Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter Campaign Passes $5 Million Mark

Neil Young’s PonoMusic campaign has now passed the five million mark.

As of today around noon, 14,808 people had contributed $5,006,618.

However many are not convinced PonoMusic is a hit.

The San Jose Mercury News ran this column by Troy Wolverton:

I hate to be the one to break it to rock ’n’ roll legend Neil Young, but his new digital music venture has about as much chance of succeeding as I have of winning a Grammy — maybe less.

Earlier this month at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, Young unveiled Pono, a company that will offer a digital music player, an online store and music-management software all designed to work together, much like the iPod and iTunes. What makes Pono different is that it is focused on delivering a better audio experience.

The company will sell songs and albums in a high-resolution format that its player is designed for. According to Young, Pono will take listeners back to the recording studio and allow them to hear music in exactly the way the artists intended it to sound.

The company has already drawn a huge amount of buzz, and endorsements from artists and industry executives ranging from Sarah McLachlan to Warner Bros. Records Chairman Rob Cavallo. Meanwhile, a Kickstarter campaign the company is using to get its service off the ground topped its $800,00 fundraising goal within a day of Young’s announcement and had exceeded $2.6 million by the end of the week.

Yet, despite the enthusiasm surrounding it, Pono is an anachronistic and ill-considered solution to an all-but-nonexistent problem.

The service is modeled on how people used to listen to music five or 10 years ago, not how they listen today.

By and large, consumers are replacing stand-alone digital music players like the iPod with smartphones. And instead of plugging those players into their computers to sync their music, they’re getting music on their smartphones wirelessly…

Read the rest here.

– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post –

2 thoughts on “Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter Campaign Passes $5 Million Mark

  1. To which Neil Young said today:
    “Here we are at the halfway point. My experience here at Kickstarter has been life changing. After banging my head against the walls of venture capitalism for almost three years, dealing with business experts who didn’t understand what we were trying to accomplish; rescue the art of recorded sound and make great music available into the future, I found you people. You are the ones who understand what this is. You have proven it with your amazing support.”

    1. My personal concern regarding PonoMusic has to do with the labels and whether they will spend the extra $$ to create the high quality audio. Especially for new artists. And what about all the indie labels? Can they afford to make the higher quality audio. I hope so.

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