Enthusiasm for Pono Player Fades Quickly

March 18, 2014

Neil Young and his fellow investors raked in $4,000,000 during the first week of their Kickstarter campaign, which more than anything resembled passing the plate at a fundamentalist evangelical tent revivial among Neil Young and his fawning fans. The problem is that the amount of pledges and number of daily backers fell off quickly thereafter (ran out of fans?), and they struggled during the ensuing month to raise half that much, settling in with a total of $6,225,354. Now six million dollars is nothing to sneeze at, and is more than an adequate amount to reimburse their expenses to date, pay the rather significant fees of Kickstarter and Amazon Payments for their roles in the fundraising, and produce the 18,000 Pono players they now owe their backers, but it won’t leave much available to set up the PonoMusic downloads store. Hopefully they have another source of funding. In the end, the Kickstarter campaign was likely more about marketing than raising money anyway. Now undoubtedly everything will go silent until October when the first batch of Pono players are to be delivered (with a corresponding flurry of activity on eBay as initial backers begin the inevitable scalping of their collectible limited edition players), and the PonoMusic store is scheduled to open. It will be interesting to see whether Apple begins releasing high resolution downloads in June as is rumored. It would be the death knell for PonoMusic before it even begins. Interesting times in the high resolution downloads saga.