Riyaz music learning app helps self-learners with cutting-edge technology
The company was funded in two rounds by seed investors Better Capital and Multiply Ventures. The funds were deployed to help acquire talent and refine the tech stack. |
A measly 15% of aspirants have access to a teacher due to a limited number of quality teachers and/or the cost of learning which is not affordable for the masses. Most of these teacher-led learners are children between the ages of 6 and 15. There are several online platforms that provide content, but the eager student is often unable to train with it and, more importantly, no feedback is offered. It is this gap that the music app Riyaz tries to fill.
Riyaz is the on-demand music teacher, and with its proprietary technology stack, delivers a model for learning music through hands-on content and real-time actionable feedback during the learning process. Launched by Gopala Krishna Koduri in 2019, it aims to bring a new perspective to singing. He challenges the conventional way of learning to sing. Coming from an engineering background, Koduri has always been interested in the arts and literature. After completing his BS and MS in Computer Science from IIIT, Hyderabad, he went to complete his PhD in Music Technology from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcleona.
Excerpts from an email interview with Gopala Krishna Koduri – Founder and CEO, Riyaz with Sulekha Nair
What prompted you to launch Riyaz?
Often the things we dream about as children come back as defining targets in adulthood. As a child, I resonated with music, the arts, and literature, but had very little access to developing my skills. I chose to learn the music and the nuances that go with it. Over time, I realized the shortcomings in music education – accessibility and affordability.
What pain points is Riyaz tackling?
The platform overcomes multiple challenges: the most important part of learning to sing is having reliable feedback on the mistakes you make and advice on how to improve. We can grab many concepts from videos on the internet, but they don’t give you any feedback on how to improve your performance. Riyaz technology solves this problem. The contribution of each user is a central element of the Riyazs offer. The proprietary technology stack delivers a unique musical learning model through hands-on content and real-time actionable feedback during the learning process.
Riyaz analyzes the main attributes of singing and offers a holistic learning path to improve general singing skills. Basically, it helps users to improve their singing skills at an individual song level. All of this is delivered in a fun and entertaining way.
How it works?
The learner manages to sing with or after the original source. The technology instantly ranks the student against the benchmark (colored bars), even as it visually shows how the student is singing. It has intelligent auto-loop imitation like what happens with a real teacher.
Please tell us about your revenue model
We have an affordable subscription model starting at Rs 99 per month. Our 20 lakh+ users globally are witnessing 3x revenue growth this year. The app is feature rich, with a selection of verses, languages and genres available to all subscribers.
What is Riyaz technology integration and USP
Riyaz’s content transformation engine can transform any piece of content, anywhere of any genre in the world, to be practicable and learnable. This unlocks the immense learning potential of the existing ocean of content.
Our singing rating engine contains a mirror for users’ voices as they sing. It compares them to the benchmark and helps them self-correct their mistakes instantly. In other words, it acts as an on-demand teacher guiding in real time. This approach prevents millions of singing enthusiasts from stopping their pursuit of singing excellence.
To ensure implicit learning, we are now expanding the feedback process and integrating gamification to ensure engagement and guaranteed improvement.
What is the process for contributors to follow?
Everyone can sing and improve on Riyaz. A typical Riyaz user, aka an amateur singer, will be able to discover and sing short bites of trending songs as well as their personal favorites. Riyaz identifies the area of improvement required as they sing and builds a dynamic learning journey to improve key aspects of their singing and listening skills. These learning paths are based on the proven pedagogy followed by music teachers for centuries in India, and Riyaz has gamified them and made them fun to practice every day. These repeated and deliberate practices ensure constant progress and improvement in users’ ability to sing.
What are your future plans for Riyaz?
We want to make sure the learning process is fun and not seen as a chore – it’s an exciting expansion the brand is achieving through gamification. For an amateur singer, the explicit learning model becomes taxing. New technology converts pedagogy into different sets of games and activities, making it fun for the user to engage and learn constantly. Think of how we teach children to identify colors or shapes through games – they keep playing because it’s engaging and gives guaranteed results through implicit learning. Similarly, the feedback process and subsequent learning is gamified for a fun, dynamic and memorable experience. Riyaz will continue to let users (classical singers) focus and improve on specific parts of songs they want to master.
The company was funded in two rounds by seed investors Better Capital and Multiply Ventures. The funds were deployed to help acquire talent and refine the tech stack. Currently, Riyaz is also raising Serie A.
What is the market potential?
The market is full of technology, potential and multiple opportunities in the music industry. Children and adults continue to pursue to learn different instruments. Most instrument lovers want to accompany themselves with their voice on their instruments. Considering this segment alone tells us about 68 million amateur singers in the United States. Extending a similar methodology to other developed countries (EU, CA, AU and NZ) reveals at least 238 million potential learners in developed countries. We estimate around 45 million autodidacts in India, and this number is currently limited by internet penetration and is expected to snowball.
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