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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on September 22 2019. This is a backup of Wikipedia:PonoMusic. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/PonoMusic, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/PonoMusic. Purge


PonoMusic is a company founded by Neil Young which sold an audio player (the PonoPlayer) and high-quality recordings through its PonoMusic store.[1] The name derives from pono (Template:IPA-haw), a Hawaiian word for "righteousness."[2]


PonoMusic was founded in 2012 by Neil Young, along with Silicon Valley entrepreneur John Hamm as the company's CEO.[3] Pono reportedly had backing from major record labels Warner, Sony, and Universal and had signed a full agreement with Warner.[4][5] The company launched a successful Kickstarter campaign on March 12, 2014 that surpassed its target in one day.[6] PonoMusic raised $6.2 million by the end of the campaign.[7]

In August 2014, PonoMusic turned to Crowdfunder to raise more equity.[8] They closed with a total financing of $4 million. While many more international investors were interested, they had to be turned away due to regulatory restrictions.[9] A year later Variety reported that PonoMusic struggled with funding issues, which slowed down the company expansion.[10]

Prior to June 2015, Young had sought financial backing from Donald Trump.[11]


PonoMusic's products are based on the FLAC audio format, which the company re-branded as Pono audio format.

  • The player device, called PonoPlayer, was initially priced at $399 and came with a maximum of 128 GB of memory (64 GB built-in plus 64 GB on MicroSD card). They started taking preorders on March 11, 2014 via Kickstarter. The press release notes that the PonoPlayer, developed in collaboration with Ayre Acoustics, could store "100 to 500 high-resolution digital-music albums".[12]
  • PonoMusic was the device's accompanying desktop-based "media management" system, which allowed customers to download and sync music to player. The service would reportedly offer high-resolution digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels.[12]


The PonoMusic store that sold downloadable music has been in a non-operating "under construction" state since July 2016 following acquisition of key assets and talent by Apple Inc. after the bankruptcy of the store provider Omnifone.[13]

In April 2017 Young announced plans to transition the service from a download model to a high-resolution streaming service known as Xstream.[13] By October 2018 however, the service had yet to launch and no further announcements had been made.

See also


  1. "SXSW 2014: Neil Young plugs Pono, his new music store and player". Mercurynews.com. 2014-03-11. http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_25323244/sxsw-2014-neil-young-plugs-pono-his-new. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  2. "Neil Young shows off his studio-quality Pono music player". Geek.com. 2012-09-28. http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-cetera/neil-young-shows-off-his-studio-quality-pono-music-player-20120928/. Retrieved 2012-10-05. 
  3. "The Company". ponomusic.com. http://www.ponomusic.com/#company. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  4. Poltrack, Adam (3 October 2012). "Neil Young and Pono pushing new top-quality digital music". Home Theater. Digital Trends. http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/niel-young-and-pono-digital-music-player/. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  5. Coplan, Chris (28 September 2012). "Neil Young expands Pono digital music service". Consequence of Sound. http://consequenceofsound.net/2012/09/neil-young-expands-pono-digital-music-service/. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  6. "Pono Music - where your soul rediscovers music". Kickstarter.com. 2014-03-12. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1003614822/ponomusic-where-your-soul-rediscovers-music. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  7. Taylor, Colleen. "What’s Next For PonoMusic, The Startup That Took Kickstarter By Storm And Raised $6.2M". TechCrunch. https://techcrunch.com/2014/04/27/whats-next-for-ponomusic-the-startup-that-took-kickstarter-by-storm-and-raised-6-2m/. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  8. Entis, Laura. "You Can Invest in Neil Young's Company, PonoMusic, for as Little as $5,000". http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236521. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  9. Barnett, Chance. "10 Top Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns From 2014". https://www.forbes.com/sites/chancebarnett/2014/12/17/top-10-equity-crowdfunding-campaigns-of-2014/. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  10. Roettgers, Janko. "Neil Young’s Pono Struggles With Funding, Searches for New CEO". https://variety.com/2015/digital/news/neil-youngs-pono-struggles-with-funding-searches-for-new-ceo-1201576695/. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  11. "Donald Trump blasts Neil Young's 'hypocrisy' over use of song". The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jun/26/donald-trump-blasts-neil-youngs-hypocrisy-over-use-of-song. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Minsker, Evan. "Neil Young Launching PonoMusic Via Kickstarter". Pitchfork. http://pitchfork.com/news/54284-neil-young-launching-ponomusic-via-kickstarter/. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  13. "Neil Young’s high-quality streaming music service will be called Xstream". theverge.com. 2017-04-22. https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/22/15394224/neil-young-high-quality-streaming-music-service-xstream-pono. Retrieved 2018-10-11. 

External links