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Industry Programmatic media
Founded 2009
Founders Mike Dougherty, Jateen Parekh
Headquarters San Mateo, California, United States
Products Cloud-based programatic platform for the buying and selling of advertising

Jelli is a company that develops programmmatic sales products for radio stations. It previously operated an interactive radio service with user-controlled content, which operated from 2009 to 2014.


The Early Days[edit]

In 2009, Jelli was founded by Michael Dougherty, formerly of Tellme Networks, and Jateen Parekh, formerly of the Amazon Kindle Project.[1]

Based on the concept of crowdsourcing, Jelli offered a modernized version of All Request radio, and was promoted as a "multiplayer video game on a radio station".[2][3][4]

Jelli debuted on CBS Radio-owned KITS in San Francisco on June 28, 2009.[5][6] After starting out with a Sunday night Jelli show on KITS in 2009, Jelli was further expanded to a Monday through Friday night show called "Free for All" in January, 2010, hosted by DJ White Menace. Jelli shows were broadcast on KITS six nights a week.


Listeners would select songs for a radio station via the internet at, or an app on either Android based phones or iPhones. Listeners vote on songs to determine the play lists of their online streaming stations and participating radio stations. Users could submit "NO" votes or "YES" votes for selected songs; winning songs would be played on the radio. Once the song was on the air, users could vote "Rocks" or "Sucks" for the track. If enough users voted "Sucks", the song would be pulled off the air immediately, even during a live FM broadcast. A Jelli chat room provided listeners with a place to socialize, request their favorite songs, and organize a community-controlled playlist.[7]

User of the Week[edit]

User of the Week was a weekly virtual award given on Jelli. Users earned it by participating in shaping the playlist by casting votes, rocketing and bombing, and voting on the "Now Playing" track. When a user earned User of the Week honors, they were provided with a special badge for their profile page and they could request a "sigtone", or short, 5 second sound clip that is played before one of their rocketed tracks is played on the air. A sigtone could be any short bit of audio like a song or a movie clip.


T-Bone was the name of the automated announcer on Jelli. When new songs made it on the air he would announce "This song was just rocketed up by a new jelli user" or the screen name of the user who applied the rocket. From time to time he would also tell jokes or make announcements.

Participating stations[edit]

Jelli's success with KITS led to a further expansion of Jelli to other radio stations, and in October 2009 Jelli announced a syndication deal to distribute its programming throughout the United States through the Triton Media Group, beginning in early 2010.[8]

In May 2011, Jelli announced it would launch a 24/7 version of its format in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. On June 30, 2011, KXLI and KYLI launched the new Jelli formats, with KXLI carrying a Rock format, while KYLI offers a Top 40 Remix.[9] On June 24, 2014, KYLI ended its three-year partnership with Jelli to adopt the Pulse 87 Dance/EDM brand and was relaunched as "Pulse 96.7," bringing that brand back to radio just three years after its demise at WNYZ-LP/New York City and its failed attempt to expand the brand to other cities.[10] Two days later after Jelli's announcement that it would cease operations on June 26, 2014, both classic rock WJLI/Paducah, Kentucky and Top 40/CHR KSKR-FM/Roseburg, Oregon immediately dropped the "Jelli" monikers and the platforms altogether. The remaining affiliated stations continued to broadcast Jelli shows until 11:59 p.m.(PDT) on June 29, 2014, when the platform shut down for good.[11]

Jelli in Australia[edit]

Jelli was also part of a partnership with the Austereo Radio Network, involving a station called Hot 30 Jelli, which was launched on November 1, 2009. The station was then renamed to Choose The Hits on February 1, 2010. It was broadcast online, on Digital Radio and on 2Day FM in Sydney, Fox FM in Melbourne, B105 in Brisbane, SAFM in Adelaide and 92.9 in Perth between 10:15pm and midnight on Monday to Thursday nights.

The Austereo partnership was terminated effective May 24, 2010, and Jelli is no longer being carried on the air in Australia.

Exiting the Crowdsourcing Radio Business[edit]

On June 29, 2014, Jelli ceased operations as a user-controlled radio platform and turned its focus to selling advertising through the services of co-owned Radiospot.[12]

In June 2014, Jelli issues a press release with the following statement from company founder/CEO Mike Dougherty:

Jelli can confirm we’ll be retiring Jelli User-Controlled Radio, social radio and its station apps on Sunday, June 29 at 11:59pm Pacific. We’ve had a great run with our social radio service and for five years we were able to empower hundreds of thousands of consumers and break new ground by allowing users to take over a radio station using their web browsers and mobile devices. Two years ago we pivoted our business and developed a programmatic radio platform for networks, advertisers and radio stations. Today, we’re operating at a blistering pace with hundreds of radio stations now using RadioSpot to buy and sell ads programmatically and continue our mission to help terrestrial radio become a 21st-century medium.

Entering the Programmatic Advertising Business[edit]

On June 23, 2015, Jelli announced $21 million in Series B funding from Relay Ventures, Intel Capital, First Round Capital, iHeartMedia, and Universal Music Group.[13] Programmatic refers to automated purchasing of ads.[14]

Jelli Today[edit]

Station Deals[edit]

The Sun Broadcasting Group deployed Jelli's cloud-based advertising platform across its radio clients early in 2014. The agreement included all of Sun's Hispanic brands including: CNN en Española, Fox Deportes, AccuWeather en Español and its national Latino Advantage network. Sun Hispanic content partner, Stardome Media Group, also committed to the platform change. Sun CEO Jason Bailey cited the ease of buying and airing spots with the new technology as a driving force in Sun's commitment to the partnership.[15][16]

On January 15, 2014, Jelli announced deals to deploy RadioSpot with: Emmis-owned WQHT-FM (HOT 97) in New York City, Crawford's WPWX-FM and WSRB-FM, Chicago; Service Broadcasting-owned KKDA-FM in Dallas; and WDJQ-FM Cleveland. The announcement marked the expansion of Jelli's RadioSpot platform into New York City, the largest radio market in the United States, Chicago, the number three market, Dallas, the fifth-largest market, and Cleveland, the 18th largest DMA according to Nielsen Media Research.[17][18]

RadioSpot Launch (June 29, 2012)[edit]

Jelli formally announced its new RadioSpot programatic advertising platform on June 29, 2012. The new technology entails the installation of a RadioSpot server on the station side. This server connects with the station's traffic and automation systems. When a Jelli-created spot is scheduled to run, the automation system will trigger the RadioSpot ad server, which will broadcast the ad directly on the air. Once the ad has run, a log is created in a web-based appliance known as RadioDash. This log is instantly accessible by the radio station, the advertisers and/or agency, enabling them to track their campaign in real time. The spot can be auditioned by a playback function, and an aircheck of the spot as it was played by the station is also available. Once the spot ends, the RadioSpot ad server returns the audio feed to the automation system until it is needed next. RadioSpot chooses the next ad based on the criteria of the campaign, along with other business rules. Because the system is cloud-based, changes to ad copy is possible network-wide, with only 1–2 minutes lead time.[19][20][21][22][23]

SpotPlan/API Released (March 12, 2014)[edit]

On March 12, 2014, Jelli unveiled SpotPlan, which was billed as “the first programmatic buying platform for radio advertising.” It is really a cloud platform for buying radio ads. This was a significant step forward because the radio sales industry had traditionally been a 20th-century, paper-based business, even as other parts of the industry had embraced the Internet and web technology. SpotPlan enables advertisers to browse stations, audiences and ratings, and to select desired spot times from available inventory. Jelli also offers an application interface to let clients connect the company's platform directly to their own in-house systems.[24][25]

Jelli/Marketron Partnership (April 3, 2014)[edit]

On April 3, 2014, Jelli and Marketron announced a partnership to deliver an automated supply-side service for radio stations. The service combines Jelli's RadioSpot ad server with Marketron's Mediascape account management and reporting platform. As a result of the integration, Marketron clients are able to use Mediascape to sell radio inventory programmatically. Mediascape is an open platform, and RadioSpot is integrated into it by way of an API.[26][27][28][29]

Jelli Q1 2014 Metrics Announcement (April 23, 2014)[edit]

Jelli significantly expanded its roster of stations using RadioSpot in the first quarter. Highlights included:

  • 188 stations were launched on RadioSpot, representing 109% growth in terms of number of stations when compared to Q4 2013, and doubling the impressions served from the platform. The roster of those added includes: OMD Worldwide, Marketron, Townsquare Media, Entercom, Sun Broadcast Group and Focus 360.
  • Launch time was reduced by 133 percent when compared to 2013. The improvement was due to improvements in the automatic networking, as well as an ad trigger technology which works with all traffic and automation systems.
  • An average of 18 stations per week achieved certification, and the average time for approval was 12 days. The RadioSpot online installation app enables stations to complete the process in four steps, with an easy to use guide.[30][31][32]

Jelli Deploys New Stations (August 19, 2014)[edit]

Jelli expanded its base of stations in August 2014 with the signing of seven new broadcasters across the country, including major operations owned by Emmis Communications and Beasley Broadcast Group. The announcement marked the first venture of Beasley into programmatic advertising with the Jelli platform, as well as jelli's first entry into the Miami and Las Vegas markets.

Stations signed up include: Emmis’ WBLS-FM in New York City and six Beasley stations: WJBR-FM in Philadelphia, WQAM-AM in Miami, KKLZ-FM, KOAS-FM, KVGS-FM, and KCYE-FM in Las Vegas.That brought the total number of U.S. radio stations using Jelli to over 400, reaching an aggregate audience of around 60 million people per week.[33][34][35][36]

Jelli-Digigram Partnership (September 23, 2014)[edit]

On September 23, 2014, Jelli announced the selection of Digigram’s VX222e series of sound cards for integration into its RadioSpot advertising platform.

The VX222e stereo sound card includes balanced analog inputs and outputs with 24-bit converters, as well as digital input/output in AES/EBU or S/PDIF formats. It also features two general-purpose inputs and two general-purpose outputs.[37][38][39]

RadioDash 3.0 Upgrade (March 11, 2015)[edit]

Jelli released the 3.0 version of its RadioDash platform on March 11, 2015. The real-time web dashboard for radio advertising added more powerful features for broadcasters. New or enhanced features included:

A daypart compliance feature which gives managers the ability to see traffic instructions for each ad campaign compared directly next to the daypart. This feature makes it easy for a station manager to adjust scheduled ad plays in real-time to insure compliance with the campaign daypart specs.

The dashboard summary shows a weekly view of what should play versus what has played. This allows operators to see potential issues in advance and fix in real-time helping to increase compliance rates, maximize revenue and minimize make goods.

Station operators use a Real-Time Player to view and listen to all Jelli-served ads that aired on their station, either archived or in real-time, helping to bring instant validation and transparency. This feature allows the broadcaster to not only hear the ad, but also the audio content that plays before and after.

A Publisher Interface wad created for station operators, taking real-time data from Jelli’s RadioSpot platform and presenting it to the publisher to address their specific needs.RadioDash had previously included reporting and analytics for advertisers and agencies.

RadioDash 3.0 was made available free to all Jelli clients.[40][41][42]

iHeartMedia Partnership (April 8, 2015)[edit]

iHeartMedia, the media and entertainment company with the largest reach of any radio or TV outlet in America, announced today the launch of a programmatic and automated ad buying solution for its broadcast radio stations, powered by cloud-based technology innovator Jelli. This solution is the foundation for iHeartMedia to be able to offer its ad inventory to advertisers and agencies looking to leverage programmatic and automated technology including private market place and exchange environments to improve the buying process and reduce administrative hurdles and delays.

The new programmatic solution will also allow iHeartMedia to apply its rich data and insights to the planning process and will utilize data sets to enable unique forms of targeting, such as music-based psychographic groups, weather and traffic patterns, purchase behavior and other environmental, population and consumer trends.[43][44][45][46]

Series B Funding (June 23, 2015)[edit]

Jelli on June 23, 2015 announced it has closed a $21 million Series B financing. Investors in the round included Relay Ventures, Intel Capital, First Round Capital, iHeartMedia and Universal Music Group. This funding brings the total amount raised to $37.6 million.[47][48][49][50]


  1. ^ Wired,
  2. ^ G4 TV's Electric Playground interview
  3. ^ CNET, "Jelli's crowdsourced radio opens to the U.S. and Australia"
  4. ^ VentureBeat, "A Pretty Novel Social Music Experience on the Radio"
  5. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, "Crowd sourced radio to go national"
  6. ^ San Jose Mercury News, "Jelli: Making old-fashioned radio hip again"
  7. ^ Wired, "Crowd in the Cloud to Program Radio" Retrieved 1 September 2015
  8. ^ Radio Ink, "Jelli Goes National With Triton Media" Radio Ink, Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  9. ^ Radio Insight "Jelli to LMA Two Las Vegas Area Stations"
  10. ^ "Pulse Headed For Las Vegas" from Radio Insight (June 24, 2014)
  11. ^ "Jelli To Shut Down User Controlled Platform" from Radio Insight (June 26, 2014). Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  12. ^ All Access Music Group, "Jelli User-Controlled Radio Shutting Down" (June 25, 2014) Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  13. ^ Ulloa, Nina. Digital Music News, "Jelli Raises $21 Million to Sell Radio Ads" Check |url= value (help). Digital Music News. Retrieved 1 September 2015.  Retrieved 1 September 2015
  14. ^ Kantrowitz, Alex (1 June 2015). "10 Things You Need to Know Now About Programmatic Buying". Advertising Age. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  15. ^ Radio World, "Sun Broadcast Deploys Jelli"
  16. ^ Radio Ink, "Sun Broadcast & Jelli Try to Shake Things Up"
  17. ^ All Access Media Group, “There's Jelli All Over Four More Markets” (January 15, 2014) Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  18. ^ Radio and Television Business Report, "Jelli adds HOT 97, Others to Radio Ad Platform"
  19. ^ Radio World, "Jelli's RadioSpot Formally Launched".
  20. ^ Radio Ink, "Jelli Launches Programmatic Ad Platform".
  21. ^ Media Post, "Jelli Launches 'Programmatic Direct' Platform for Radio Stations, Networks."
  22. ^ All Access Music Group, "Jelli Launches First Programmatic Ad Platform for Radio Stations, Networks and Advertisers".
  23. ^ Media Post, "Jelli Unveils Programmatic Buying for Radio"
  24. ^ Radio Survivor, "Jelli's 'SpotPlan' Propels Ad Buying Into the 21st Century"
  25. ^ Media in Canada, "Tools of the Trade: Jelli Gets Programmatic on the Radio"
  26. ^ Ad Exchanger, "Jelli and Marketron Team Up On a Programmatic Service for Broadcast Radio"
  27. ^ Media Post, "Marketron To Give Radio Broadcasters a Piece of the Programmatic Pie"
  28. ^ RAIN (Radio & Internet News), Marketron and Jelli Combine Systems for Easier Radio Ad Biying"
  29. ^ Radio Magazine, "Marketron and Jelli Partner on Radio's First Integrated Supply-Side Platform"
  30. ^ FMQB, "Jelli Launches Record Number of Radio Stations on its Ad Platform in Q1 2014"
  31. ^ Media Post, "Programmatiac for Radio Catching On"
  32. ^ RAIN (Radio & Internet News), "Jelli Celebrates Q1 Growth of its Programmatic Ad Platform"
  33. ^ Media Confidential, "Jelli Expands to Seven More Stations"
  34. ^ Media Post, "Jelli Signs Up Emmis, Beasley Stations For Programmatic Radio Ads"
  35. ^ Radio Ink, "Emmis, Beasley Deploy Jelli’s Programmatic Ad Platform"
  36. ^ RBR, "Jelli adds major Emmis, Beasley stations"
  37. ^ All Access Media Group, "Jelli Deals With Digigram Sound Cards"
  38. ^ FMQB, "Jelli Selects Digigram To Provide Sound Cards For RadioSpot"
  39. ^ Radio World, "Jelli Chooses Digigram Sound Cards"
  40. ^ FMQB, "Jelli Announces RadioDash 3.0 With New Features For Broadcasters"
  41. ^ RAIN (Radio & Internet News), "Jelli Upgrades RadioDash Programmatic Tool for Radio Stations"
  42. ^ Radio World, "Jelli Gives Broadcasters More Programmatic Tools"
  43. ^ RAIN (Radio & Internet News), "Radio claims “seat at the table” for programmatic buying: iHeart and Katz partner with Jelli"
  44. ^ AdAge, "iHeartMedia to Offer Automated Purchasing for Broadcast Radio"
  45. ^ TechCrunch, "iHeartMedia Is Bringing Programmatic Ad Buying To Its Broadcast Radio Stations"
  46. ^ Wall Street Journal, "iHeartMedia Will Sell Radio Ads Programmatically"
  47. ^ TechCrunch, "Jelli Raises $21M From Intel, iHeartMedia, UMG And More For Its “AdWords For Audio” Platform"
  48. ^ Fortune, "Term Sheet—June 23, 2015"
  49. ^ AdExchanger, "Jelli Gets $21 Million To Power Programmatic Audio Exchanges"
  50. ^ RAIN (Radio & Internet News), "Jelli Raises $21M in Programmatic Mission for Broadcast"

Supplementary references[edit]

External links[edit]