Here's what else is happening in Internet radio

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 6:00am

We've been doing a lot of RAIN Summit West review lately (here and here, with more to come!), so we wanted to take a minute and pass along some other news that's out there. Some is from the NAB Show, some unrelated, but we hope you find it useful and interesting.

NAB's Smith urges embrace of "hybrid radio": NAB CEO Gordon Smith (right), in his "State of the Industry" address at the NAB Show Monday, urged broadcasters to find ways of providing content across platforms.

He described "radios in smartphones" as a "hybrid-radio" system combining on-air content with interactive enhancements. He also acknowledged broadcast radio's upcoming battle to maintain its dominance in the car dashboard. Billboard's coverage gave no indication of any mention of Internet radio or streaming. Read more in here.

Aha Radio inks CBS News deal, launches Publisher Portal: Aha Radio by Harman announced Monday its partnership with CBS Radio News, bringing audio of the broadcaster's top news programs to Aha Radio listeners. Aha also launched its "Publisher Portal" by which anyone (following an approval process) can make content available on the Aha Radio system. There's more in here.

TargetSpot to deliver in-stream ads for Microsoft's Xbox Music Service: Online audio ad network TargetSpot announced it will deliver in-stream audio ads for the free version of the Xbox Music service (pictured) on the gaming console and Windows devices.

Former Triton exec Freund lands at Clip Interactive: Former EVP/Triton Media Group Bill Freund joins technology company Clip Interactive as VP/Chief Revenue Officer in preparation for a 2014 national rollout of the service which will allow mobile listeners to interact with broadcast radio content.

Global shipments of PCs fell 14% in first quarter: ZDNet calls that the worst drop in a generation, the steepest decline since 1994. The IDC (International Data Corporation) points to a number of factors -- like mobile, but also "a weak reception for Windows 8." Read more in ZDNet here.

Jelli says data shows increased social engagement helps ratings: Jelli has released data it says reveals a direct correlation between increased "social engagement" by broadcasters with listeners and increased listening (as reflected by ratings). The company measured weekly active registered users who were using its online or mobile app to vote to choose the music played during live broadcasts. It found as weekly social engagement rose 127%, weekly cume went up 30%.

Jelli says its data also shows these socially-engaged listeners engage with advertising more.

Net radio streaming service SurferNETWORK awarded patent: SurferNETWORK, a streaming vendor, was awarded its fifth "Buffering Patent" for technology that enables content streams "to start immediately," instead of waiting for playback while a cache of data loads.

Jelli wins "Social Broadcasting User Experience" patent

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 12:10pm

"Social radio" platform company Jelli now has a patent for the "Social Broadcasting User Experience."

Jelli announced today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded it U.S. Patent 8,392,206 for its "broad range of methods related to audience participation with a broadcast."

When broadcasters use the Jelli platform, listeners use the web or Jelli mobile apps to control what's played via real-time voting and game elements. Jelli also runs its own advertising platform, which is available independent of the social platform. More than 175 radio stations use Jelli now.

Entercom to use "social radio" Jelli service on 101 stations

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 11:45am

"Social radio" tech provider Jelli has a new deal putting Jelli on 104 Entercom Communications radio stations in 23 markets.

When stations incorporate the Jelli technology, listeners influence what's played by voting for music -- as a sort of "game" -- via the web or mobile apps. Jelli says its "advertising platform enables real-time ad serving and listener engagement across social, mobile and broadcast platforms, creating unique insights for advertisers." Last fall (see RAIN here) Jelli began allowing stations to use only its ad-serving feature.

Jelli is on more than 175 radio stations in more than 50 markets nationwide.

Jelli adds broadcast vet Fred Bennett to exec team

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 2:00pm

Social radio technology platform Jelli has announced that it's brought aboard broadcast media expert and digital product strategist Fred Bennett as Chief Business Development Officer.

Bennett is a seasoned broadcast industry executive, experienced with new broadcast solutions and digital programs. He was President and General Manager of Metro Television and Senior Vice President, Affiliate Sales at Westwood One, and Vice President, Operations and Programming at Shadow Traffic. He served as General Sales Manager for Disney’s WABC Radio, New York, and was head of Pamal Broadcasting’s five station group, including its digital operation.

Jelli says the newly created position signals the company's "broadening partnership with radio for programming and advertising solutions that deepen engagement, deliver actionable audience insights and increase revenue."

The Jelli consumer experience "fuses group listening with game mechanics to make radio more social and fun. Listeners control radio playlists through real-time voting and game elements, via free iPhone and Android apps and web experience." The Jelli ad platform "enables real-time ad serving and listener engagement across social, mobile and broadcast platforms, creating unique insights for advertisers. Jelli is available online and on FM radio stations across the United States."

RAIN Summit panel discusses social strategies for radio

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 10:10am

Triton Digital Media VP Business Strategy, Applications & Services Division Jim Kerr moderated the "Social Radio" panel at last month's RAIN Summit Dallas. He spoke with four pros from the broadcast, online radio, and Internet services industries concerning how radio can best make use of social media tools, and take advantage of consumers' embrace of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and more.

In planning a mobile strategy, given the necessary committment of resources (engineers, social media professionals) Jelli founder/CEO Mike Dougherty advised focusing on the biggest and most important, which for his company (and the others agreed) were Facebook and Twitter. He also suggested being realistic about the impact. Integrating with Facebook's Open Graph enables Jelli users' sharing and participation, but "Facebook didn't spike our usage or traffic, but it did provide a 3-4% monthly increase. It's like interest on a bank account. That investment was really important for us."

Owen Grover (iHeartRadio SVP at the time, now Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises SVP/Content Partnerships) agreed, and suggested using realistic expectations and logic to help decide where to "spend" your company's resources in social media. "We ask, 'Who are the listeners we're addressing here?'" Different genres attract different demos and lifestyles -- the same goes for social media platforms. "You're not going to get a ton of AC listeners on Tumblr blogs... However, you see an extraordinary use of social photo apps among urban radio listeners," he said. You need to consider "where your listeners expect you to be."

Pureplay webcaster Raditaz founder/CEO Tom Brophy suggested if you give a highly-engaged audience "the channels to interact with the social networks, they'll use them." His company's plan has been to "provide (social media) channels and tools, and be proactive and push some content" to these networks.

SoundCloud doesn't create content; rather, they provide the platform for others to promote content. To make that as easy and rewarding as possible, SoundCloud Head of Audio Manolo Espinosa explained his company's work to integrate in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard, and more. "Our idea is to make it super simple, give you the right stats, and help you promote your content."

But how can this help increase radio listening?

Grover called Facebook and Twitter "extraordinarily powerful at getting the word out, generating excitement, and creating conversations that feed the larger on-air conversation." His example is Clear Channel talent Elvis Duran, who dedicates large segments of his show to what's trending on Twitter and Facebook. Social media platforms shouldn't simply be "places to deposit content," or even necessarily just "traffic referrals," he advised. "We think of them as an extension of conversation. People are surprised to hear me say I'm interested in driving on-air occasions, because I'm the digital guy, but we think of our platform as '360,' and integration is the 'magic sauce' that differentiates us."

SoundCloud's Espinosa brought up CNN's Radio's use of his platform, as well as New York air talent Zach Sang, who posts clips he thinks have "viral" potential -- which include him promoting that evening's show. This takes great advantage of the fact that in the online world, people want to share content they enjoy. "Giving people that content to share in a way that doesn't impact their workflow, that's where you want to be!" said Espinosa.

Dougherty added that Jelli stations have seen actual ratings increases follow a good shift in social strategy that increased online engagement.

Naturally, a good social media strategy needs to be mobile. Grover advised thinking about the "meaningful distinctions between the desktop experience on social, and the mobile experience on social." His example: the difference between the Facebook mobile app and the desktop version, "and you realize there's no such thing as a 'tab' on a Facebook mobile app, and therefore some of the branding or marketing or partner- or sponsor-driven stuff that you're doing you can't execute the same way. You have to think about these differences."

Check out audio from this panel below. Audio from all the RAIN Summit Dallas segments is here.

Jelli secures $9M in funds; listening and ad impressions surge

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 6:45pm

Jelli announced yesterday the closing of a $9 million funding round.

Additionally, the company announced a 250% increase in listeners over the past year, to approximately 2 million listeners per month (via more than 70 U.S. affiliates). Total ad impressions served by the Jelli Platform also went up more than 500% in the past year, topping 60 million per month.

"Jelli is a social radio platform that combines group listening with game mechanics... Listeners take over the broadcast by voting for the songs they want to hear in real-time. Listeners engage with other users in live chat rooms and through Facebook. Jelli's cloud-based platform broadcasts this user-controlled programming in realtime on air on terrestrial FM radio stations across the United States. Jelli's platform also serves terrestrial radio spots on air."

The company says the new funding will go towards product development and sales growth. The round was led by new investors Intel Capital and Relay Ventures (which have received seats on the company's board of directors), with participation from existing investor First Round Capital and individual investors including Roger Ames, former chairman of EMI Music.

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