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Photo: Courtesy of Fender

The guitar-maker Fender's instructional app exploded in popularity during the first months of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Some of us — if not all of us — had a lot of time on our hands during the early stages of the pandemic lockdown. And apparently we decided that it was finally time to learn to play that guitar.

By the numbers: Around the start of the global lockdowns, Fender offered a free three-month giveaway of its Fender Play app.

  • Between March 20 and June 18, Fender Play's user base grew by nearly 500%, from over 150,000 to approximately 930,000.
  • Nearly all of those users were new to the company, indicating that they were likely picking up a guitar for the first time.
  • The gender balance of app users swung from 70% male to nearly 50-50.
  • The most popular time of day for using the app shifted from 5 p.m. to 12 p.m., presumably because you have to fill those hours somehow.

What they're saying: "Clearly there was an organic element of people being locked inside and wanting to spend their time usefully, as opposed to binging TV," says Andy Mooney, Fender's CEO. "Or perhaps in addition to it."

  • Of note: As my Axios colleagues Sara Fischer and Kyle Daly reported, we're also spending plenty of time playing video games, which helped Nintendo's profits increase 428% last quarter.

Go deeper: In pandemic, adult entertainment becomes more like social networking

Go deeper

Apple's antitrust fight turns Epic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Millions of angry gamers may soon join the chorus of voices calling for an antitrust crackdown on Apple, as the iPhone giant faces a new lawsuit and PR blitz from Epic Games, maker of mega-hit Fortnite.

Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.