Triton Media Group, which provides programming to 4,500 radio station affiliates, has signed an agreement with Jelli to syndicate two Internet programs on FM and high-def stations. The Top 40 Jelli and the Rock Jelli programs are scheduled to go live across the U.S. early next year.
The deal surfaced after Jelli began testing the application with CBS Radio Bay Area affiliate Live 105 KITS a few months ago. The Sunday night Jelli show on Live 105 also led to an agreement with Australian-based Austereo. In November, the station will launch a Hot 30 Jelli show on stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The stations will broadcast the show on FM and digital radio (DAB+), and it will be available online 24 hours daily.
The concept is the brainchild of Jelli co-founders Michael Dougherty and Jateen Parekh. The two set out to reinvent radio by giving terrestrial broadcast stations the ability to crowdsource music, target advertising and provide an outlet for promotions and games.
The Internet application provides terrestrial radio stations with a Google-like feel and experience. Run from a server sitting alongside the radio station's digital programming equipment in the broadcast studio, an Internet application allows listeners to take control of the music sent over the airwaves. The server plugs into the audio-out pin to transmit through the broadcast tower and the Internet.
Jelli's Internet interface provides a list of songs. The music listeners vote on the songs they want to hear. Votes move songs up or down the chart. Clicking on the "Rocks" or the "Sucks" meter keeps or removes songs from playing on the air. "It usually takes a little more than half the audience to blow up a song and take it off the air by hitting the 'Sucks' button," Dougherty says. "It usually happens about once per show." When the crowd blows up a song, the next track moves up the queue and into the play box.
Advertising spots run throughout the show, similar to traditional radio station, but clicks required to vote on the song tracks reveal more about the audience than their musical taste. The service doesn't offer a "just-in-time" ad-serving platform, but in the future it could match the music file with specific ads. Each person voting on the music must have a profile. The system also knows if the person votes from a mobile device or the Web. Consumer privacy is a concern and a high priority, too.
The platform has the ability to serve up and match ads with music, but advertisers need to step up and test the feature. Dougherty says that's on the books for 2010.
"When a block of ads comes on, because we have an audio platform serving up files, we could -- in theory -- understand the audience and play the correct ad at the perfect time," he says. "Out of the box, that's just too much rocket science, so we're launching the platform with a cool interface instead."
Triton isn't the only traditional broadcast company taping the Internet to expand its fan base. NPR radio has bridged the gap through Livio technology, which aims to make audio streams accessible to more people. NPR listeners can now personalize their NPR stations, switching between the local NPR member station and on-demand content and programs from NPR.org and stations across the United States.
The NPR Radio by Livio makes it possible for listeners to access more than 1,000 NPR station streams, more than 800 podcasts and audio archives of NPR programs. Listeners can store and access their favorite NPR stations with a convenient "my NPR" button on the front of the device. They also can access more than 16,000 validated Internet radio stations worldwide through Reciva, which supports Internet radio technology.