LifeScore has been crowned the UK’s most innovative MediaTech company after securing backing from both a high-profile judging panel and readers of tech publication BusinessCloud. 

The London-based start-up, which uses artificial intelligence to adapt music to the listener’s environment, was No.1 on the 100 MediaTech Innovators ranking for 2021.  

The ranking celebrates the UK companies creating original tech to transform production and delivery of media and the arts – from music to podcasts, radio, video, film and the written word.

In second spot was Newcastle-headquartered ZeroLight, a cloud-based visualisation specialist for automotive sales and marketing, with, a cloud-based live-streaming platform for radio and podcasts based in Manchester, third. 

Belfast-based Liopa, the world’s only start-up focused on automated lipreading, and Guildford firm Polystream, creator of a command streaming platform enabling immersive in-game spectator experiences, also featured on the ranking.

100 MediaTech Innovators

LifeScore is the brainchild of virtuoso cellist Philip Shepparda renowned composer with more than 60 film scores to his credit as well as global music projects including the 2008 Olympic Games closing ceremonies, every national anthem for the 2012 Olympics, the Rugby World Cup and Tour de France.  

CEO Sheppard, who has played with artists including David Bowie and Queens of the Stone Agefounded the start-up in 2016 with Siri co-founder Tom Gruber, the firm’s CTO, and COO Chris Walch, a former senior legal associate. 

LifeScore team

Abbey Road Red – Demo Day 2020, London, 5 February 2020. Photo by: Carsten Windhorst

A graduate of the Abbey Road Red incubator, LifeScore creates unique, real-time and interactive music experiences with its adaptive AI music platform. This personalised score ebbs and flows in response to external factors: for example, changing tempo and adding instruments when the device playing the music is moved, a vehicle speeds up, a videogame character moves or, in theory, biometric changes occur in the listener. 

Far from being generated by AI, the ‘building blocks’ of the music are recorded at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios. 

Philip Sheppard, LifeScore (1)

LifeScore CEO Philip Sheppard. Picture credit: Asa Mathat

“I spend my life putting music to picture – why can’t that happen in real time when I’m going for my walk? We all carry technology that can cope with that,” asks Sheppard. 

“We don’t want to be making artificial music – rather beautiful augmented music. If I’ve never had any training, why shouldn’t I still have the tools to enable me to really feel what it’s like to carve music in real-time?”

Manchester’s CGHero, a collaborative marketplace for CGI content creation, was fourth on the ranking ahead of Factmata, a London-based AI scoring system for accuracy of online content. 

AI Music (London), Creative Assembly (Horsham), XR Games (Leeds), Gravity Sketch (London) and Viddyoze (Preston) rounded out the top 10. 

BusinessCloud called on its readers to vote for companies from a 127-strong shortlist and saw 1,200 votes pour in.   

A combination of these votes and choices from an expert judging panel determined the top 50.   

The judging panel was comprised of:   

  • Jonathon Clark, head of SME engagement, techUK 
  • Janet Hull OBE, director of marketing strategy, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising 
  • Chris Reay, property director, MediaCityUK 
  • Nigel Jones, sector specialist: tech & creative, Department for International Trade 
  • Laura Harper, partner, Irwin Mitchell 
  • Max Cleary, partnerships lead for AI, immersive and 5G, Digital Catapult 
  • Jonathan Symcox, editor, BusinessCloud 

100 MediaTech Innovators