Jelli (jelli.com), which mixes traditional radio with social media, putting listeners in control of what goes on the air, will launch the world’s first terrestrial radio stations completely powered by the social web in June. Las Vegas is the place, on Lkcm Rg Licenses’ KHIJ-FM 96.7 (currently Classic Country) Bunkerville, NV and Aurora Media’s KVBE-FM 94.5 (currently Dance “The Vibe”) Moapa, NV. Listeners will be able to choose in real time every song that plays on the air via Jelli’s website or Jelli’s free iPhone app. One station will generally play Pop music, and the other Rock music, but both will be branded “Jelli.” Westwood One sells national advertising for Jelli.
So far, Jelli has powered shows and dayparts on stations including:
KITS (105.3) San Francisco, CA: Sunday (Monday), 12midnight – 2am
WYSP (94.1) Philadelphia, PA: Monday through Friday, 7pm – 12midnight
WPST (94.5) Philadelphia, PA: Monday – Sunday 8pm – 12midnight
WKLS (96.1) Atlanta, GA: Monday – Friday 7pm – 12midnight
WBOS (92.9) Boston, MA: Sunday, 10pm – 12midnight
WKRL (100.9) Syracuse, NY: Saturday, 7pm – 12midnight
WJBX (99X) Ft. Myers – Naples – Marcos Island, FL: Sunday, 10pm – 12midnight
KDOT (104.5) Reno, NV: Tuesday – Saturday, 7pm – 12midnight
KTRS (104.7) Casper-Riverton, WY: Monday through Friday, 10pm – 12midnight
KENR (107.5) Missoula, MT: Monday through Friday, 7pm – 12midnight
WBLI (106.1) Long Island, NY: Sunday, 9pm – 11pm
KISN (96.7) Bozeman, MT: Monday through Friday 9am – 12noon
KNDE (95.1) College Station, TX: Monday – Friday 10pm – 4am, Sunday 8pm – 11pm
WJYY (105.5) Gilford, NH: Monday – Friday 10pm – 12midnight
KSMX (107.5) Clovis, NM: Monday – Sunday 7pm – 12midnight
But this takes it a big step further, going 24/7. Jelli’s social radio platform will take over all programming operations of two terrestrial radio stations in Las Vegas under a multi-year agreement.
“There are over 150 million people in the USA that use the social web to share, communicate and consume content every month. The radio medium has seen little innovation in decades but is still massive, with 242 million listeners weekly,” said Mike Dougherty, Jelli’s CEO. “Jelli combines the power and fun of the social web with the reach of a terrestrial radio broadcast, to create something new from something old.”
“Jelli is the most significant innovation in radio format programming in a decade,” said Gerry Schlegel, President LKCM Radio Group. “We want to transform the market in Las Vegas by engaging with our listeners directly through the web and mobile, and building a strong community around an amazing music experience.”
Jelli users can vote for songs, share songs on Twitter and Facebook, discuss what is playing with the other community members, and use two unique Jelli “power-ups,” a Rocket and a Bomb, to further influence what will play next.
In addition, users will be able to access a much broader selection of music than is typical on the radio, and connect with other music fans around special nightly segments.
KHIJ-FM and KVBE-FM will be completely automated by Jelli’s cloud-based platform, which enables local broadcasts to be easily customized and shaped to local tastes while being managed on a centralized basis.
RBR-TVBR observation: This should be a good test to see how such control affects ratings. Both signals are Class C from outside the city and don’t cover the market as well as stations from Black Mountain or Mt. Potosi. If this does increase ratings—and ad revenue—certainly expect more of the same, and from providers other than Jelli. However, we do suggest the stations keep some form of localism on the air, as we have seen over the years that automated jukeboxes don’t always work so well.