Jelli: Social Radio On the Air!

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Social networking startup, Jelli, Inc., is bringing something new to broadcast radio that I think is amazingly interesting. Taking a cue from social news site Digg and other platforms, Jelli will allow listeners to vote a song up or down during real time.

We’ve heard of things like this on Internet radio stations for some time, but Jelli is bringing the idea to broadcast radio. San Francisco’s LIVE 105 KITS-FM, part of the CBS Radio Network, to be exact. LIVE 105 will allow the community of users at Jelli.net to control the station’s broadcasts during the 10 p.m. to midnight block on Sundays starting on the 28th of this month.

FMQB is chock full of quotes from the players involved in this experiment starting with Jelli’s CEO:

“Our vision is to bring the power of the web to the airwaves by creating 100% user-controlled broadcasting,” said Mike Dougherty, CEO and co-founder of Jelli. “Jelli empowers individuals and communities to control traditional broadcast programming in a real-time, continuous manner using the web. We are excited to launch with an amazing station like Live 105, and in the Bay Area which is home for so much web innovation.”

The way Jelli works is this: You hear a song on the radio and vote it up or down in realtime. If enough users vote it down fast enough, it’s pulled before it finishes! Even the songs to be played are determined by listener voting. And Jelli has added gaming features that allow groups of people to control blocks of airtime if they band together.

It’s fascinating to see how the social web and radio are actively influencing each other as they both evolve. This sort of integration is something that could be a great boon as far as increasing active listener engagement and also as a means of seeing what the listeners themselves want to hear.

Doug Harvill, SVP and Market Manager for CBS Radio-San Francisco, [said] “Jelli provides the back-channel for the radio broadcast, enabling LIVE 105 to interact in new ways with our audience on a real-time basis.”

I think that Jelli’s approach of bridge building between traditional and digital radio is exactly the type of fusion I predicted over a year ago when I began blogging for Radio2020. We live in a real time world, using web based and social media based tools, we can make radio more immediate and participatory. Ten more points for CBS Radio as they continue to push the boundaries!

Photo courtesy of LIVE 105

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