His company? Fender. And more specifically, Fender Play, the digital side of the classic guitar company, which creates educational content that helps people learn how to play Fender guitars.
“You have 7.5 billion people in the world going through the same crisis,” says Kaplan, GM, Fender Digital. “But just because it’s terrible doesn’t mean that we can’t try to do something that can help people get through it.”
The good news was that Fender Play was already positioned to make an impact. Since 2016, the online subscription service has provided individual lessons across multiple instruments, genres, and skill levels which have proven very popular with Fender customers.
Amidst lockdown, the idea was that people needed an activity they could do at home that was rewarding and that would relieve stress. Fender’s solution: playing a musical instrument. While the company has offered 30-day and 14-day free trials in the past, in response to the lockdowns they launched a 90-day free trial program called Fender Play Through.
Due to the lockdowns, Fender was expecting increased demand, and planned for 100,000 new subscribers to sign up. They blew through that number the first day.
As the lockdowns continued, the number of subscribers kept rising. By the end of August 2020, the Play Through program had brought in 1 million new subscribers. And, due to overwhelming demand, Fender has decided to extend the program through the end of 2020.
And many of those new subscribers are turning into new customers for Fender. As Fender CEO Andy Mooney told the New York Times,