What do you get when you hand over control of radio stations to their listeners and cut out the DJ? That’s a question that Jelli, an application that links radio listeners directly to a station’s playlist, hopes will answer. Thanks to the $7 million dollars raised during the first round of funding, the public we might just be taking back the airwaves.
Jelli lets listeners interact and control radio stations to create collaborative playlists in real time. Jelli adds game elements into the mix, where users can bomb choices that stops tracks mid play or rocket choices right to the front of the queue.
There are many alternative crowd based music stations – Pandora being one of the most popular. However, Jelli isn’t competing with the net based stations but instead is partnering up with old-school FM radio. This should allow Jelli to tap into the more established advertising revenue streams and avoid internet music royalties. Listeners vote directly via the web or even via social networking sites such as facebook or twitter, which enables voting with a mobile phone.
Pilot slots on CBS Radio’s LIVE 105 – which broadcasts in internet savvy San Francisco – went well with Jelli attracting a lot of traffic. Following that initial successful run it’s no surprise that Jelli is now used in 17 markets across the US and in Australia.
Traditional broadcast radio may be in decline but innovations such as Jelli could help bolster the listener numbers of old-style FM stations.