Researching Relevant Markets

September 16, 2019

In my previous post, I explored academic research relevant to Project Legato. Here, I look into companies and products relevant to the Project.

This post is split into 3 main sections - describing the market sectors relevant to my research, looking into relevant companies, and finally looking into relevant music education products/games.

Describing the Markets For Music Educational Video Games

Music Educational Video Games clearly are relevant to two market sectors - the music education market, and the educational video game market.

The US Educational market was valued at approximately $1.35 billion USD in 2017, expected to exceed $2 billion by 2026. source

According to the Entertainment Software Association, video game revenue peaked at $43.8 billion in 2018. source.

A report from 2018 forecasts that the edutainment market may reach over $1 billion by the year 2027, currently estimated at ~$750 million USD. source.

Relevant Companies


JoyTunes is the company behind apps such as Simply Piano, a progression-based piano education tool that guides people through the basics of learning the piano. The Simply Piano app uses a lot of elements of game design to encourage and motivate the student/user of the app.

Simply Piano itself is estimated to have about $1m in monthly revenue; thus, we can estimate JoyTunes to have a monthly revenue of over $12m.

DreamBox Learning

DreamBox Learning offers an adaptive game-based mathematics education platform. The platform aligns to many regional standards and is availablein both Spanish and English.

The company is estimated to have an annual revenue of $35m.


Yousician is a company whose cross-platform application strives to teach music performance through an interactive, competitive system where users learn songs and compete for spots on leaderboards.

I was unable to find any revenue information on the company, but I do know that they have ~100 employees.


Tonara is a company whose platform is designed to facilitate the management of a music teacher’s studio. It focuses on gamifying music practice for students through an app that has a points system and redeemable rewards.

Tonara is estimated to make about $4.4m USD a year.

Choice Provisions

Formerly Gaijin Games, this game studio is behind the BIT.TRIP series of games. The fourth game, BIT.TRIP RUNNER, is a rhythm-based platforming game.

Revenue information for Choice Provisions was unable to be found.

Music Educational Apps/Games

Apart from “Mario Paint”, listed at the top, the products listed below focus on music performance and instrument proficiency, or simply hand-eye coordination with a good sense of rhythm and timing.

Mario Paint

Mario Paint is a 1992 SNES game which included a fully functional music editing tool. It’s hard to consider this a game, and really can be more considered a rudimentary DAW.


Rocksmith is a Ubisoft game that is used as the canonical example of a music education video game. The game, designed to be played with any real electric guitar, teaches the player the guitar, even going so far as to challenge its players to learn proficiency in guitar in 60 days.

PaRappa The Rapper, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, DDR/ITG/Stepmania

These games focus mainly on rhythm/timing; one must press the correct buttons in time to succeed at the games. They do not really focus very much on music theory or notation; one simply needs to be able to match symbols and colors on the screen to the corresponding buttons on the controller as they approach the edge of the screen, and press the correct button at the right time.

Simply Piano and Yousician

Simply Piano and Yousician are apps that teach music performance; they are not specifically mobile games, however they heavily rely on design principles and elements from the video game industry to further their products and improve upon them.

It would be important to explore with these applications the various forms of musical notation used, if at all, to teach music to the user.


The flagship product of the aforementioned company gamifies weekly practice and has a relatively rich chat feature for communication between students and educators. The app does nothing itself for teaching music; instead it operates as a framework to facilitate communication and learning between teachers and students in a studio setting. Game design principles such as points and redeemable cosmetic rewards (stickers) are implemented into the platform to encourage students to want to practice more.