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.
A new report from Coleman Insights provides information on the amount of crossover there is between listening to AM/FM and listening online. About half of the streaming population in the US doesn’t listen to AM/FM radio at all. Of the 17% of the population that is streaming monthly, 48% say they don’t listen to any over the air radio.
It’s worse with younger demographics and with males: 57% of 15- to 24-year-olds and 59% of 25- to 34-year-olds do not listen to any “over the air” radio. 54% of male streamers use no over the air radio while 42% of female streamers report no usage of broadcast signals.
Minorities are likely to have replaced over the air listening with streaming as well – Sixty-seven (67%) of African American streamers listen to no over the air radio.
The same folks that are spending more time streaming and less time listening over the air say they have a positive attitude toward over the air radio, and they also say they are listening to AM/FM stations online. This leads to the conclusion that “Streamers who no longer listen to “over the air” broadcasts do not hate radio. They share the same moderately positive attitude toward the medium as other streamers. They simply have gravitated toward a different delivery method.”
Broadcast business solution provider Marketron timed their announcement that they purchased mSnap to hit during the Radio Show last week. With all the buzz about mobile at the show, it was good thinking. Marketron, owned by Wicks, is a powerhouse in the broadcast radio business solutions marketplace – last week separate employees of the company were telling me that their market share is 70 or 80%.
Marketron’s been focused on integrating their platform, which provides tools to broadcasters for scheduling, tracking, inventory management and billing, with other solutions providers that enable new types of inventory, including streaming and mobile. Earlier this year they announced a partnership with AndoMedia to facilitate the scheduling, delivery and billing of broadcasters’ streaming assets.
The mSnap acquisition enables companies to sell and fulfill both mobile and broadcast assets in the same single, integrated platform. This will eliminate the operational complexity of managing the sale of diverse advertising assets through multiple systems and processes.
“Mobile is one of the fastest growing advertising segments in our industry and mSnap has established itself as an innovative leader in the category,” said Mike Pallad, Executive Vice President of Sales for Citadel Broadcasting. “The acquisition of the company by Marketron, which offers a host of cross-channel solutions for media companies, will increase mSnap’s capabilities and development. We’re proud of our partnerships with Marketron and mSnap and look forward to the benefits this merger will offer our stations and advertisers.”
This is a really wise move for Marketron, one that will benefit them and their clients as well as the industry as a whole. Tools that make it easier for broadcasters to manage their inventory will inevitably increase the value of those assets. As broadcasters adopt revenue strategies that include more and more diverse inventory sets, smart platforms like this make that inventory manageable, trackable, and therefore more valuable.
(In the interest of full disclosure, which I believe the bloggers in our industry need to be more respectful of, I have done some consulting with Marketron in the past.)
Smartphones and other Internet radio devices have increased Internet radio’s mobility and moved Internet radio into much closer competition with broadcast radio, according to a briefing of the Station Resource Group. Wireless Internet radio will not completely replace broadcast radio, however it will continue to expand.
Handheld devices are becoming a popular mobile Internet radio listening device, and although easy listening is complicated by the need for specialized applications per station or service and device operating system, that will likely change with updates to browsers and technology. New interest and developments are heating up for connected automotive devices, which will grow listening to Internet radio as well. However the study notes that these in-car listening stations will also offer AM/FM receivers and won’t replace broadcast technology in cars.
An important aspect of radio’s new delivery systems is the screen that many devices have that can deliver graphical displays and even video. So as not to be considered deficient on these devices, broadcasters must develop alliances and strategies for offering visual content compatible with their audio content.
It’s an interesting briefing that acknowledges the increasing impact the Internet radio is having on broadcast radio stations. There’s wisdom in the recommendations that radio begin to identify itself as a visual medium and develop visual content solutions that can entice listeners. This video by Slate Magazine gives an overview of some Internet radio stations’ visual approaches and also made me think a little more about videos as well…
Four fifths of online radio stations in Germany are only available online, according to a newly released study by the Bavarian regulatory authority for commercial broadcasting – BLM and Berlin strategy consultant Goldmedia. The study is based on a survey of 2692 online radio operators in Germany in 2010.
Interest in online radio grows every year. About 11 million Germans listen to online radio at least occasionally, according to a 2009 Online Study 2009, and 12 percent of all Internet users are already using online radio regularly.
Other highlights from the study:
- While FM radio channels are turned on mainly in the morning, online radio is mostly listened to in the evening.
- About 44 percent of all streaming services are already available on mobile phones.
- Mobile app services offered by stations have also increased. More than 70 percent of FM stations reported having heir own apps, all of them for the iPhone.
- There has been a 40 percent increase in online radio services in Germany since 2009.
“The new study documents once again the significance online radio listening has already gained and shows how manifold and creative this medium is. Traditional radio stations are obviously taking on the challenges posed by new technology and actively creating new services.” says Stefan Sutor, Director of the Radio Department in the Division Programme of the BLM. The study also concludes that mobile streaming options will further the popularity of the medium, but notes that the challenge will be making the offers and new program formats economically successful.