Radio stations are complex animals that need the care and feeding by many humans behind the scenes. Program directors. Music directors. Announcers. Production people. You need quite an army.
Or do you?
97X, a station owned by Cox in Tampa Bay, turned the whole operation over to listeners last night at 5pm ET. Using a technology called Listener Driven Radio from LDR Interactive, the station is now run by “crowdcasting” its audience.
It works like this: through a custom web interface (along with an iOS app), listeners are able to vote on which song comes next. (Remember the MTV competitor called The Box? They sort of worked this way but with votes coming via telephone. We didn’t have the Interwebs yet.)
It’s not like the audience controls everything about the radio station, but they do have a strong say in what’s coming up next. Read a summary of what’s going on in Tampa at TechCrunch.