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"YES enables the masses to interact with the same radio programming they already listen to through familiar devices they
already own."
—— CEO George Searle

WILL LISTENERS SAY YES TO YES?

Airplay to Impulse Buy—New Company Hotwires Radio and Retail
Earlier today, YES Networks, a company based in suburban Philadelphia, launched a website that allows radio listeners to (A) find out what’s playing on the station they’re listening to and (B) immediately buy the album.

Using what geeks refer to as "concurrency technology" to monitor participating stations—initially numbering more than 1,000—yes.net displays real-time airplay data as well as airplay logs for the previous 24 hours, more or less. The site’s intuitively simple toolbar also offers access to amazon.com and CDNow for impulse purchases. So YES is killing two birds with one stone—making up for the lack of back-announcing on many commercial stations and saving listener/consumers a trip to the mall. Users can also order ducats from ticketsnow.com and related merch via eBay.

The company gets a cut of CD, merch and ticket sales, which it shares with participating stations.

"Our goal is to create a universal response tool that consumers can use to interact with and buy the products and services they learn about and fall in love with through media," YES President Daniel Goldscheider explains in nearly flawless English. "Media holds a unique ability to organically create demand for any product or service that it promotes. YES provides a simple way for media, merchants and consumers to satisfy that demand immediately."

Goldscheider then goes so far as to herald his company’s approach as "the third major leap in the evolution of radio," following the births of FM and stereo.

That may be a bit of a stretch, but a quick test of the YES site using KROQ L.A. showed it to be easy to use and a handy way to solve the riddle of what band Jed the Fish played while you were driving back from your mid-afternoon meeting.

YES is the result of a merger between Switzerland’s YES International AG and American-based ConneXus Corporation, which came up Star CD, an earlier interactive radio service, three years ago. But concurrency technology and e-commerce were combined well before trhat. GetMedia employed a similar concept based on the technology in the mid-’90s, but hardly anybody made use of the service, and the company went out of business. YES is betting that the current climate is much more conducive to the viability of such a concept—although considering the state of the economy, "betting" is an apt term.

Says YES CEO and ConneXus founder George Searle, hopefully: "The promise of interactivity has long suffered from the classic chicken-and-egg problem of insufficient users, content options and devices. YES solves that problem by enabling the masses to interact with the same radio programming they already listen to through familiar devices they already own."

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