Garth Brooks, Lionel Richie and Madonna.

Do you currently have a favorite album you’re listening too? Actually, right now there are two upcoming artists’ albums that I have been listening to a lot lately. One is a country artist named Natalie Alexander. She’s very similar to Carrie Underwood and she’s got a phenomenal project called Cruel. The other is a new hip-hop artist called Jamie Ray. He’s definitely one to watch out for; I’d describe him as a modern day Eminem with a heavy street edge. He’s got an EP called Castles In The Air that puts him in a league of his own. I enjoy listening to hot undiscovered talents along with a blend of my favorite classic hits.

What has it been like knowing you have support from some top artists in the industry on this project? One of the hardest things to achieve with building a new brand is getting your peers to acknowledge you and take you seriously. It has been an awesome feeling to see some of the industry’s top artists showing us love and support. Many artists have told us to keep doing what we are doing. They love the fact that we are disrupting the music industry and that DRT is focusing on the global aspect of music tracking.

What is your overall goal with DRT and how do you see it continuing to grow? DRT’s goal is to level the playing field. DRT wants to be that voice for the independent artist and for the smaller digital radio stations. Everyone in the industry knows how hard it is to obtain airplay for new artists at major radio stations, especially, the terrestrial ones. Prior to DRT, there wasn’t a monitoring source to collect this data. It’s been exciting to provide the music industry with this data coming from around the world. DRT’s data enables DIY artists and labels to monetize and elevate their brand. We are currently working with many of the industry’s top DJs to help them set-up their own online radio stations as they build their brand to a global audience.  We are also working on launching a new service where we can monitor specialty mix-shows, ministries, talk-show and more. It has also been amazing to see the growth of DRT as technology continues to move into the digital streaming space.  DRT will continue to be innovative and provide better insights to its clients on global airplay data. We want to help revolutionize the music industry by providing more information about a songs airplay story that will better allow music entities to achieve sustainable growth and to develop a clear mission to combat the ultra-competitive marketplace.

For more information:


Brian Cetina

I am a graphic designer at MadPark Designs and co-founder of Nü Sound. I like to make cool stuff and be involved in music anyway I can. Tattoos are cool and I like typography.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.