A guy named Paul Custance from Sony Music came to see us with a great idea. He had the fantastic brainwave to combine Sony’s music catalogue with a gamified app to teach people different languages. It was not even Sony Music’s core business! But what if he could convince them to invest in this new venture? It was an ambitious proposition, and one we couldn’t resist.

Disrupting the language learning app market

The language learning app market is crowded. There are clear market leaders such as Duolingo, Mondly, Memrise and Babbel. In order to disrupt this space, we had to deliver on the promise to teach a language through the memorable, culturally relevant and engaging medium of music.

Gamified learning

The app had to deliver a compelling user experience combined with a gamification system to reward progress. At the same time, it had to launch to the app stores with a brand that could stand out and grow. Before we could achieve this, we had to obtain buy-in from Sony, and then investors, to make Lirica happen.

User experience design

Our user experience design team started with a series of UX workshops to define our core value proposition. Our challenge was to narrow down features to user jobs and pain-points that other language learning apps weren’t addressing. Our focus was engagement and cultural relevance.

Learning Spanish

We focused on the Spanish language for our Minimum Viable Product (MVP). To help us we partnered with the Cervantes Institute, the leading Spanish Language Teaching institution.

Lean UX prototype 

Our UX team conducted exhaustive research of the market and had multiple conversations with users and teachers. This helped us narrow down a feature set that became a lean UX prototype that we developed in Unity. Sony Music invested in the prototype and gave us access to its extensive catalogue of international artists such as Nicky Jam, Shakira and Enrique Iglesias. This was our tool to learn and fine tune the final product, and showcase to future investors.

Gamification and cultural relevance

We put the emphasis on cultural relevance, fun gamification and letting the music shine. Our UX team tested the prototype with Cervantes students and created a backlog of improvements for the MVP.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Our app developers took stock of all the learning from our prototype and produced an MVP using React Native. Lirica was chosen to participate in the Accelerator Academy to prepare the company for financing. We launched the app to the stores in September 2018, securing the 2nd round of funding in 2019.

We definitely wouldn't be where we are without Milo Creative. Within a few months of launch, Google featured it as one of the best apps of the year. The feedback that we get from users is that the functionality is fantastic and the design is crystal clear. That's definitely a tribute to their work. Milo Creative provides a huge amount of value.

Paul Custance, CEO, Lirica.


The App Store has been a huge fan of Lirica, featuring it in the coveted App of the Day slot. They have also featured Lirica amongst its favourites in multiple geographies, including all English-speaking territories and Latin America. Lirica has been on quite the journey!

  • Winning at the prestigious music startup competition Midemlab in 2018 (previous winners include Soundcloud and Kickstarter). 
  • Featured in Google Play's "Best apps of 2018" as a "hidden gem on the brink of getting big". 
  • Becoming the Launchpad 2022 winner - a global language education technology competition.
  • Lirica's YouTube channel continued to garner support with just under 300K subscribers.

An image depicting some of Lirica's Awards and Accolades.

English learning platform

2020 saw the launch of the English learning platform. The learning platform features music by superstar artists like Justin Timberlake, P!nk and Khalid. Lirica's YouTube channel continued to garner support with just under 300K subscribers.

Schools platform

Most recently Lirica has launched its schools platform. The schools platform offers free subscriptions and comprehensive teaching guides to teachers.  Lirica's journey to change the way people learn languages has only just begun!

Learn a language with Lirica!

Lirica's gamified and rapid-fire exercises based on memorable hit songs will help you master the language, whatever your motivation. You will also get to know the culture along the way. Why not download the app today and let the music teach you.

I love this so much. The format is great. First you watch the video with the lyrics listed below. Then you go line by line through the song. The app asks you questions related to the meaning of the words. Then you get challenged as the song plays, having to answer questions about the songs as you listen. I am slowly learning Spanish!

earlyes, app review on the Apple App Store

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App design & development services

Digital product design & React Native development

A multidisciplinary digital product development team was required for Lirica. We helped them with user experience design, branding & visual design and cross-platform app development with React Native.

Digital product design

  • User experience design
  • Gamification
  • Concept development & validation
  • User flows & storyboarding
  • Wireframing
  • Lean UX prototyping
  • User interface design
  • Illustration & iconography
  • Branding & visual design
  • User testing
  • Website design

Digital product development

  • React Native development (iOS & Android)
  • Functional prototyping
  • In-app subscription purchasing
  • Push notifications
  • App analytics
  • Custom CMS development
  • Webflow development
  • Multi device testing
  • Product management
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Let's talk

Talk to us about your business plans. We can assist with the creation of your upcoming mobile app, web application, educational game or digital marketing campaign.

Our knowledgeable staff of app designers and software developers are available to answer all of your inquiries. No matter how simple or complex they may be.

Whether it is about digital product design, lean UX, or custom software development we can help.

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