Pono contracts with 7digital following Omnifone's sale to a mystery buyer.
Neil Young's PonoMusic digital service is offline following the recent acquisition of Omnifone, up until now the company's sole provider of hi-resolution audio downloads. The sale has forced Young and company to go dark until a new platform can be established. Taking over as Pono's new provider will be 7digital, the London-based indie services platform. In a message posted to its website, Pono said the "process of transition is now well underway" and that it would take several weeks to complete.
Pono's music library was taken offline on Wednesday (July 20). In a statement, the company encouraged people to continue listening to their purchased music and said that all licensing agreements with labels are intact and will be in place when the store, which uses the FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) format as its standard, reopens with the help of 7digital. Those distinct, Toblerone-shaped Pono music players are still available to purchase for $399 a pop.
"We're ardent supporters of high resolution music and are delighted to be working with the team at Neil Young's Pono to provide content for their service," said 7digital CEO Simon Cole in a statement to Billboard.