When Neil Young launched Pono Music's Kickstarter campaign last month, it's doubtful even he would've guessed it would be so successful. Pono reached it's modest goal of raising $800,000 less than 10 hours after the campaign began. Now that the campaign has concluded, Pono has raised over $6 million in pledges, making it the third highest-funded campaign in Kickstarter history.
Officially, the Pono Music campaign closed on April 15th, earning approximately $6,225,354 pledged by 18,220 backers. Larger pledges were rewarded with prizes like limited edition pre-loaded Pono players featuring autograph inscriptions by Metallica, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, and Young, himself. The two top prizes for dinner and a VIP listening party with Young in New York City and California, at the cost of a $5,000 pledge, both sold out, as well.
The Pono Music service and player allow the listener to enjoy their music at a much higher quality than standard MP3s. To support his Kickstarter campaign, Young included a video of many of his famous friends giving wonderful testimonials about Pono's potential.
The Pono player is suggested to retail at $399, and will have 128 gigabytes of memory, which will hold anywhere from 1,000 - 2,000 high resolution songs (depending on the length of the songs). It has yet to be announced when the Pono Music service and player will be released.