Neil Young Says Major Labels Killed Pono

Neil Young Says Major Labels Killed Pono


Neil Young Says Major Labels Killed Pono

Back in 2015, Neil Young thought he had completed his never-ending quest to give listeners everywhere the joy hi-res audio with the release his Pono player and download service. Of course, the triangular device never quite took f with consumers, and now Young has pinned its failure on record labels.

Speaking with the Chicago Tribune, Young said that labels “killed Pono] 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?”

Upon Pono’s launch alongside its online music store in early 2015, full albums hi-res files ranged from $20 to $28. Individual songs ranged from $1.99 to $2.99 each.

“It’s my feeling that all music should cost the same,” Young expressed. “The hi-res] file doesn’t cost any more to transfer. And today with streaming, you don’t have the problem unauthorized file sharing]. Who wants to copy something if you can stream it?”

He continued: “The record companies, by charging three times as much for hi-res music as they charge for regular music, they’ve killed hi-res music,” adding, “It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.”

In the wake Pono’s demise, Young is now focused on hi-res platform XStream, which is currently being used for his own massive online archive.

Calling it a platform as opposed to a service, Young noted that “there’s nothing stopping anybody else from starting something similar]…The record companies are in the way with the high prices. There should be hi-res streaming services everywhere.”