Jelli Partners With Westwood One

Image representing Jelli as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

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.

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3 responses

  1. The good news is it shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone to avoid confusion, but, yes, the Jelli proposition itself starts out a little confusing – perhaps deliberately. If this were a multi-station, Internet radio proposition – as opposed to a one-hour syndicated program, we’d be talking about Jelli as the latest innovative Internet radio platform. And maybe that is still in the wind – especially considering the possibilities of an HD Radio multicast proposition. But the Internet radio space is already crowded with RDIO and MOG stepping up recently and Omnifone and Spotify lurking. The integration of the community experience is a new frontier. RDIO is probably the closest to this model.

  2. Jennifer, just to clarify, DIal Global is still providing distribution and back end broadcasting services to Jelli for their nationally syndicated product. We continue to be huge fans of their product and obviously love their innovative approach to connecting listeners to actual radio programming in real-time.

    Jim Kerr
    VP/Strategy
    Triton Media

  3. Thanks for the correction Jim.

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