Fender Is Expanding its Audience Through More Than Just Guitars

Fender Is Expanding its Audience Through More Than Just Guitars

Excerpts from the article by Amy Wang on Rolling Stone

Andy Mooney gets asked about his thoughts on drum machines and Auto-Tune a lot. People “expect me to hate them, but I love them all,” says the Fender CEO. Mooney doesn’t see the soaring popularity of digitally created music as a threat to the guitar business because the future of acoustics and electrics lies, in the company’s view, largely off of charts and stages.

Gone are the days of rock & roll heroes slinging Stratocasters on TV; while there are numerous young guitar-based bands bubbling up on the modern music scene, the instrument itself, without its Eric Claptons and Chuck Berrys, no longer holds the cachet it did for generations prior. As rock music wanes, Fender is looking to new markets such as novice players and women. The guitar company found in recently conducted research that half of beginner guitar players are female, and that new guitarists overall are interested in learning guitar not to become rock stars, but for personal enjoyment and self-improvement. Mooney, who took over the legacy guitar brand in 2015 from Scott Gilbertson after several decades with Nike, Disney and Quiksilver, spoke with Rolling Stone about the ambitions in Fender’s new products — from its new line of acoustics to its in-the-works software projects — as well as the company’s burgeoning new global audience and its underdog success with one unexpected avenue: the ukulele.

Read the full article on Rolling Stone