Some of you have no doubt noticed some changes at JellyTelly over the weekend. As of last Friday, Focus on the Family has taken over the technical backend of the site in addition to handling marketing and funding. To attempt to pay for all of this, they have re-activated the subscription model. For those of you who remember back to the beginning, JellyTelly was always supposed to be a subscription site, because that seemed like the only viable way to pay for the content we needed to create. After a two month-long trial, we dropped subscriptions and just opened the site up for free while we looked around for a partner to help keep things going.
Well, we now have a partner, we're conceiving new programming, and we need some kind of revenue stream to recover some of the money we're spending. So the subscription model has returned! If this works, of course, it will allow us to pay for all sorts of great Christian content for you kids.
A few people have already written in, complaining that they liked JellyTelly better when it was free. Well, free is fun, but it isn't really sustainable. Others had written in complaining that they hadn't seen much new programming on JellyTelly this year, and that would go hand-in-hand with the fact that the site has generated zero revenue since we made it free. No revenue equals no money for new programming. This is one of the rules of the universe. In fact, had Focus on the Family not stepped in when they did, JellyTelly.com probably would have gone dark 3 or 4 months ago, because we were plum out of cash.
So hurray! We're still here! But reality is upon us, and we need to generate some revenue in order to fund new programming. So starting last Friday, certain areas of the site are open to everyone for free, but access to the entire site requires a subscription of $4.99 per month. This might sound like a lot, until you realize that memberships at popular sites like Club Penguin, Disney's ToonTown and others are all $5.99 per month and higher. With Focus on the Family covering all our expenses while we try to generate subscription income, we'll be creating all sorts of new programming and games to throw your way! So sign up! Help us make something really cool for your kids! Buck Denver's gotta eat! (Well, not really… but you get my drift.)
The "free lunch" is over, but dinner is on its way and it's going to be delicious! (Did that make any sense? I'm not sure – but it's the best I could do on short notice…)
We may be in the minority, but my family is actually glad to see subscriptions return! We signed up the first day when JellyTelly went live a year ago and loved it. I was a little disappointed when the subscription model was dropped early this year, because I wanted a way to continue support this worthy endeavor.
When the pay wall went back up this weekend, my family resubscribed without a momentâ€™s hesitation. We are eagerly looking forward to the new content on the way!
Well, I’m glad to hear that Jelly Telly is at least on the right track. When you mentioned that you can now start generating new content, are you still accepting user/independent-made content?
This is a *GREAT* move. “Free” never lasts. There is really only 3 options:
3) Subscription/paid programming
It seems that in this industry, #3 makes the most sense.
Sounds like a fair price to me. It costs a lot more than that just to take my kids out to McDonald’s.
I think it’s a great move you’re making. I’m almost thinking about paying for a subscription just to support you, even though my 3 and 1 year old norwegian kids won’t really watch it anyways. 🙂
oh.. I tried to pay for a trial month, but couldn’t pay with a credit card outside of Norway.. Any plans to open this up?
oh.. I tried to pay for a trial month, but couldn’t pay with a credit card outside of USA.. Any plans to open this up?
Is the free content available forever or is it a trial period kind of thing?
I don’t know why anyone would complain. It’s a small fee for, content that is WAY better than any other Disney project. And, by the way, I got your metaphor.
Hey, just want to second that question from Paul Hastings: Will you guys still be accepting user-made/independent projects?
Not complaining at all, it’s great you guys are still in business, but I’m just stating the fact that I paid for a subscription when jellytelly first started, but unfortunately after the site became free my job ended and I haven’t been paying for anything over the bare minimum, and I was just looking forward to the great Christmas specials too… Oh well, It’s great that you guys are still in business, can’t wait to see the new programming, hopefully I should have a fulltime (ie not ‘holiday’) job by early 2010, so I’ll be able to tune into JT once again
Phil, this is good news (even though we all like free stuff). We subbed at the very beginning with JT, and have subbed again. My kids love JT but would really like to see some new programming in the coming months.
One thing that really stood out, both then and now, is the lack of brand marketing for JT. I know marketing takes $$, but I never heard about JT anywhere except your blog and a couple of obscure Christian websites. I hope Focus will bring a massive awareness to the JT brand.
Another idea I have suggested via email: create a 15 minute weekly radio program and offer this for free to stations as a teaser to pull people in to JellyTelly.com. As the program manager for a Christian FM station, I would love to have another fun and wacky show on Saturday mornings for kids to tune in to. Obviously, not all of JT would translate to a non-visual medium, but a lot of the “What’s in the Bible?” segments would be great, as well as songs, Pirate Etiquette, etc. Think about it! 🙂
My wife and i heard about you at the Focus on Parenting simulcast this weekend. We went home and checked it out and she signed up right away. The kids (boys 10 and 6) have watched it every day since and it’s a big hit.
Thanks for continuing to tell these great stories.
I was wondering about this… but im glad you have explained it. I have been thinking a lot about the lack of good quality “Christian” programming. The only “Christian” tv series I can think of was Christy back in the 90s. Wouldnt it be great if there was a God focussed crime/mystery show on tv, or a dramedy like Gilmore Girls or something… not like 7th Heaven and more like Joan of Arcadia or Touched by an Angel.
Just some thoughts….
That is a small price to pay for our kids hearts. Go get them and thank God for JellyTelly. Also, thank God for Focus on the Family.
Hey, any chance you will take Paypal or other alternative payment methods; I would sub right now if you took Paypal.
“Jelly on, partner!”
I’m so glad this is working out. 🙂 We need to do the gift cards again!
I bought and watched Saint Nicholas this week.
It was pretty good! I liked the opening like a storybook… the animation was lovely… the music great but not excellent. Larry was not as annoying as usual… that was nice and Bob was great…. Good job for your work Phil (I know you arent there anymore but I know you write/ voice characters etc)
Cant wait for Whats in the Bible? Next Spring!
I hate to be the scrooge here, but the price is a little high for what little we are actually getting. Many other video sites exist for free. Certainly Focus on the Family — not to mention Big Idea — has enough material and connections to set this up as an advertising venture. If viewers like what they see they are much more likely to buy commercial copies, just like music on the radio. Nobody wants to watch those tiny little videos forever, and they won’t like paying to do so. I suspect that for every family who says ‘Yea’ and signs up, ten will just say ‘Sorry kids. Let’s find something else.’
Sounds resonable to me! My son and I watch everyday after school. We randomly quote characters and sing parts of songs thoughout the day! LOVE your work! Jelly on!
Worth, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So the real question here is, what is the eye of the beholder worth? All this to say that you’ve shared your vision and goals more than adequately over the last twenty some years Phil so God bless you in your (ad)ventures.
Go for it Phil! Anyway this Canadian can support you other than through a subscription? It won’t take my credit card….. since I’m out of the country.