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NEW TREND? Commercial Station Eliminates PD and DJs, Radio Listeners Get Say on Playlists With 'Crowdsource' Programs

Interesting article in the WSJ today. This should be no surprise, stations are getting desperate, at least some are trying to stay alive…. K

“No suits. No DJs. No kidding,” reads the Web site for Corps(e) station KITS in . “You decide what plays.”

After years of having program directors choose which songs get airtime, the alternative rock station is trying to give listeners the same thing the Internet does: control.

Like most stations, KITS, 105.3 on the dial, normally works from a playlist chosen after extensive market research and put into heavier or lighter rotation depending on how new the song is, the artist's name recognition and whether it seems to be catching on with listeners. But on nights, the station experiments with something called Jelli Radio, where listeners go online and vote songs up or to decide what ends up on the airwaves.

If enough listeners a song, it can get yanked mid-spin. “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon was the first to get yanked on KITS’s Jelli radio; the chat room viewed it as overplayed.

Jelli is part of a strategy to harness online radio, a technology that has the potential to siphon thousand s of listeners from the airwaves, or, if done right, bring in thousand s more.

Jelli chief technology officer and co-founder Jateen Parekh, left, with chief executive and co-founder Michael Dougherty.

“If created a radio station, what would it be?” asks Mike Dougherty, chief executive of Jelli Inc., based in , Calif. Jelli considered how Google tunes its search product to deliver the most relevant possible results, based on data from other users. “That's the genesis of what we did.”

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