Neil Young's Pono Raises $6 Million, Third Biggest Kickstarter Ever

The Kickstarter for Neil Young's high-end audio device Pono ended two hours ago as of this writing, bringing in $6,225,354, making it the third-most-funded project in the Kickstarter's history (the others were the Pebble Watch and the Ouya gaming console).

The campaign raised 7.7 times more than its original goal of $800,000, with 18,220 people contributing. 15 people donated at the highest level of $5,000, winning a dinner and listening party with Neil Young in Chicago.

The project itself was referenced by Young for years before materializing over the past few months. Young appeared in Austin, Texas during the South By Southwest music festival to introduce consumers to his new product, which the artist insisted wasn't about capitalism but protecting musical works of art from the low-quality encroachment of now-ubiquitous MP3 players.

Pono now graduates, plus some significant liquidity, to a product company that must compete in a field crowded with giants like Apple. New audio devices for connected homes are introduced almost daily (the Gramofon has been making some waves today). Few have focused on the higher-quality audio experience that Young has touted.

"Thank you to the artists, the recording companies, big and small, and most of all, thanks to you music lovers for making this happen with your amazing support," wrote Neil Young on the project's page.