So Far So Good

Allan Durand, CEO

Lyon, France
People playing with Incredibox on a large screen. Behind the scenes work on the Incredibox site.
Inredibox sketches.
From beat boxing hobbyists to business owners

In 2006, three friends who just graduated decided to partner for a simple goal: make a game rooted in music.

Three years later, Allan, Romain, and Paul launched Incredibox, an interactive music app that lets users create their own music with the help of a merry crew of 2D beatboxers.

Part game, part tool, Incredibox is an audio and visual experience that let users create, record and share sound mixes.

They wanted an interface that could manipulate loops to quickly create music. They started experimenting with the site, using self-taught design and development skills, while learning how to manage a website on the go. Unexpectedly, just a few weeks after its launch, Incredibox won a web award and gained incredible traction among users internationally. By 2010, the game had been played over a million times.

That's when the trio knew they had to get serious and turn Incredibox from a passion project to their main focus.

Jumpstarting a music business with AdSense

In 2011, they created So Far So Good, a French company specializing in web, graphic, and sound design that could provide the team with the financial stability they needed to keep working on Incredibox.

Much of their free time was spent improving the music platform, adding details like costumes for characters, enabling a recording feature, and incorporating a ranking system. In 2012, they released the second version to great feedback. Though they continued to get thousands of visitors to their website, they weren't making any money and the server and development costs were rising.

Finally, they decided to try advertising. "We tried to put ads on the site directly and advertised the slots with brands who might be interested," says CEO Allan Durand. "But we had a broad audience who we knew little about so advertisers weren't interested."

Then, they discovered Google AdSense.

Finding it easy to use, they implemented a quick test in late 2012. "It had very easy integration - just one line of code and you had an ad," says Allan. And it worked. "Within a few months we were earning a few thousand euros, and that really allowed us to keep the site running. Without ads, we wouldn't have been able to build the business we have today."

Eventually, their ad revenue became a vital way to keep the business afloat. "We faced a challenging period from 2012 - 2014, ads enabled us to keep the business alive," Allan recalls. "By 2015, 95% of our revenue came from Google AdSense."

Today, the Incredibox team still uses AdSense ads in the free demo version of the app, though AdSense makes up only a small portion of their revenue now. "AdSense H5 Games Ads perfectly fit our use case - they're easy to integrate, fit our design and layout, and allow us to still earn money from the demo app without derailing the user experience," says Allan.

“Without ads, we wouldn't have been able to build the business we have today.”
Incredibox characters. Incredibox City.
The Incredibox designs that they've become known for.
Children playing with Incredibox.
Expanding their business model to have a lasting impact

The team released subsequent versions of Incredibox, and eventually expanded their revenue streams. In 2016, the group released their paid app that has since been downloaded 2.1 million times. "That eventually became our main source of revenue," says Allan.

Since 2009, their free demo version of Incredibox has been enjoyed by over 84 million players worldwide and the So Far So Good team is passionate about bringing music to as many people as possible.

Incredibox is also used as an educational tool in schools worldwide. "We saw more teachers and schools using the site or app to introduce rhythmic and melodic concepts to kids of all ages," Allan says. "It was motivating to see that our project could be used as a tool for educators."

As for the future, so long as Incredibox continues to be loved by its creative audience, the team says they'll keep working on it with the same level of passion and bring music to as many people as possible.

About the Publisher

​​Allan Durand is one of the original founders of Incredibox and their current CEO.
Allan Durand