Instruments-maker Fender has had a digital business for some time now: its Fender Play site and app has been teaching people to play guitar since 2017.
Now the company has launched another app aimed at guitarists of all abilities: Fender Songs. Initially available for iOS, it’s a database of chords and lyrics for millions of songs, to help people play them. But the actual recordings are also available, courtesy of a partnership with Apple Music that will enable users of the app to stream tracks as they play along. LyricFind is providing the lyrics, while B2B firm 7digital is also involved on the back-end of the app.
As with Fender Play (which has 100,000 paying users) the business model for Fender Songs will be subscription: it costs $4.99 a month or $41.99 a year, with discounts on Fender instruments included as a benefit. Importantly, Fender Songs will also be generating royalties for publishing rightsholders: Sony/ATV, Warner Chappell, Kobalt and BMG are among the publishers named in the press release, although for now Universal Music Publishing Group was not listed alongside them.
Fender says it also has some deals with labels – only WMG was named – “to ensure the chords in the app are accurate to the actual music as performed by the artists”.