An Oxfordshire business helping to teach the English language to children through the medium of pop music, has raised £1.8 million to date from two strategic investors in Europe and Asia for its edtech, including a new deal with Japan’s TOKYO MX broadcast network.
ELT Songs says it could become a global player in the education sector, as it partners up with major educational organisations, including a new deal with Japan’s TOKYO MX broadcast network for the company’s ‘Planet Pop’ TV show. The agreement marks an astonishing opportunity for ELT Songs to take its music-based English language learning methods for children to a huge mainstream audience.
Jake Carter, founder of ELT Songs, said: “We bring learning into the 21st century, with a ‘Netflix of Education’ approach. And what is better suited to motivate minds, stir emotions, and have a more powerful effect than amazing music and accompanying educational videos that compete with the fast-paced media content that children are becoming increasingly accustomed to outside of the classroom. Our blockbuster content simply blurs the lines between education and entertainment in a way that has never been done before.”
The company is anticipating an ambitious £100M valuation in 2022 and £10M annual recurring revenue and says it is already in talks with major publishers, school chains, media houses, streaming services and NGOs around the globe.
The start-up has already won awards such as Tech Edvocate‘s 2021 award for ‘Best Language Learning App,’ as well as The Academics’ choice Smart Media Award. It has secured finalist spots for the GESS Education Awards in the categories of ‘Start-Up Company of the Year’ and ‘Best Product to Promote Arts, Music and Drama in the Classroom.’ ELT Song’s innovative, cool, learning suite is the brainchild of founder Jake Carter, who occupies a unique position at the crossroads of education and music production.
With a degree from the famous Brit School of Performing Arts ,learning alongside the likes of the late Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis and Katie Melua, Jake has experience as a signed singer-songwriter, artist manager, music producer and record company founder, and has enjoyed opportunities to work with chart-topping artists. On the educational front, Jake has years of experience working with Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and the British Council, creating engaging, music-based content for tens of millions of young language learners worldwide.
One of the key elements behind the company’s rapid success comes from solving the issue of young learner’s limited attention span. ELT Songs has been involved in substantial research to discover what makes learning ‘super cool’ and ‘super easy,’ and its strategy emulates many aspects of how pop music videos draw youngsters in to becoming fans. Holding the viewer’s attention is not an issue within pop music videos because there are so many elements to maintain children’s focus, from the beat, to the hair styles, costumes, lyrics and dance-moves.
These aspects make ELT Songs and its Planet Pop course irresistible to young learners, right up to 12 year-olds, and Jake Carter’s company have made sure that their learning tools, which also feature CBeebies favourites, do not focus on overloading kids with information, but just give them the ‘right stuff of education,’ thereby keeping them involved for no more than a few minutes at a time.
Jake added: “We are thrilled that the likes of TOKYO MX have come on board with our Planet Pop shows through www.planetpop.com, but it is the first of many such agreements on the horizon. Our history within pop music and the backing of the largest educational distributor in the APAC region, (Ig) iGroup, makes 2022 look like our breakout year, with our aim to increase our output tenfold. Already we have produced in excess of 350 learning videos in addition to non-curricular videos on YouTube and, by end of first quarter 2022, we will have increased this by at least a further 200.”
The Planet Pop project also brings together other educational tools, providing teachers and parents with a ‘blended learning solution’ including off-line video workbooks and teacher’s guides, which have been localised, along with their web platform, in major international languages from Spanish to Japanese.
Jake said: “Our off-line workbooks and teacher’s guides have been written by best-selling authors in the educational sector, including Katherine and Steve Bilsborough, Helen Casey, Barbara Kay and Teresa Payman, as well as both Jo Ross and Hayley Thomas, all underpinning our core value of creating quality content which captivates childrens’ imaginations.”
As Jake says, “It’s all about children and how to motivate them with a completely new learning experience. We make learning ten times more exciting and engaging and, therefore, we see happy children having fun and enjoying their learning journey and fast progress.”
The company is aligned to national and international educational structures and says it is already in talks with major publishers, school chains, media houses, streaming services and NGOs around the globe, Planet Pop looks truly set to be the go-to platform online and beyond for children to learn in an attention-grabbing and inclusive way, with all their vocabulary training videos featuring British Sign Language.