Crowdsourcing Commercial Radio
Jun 18th, 2009 | By James Lewin
CBS has announced that it plans to experiment with a new approach to radio, dispensing with traditional DJs and crowdsourcing the DJing, instead:
CBS Radio will debut on June 28 the industry’s first 100 percent user-controlled, on-air radio program using a new social Web service called Jelli. Every Sunday between 10 p.m. and midnight on KITS-FM (LIVE 105) in San Francisco, listeners will take over the airwaves.
Using Jelli, listeners will create the playlist via Web-based voting. If a song sucks, listeners will also be able to vote to pull it off the air instantly.
“The real-time Web represents a huge opportunity to engage with both online and traditional media audiences,” said CBS Interactive’s Michael Marquez. “Jelli is creating a bridge between digital and traditional broadcast experiences, creating something completely new and fun.”
Call me a pessimist, but crowd-sourced DJing is likely to be more successful as a cost-saving measure than an audience-building one.
People are turning away from commercial radio because stations are getting rid of DJs with unique musical perspectives and programming to the lowest common denominator. Crowdsourcing the playlist is likely to lead to conservative, greatest hits programming.
What do you think? Can crowdsourced radio be more than a cost-saving measure?