Neil Young launches new streaming service XStream

Young previously raised $6.2million on Kickstarter for his previous streaming service, PONO

Neil Young has launched a new streaming service. It’s called XStream and follows on from his previous streaming service PONO.

PONO was launched in 2014, after Young raised $6.2million through a Kickstarter campaign. It released a music-download service, a digital-to-analog conversion technology and a line of portable players.

Despite Young launching the service to “save the sound of music,” PONO didn’t quite take off as he had hoped amid complaints that the company was too niche and PONO’s storefront shutdown in July 2016.


Young has now relaunched the site – now called XStream. According to CBS News, Young teamed up with Singapore firm Orastream to create “an adaptive streaming service that changes with available bandwidth” for “complete high-resolution playback.”

Writing on PONO’s community page, Young said; “I’m still trying to make the case for bringing you the best music possible, at a reasonable price, the same message we brought to you five years ago. I don’t know whether we will succeed, but it’s still as important to us as it ever was.”

“We began work with another company to build the same download store. But the more we worked on it, the more we realized how difficult it would be to recreate what we had and how costly it was to run it,” Young wrote.

Young goes on to explained that ‘just bringing back the store was not enough,’ and that although there was a “dedicated audience” for PONO, he couldn’t justify the high costs. “When it comes to high-res, the record industry is still broken,” he said, before adding, “I believe all music should cost the same, regardless of the technology used.”

“All songs should cost the same, regardless of digital resolution. Let the people decide what they want to listen to without charging them more for true quality. That way quality is not an elitist thing. If high-resolution costs more, listeners will just choose the cheaper option and never hear the quality,” he wrote.


Pricing details for XStream are yet to be revealed.