Entrepreneurs Mike Dougherty and Jateen Parekh have developed software that changes the way listeners interact with live radio, but a panel of experts was divided on whether their innovation would be able to bring iPod users back to the box.
Jelli, their San Francisco, California startup, uses a Web-based platform that allows listeners to make song requests through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and actually control the music that gets played on a live radio station (read original story here).
Popular music websites such as Pandora and Slacker already allow readers to vote on songs and control what gets played, but Dougherty said Jelli takes it a step further, giving surfers the ability to interact with a live FM radio station and “take over the stick,” as he called it.
“We wanted to be the bridge between all that engagement that is occurring on social media, on services like Facebook and the social Web, and pull that into this radio station,” said Dougherty, who co-founded Jelli 18 months ago with Parekh, a former Amazon executive who helped develop the Kindle.
Jelli listeners can vote for or against songs, directly through the website www.jelli.com or via Facebook and Twitter, and use video-gaming type “power-ups” and “bombs” to try to get their favorite tracks played or have tunes they dislike yanked. “If enough people hate a song and hit ‘sucks’ the song will blow up real time when the song is on the air and it will get taken down and the next song will play,” said Dougherty, who raised a $2 million seed round from a mix of friends and family and angel investors.