Talking Heads

Talk radio, never known as a visual medium, is getting an influx of virtual reality. Listeners are creating their own online avatars that talk back to on-air talent. Using the Voki platform developed by Oddcast, audiences go online and choose personas, which lip-synch comments.

"In the first two months on a couple of sites we got over 250,000 views and 33 percent repeat uses," says Sandy Smallens, senior vice president of digital at Entercom. The company plans to bring the product to marketers who might sponsor communities around new album releases, or just drive dialogue around specific topics. According to Shaival Shah, vice president of business development and strategy at Oddcast, "When you have social governance with specific topics, you have productive dialogue." And an invitation to some awful vocalizing. The popular "Singing B" application at the Greenville station site has user-generated avatars crooning their favorite song. Where is the Simon Cowell avatar when we need it?  

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