StreetJelly BLOG: Community News, Video Streaming, Online Busking, and more…
Home » Archive by category "News and Press" (Page 2)

Commitment to Musicians Payout

A message from Frank Podlaha, CEO

Pile of TokensMany of you have probably noticed the new Payout Percentage we now display on the StreetJelly BuyTokens page. On the right hand side, we show a running average of the amount of cash that we pay back to musicians from the tokens purchased by fans. Let me explain a little deeper how it all works.

We do things a little differently on StreetJelly than most sites. Instead of just tipping in US Dollar amounts, we use tokens (and Rocker Pin awards) to show our love to the musicians. Each tipped token is always paid out at 16¢ (US). However, we sell those tokens for various prices depending on the size of the package a fan purchases. People like a deal when they buy in bulk. No difference with our tokens. The more you buy, the better price you get. The percentage of the money that goes to the musicians then varies depending on which package is purchased. The tokens vary in sale price from 32¢ to 20¢ (or 50% to 80% payout).

Of course, different people buy different packages. If we average out all the packages sold, we consistently get a payout above 70%. It’s been like that from the very beginning. We have just as many fans buy the larger token packages as do the smaller ones.

However, this is not the complete picture because we also give away tons of free tokens with promo-codes, contests, and other events. Think for a minute what happens when you get a promo-code worth 25 Free Tokens. Those extra tokens still become real cash that we payout to musicians. For example: if you buy the smallest package of 25 tokens at $8 with that promo, you actually receive 50 tokens (25 purchased + 25 free).  The payout to the musicians becomes $8, or 50 x .16 = $8.  100% of your purchase goes to the musicians. Cool, huh!?

We are displaying that full Payout Percentage on the BuyTokens page. It’s a running average over the past 30 days, and includes all the extra tokens we give away. On a side note: it does NOT include any fees/royalties we payout to the songwriters associations (BMI, ASCAP, etc). Those artists get their piece of the pie from our revenue, not the musicians. It’s our obligation to take care of that portion.

We are very proud that our true Payout Percentage is running in the mid-80s! It is our goal to always keep that at or above 80% and still stay in business.

Thank you for all the support!

~Frank Podlaha, CEO – a.k.a. Frankie

Payout Percentage - Feb 2015

Payout Percentage – Feb 2015

 

FiddlerMan

Guest blog by FiddlerMan, Pierre Holstien.
Meet our latest SJ friend and join us for the FiddlerMan Jamboree, Feb 21st, 2015, on StreetJelly.com.
The whole fiddle-SJ-gang will put on a fun day of string music in support of their community at FiddlerMan.com.

The FiddlerMan Bio

Pierre Holstein

Pierre Holstein

I’m, Pierre Holstein, otherwise known as FiddlerMan. I grew up and studied in South Florida. Don’t want to bore you with my education 🙂 Played professionally for over 30 years in the US and Europe. Began working as a violinist in South Florida for 5 years including South Florida Symphony Orchestra and Miami City Ballet before moving to Sweden with my wonderful Swedish wife.

In Sweden I was a concert master in Gävle Symfoniorkester and had two great children, Michael 1988 and Emilie 1990. Four years later I became one of the Section Leaders in Malmö Symfoniorkester and stayed for 16 years before giving it all up to move back to sunny Florida with our family. Since professional orchestras in South Florida don’t provide acceptable income, benefits, and security, I felt the desire to do something slightly different.

Fiddlerman.comNot knowing where it would take me I founded FiddlerMan.com with the intention of providing violinists, both new and experienced, a great place to learn, improve, get motivated, and just hangout. In addition to all it’s many resources, interested members participate in community virtual group video projects which they work on, record, submit for me to mix and post on YouTube.

The popularity of FiddlerMan.com led to the start of FiddlerShop.com in January 2012 which I am running with the help of my son. My knowledge of string instruments makes it easier to choose, test, adjust and suggest great affordable instruments for our customers. We also sell Basses, Cellos, Violas, Guitars, Ukuleles and Mandolins plus accessories. I believe that if we can’t satisfy a customer we haven’t done our job.

I strongly encourage our members to perform on streetjelly for it’s unlimited benefits of performance and motivation.

Thanks for this site.

This, That, and Thanks

Some quick news and site updates to come.  ~frankie

2014 is coming to a close.  Here in the States, we kick off the holiday season with our Thanksgiving.  Then the real holiday insanity begins!

Here at StreetJelly, we are most thankful for another wonderful year of growth.  We are immensely grateful to all the musicians and viewers on the site that make it great.  Thank you, Jellyfish!!!
New Layout

This past month, we released a new design of StreetJelly.  It’s more correct to say this was a “partial” release.  We are not done making changes!  The changes you see were mainly to the homepage, logo, branding, etc.  Some of the old sections on the homepage:  upcoming schedule, new members, friends of SJ, etc. appear to be missing.  Don’t worry, they are coming back.  We are currently working on getting these features back on the site with the new look.  We will slowly trickle in these updates from time to time.

Next, we are also working on upgrading the broadcasting software to full mp4 (H.264 + AAC stereo) compatibility.  This will allow the streaming to be playable on any device, specifically iPhones / iPads, without having to run a special Flash-converter browser like Photon or Puffin’.  Broadcasting at full mp4 is also the precursor for deploying a true mobile app version of StreetJelly.  Expect to see the mobile app by first or second quarter of 2015.

The rest of our (very long) To-Do list includes services to better promote our artists and viewing experience.  On the short list will be affiliate programs and discounts for 3rd party musician services, a SJ store for musician merch, customizable broadcasting pages to set your econcert mood and vibe, and plenty more nifty ideas we have up our sleeves.

Thank you, again, StreetJelly community.  Great things are still to come!

Year Two – We Keep Rolling

Happy 2nd Anniversary, StreetJelly!  August 17th, 2014

Anniversary TwoOn August 17th, 2012, the very first musician performed on StreetJelly.com!  …and to quote a great lyric, “what a long strange trip it has been.”  Yes, year two is now in the books, and we keep on truckin’.  It has been an intense busy year.  The site has grown tremendously and we are most proud that we still keep it a friendly fun destination for pure live music on the web.  Here are some quick stats to date:

  • 70,000 unique visitors came to the site 300k times
  • 1.3 million page hits
  • 696,000 minutes of streaming video, 11,600 hours
  • 14,800 musical performances
  • 1,540 musicians on StreetJelly
  • 306,400 tokens tipped to musicians, that’s over ¼ million tokens – $50k
    THAT’S A LOT OF TIPS ! ! !

Read about Year One click here

Timeline Highlights

Jellypalooza 2013August 18th, 2013 – Jellypalooza Online Music Festival! We kicked off our one-year anniversary with the first ever truly Online Live Streaming Music Festival. 12 hours straight of continuous multiple streaming musicians.  The Second Annual Jellypalooza is scheduled on 8/31/2014, Labor Day weekend.

August 25th, 2013Meadow Ryan Album Release Party.

October 19th, 2013 – Big Deal Extravaganza!  Awardees of the Big Deal rocker pin (a 500 token value) perform special back-to-back shows. Clifton Printy, Image and Family, and Lana Mason.

Halloween JamOctober 31, 2013 – Halloween Jam!  StreetJelly musicians perform live shows in scary …and silly costumes.

Mini-Merv

Mini-Merv

November 10, 2013 – The Merv Roast  Amanda secretly plans a surprise roasting of Merv.  Mini-Merv looses his shins!

December 15, 2013 – Jelly Jingle  Oh, this was so much fun.  All day, SJ musicians performed Christmas and Holiday carols.  We are totally doing this every year.Christmas Jelly Jingle

December 31, 2013 – Another tradition continued.  Our second New Year’s celebration by SJ musicians singing Auld Lang Syne in every US timezone.  19 more timezones to go for next year.

January 28, 2014 – StreetJelly wins 1st place in the Tennessee Veteran’s Business Associations business plan competition.

Purple Lana

Purple Saturday

February 14, 2014 – Sing me a Love Song Night  Who needs dinner and chocolates when you get great musicians singing all love songs live on Valentine’s Day.

March 1, 2014 – Purple Saturday  Purple what?  It’s a StreetJelly thing, you gotta know the SJ anthem – Purple Rain.  “Purple Saturday” was our tribute to all things purple.  It was a ton of …uhem …purple fun.

May to July, 2014 – Street Jelly Media, Inc. participates in a media business accelerator program, MediaWorks, hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.  This is behind the scenes stuff, but nonetheless an important step in growing StreetJelly to the next level.  It takes a village (not my words) to build a great and successful start-up.

July 2014 – The Great StreetJelly Guitar Giveaway Music Video Contest  :flatley!This was the battle of all jelly battles for a beautiful brand new J. Backlund Retronix R-800 guitar.  There was jelly-blood everywhere by the time the dust settled.  But only one musician was victorious – Alex Mason of Nashville, TN.

Here are all the great music video entries…

What’s Next?

Two big things coming for 2015.

  1. Website Updates: design and features.  Yep, we’re not going to keep it the same forever.  Stay tuned for pretty layout changes, and as always, new features.
  2. Mobile App.  Yes, let’s get our jelly-fix everywhere and anywhere.

Discover New Music

Trying to discover new music is definitely a journey.  And I mean a journey in the true sense.  You may know the destination, and you may have a general direction how to get there.  But every step of the way, every path you take, is a new discovery.  Trying to find new music is the same way.  Nothing wrong with taking the long road, the wrong road, getting stuck in traffic circles, and even a few dead-ends now and then. In the end, you’ll love the ride …and the music.

Since we started the Music Video Contest on StreetJelly in July, and really a few months prior, we’ve seen a ton of new acts pop up on the site.  Oh what a treat it has been!!  In no way do I mean to leave anyone out, but here are some of the acts I’ve really enjoyed:

Dick LeMasters

Dick LeMasters

Dick LeMasters brings us true Americana and Texas music.  I say this with the absolute most respect: his “crusty old-buzzard music” will rock your evening!

 

Old Gold

Old Gold

Old Gold, from Saint John, New Brunswick.  He sings the great singer / songwriter songs we all love.  Simon and Garfunkel, need I say more.

 

Alex Mason

Alex Mason

Alex Mason is around with his band.  You’ve never heard these young guys rock the word PANTS permanently into your head with their new song.  And Grand Market is another great new original.

 

Mark Allan Jensen

Mark Allan Jensen

Speaking of originals, our old friend Mark Allan Jensen has been busy with his repertoire of intense and thought provoking songs.  The venerable artist loads every song with prayer-like meaning.

 

Quinn Direwytch

Quinn Direwytch

Quinn Direwytch from the UK is a great addition to StreetJelly, as well.  She’s a blend of folk, country, blues, rock; what else could be better?  I dig her quote that sums up her love for music, “It’s three chords and the truth.”

 

 


Everyone, make sure you check out ALL the new musicians on StreetJelly.  Say hello, make them feel welcome and part of the Jelly family.  Remember, were all belong to the Jelly Welcoming Army.

And all the new folks, I hope you all enjoy performing on StreetJelly.  Don’t sweat it if it feels a little odd performing to a webcam, you’ll get used to it.  The viewers on the site are very nice, even if they are sometimes quiet.  We love our Jelly Flies, too.

Who are your new favorites?

More Testimonials

Last week we posted a question on Facebook about what you love about StreetJelly.  Here are some of the responses…

“And what do I love about StreetJelly?  It’s the great people on the site like the ones below.”  ~Frankie

Streetjelly is the best live music site on the web. Why? Because you can listen to all kinds of different artists from all over the globe with just the push of a button. It doesn't matter what type of music you're into, there is truly something for everyone. And for artists it is especially cool, because you can actually get paid just for performing right from your home. That's right, people actually can tip you with tokens that are converted to real money, meaning you can make money for your efforts. Whether you're a music fan that just enjoys listening to live music or an artist looking for an outlet to perform in front of a live audience, Streetjelly is the place to be. So don't waste any more time reading this...go to Streetjelly.com now and have some fun, because the people there are truly awesome as well. See ya soon on the Jelly!!!!!I was introduced to StreetJelly from my Brother Trevor Holmes ,..and since then I find myself going to the site on a daily basis. I have met SO many wonderful people on there and have never laughed so hard in my life. I not only get to hear Great Musicians play daily,.. but can just be myself and have intelligent conversations in chat while quality Music plays wether covers or originals. I feel very comfortable here playing and also listening . I tell all my Friends, Family & fellow Musicians about it so they can enjoy what I have been honored to enjoy. A quality LIVE webcast sight. I try to send out links on social media to bring other people in to see what they are missing. I don,t always use jelly on my Hot Peanut Buttered toast,...but when I do,...I use " StreetJelly " lol Long live StreetJelly ! Streetjelly is the most awesome site for both musicians and fans alike!. It gives musicians the opportunity to hone their trade in a relatively safe environment. It give fans the opportunity to discover new music and to see live shows of artists they like no matter where in the world that artist is based.My family and I are 100% addicted to Streetjelly. It is a great outlet for us to share the music we love with others. It has also be instrumental in helping my son,Robert, to come out of his shell and interact on a social level with amazing people across the globe. We absolutely adore Streetjelly and wish this great site nothing but the best. Streetjelly ROCKS!!!!!!Streetjelly is the best experience I've had. There are so many talented performers. And really once you've tried one your hooked. Its so much more than just listening. Once you listen You really become a part of a group of friendly people, that is more like a family.I love Streetjelly for so many reasons! But my top two would probably be, I get to share my talent in a fun and easy way and that I have made so many huckleberry friends and almost every show I make at least one new friend WHY I LOVE STREETJELLY? EXCELLENT MUSICAL ARTIST COMMUNITY, RECEPTIVE AUDIENCES, PLUS EXCELLENT INTERNET INTERFACE. STREETJELLY PROVIDES HIGH QUALITY AUDIO AND VIDEO, ALONG WITH FAMILY-FRIENDLY CHAT.

Always would love to hear more! And don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

With a Little Help from me Friends

FriendsWe live in interesting times.  Anyone with a few free computer programming tools can create an internet company.  Anyone with a guitar and webcam can broadcast their music to the world and reach millions.  Oops, did I just peg the Bullsh!t Meter?  I did.  While those statements are technically true, they are extremely hard.  Extremely hard!

It’s so hard, we often think it is purely a one-in-a-million chance to make any headway in this world.  Reality TV shows like The Voice and SharkTank give us this sense that we have to “win” our way to the top with luck.  Having great luck does help, and most humble, successful people will tell you that luck did play a major part in their accomplishments.  But I also believe helping-others-to-the-top exposes us to the best opportunities …and is the most satisfying way to get through our busy lives.

It’s really simple, when you can help another person – just do it.  It doesn’t mean you have to fall over everyone you meet (people will think you’re creepy), nor does it mean you have to give-away every product or service you sell for free (people understand you have to make a living, run a business, obey your boss).  But it means a simple gesture of support, an email or phone call to a new contact, or even a purchase of a product or gift can make all the difference in the world to someone.  StreetJelly people are the BEST at this! <3

Yes, I’m starting to sound a bit preachy – but it’s something I try to do as often as possible in my tech world and, of course, on StreetJelly.  Let me tell you about the community I live in and the support StreetJelly gets.  I live in Knoxville, TN, a medium sized city in the foothills of the great Smokey Mountains.  Three main industries prevail in the area: the Oak Ridge National Laboratories (technology/engineering), the University of Tennessee (education/research), and Media/Entertainment.  After the big cities like New York, LA, etc., Knoxville is the 5th or 6th largest city in media and entertainment.  Most of your cable TV programming comes out of companies in Knoxville like HGTV, the Food Network, and so on.  It’s a great place to live and work.

We also have a thriving entrepreneur community supported greatly by these industries (see more about the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center).  As a young start-up business, StreetJelly receives support from a slew of these organizations.  It’s the “rising tide lifts all boats” thing.  This support system works not because of some mandated budget by any one organization, but because the folks involved enjoy (as much as I do) to help others succeed.

LineSharkAudio.com

LineShark Audio

I tell you all this because in the coming weeks, StreetJelly is going to do its part and help promote another music start-up from Knoxville.  The company is LineShark.  It’s a new business where a pair of engineering geeks (I say that affectionately) and part-time musicians have invented a cool universal connector device.  It allows musicians to plug their instrument into an iPad and perform LIVE music back out to an amp with a full studio console of affects.  Yes, Androids work too, but most of the cool music apps are on the iPad.

LineShark is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign, set to end April 24th, 2014.  We are going to host a “Kickstarter Party” on StreetJelly, April 9th, to help promote their venture.  The actual event will be held at the entrepreneur center, downtown Knoxville.  We will stream a live demo of the product on StreetJelly, plus have guest musicians perform with the device.  It will be a hoot.  It’s the least we can do!!!

~frankie, a.k.a. The King of StreetJelly

ps – Be on the look out for more fun StreetJelly partnerships with local music businesses.

Upgrade Your Flash Version

We are upgrading our broadcaster software to use Flash version 11.4 or higher.

Adobe Flash SoftwareBackground:  The StreetJelly broadcaster software uses Flash Media Live Encoder (FMLE) for streaming.  This all happens automatically for musicians on StreetJelly behind the scenes.  Most websites use this technology for streaming, as well.  Many times, people cringe when they hear “Flash” website.  They think of those tacky animations from 10 years ago.  We do not use any part of that, but only the FMLE portion to connect to ones camera and microphone.

The FMLE comes as part of the Flash software installed on most desktops: Windows, Apple Macbook, etc.  It is typically not available for mobile devices: Android phones and tablets no longer support Flash, and iPhone/iPads never supported it.

Currently:  The StreetJelly broadcasting page for musicians uses features in the FMLE that require a minimum of Flash v10.3 or higher.  We have been at this version for some time to accommodate a few stragglers who may have trouble with older audio equipment.  This version produces a stream format, however, that can only be viewed by other Flash devices.  Hence, StreetJelly can only be viewed easily on desktops with Flash.  It’s much more complicated to view performances with other devices without 3rd party software, side-jacking, etc.

The Upgrade:  We are upgrading the musician’s broadcasting page with features found in FMLE v11.4 (or higher) that will use newer and improved streaming formats.  Specifically, we’re moving to an mp4 h.264 codec.  This will allow StreetJelly to transmit in mp4 (h.264 + aac) to mobile devices.  Yes, this is part of a larger project to build mobile apps of StreetJelly!

So what should I do?  Probably nothing.  Most everyone has Flash installed on their computers to automatically update (its default setting).  The current Flash version is v12.0.0 (March 2014).  Click this link to see what version of Flash you have installed.  Only a few folks may have turned off the auto-update to keep them at a specific older version.  This is most likely due to newer Flash versions not being compatible with older microphone equipment and sound drivers.  To that point, those folks need to take a systematic approach to upgrading.  They should install the highest version they can that still works with their equipment.  Below are some links to get started.

Links

To install the latest version of Flash:
http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

To install older versions of Flash:
http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions/  Choose “click here for older versions…” below on that page.

StreetJelly Test Flash 11 page (musician account only):
http://www.StreetJelly.com/test_flash11

Contact us if you have problems:
support@streetjelly.com

The Tape from Hell – War Music

StreetJelly Big Check

Many of you have seen this past week, Frank Podlaha (a.k.a. Frankie) and StreetJelly won first prize in the 2014 Tennessee Veterans Business Association Business-Plan Competition.  Folks have been asking about Frank’s service in the U.S. Army and his time as a helicopter crew chief in Operation Desert Storm.  Here’s one of his stories…

“No shit, there I was…”  All good war stories should start like that.  So there I was, or more precisely, there we were:  Saudi Arabia, December 1990, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, somewhere in the desert north of Hafar Al Batin, south of the Iraqi border.  My buddies and I spent our days maintaining AH-1F Cobra Attack Helicopters.  We were crew chiefs, or more accurately, helicopter mechanics and aviation crewmen.  We were getting our aircraft ready for the impending ground invasion for Operation Desert Storm.  Although at the time, it was known as Operation Desert Shield.

Frankie and AH-1F Cobra

We worked out of the back of a 5-ton Army truck converted into a small tool shop.  It was jammed packed in every corner with wrenches, sockets, gauges, you name it.  It had everything we needed to work on the helicopters.  But the one most important thing it didn’t have: music!  That’s ok, though, as we brought along our own portable am/fm radio cassette player.  I can’t remember the brand – but think of a smaller one-speaker Emerson type model.  It was physically the size of a breakfast cereal box.

Frankie,  Gulf War, 1991

Frankie, Gulf War, 1991

We had plenty of C-size batteries to run the mini boom-box, plus we had AC power whenever we stopped rolling and cranked up the generator.  Six or seven guys hung out daily in the back of this truck.  We all had various musical tastes, but for the most part we all liked the rock classics.  At the time, the best pop music could give us was “Ice-Ice Baby.”  I know!

After a few weeks of being in-country, we ran through playing all our cassettes ad nauseam.  No, there were no radio stations way out in the desert, not even the propaganda station Baghdad Betty.  “Play this cassette.”  “No, we just heard that, play this.”  “No way.”  “Don’t even think about putting that junk on.”  That’s what our musical decisions were reduced to.

Then it happened, purely out of frustration or musical despair, Mike Carper …or was it Bryan Benz, laid down the musical law and said while holding up the Rolling Stones Hot Rocks tape, “we will only listen to this cassette in this truck until we get back home!”  Ooooh-kay.  Sounded like absolute silliness to play one tape for the rest of our tour, but what the hey!

Snake DoctorsAnd that’s what we did, play that double-sided greatest-hits album over and over again in that truck.  And I mean over and over and over and over again.  FIVE MONTHS STRAIGHT!  At first, it was kind of fun, then a bit annoying.  But after a while, it was truly an adventure in insanity to see if we could really pull it off.  Days turned into weeks, weeks into months.

We repaired the tape at least five times.  Yep, you remember those old cassette players – 1 out of 20 tapes got chewed up inside.  Not a problem for us, we were ass-kicking Cobra “snake doctors.”  Surely we can repair a cassette tape.  And we did with a pair of jewelers screw drivers and a little bit of scotch tape.  We spliced that recording back together each time.

We traveled 100s of miles through the desert, perhaps 1000s.  We crossed the boarder into Iraq, entered Kuwait from its north, crossed back into Iraq.  Many sleepless nights, many long days – but we always had Hot Rocks to listen to.  The tape sounded horrible after time.  But it didn’t matter, flip it over and let’s listen to it again!
Rolling Stones Hot Rocks
There you have it, we never played another tape in the that truck the entire war.  The cassette made it back with us to Germany in 1991.  We christened it “The Tape from Hell” and eventually mounted it on a plaque.  The team gave it to Mike, our Sergeant, as a gift when he left the Army.

…and yes, I know every word on that dang album.  And to this day, I have not listened to Hot Rocks since.  ~frankie

“Drum roll please… [brrprrprrprrprr]  And now, Ladies and Jellymen, allow me to introduce… The Tape from Hell

The Tape from Hell