Neil Young has some thoughts as to why his Pono player and download service crashed and burned, pointing to one villain in particular: "The record labels killed it." The rock icon told the Los Angeles Times that his Toblerone-shaped gadget for hi-res music playback was vanquished due to labels charging too much for song files.
"They killed it," he says referring to labels, "by insisting on charging two to three times as much for the high-res files as for MP3s. Why would anybody pay three times as much?"
Young launched his PonoMusic World store in early 2015, following the release of the actual player, with a catalog of 24-bit 192kHz tracks. Prices for full albums of hi-res files went from anywhere between $20 to $28 versus half that on iTunes and other download stores. Individual songs on PonoMusic usually cost between $1.99 and $2.99 a piece.