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RAIN 05/12: Jelli closes on $7 million in funding

Posted on: 05/13/2010


Crowdsourced radio platform Jelli announced today it has closed a $7 million Series A round of funding led by Battery Ventures.

Jelli allows listeners to determine a radio show’s or station’s musical programming by interacting online. The funding will be used for “radio market expansion, new product development and team growth.”

Jelli CEO Mike Dougherty presented Jelli to last fall’s RAIN Summit East and spoke on a panel at RAIN Summit North in March (video here).


Motley Fool columnist Rick Aristotle Munarriz, who covers broadcasting and satellite radio, suggests the relative cost to consumers for mobile connectivity is too high to allow Internet radio to eclipse broadcast radio, and even satellite radio.

Munarriz wrote in response to last week’s New York Times article ‘Will the Internet Kill Traditional Car Radio?’ (here and covered in RAIN here).

He writes, “It’s hard to imagine more than half of the country paying $100 or so for smartphone plans, or $60 a month for mobile hotspots. The potential market is big enough to dent terrestrial radio, but it won’t obliterate AM and FM altogether.” Even satellite radio, at $15 a month, is cheaper than mobile Internet, he explains. And if someone pays for mobile Internet, they may just also pay for satellite radio.

He concedes that, long-term, mobile Internet radio will likely have a “leveling” effect on the industry. That is, some small operators will gain visibility at the expense of bigger players. “Thankfully for terrestrial and satellite radio, that day is far, far away,” he finishes. Read the article online here.


RAJAR says that while listening to radio in the UK via the Internet remains a very small portion of overall radio listening, it has increased substantially compared to the same period last year.

The Radio Joint Audience Research Ltd., or RAJAR, released its Q1 2010 listening study today. It reveals Internet listening is up 29% over the first quarter of 2009, and now has a 2.9% share of UK radio listening.

By way of comparison, RAIN’s own calculations (based on measurements from Ando Media and estimates of unmeasured major webcasters, as described in Kurt Hanson’s “State of the Industry” address) put Internet radio’s share of U.S. listening at about 3.2%.

“Radio listening via mobile phone remains steady with 12.6% of adults aged 15+ in Q1, 2010 claiming to have listened to radio via their mobile phone,” RAJAR’s press release reads. “In the 25+ demographic 9.2% of adults now claim to listen to the radio via their mobile phone.” Here’s the press release.

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