Neil Young’s Pono Fundraising Campaign Sets Kickstarter Record

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April 11, 2014 | 3:20pm EST

Neil Young’s fundraising campaign for his new Pono music service and player has set a new record after becoming the third most-backed project in the website’s history.
The Heart of Gold hitmaker launched the online effort on 11 March with the aim of raising $800,000 by 15 April, but the goal was smashed in less than 10 hours and with a few days still to go, it has so far garnered more than $5.75 million.
The huge success has earned Young and his Pono business partners a place in Kickstarter’s five-year history.
PonoMusic CEO, John Hamm, says, “We are so excited about hitting this milestone. This campaign has exceeded our expectations from the start.
“By taking the non-traditional crowdfunding approach, we have been able to unveil PonoMusic our way – directly to our customers. The PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign now has over 16,000 active backers and we’ve received over 5,000 comments, questions, and suggestions on the site. This is incredibly valuable consumer feedback and we will be a much better company at launch because of the engagement from the PonoMusic community.”
Rewards for the most generous donors include a VIP dinner with Young and the chance to attend a listening party with the musician, as well as special editions of the PonoPlayer signed by its various celebrity supporters.
Potential investors have now been given another reason to hand over extra cash – project executives have unveiled plans for PonoClear, a PonoPlayer device with transparent casing so users can see its inner workings. The player will also be offered to fans with a pre-loaded PonoMusic sampler curated specially by the company’s founding team.
Young promises the Pono download service and personal music player will recreate the purest sound of music, presenting songs as they are first heard during the recording process.