Fender Taps Ethan Kaplan for Chief Digital Role


Kaplan arrives at the musical instruments company after only seven months at Gracenote.

Music industry veteran Ethan Kaplan has left Gracenote to become Fender’s new chief digital products officer. CEO Andy Mooney said Kaplan’s role will be to "expand the brand into new digital product categories and services that will build on our leadership position with consumers and help us realize the full potential of the brand."

Kaplan joins Fender after only seven months as svp/gm of music at Gracenote, a music data service owned by the Tribune Company. Prior roles included head of product at Live Nation Entertainment’s Labs division and he was svp of technology at Warner Music Group.

"I am very excited to work for a brand dedicated to the creation of music," said Kaplan. "The Fender brand means so much to so many people, especially me. I look forward to extending Fender’s reach into the digital realm in a meaningful way that resonates with consumers all over the world."

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Speaking with TechCrunch ahead of the announcement, Kaplan said he’s working on developing products that would personalize — and prolong, the company hopes — the guitar-playing experience for novice musicians.

"It’s not just about making a tuning app, then another app, and another," Kaplan said. "It’s about how do we build a product that does something more and enables the overall journey, not just the utility. It looks like the ties that bind a bunch of products together."


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