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.
This week, Triton Media Group, a company that has aggregated many digital tools that enable radio broadcasters to extend their online offerings, has announced their latest deal with Internet radio site Jelli. Jelli is a neat digital audio platform that uses crowdsourcing technology to give listeners input on what gets played on the air.
In June, Jelli launched a pilot with CBS Radio Bay Area affiliate LIVE 105 KITS. The Sunday night Jelli show on LIVE 105 has been a ratings success, and two freshly inked deals have put Jelli in the pipeline for thousands more stations worldwide. Now Triton’s Dial Global, a company that syndicates radio programming to a national network of broadcast stations, will make Jelli available to Triton’s more than 4,500 radio affiliations in the United States. Beginning in early 2010, Triton Radio Networks, through Dial-Global, will syndicate two daily Jelli programs – Top 40 Jelli and Rock Jelli – while Triton Digital will offer affiliates customized, 24/7 online Jelli experiences.
Jelli is a fun way to infuse even greater excitement, and a dose of unpredictability, to live FM, HD and streaming radio formats,’’ said Jim Kerr, vice president of strategy for Triton Digital Media. “Jelli combines the engagement, challenge and teamwork of a video game; the personalization and sharing of music we see in social networks; and a traditional broadcast that brings the experience to the masses.’’
Jelli is a great tool that stations can use to weave an online interactive experience into a broadcast station’s platform. Fusing online and offline programming is a great way to co-brand broadcast and Internet content platforms. CBSRadio has been experimenting with this concept not just with KITS in the Bay Area, but also with stations in LA, New York and other large markets where they recently launched Last.fm HD Channels, taking music, playlists, and music charts from that online station’s listener generated activity, combining it with other unique content from Last.fm such as interviews and performances, and creating a branded HD channel.
Now Triton offers stations two ways to integrate an online experience into their broadcast programming, with either the plug and play syndicated show, or a more customized Jelli experience.
Triton Digital Media has acquired AndoMedia, the leader in online radio audience measurement and audio ad management. Triton Digital, part of the Triton Media Group, services over 4,500 affiliations for its various digital solutions, which include digital tools that stations use for audience engagement, including products for Streaming, Text Messaging, Loyalty, Music Discovery, Video, Content Management Systems, Music News Content and Local Search.
Triton’s been in acquisition mode for a while now, it’s been almost two years since they acquired Excelsior Networks, parent company to Dial Global Radio Networks. Since then they have announced many deals focused on expanding their digital foothold in the radio industry, including a purchase announced in August of loyalty marketing company Enticent.
To that end, the purchase of AndoMedia makes sense for Triton. It expands their offerings to stations to include audience measurement and ad management tools, and expands their client base from 4500 stations to the 6800 stations (broadcasters and online brands) that Ando is doing business with.
AndoMedia has announced some strong successes recently – last spring they watched Arbitron retreat from online audience measurement, and they gained online streaming giant Pandora and the Targetspot network as audience measurement clients, solidfying their place as the industry’s audience measurement platform. They recently purchased Spacial Audio, a company that provided similar ad replacement tools to online broadcasters, and recently began the process of MRC accreditation for Webcast Metrics. Ando Media’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Maccini said, “We’re excited to join the Triton family. The Triton and Ando resources, technology, leadership, track record and vision for the future promises significant value for our clients and media partners.”
Triton Media Group is backed by Oak Tree Capital. There’s no word on the price of this deal between two private companies.