The boss of Fender has hailed explosive growth in ukulele sales and said the firm was tuning up its digital content business to attract more musicians.

Chief executive Andy Mooney said the company had launched Fender Play - an online music tuition platform - after discovering a large slice of its sales were coming from beginners buying a guitar for the first time.

While video sharing website YouTube is saturated with guitar tuition videos, Mr Mooney said its subscription-based model would prove successful because there remained a customer appetite for premium content.

The iconic guitar maker is also hoping the digital product will fuel demand for its musical instruments and hardware.

His comments came as the iconic guitar manufacturer saw ukulele sales surge, while electric guitar sales remained healthy in the face of an industry-wide slowdown.

Mr Mooney said: , who was born in Whitburn, Scotland, told the Press Association:“For the last two years our core business has been growing at a single-digit rate.

“We believe we have a long runway of growth ahead of us, but in addition to that we are excited about our first revenue generating digital product, Fender Play.

“We are excited about that for two reasons. Firstly, it’s an entirely new revenue stream for the company. Secondly, if we are successful in reducing the abandonment rate of first time guitar buyers by 10 per cent then we have the chance to double the size of the industry.”

The Arizona-based company is renowned for its Stratocaster and Telecaster electric guitars made famous by rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen.

Mr Mooney said said there were huge amounts of potential in categories the company had not paid as much attention to, such as acoustic guitars and effects pedals.

He said: “We have seen 1.5 million units of ukulele sold in the US. The category is absolutely exploding right now.” He said the company had not suffered from Brexit because guitar buying was a very considered purchase.

Fender pulled the plug on an initial public offering (IPO) in 2012, citing poor market conditions.