Case Study: Fender

800,000 people tried Fender Play™

Acquisition costs reduced by 12%

Increased brand awareness

About Fender

If you have listened to any popular music from the last 75 years, you’ve undoubtedly heard a Fender guitar or bass. With iconic sounds stemming from Fender’s guitars or arsenal of other instruments and effects, the brand’s impact cannot be overstated. Founded as Fender's Radio Service by Clarence Leonidas ‘Leo’ Fender, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) as we know it celebrates its 75th year.

Fender created the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar -the timeless Telecaster - in 1950. Following up on this success, in 1954 the iconic Stratocaster was introduced to the world. What makes Fender so special is its lasting presence in music, but they’re back to playing the role of innovators with Fender Play™.

While there are many guitar learning apps on the market, Fender Play™ sets itself apart, offering lesson plans, a curated song collection to put your practice to the test, and high quality backing tracks. It’s the complete learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele. Fender Play™ also offers weekly giveaways to help you maintain practice streaks. Users can also join a community of learners where they can share their progress and connect.

Users can complete a 7 day free trial of the app with no payment details required. There are over 3000 lessons on the platform with more being added regularly. To date, 55 millions guitar lessons have been completed on Fender Play™ .

The Challenge

At the beginning of 2020, Fender Play™ was exclusively a paid subscription service—with 80% of their acquisitions as paying subscribers. However, last year Fender ungated Fender Play™ by offering it for free to everybody for 90 days during the early days of lockdown.

This serves as a prelude to what is happening now. Due to this switch Fender Play™ was getting a lot more new users, however their task now was to find a way in which to convert this sudden enthusiasm into subscribers. With an entirely new model, Fender needed a different strategy; driving users deeper into Fender Play™ in order to keep the app as profitable as when it was subscription-based. We spoke to Cliff Kim, Director of Insights and Analytics, about how Fender tackled these new challenges.

  • Their main focus was to expand upon and improve the user experience—a product can always be enhanced. The aim is to have users try it for free and hopefully come away from the trial excited and ready to continue their guitar playing journey.

Cliff Kim

Director of Growth, Fender

  • The second aspect Fender looked at was their spending, more importantly, how they could make it more efficient. They looked into multi-touch attribution to find a method of bringing in users as cleanly and effectively as possible.

Cliff Kim

Director of Growth, Fender

The Solution

With Adjust Multi-touch, which provides granular visibility over the full customer journey, Fender sees a complete user journey map and can spot trends and correlations between networks. Additionally, the perfect tool for Fender Play™’s new business model is Adjust’s Audience Builder, which allows automated segmentation that elevates marketing performance through increased engagement. With Audience Builder, Fender can cut down costs by excluding users that have already tried Fender Play™. This is a huge help for apps that are considering adopting this new subscription-based model.

With the possibility of mixing advertising channels, CPMs have skyrocketed. By using Adjust Attribution, Fender can customize each and every attribution setting anytime to suit their needs and find new marketing opportunities. Retargeting campaigns are the easiest and most cost-effective way to build a high LTV audience - users are a captive audience, having already tried the app and expressed interest in picking up the guitar.

Cliff Kim

Director of Growth, Fender

The Result

Multi-touch empowered Fender to optimize their ad spend with marketing campaigns for specific audiences. By using the Adjust Audience Builder for the last year and a half, Fender easily excludes existing subscribed users from their campaigns. This allows Fender to refocus their time and resources on user acquisition campaigns.

Cliff Kim

Director of Growth, Fender

  • When companies started giving away their apps for free last year it resulted in massive amounts of awareness and impressions. It paid off as 800,000 people tried Fender Play™, almost double the volume of users that had used it previously.
  • With Adjust’s Audience Builder, Fender Play™ reduced their acquisition costs substantially by between 12%.
  • With Adjust, Fender can analyze and correlate share and mix of ad spend to discover the most lucrative platforms and regions for their app.
  • Although Fender’s iconic brand was built long before the digital age, Fender Play™ further adds to this legacy. Their app entices its users to engage with loyalty programs and their guitar playing community. This is an excellent method to boost both brand awareness and offline revenue.