Crowdsourcing music platform Jelli has partnered with Westwood One in a multi-year agreement for the network to exclusively represent on-air advertising sales for all local and nationally syndicated Jelli radio programming. Commercial air time within Jelli programming will be available to advertisers through both the Westwood One Network and Metro Traffic divisions.
This news apparently reverses a deal between Jelli and Triton Media announced a year ago. Triton owns Dial Global, a national radio network competitive with Westwood One. Note: According to Jim Kerr from Triton “Dial Global is still providing distribution and back end broadcasting services to Jelli for their nationally syndicated product.”
Jelli’s platform enables listeners to broadcast radio to vote for their favorite songs and impact what gets played – or not played – in real time. From the web or their mobile device, listeners use Jelli to vote for the artists and songs they love and want to hear, together creating dynamic playlists that determine in real time what will play.
Jelli’s local and nationally syndicated shows air on radio stations from coast to coast, including those in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and San Francisco. Jelli’s been bartering its all request radio format for a couple of minutes of commercial inventory in the hour long program, which makes selling those spots critical to Jelli’s success. “This partnership marks an important milestone for our company and for social radio as a whole,” said Jelli CEO Michael Dougherty. “Working together, we will be able to connect more advertisers and provide more opportunities for advertisers to actively engage with listeners.”
RadioInk declared this an interesting and innovative deal and compares Jelli’s functionality to personalized online platforms like Pandora. RadioInk seems to think that Jelli, which allows bunches of listeners to pitch in and build a playlist that everyone will hear on the air at the same time, is personalized radio that can compete with Pandora and Slacker’s ability to stream unique individualized playlists for each and every targeted listener. Listeners who are registered so that ads can be targeted demographically and geographically. Jelli is a fun way to add interactivity to broadcast radio, but it’s none of that.
While there is a list of things that Jelli isn’t, there is also a list of things that it is – it’s fun, innovative broadcast radio that encourages listener participation and probably increases engagement. If Westwood One can position it as that, rather than trying to compare it to Pandora, Slacker or any other type of personalized online radio offering, it will be far more successful in growing Jelli’s ad revenue.