Duolingo, the language learning app with more than 500 million users, is working on a music app, TechCrunch has learned.
The Pittsburgh-based technology company currently has a small team working on music production and is hiring a learning scientist who is “an expert in music education with theoretical knowledge in music education, relevant learning science research, and hands-on teaching experience.” A job posting listed on the Duolingo careers page. The company has posted a job seeking a freelance music composition and curriculum consultant, but the company is not accepting applications for that position.
According to the job description, the app teaches basic concepts in music theory using popular songs and teachers.
Duolingo has grown beyond language learning to a number of ancillary new projects that could represent significant revenue streams in the coming years. For example, the Duolingo English test, which emerged from a hackathon project in 2014, is an online certification exam that tests language proficiency. In the wake of the pandemic, the company launched Duolingo ABC, a free app focused on English reading for children ages 3 to 6.
In October 2022, the company announced the expansion of Duolingo to math as a first subject beyond first language learning and literacy. Math app is free and similar to language learning; Both require methodological thinking and the ability to apply tasks to find answers.
Music sits at the center of language learning, subtext and context, and math, which requires focusing on formulas to get correct answers, or in this case, sounds.
Language, math and music in Duolingo require all users to know the basics. And that’s how Duolingo sets itself apart: it focuses on building blocks rather than being a way to learn skills.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have some executive buy-in to the overall concept: Duolingo’s chief business officer, Bob Meese, is an investor in Trala, a tech company that offers virtual violin lessons. He recently collected $8 million in Serie A.
So far, the broader view seems to be resonating. According to its latest quarterly update, Duolingo has doubled its paid subscriber base over the past year. Total revenue for 2022 is expected to nearly double to $369.5 million.
It’s unclear how the Duolingo Music app will play out over the next few months — for example, we don’t know if the app will help people read music, write music, learn instruments, or all of the above — or if it’s just a small experiment. At a company known to love challenges, or 10. TechCrunch has reached out to the company for additional comment and will update if we hear back.
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