A pioneer sets standards
Whether as a weather app, web application or with the weather station wetteronline home, WetterOnline provides millions of people worldwide with information about sun, wind and rain. Reliable forecasts, comprehensibly prepared and available at any time, are the recipe for a sustainable development that started in 1996 with a simple idea: Weather for everyone – always and everywhere.
“We want to make weather available to everyone, everywhere. That is what motivates us every day!”
When managing director Joachim Klaßen founded WetterOnline in 1996, the Internet was still in its infancy. With foresight, the meteorologist recognises the potential of the World Wide Web for the interactive presentation of the weather. His vision is to present complex meteorological contexts quickly, reliably and in a generally understandable way. With the launch of the website wetteronline.de in 1997, the idea of combining information with smooth surfing pleasure took concrete shape. The young company does pioneering work, especially with the RegenRadar, which shows the current weather in real time for the first time. Success is not long in coming: In 2000, the service for mobile devices was named the best service in Europe by the market research institute “Forrester Research”. One year later, wetteronline.de is Europe’s widest-reaching online weather service.
The company is on course for growth. In 2005, WetterOnline already had 25 employees and laid the foundation for the company’s further development by introducing a new organisational structure and investing heavily in personnel and technology. Innovative technology and long-term value creation are also well received by the users: For the first time, more than 200 million monthly page impressions are recorded in May 2007. Exciting information about the weather has also been available on Twitter since October 2008.
Since 2009, the WetterOnline membership has offered interested users even more content in a completely new, advertising-free design. In addition, the company establishes an innovative and intuitive presentation of the weather on the market with the WetterRadar. In 2010, WetterOnline also offers weather information via Facebook for the first time. In 2013 it is the WetterTicker that sets standards as a new form of weather reporting. 2013 is also a year of changes and successes: WetterOnline launches a completely redesigned website and wins the metrixLab website of the year award in the category “Weather and Traffic”. In the area of mobile devices, WetterOnline opens up new business fields and can boast three successful weather apps on the market in 2013. In the meantime, around 50 employees put their know-how at the service of the company. In addition, WetterOnline trains its own specialists and has offered the possibility of dual studies since 2011.
In 2014, the 70-strong workforce moves into the newly constructed company building on the banks of the river Rhine in Bonn. In July 2014, WetterOnline experiences the most successful month in the company’s history to date, with over 300 million page views. The company is the only provider to be awarded the top mark of “good” for its quality as test winner by the trade magazine “Reise und Preise”. Against this backdrop, WetterOnline is now also investigating user interest outside Germany: With the test translation of the app for countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic, the first steps are being taken towards becoming international. In August 2016, personal weather bots launched on messenger platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Co.
In 2017, WetterOnline launches WetterApp 4.0, an updated application for mobile devices, and is also active in the field of voice assistants: just a few months after Amazon launched Alexa on the German market, the WetterOnline Skill provides users of Alexa-enabled devices with weather information. Thus, in May 2017, WetterOnline content can be queried in natural language for the first time using a voice assistant. In October, WetterOnline is one of eight launch partners for the German launch of the expansion of Google Assistant to include third-party actions. Internationalisation is being driven forward and has formed an independent department in the Marketing & Sales division since 2018. The company increasingly uses machine learning to improve weather forecasts. In December 2018, sales of the wetteronline home digital weather station developed by WetterOnline begin.
At the turn of the year 2018/2019, WetterOnline starts marketing advertising space itself. The 120 employees also need more space. In October 2019, another company location opens in Bornheim, just a few kilometres away from the Bonn headquarters. In the course of internationalisation, two subsidiaries are founded in June 2019 and April 2020: Weather & Radar Ltd., based in Coventry (England), followed ten months later by Data Sales Services in Miami (USA). With 500 million visits, WetterOnline sets a new coverage record in June 2019, overtaking even Spiegel Online, Bild.de and Focus Online. Exactly one year later, the company tops this record by 20.7 percent with 630 million visits. Following the success of the first version, the second version of the weather station wetteronline home is launched in August 2020.