Radio station lets listeners pick, vote on playlist - FOX 13 News

Radio station lets listeners pick, vote on playlist

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

You've probably never been inside the 97X studio but now, believe it or not, you're running it.

"What we're doing right now maybe the biggest change in radio," said Program Director Michael Sharkey.

As of Friday, the rock station switched to an all-listener driven show -- 24/7, you vote and decide what airs.

A smart phone app lets you choose songs and vote others up or down. It means you shouldn't hear the same few songs on repeat.

You can also record your own voice and be on the air.

"Others have tried it, sampled it. We're going all in," said Music Guide Danielle McBroom.

"We used to have 400 songs. Now, we have 1,800. You have all those songs in the palm of your hand," she added.

"It is the marriage of the personal experience of an iPod and the mass experience of every time you listen to the radio," Sharkey said.

97X is the first station in the market to go this route. While it does mean more music, some longtime fans like Devin Cook are turned off by the new format.

"If I want to pick my own song I'll plug in my iPod or Pandora," he said.

Like some others, he's disappointed to see programming like the Morning X go away with the format change.

"It is not a bad thing to be able to vote for your music, but to have just that is disappointing overall," he said.

But staffers are optimistic about the change, and the numbers have been promising: so far, the app has been downloaded about 14,000 times and roughly 1.1 million votes have been cast.

"97X has been in need of a change, I believe this is a great opportunity for us," McBroom said.

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