The Wavlake Top 40 was always intended to be just one, introductory way to recommend new music to people. It seemed logical — just count how many sats each track earned within a certain period of time and show the results. When we first launched, this seemed like a good enough place to start. The idea of putting your music everywhere on the internet for free was — and still is — a kind of crazy idea. The Top 40 was a familiar way to show people how this could work.
For this entire year, we've been using a rolling 30-day window of a track's earnings to determine the Top 40. Early on, this was necessary because there wasn't enough activity to even generate a Top 40 without looking back over an entire month. Things have changed.
We have much more daily activity than we did when we launched back in January. That development, along with our desire to make the Top 40 more dynamic and reflective of the current moment, is why we're adjusting the ranking system to a narrower window of 7 days. What we expect to happen is that the chart will rotate more frequently than before, making it a bit fresher for listeners on a daily basis than it has been in the past.
Now, while we are still quite small, we do understand the implications of changes like this that affect how artists are featured on our platform. That is why we have been very thoughtful about making this particular change and plan to be as transparent and deliberate about any changes like this in the future.
Luckily, because we have an open library, we are no longer the only place that can showcase all this great, new music.
In the last few months, a series of new, value for value music podcasts featuring selections from the Wavlake catalog have started popping up online. These podcasts are programmed to allow a portion of the payments received (what's known as a "split") to be shared with the artists featured on every episode. It's beneficial for everyone involved: listeners, artists, and curators.
This makes a ton of sense. And I think value for value only succeeds with more of this kind of fan involvement. With so much music out there, it’s impossible for casual listeners to discover new music without a little help. We need curators — true enthusiasts — out there showcasing the things they love for us all to hear. And those curators need to be a part of the value stream. Podcasts like Boostagram Ball, Sidestream Music, and UpBeats are some early, innovative examples of how effective this mechanic can be — where the curator is rewarded for their work alongside the artists they feature. This doesn’t have to take the form of a podcast, of course. We can imagine this playing out on blogs, videos, any medium… but right now, these new podcasts work. They feel like radio, which is familiar and proven. Only now, with zaps, it’s even better.
Things have evolved a lot more quickly than we ever imagined and it's exciting. This concept — of a publicly available music library with a standard payment protocol baked in — is starting to show its power.