LONDON, 7 MARCH 2013 — Music education software developer Joytunes has been named the winner of the fourth EMI Innovation Challenge held in association with London-based music business consultancy Music Ally. The company, which makes applications to aid musical instrument learning with a strong gaming slant, impressed the panel of judges and the audience at EMI’s London headquarters with their growing business based around apps for piano and recorder and their plans for future expansion.
The latest EMI Innovation Challenge, which was established as part of the OpenEMI initiative, was held on 5 March and attracted an audience of developers, music technology start-ups, investors and other music industry professionals. Eight entrepreneurs pitched to the panel of judges which comprised executives from EMI, event sponsors Sheridans, venture capital firms DN Capital and Index Ventures and Nadav Porav, founder and CEO of Whosampled which won the last EMI Innovation Challenge in October. The business models pitched ranged from crowd-sourced concert footage and interactive live event apps to online music production and augmented sheet music. The eight entrants at the sell out event were: 45Sound, BuddyBounce, Makelight Interactive, Musemantik, Six3, Spins.FM, Weezic and the winner, JoyTunes.
“Innovation in the digital music area is rampant and investment in digital music start ups is accelerating,” says Rob Wells, Universal Music Group’s President, Global Digital Business. “The EMI Innovation Challenge event is a colorful petri dish of digital music ideas and opportunities brought together with investors and venture capitalists and is an indication of the leadership position that UMG/EMI has taken in this fast growing arena.”
JoyTunes was formed in 2010 to transform the way people learn and practice music and has so far released two apps – Piano Dust Buster and Recorder Master which use gaming to teach musical skills either through a real or virtual instrument. To date Piano Dust Buster has been downloaded more than a million times with its users currently playing more than 800,000 songs a week.
Presenting the company to the EMI Innovation Challenge 2013, co-founder, Music Director and principal oboist in the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra Yigal Kaminka said: “This is just the beginning. We will very soon be expanding to more audiences and more instruments.”
EMI Music’s VP Digital Projects Neil Tinegate said: “These events provide a great opportunity for people within all areas of the music industry to meet some of the most innovative and exciting start ups and strike up new relationships and share ideas. Thanks to all the pitching companies, judges and audience for making our latest innovation challenge such a fun and productive evening.”