Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign as, in little over 24 hours, raised $1,731,296 in contributions from 5,280 people.
Meanwhile some of the media weren’t thrilled by how Young and his CEO handled a question at SXSW yesterday about how much PonoMusic will earn from music sales.
Stereogum ran this headline:
Neil Young’s SXSW Keynote Derailed By Simple Question About Pono
And basically reprinted part of a Billboard story:
As Billboard reports, after Young’s speech, Pono CEO John Hamm (not Don Draper) took the stage for a Q&A with Young and USA Today technology reporter Mike Snider. After answering questions about the PonoPlayer’s triangular shape (they wanted something “iconic”), its file format (FLAC), and whether it can play existing digital music libraries (it can), Young and Hamm waffled awkwardly when the subject of money came up. Per Billboard, it went like this:
Taking the microphone, a young man asked: “What’s your cut?” — referring, of course, to Apple’s now-famous 30% cut of sales on the iTunes Store.
Hamm, after a flustered moment, responded that, “It surprises most people that everyone who buys music from the record labels pays exactly the same amount.” At this, several audience members shouted, “What?!”
“That’s a delicate question, isn’t it?” asked Young.
Shortly thereafter, Hamm turned to the moderator, slightly flushed at this point, and said “We can end it.”
“You can answer the question if you like,” Snider said.
Hamm shook his head slightly before Snider closed the discussion.
It’s only a delicate question if you make it one, Neil. Don’t these guys know radical transparency is all the rage?
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