WTMX-FM (101.9) is turning over the evening hours to its listeners. Thanks to new software developed for WTMX parent Bonneville International by a firm called Listener Driven Radio, WTMX listeners can go to the radio station website and vote for the songs they want to hear on the station, according Lewis Lazare, Media columnist for sun-times.com.
The songs with the most votes will immediately become the playlist each evening Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight. This approach differs dramatically from that at a station such as adult hits WJMK-FM (104.3), where listeners get only a predetermined playlist fed to them by the station.
The new WTMX format has been dubbed “U-Mix-It,” and Erin Carman has been tapped as host of the experimental program. She previously was a weekend and fill-in host at WTMX. “I feel like I’ve been cast in the role of a lifetime,” said Carman, who described the new format as “instant gratification in an instantaneous world.”
Indeed, the new approach reflects a movement in many areas of broadcasting to give the public considerably more control. Greg Solk, programming honcho for WTMX parent Bonneville International, hopes the new audience-controlled format will establish a closer bond between station and listeners by allowing them to become more involved. “I think this will help audiences get more excited about radio,” explained Solk.
He also believes the new format will offer some of the same appeal that has made TV shows such as “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” hugely popular. “The social aspect of entertainment and the connection of ‘shared experience’ of driving the outcome resonates strongly with audiences,” explained Solk.
Read more here.