Tools Stations Can Use to Engage Listeners Online

jelliAt RAIN Summit East in Philadelphia this week I got an overview of two nice applications that broadcasters can use to make their streaming offerings more creative and engaging.

Jelli is both an Internet radio station and a tool that broadcasters can use to create their own unique programming. It works like this: listeners can go on the site and choose the songs or artists they want to hear. The playlist is controlled by these requests. The fun starts when lots of people want to hear the same songs, which drives the song up the playlist and puts it on the air faster, or when listeners don’t want to hear a song, which does the opposite. If enough people don’t like a song that is playing, they can actually blow it up mid song, complete with sound effects. The program uses crowd sourcing technology to track listener influence. CBSRadio is using it in San Francisco, airing a three hour Jelli show on Sunday nights on … The guy who presented said it’s available on an exclusive by market basis.

Listener Driven Radio is another application that stations can plug in to get their listeners more involved in the station. It features tools that enable listeners to select songs, deselect songs and generally influence what gets played on the station. Using similar technology, it ties in directly to a radio station’s automation system, feeding real-time commands into the automation system based on the latest crowd-input. Listeners can interact via a website or mobile platform.

Both of these platforms are great ways for stations to engage with listeners and make their products more interactive and relevant.


3 responses

  1. I don’t like either of these ideas. It’s just another way to turn a station into mush. If listeners want to program their own stuff then let them go elsewhere. I’ll do my best to engage them in other ways which is better for the artists, the advertisers, and ultimately, the listeners themselves.


    Ed. Tankus
    Blue Plate Radio – Greater New Haven’s Premier Jazz Station

  2. (Spell corrected version of a previous post, inadverdently sent a couple of minutes earlier)

    • These opportunities, whilst appealing, in fact confuse interaction with effective and widely appealing broadcasting. Stations decades ago learnt that opening their playlist to listener lines was at best a tactical device to gain trial and a sense of participation, but only a tiny fraction of hyper committed activists ever participated.
    Letting that same unrepresentative group control your playlist is not engaging with your listeners, it’s narrowcasting to an ever decreasing minority. By all means use these tools as touch points, but don’t let it become the dictator ship of activist listeners wanting to control the radio stations,. The net lets you build your own if you can’t cut it as the content controller at your broadcast outlet be that terrestrial or internet!
    It’s like ratings being only determined by listeners, it’s what the rest of the market chooses to listen to that determines your relative appeal, market reach and success. That’s what advertisers will judge you on.
    Mark Newstead
    Research Director

  3. I am a fan of the Listener Driven Radio concept, because they have built in a lot of security and filtering into their system. Frankly, it seems to me that this is the future of radio. It’s where it needs to go.

    Buck Ryden

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