In an interview at CES 2015, rock legend and Pono CEO Neil Young talked about the early days of his Hi-Res Audio company – and its plans for the future.
In his video interview with GigaOM, which you can watch in full below, Young suggested that Pono wouldn’t be making hardware for much longer, but would instead offer licensing deals to third-party companies building their own audiophile music players.
When asked whether he wanted to continue building hardware, Young replied, “Not really. This is just so people can see what can be done. I would welcome the chance to have another company make this player.”
Pono would then offer technology and branding to the company. “It can say ‘certified Pono’ or it can say ‘branded Pono’. Those are two things we offer, and neither of them are expensive.” So, for a nominal fee, a company can enlist Pono’s technical expertise. Rather than making hardware, Young suggested that Pono would prefer to concentrate on sourcing music for and running its online store of Hi-Res Audio downloads.
The first of these collaborations looks to be with Harman, which has announced that it’s working with Pono to developer a Hi-Res Audio system for automobiles. Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal said, “We are excited to collaborate with Mr Young and the team at Pono Music to expand their reach into the car and let people hear music as the artist intended.”
The details of Harman’s system remain unclear, but we’ll bring you more on it (and other Pono collaborations) when we get it.