Neil Young Says Pono Is Looking for a Business Leader, Hopes to Expand When More Funds Come In

Honoree Neil Young attends the 56th GRAMMY Awards P&E Wing Event Honoring Neil Young at The Village Recording Studios on January 21, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Kovac, WireImage

Honoree Neil Young attends the 56th GRAMMY Awards P&E Wing Event at The Village Recording Studios on Jan. 21, 2014 in Los Angeles.

In a lengthy letter posted to his Facebook page on Aug. 19, Neil Young provided a detailed update about the state of Pono, his company featuring a digital music download service and portable player.

Neil Young Says 'Streaming Has Ended For Me'

“Pono is a labor of love,” Young started the note, continuing on to address the challenges of operating a “little company” and reiterating the company’s mission to bring high-quality master music files to fans -- “not some 21st century fake shallow Xerox facsimile, with all of the essence taken away and replaced by a thin exterior with no passionate core.”

“Music matters and sound matters. Not just any music or any sound. It needs to have all of its resonance, all of its echo, all of its soul and you can’t get it from downgraded super compressed files which are so ubiquitous today,” he explained.

“It has not been easy but we are doing what we love to do: making music sound GREAT,” he said.

Young revealed that Pono does not yet have a “proven business leader,” and that the company is searching for the right person who will share its vision. Pono currently has just one venture capitalist, he said, though they are receiving support from musicians, entrepreneurs and “good folk who love music and have the resources to support us.” Pono’s original Kickstarter campaign brought in over $6.2 million in 2014.

“Many ideas have had great starts at Kickstarter and yet have been unable to form a working company and deliver,” Young wrote. “The real world is challenging. But Pono has done it.”

The overall tone of the letter is positive, with Young revealing goals of setting up new stores in multiple countries -- such as Canada, Great Britain and Germany -- as soon as Pono receives more funds, since the company is "restricted by a lack of resources."

“We want to spread Pono around the world and provide you all with music to fill your hearts and minds,” Young said.

Young added that Warner Music Group, Sony Music, Universal Music Group and independent record labels are working with Pono, and he listed the company’s partners that are “enabling us to deliver hi-res proven provenance Pono music to our customers”: SalesForce, Ayre Acoustics, PCH, Omniphone, EDL, Cloud Craze, JRiver and Semaphore Systems.

Read Young’s full letter below:

Pono is a labor of love. Not just for me, for everyone in and around our small company, producing Ponomusic players and...

Posted by Neil Young on Wednesday, August 19, 2015