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Who Needs Peanut Butter now that Radio has Jelli?

Jelli is "100% user-controlled radio."

And I mean your radio station.  The over-the-air one.

Says CNET:

The service revolves entirely around a playlist of songs that's managed by users in real time. Users can vote songs up or down before they ever hit the air, as well as when they're playing. If enough people downvote a song while it's in the middle of playing, it's pulled before it even finishes, something that can be either deeply satisfying or disappointing to those listening.

I know the folks at Jelli and they have been beta-testing at KITS for some time (and word has it that the PPM ratings in that time slot are higher post-Jelli than pre-Jelli)

Now Jelli is teaming up with Triton Digital and Dial-Global to bring their crowd-sourced magic to any station who wants it, either as a full-on format or a specialty show, starting 2010 (Already Jelli has a deal inked with Australia's Austereo).

Now I know what you're thinking:  This can't be serious, right?  We can't surrender even a fraction of our programming decision-making to the audience, right?

Au contraire.  Understand this:  Jelli is a game.  Games are the purest form of interaction, and America loves its games (just ask the folks at American Idol or the folks who sell video games).

Turning your station into a game worth playing adds an all-new value dimension which differentiates that station from its competitors.  And in a world of ho-hum alternatives, being different is more important than being "better" because "better" is in the ear of the beholder.

Radio is long, long overdue for a game which everyone can play and win at, rather than a contest which contest pigs can play and not win at.

Will Jelli be "the next big thing" or just an interesting experiment that works in some places but not others? It's way too soon to tell, but it's certainly a move worth making.  And anything that increases the engagement between consumers and radio is good for the monetization of both.

Here's an overview of how Jelli works.  I hope to be chatting with them and sharing the chat with you in this blog soon:

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