Neil Young reaches $800,000 Kickstarter campaign target in 10 hours

The musician launched his high quality digital Pono music player at SXSW yesterday (March 11)

Neil Young has raised the $800,000 (£480,000) he needed for his digital music service in less than 10 hours.

The musician launched his high quality digital Pono music player and service yesterday (March 11) at SXSW in Austin, Texas, saying of the player “once you hear this, you can’t go back”.

Speaking at the Austin Convention Centre, the musician launched the Kickstarter campaign for the project. At the end of the event, Young revealed that the campaign had already raised over half its target funds of $800,000 in just four hours, “which is pretty cool”, he commented.


Pono will consist of a digital music service (PonoMusic) and 128GB portable device (PonoPlayer) capable of storing 1-2,000 high resolution songs. The PonoPlayer is described in a press release as a “purpose-built, portable, high-resolution digital-music player designed and engineered in a ‘no-compromise’ fashion to allow consumers to experience studio master-quality digital music at the highest audio fidelity possible, bringing the true emotion and detail of the music, the way the artist recorded it, to life.”

Young offered rewards for financial contributions to Pono, including a “VIP Dinner & Listening Party” with the singer and limited edition Pono players signed by Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam, Beck, Foo Fighters and others. All 500 limited edition players with Young’s signature laser-engraved on the device were sold for a minimum of $400 each.

As per Kickstarter rules, project organisers keep any funds raised past the required amount.

Watch a video about the service below: