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IndustryAdvertising technology
FoundersMike Dougherty, Jateen Parekh
ProductsSpotPlan, RadioSpot

Jelli is a San Mateo, California-based advertising technology firm, which develops solutions for the programmatic sale and airplay of radio advertising.

The company was originally established as a provider of interactive music progrmming for radio stations, in which listeners were able to upvote and downvote songs played by a particular station in real-time (with songs disliked by listeners being automatically stopped and replaced by a different song). The company introduced its advertising platform in 2012, which eventually became its main business in 2014.

In November 2018, iHeartMedia announced its intent to acquire Jelli.


Crowdsourced broadcasting[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 an all-request show, 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 playlists of their online streaming stations and participating radio stations. Users could submit "NO" 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 if it was broadcast live. A Jelli chat room provided listeners with a place to socialize, request their favorite songs, and organize a community-controlled playlist.[7] As user kept voting, they're going to earn what was called "Rockets" and "Bombs" to get a song go straight to the top 3, or remove it. Users could also earn the "User of the Week" award each week, receiving a special badge on their profile page and a unique sound clip that would play before a track they rocketed.

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 offered a Top 40 remix.[9] 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 DAB and overnights 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.

Programmatic advertising[edit]

On June 29, 2012, Jelli formally announced its new programmatic advertising platform, RadioSpot. The cloud-based platform functions through a server installed by the station that is triggered by station traffic and automation software. The software also produces logs viewable in real time. Ad copy can be changed with just one to two minutes of lead time.[10][11][12][13][14]

In March 2014, Jelli unveiled SpotPlan and an API, allowing for advertisers to buy ad time and compare stations through an online interface.[15][16][17]

On June 29, 2014, Jelli officially ended its listener-controlled radio services.[18] The move was preceded by the remaining Jelli stations bailing on the format. In 2012, KXLI dropped Jelli when it was sold to a new company who instated a new Spanish-language format. On June 24, 2014, KYLI was relaunched with a variant of the Pulse 87 dance/EDM brand, known as Pulse 96.7.[19] On June 26, Jelli announced it would cease operations; classic rock WJLI in Paducah, Kentucky, and Top 40/CHR KSKR-FM in Roseburg, Oregon immediately dropped the "Jelli" moniker and the platform 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.[20]


Within two years, Jelli had 360 stations on RadioSpot, with large broadcasters including Sun Broadcasting Group, Townsquare Media, and Entercom. Additionally, RadioSpot had entered several new large markets with its debut on WQHT in New York, WPWX and WSRB in Chicago, KKDA-FM in Dallas and WDJQ in Cleveland.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27] Later in 2014, Emmis Communications added WBLS to RadioSpot, and Beasley Broadcast Group entered with stations in Philadelphia, Miami and Las Vegas.[28][29][30][31]

In 2015, iHeartMedia introduced a new programmatic solution for its stations powered by Jelli.[32][33][34][35] On November 19, 2018, iHeartMedia announced its intent to acquire Jelli.[36]


  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. ^ Radio World, "Jelli's RadioSpot Formally Launched".
  11. ^ Radio Ink, "Jelli Launches Programmatic Ad Platform".
  12. ^ Media Post, "Jelli Launches 'Programmatic Direct' Platform for Radio Stations, Networks."
  13. ^ All Access Music Group, "Jelli Launches First Programmatic Ad Platform for Radio Stations, Networks and Advertisers".
  14. ^ Media Post, "Jelli Unveils Programmatic Buying for Radio"
  15. ^ Radio Survivor, "Jelli's 'SpotPlan' Propels Ad Buying Into the 21st Century"
  16. ^ Media in Canada, "Tools of the Trade: Jelli Gets Programmatic on the Radio"
  17. ^ Kantrowitz, Alex (1 June 2015). "10 Things You Need to Know Now About Programmatic Buying". Advertising Age. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Jelli User-Controlled Radio Shutting Down". All Access. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  19. ^ "Pulse Headed For Las Vegas" from Radio Insight (June 24, 2014)
  20. ^ "Jelli To Shut Down User Controlled Platform" from Radio Insight (June 26, 2014). Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  21. ^ All Access Media Group, “There's Jelli All Over Four More Markets” (January 15, 2014) Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  22. ^ Radio and Television Business Report, "Jelli adds HOT 97, Others to Radio Ad Platform"
  23. ^ Radio World, "Sun Broadcast Deploys Jelli"
  24. ^ Radio Ink, "Sun Broadcast & Jelli Try to Shake Things Up"
  25. ^ FMQB, "Jelli Launches Record Number of Radio Stations on its Ad Platform in Q1 2014"
  26. ^ Media Post, "Programmatiac for Radio Catching On"
  27. ^ RAIN (Radio & Internet News), "Jelli Celebrates Q1 Growth of its Programmatic Ad Platform"
  28. ^ Media Confidential, "Jelli Expands to Seven More Stations"
  29. ^ Media Post, "Jelli Signs Up Emmis, Beasley Stations For Programmatic Radio Ads"
  30. ^ Radio Ink, "Emmis, Beasley Deploy Jelli’s Programmatic Ad Platform"
  31. ^ RBR, "Jelli adds major Emmis, Beasley stations"
  32. ^ RAIN (Radio & Internet News), "Radio claims “seat at the table” for programmatic buying: iHeart and Katz partner with Jelli"
  33. ^ AdAge, "iHeartMedia to Offer Automated Purchasing for Broadcast Radio"
  34. ^ TechCrunch, "iHeartMedia Is Bringing Programmatic Ad Buying To Its Broadcast Radio Stations"
  35. ^ Wall Street Journal, "iHeartMedia Will Sell Radio Ads Programmatically"
  36. ^ "iHeartMedia Is Acquiring an Ad-Tech Startup to Expand Programmatic Audio Advertising". Adweek. Retrieved 2018-11-19.

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