Neil Young reveals plans to launch Pono streaming service

"We're pushing towards getting a presence in phones," Young said

Neil Young has revealed plans for the streaming launch of his digital music service, Pono.

Pono (the Hawaiian for “proper”) was made available in January 2015, with its portable digital-music players in particular “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.” Pono also exists as a high-quality file download store, similar to Apple’s iTunes store.


Young has now spoken about his plans to bring Pono’s hi-fi service into the profitable streaming market. Speaking to Rolling Stone, the 71-year-old said that smartphones would be Pono’s first target – despite iPhone’s internal chips not currently being compatible with Pono’s high-quality sound.


“We’re pushing towards getting a presence in phones,” Young said, before revealing that he is working with an unnamed Singaporean company on a method to “maintain our quality level when we go to streaming.”

Young’s foray into the streaming market is particularly interesting given his rocky relationship with some of his soon-to-be competitors. Back in July, the singer-songwriter removed all of his music from the major streaming services in a move that he claimed was down to  their “inferior” sound quality, rather than any issues pertaining to money or royalties.

“It’s about sound quality,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don’t feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It’s bad for my music.”