Legendary musician Neil Young put together a Kickstarter campaign for Pono, a high-end audio player. The campaign had set a goal of $800,000 but ended April 15 after having raised more than $6 million.
Pono has been in the works for years, but Young announced the product and its Kickstarter campaign during SXSW Festival in March. In support of the Kickstarter, a number of respected musicians who happen to be friends with Young appeared in a video testifying to the quality of the music player. These famous faces included Jack White, Beck, Norah Jones, Elvis Costello, Arcade Fire, Flea and many more.
According to Rolling Stone, the campaign reached its goal of $800,000 in the first 10 hours, but that didn’t stop fans from continuing the generosity. It ended with a total of $6,225,354 pledged by 18,220 people. One reward for a certain pledged amount is signature series Ponos bearing pre-loaded music and autograph inscriptions by Metallica, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam and Young; the top pledge amount of $5,000 is rewarded with dinner and VIP listening parties with Young in California and New York City.
The PonoMusic player will have much higher-quality audio than a smartphone. The suggested retail price is $399 and it will have 128 gigabytes of memory to hold 1,000 to 2,000 high-resolution song files. Maybe fans will use the new audio player to listen to Young’s latest album, Live at the Cellar Door.