It’s all about the instant PAYDAY. At the moment, the Kickstarter campaign for it is over $2.2 million. Neil Young and the Pono team know that their product is for a niche market and they are going to milk it for what it’s worth. High-resolution digital albums at PonoMusic.com are expected to cost between $14.99 -$24.99 and Pono Music can’t even tell the world what their percentage take will be.
If you remember back to 1998, the recording business became famous for saying that no one will be interested in downloading a crappy mp3. Guess they didn’t know how many billions those no ones came too.
Pono is coming at a time when fans of music have decided that YouTube and Spotify are better alternatives. Other fans of music have decided that they are happy with downloading mp3’s (either legally or illegally). And that is what Pono Music fails to understand. The fans of music are in control. If they want to pay, they will. If they want to go to a show, they will.
Pono CEO John Hamm is well-known for being involved in companies that start-up and get bought out by larger companies. That ends up as a big pay-day for him and Pono will be no different, because it is all about the payday and not about satisfying music fans or bringing back the glory days of music or bringing back the soul of music.
Furthermore, Hamm has an agenda as a member of the Grammy Foundation, that works hand in hand with the major labels to promote the recording industry. What about telling artists that contribute to the recording industry what they will receive?
Finally, Phil Baker is the VP and his experience is taking products from a concept to the market in the quickest and most cost-effective way.
It’s all about business and nothing about music. The major labels get richer. The people in Pono get richer. The major bands will get some kickbacks in a top down royalty scheme and all the rest will get nothing.