Fender's CEO says company finding out half of new guitar players are female was a "complete shocker"

(Image credit: Fender)

Fender CEO Andy Mooney has spoken again of his "shock" at discovering half of new guitar players are female, a percentage the company had underestimated previously.

The company's research following Mooney's arrival at the company in 2015 unearthed data that would dictate its roadmap in the following years and came from the CEO's desire to find out who was buying Fender guitars.

"Everybody had an opinion, but nobody had any data," Mooney told entrepreneur.  "So we gathered it, and out of that came five insights that guide everything we've done since."


Fender CEO Andy Mooney  (Image credit: Fender)

Mooney has spoken about the impact of those insights before, and three of them concerned female players specifically. "50% of new players are women, which was a complete shocker to the company," continued Mooney. "Women were predominantly buying acoustic guitars. Women were buying guitars online because in the brick-and-mortar stores there was nobody to relate to, and they weren't getting treated well. So all of those insights influenced our marketing, our Artist signature series—and it essentially created [online education platform] Fender Play."

The discoveries regarding female players buying acoustic guitars likely influenced the bold development and continued investment of the Acoustasonic series – a hybrid between the acoustic and electric guitar

"One thing we found is a lot of a lot of the players who adopted it early on, younger players, were often players who went back and forth on stage from electric to acoustic," Mooney told MusicRadar in June. "They were much more comfortable going from a Strat to an Acoustasonic than they were going to a full-bodied, traditional acoustic guitar. We always knew it would take time but we’re way ahead of what our original expectations were."

Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster review

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.