Yousician

Yousician
IndustryMusic education
FoundedDecember 2010; 12 years ago (2010-12)
FounderChris Thür & Mikko Kaipainen
Headquarters
Helsinki
,
Key people
  • Chris Thür
  • (CEO, co-founder)
ProductsYousician for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, Bass, Voice
Yousician for Educators
GuitarTuna
Number of employees
126
Websiteyousician.com

Yousician is a Finnish interactive and educational music service made to learn and play a musical instrument. It currently supports the following musical instruments: guitar, piano (keyboards), ukulele, bass, and voice.

History

Yousician Ltd. is a Helsinki based music education company founded by Chris Thür and Mikko Kaipainen in 2010 under the name Ovelin,[1] as part of the Startup Sauna accelerator programme at Aalto University.[2] The company develops and operates a music service called Yousician, and a tuner application called GuitarTuna.

In May 2020, Yousician launched its educational learning platform Guest Teacher Series, which provides music students with digital Q&A sessions with professional musicians.

In 2021, Yousician raised $28 million (€23.1 million[3]) in funding. In total, Yousician had at the end of 2021 series B investment round collected in total a funding of €35 million.[3] The company's largest investor is a Silicon Valley based firm True Ventures. New investors at this funding round included Amazon's Alexa Fund and MPL Ventures LLP. Several angel investors have also invested in Yousician.[4]

Yousician

Yousician is currently available for five instruments: guitar, piano, bass, ukulele, and voice. For each instrument, Yousician features a lesson plan developed and produced in-house by the company’s music educators. The lesson plans are designed like music courses and consist of lessons, exercises, tutorial videos and minigames.

Yousician's audio signal processing technology guides users as they learn to play real musical instruments. Users follow sheet music or tablature notation on their device’s screen and play along to a backing track. Using the device’s built-in microphone, Yousician gives feedback on accuracy and timing.

Yousician operates under a freemium model where one lesson per day is given for free, while unlimited lesson time is offered via paid subscriptions.

Reception

Yousician was released in November 2014, to mostly positive reviews. Guitar World called it "modern technology's gift to music education" and in March 2015 it was featured as 'Editor's Choice' in the Apple iOS App Store.[5] Critical voices usually do not question the product itself, but contrast it to the option of learning to play an instrument in private lessons. Voicesinc.org for example stated that “If you’re happy to learn from a digital screen, then it’s great, but if you want a lot more human interaction and demonstration, there may be some better options.” However, Yousician's CEO Chris Thür has said that using their app does not exclude in-person teaching, but may be used to supplement it.[6]

Yousician was one of Wired's top 100 European startups in 2012,[7] and were also featured in The Sunday Times "World's Best Apps List 2012".

In June 2018, Yousician began what the company has called a "sunset of the song upload feature", which was completed with the October 2018 update 2.58 that removed all user-generated content from the app.[8] The removal of user generated content sparked opposition among some vocal users online. Coincidence with introduction of what Yousician calls popular songs, licensed songs by well-known bands and artists, that was announced with the update 2.55 on 23 August 2018,[9] led to speculation about the motives of the decision, however Yousician as a company has not elaborated on the reasons of their business move.

In 2020, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences granted Yousician a gold at Lovie Awards in Apps, Mobile & Voice: Education & Reference category.[10][11] The same year, Yousician was nominated as the Digital Service of the Year by Software & E-Business of Finland.[12][13]

Legal controversy with Ubisoft

The creators of Yousician had been sued by Ubisoft over claimed patent infringement on their patent U.S. Patent 9,839,852, for an "Interactive guitar game", which Ubisoft had used in their music video game Rocksmith.[14] In August 2019, a federal district court ruled that the patent claims of Ubisoft were too broad and not defined in enough specificity, thus nullifying the patent and dismissing Ubisoft's suit.[15]

References

  1. ^ Lappalainen, Elina. "Tamperelaiselle Ovelinille miljoonasijoitus Piilaaksosta". Talouselämä. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  2. ^ Armstrong, Stephen. "Europe's hottest startups 2015: Helsinki". Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Tucker, Charlotte (30 April 2021). "Helsinki-based Yousician lands €23.1 million to reimagine music education". Eu-startups.com. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Yousician, The World's Leading Platform for Learning and Playing Music, Announces Closing of $28 Million Series B Round". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  5. ^ Priario, Guitar World. "Yousician Is a Fast, Fun Way to Learn to Play Guitar". Guitar World. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Yousician raises $28M to make music education more accessible". Social.techcrunch.com. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  7. ^ Cheshire, Tom. "Europe's 100 hottest startups 2012: Helsinki". Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Why is music uploading function disappeared?". Yousician.com. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  9. ^ "Yousician update - version 2.55". Yousician.com. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  10. ^ "Yousician Wins Gold at the Lovie Awards!". Yousician.com. 21 November 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  11. ^ "The Lovie Awards Winners Gallery". Winnersgallery.lovieawards.com. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Yousician Named Digital Service of the Year!". Yousician.com. 7 December 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Yousician on Vuoden Digipalvelu 2020: "Digitalisaatio voi tehdä jokaisesta muusikon" – Maailmassa jo kymmeniä miljoonia käyttäjiä". Ohjelmistoebusiness.fi. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  14. ^ US patent 9,839,852 
  15. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (August 13, 2019). "Ubisoft loses Rocksmith patent suit". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved August 13, 2019.

External links

  • Official website
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