Following on from becoming one of the biggest crowdfunded projects ever, raising over $6 million on Kickstarter, Neil Young’s hi-def audio Pono music service is now looking to raise additional funding through markets with even bigger wallets.

Young’s right-hand man in the touted music revolution, PonoMusic CEO John Hamm, explains that the company his now setting its sights on equity markets for additional backing.

While the booming success of the Kickstarter campaign has allowed the initial launch phase of Pono – including the manufacture of the iPod style music player, online music shop and website – the focus is now on financing the company long-term through partnerships and co-branding ventures.

“We’re going to raise some equity capital on the back of that (Kickstarter push) in May and June that will allow us to do a lot more of a company financing,” Hamm tells TechCrunch (as The Music Network points out). To that end, Hamm explains PonoMusic will hire “six or eight” new members to engineering, and expanding its content team, as well as employing “four or five” members to bulk its San Francisco-based marketing team.

The PonoMusic CEO also confirmed that the first run of 10,000 players pledged through Kickstarter will ship in October, followed by a second production batch in December. The campaign raised a whopping US$ 6,225,354 by its close on Monday 14th April – 7.7 times more than its humble goal of $800k – Pono’s 18,220 pledgers making it the third biggest funded project ever on Kickstarter (behind he Pebble smartwatch and Ouya gaming console).

Many of music’s biggest names have already sung the praises of Neil Young’s audiophile music revolution, which uses a cloud-based digital store and music player, but others aren’t so sure, based on the fact that Pono’s specs and high-end audio format is already available to the consumer.

This Week’s New Tracks On Triple J

Benjamin Booker – Violent Shiver [Rough Trade/Remote Control]
City Calm Down – Pavement [I OH YOU/Mushroom]
Golden Features – Tell Me {Ft. Nicole Millar} [Warner]
The Horrors – So Now You Know [XL/Remote Control]
Kasabian – Eez-Eh [Sony]
Kim Churchill – Window To The Sky [Warner]
The Owls – Ocean []
Röyksopp & Robyn – Do It Again [Pod/Inertia]

Chvrches – Strong Hand [Goodbye Records/Liberation]
Gang Of Youths – Poison Drum [Sony]
Kilter – They Say [etcetc]
Raleigh Ritchie x The Internet – Chased [Sony]

Industry News

Deezer CEO Stepping Down
Axel Dauchez, the CEO of French-based global music streaming service Deezer, has announced that he will be exiting the company in September to “pursue a new professional opportunity.”Dauchez, who once proclaimed that Deezer would bring about the “end of music downloads”, steps down after first joining in 2010 and ahead of Deezer’s entrance into the American market, the last major area on its list after launching in 180 countries worldwide. Fulfilling the transition from Dauchez’s departure is the company’s senior leadership team: Deezer co-founder Daniel Marhely, COO Christopher Coonen, board chairman Didier Bench and US CEO Tyler Goldman. (via Billboard)

New Brisbane-Based Booking Agency Launches
Today, the Australian industry is greeting Underscore Agency to the music world. Underscore focuses on the heavy end of the Aussie music spectrum, as demonstrated in its launch roster: prog-metallers Sydonia, alt-rock crew Forever the Optimist, metalcore mosh crew Bound For Ruin, melodic rock specialists Guards of May and punk mob Spitfireliar. The new booking agency is the brainchild of Brisbane manager/booker/publicist/promoter Tim Price who also runs events like El Grande Festival. (via Underscore Agency)

Gibson Buys Philips’ Audio And Home Entertainments Business
World renowned guitar-makers Gibson have acquired WOOX Innovations, who are the high-end manufacturers of audio, video, and multimedia of Philips. The Nashville guitar company will pay US$ 135 million over a seven-year-period for its new acquisition, following investing in TEAC and Onkyo, in its aim “to be the largest music and sound technology company in the world.” Philips CEO Frans van Houten comments: “with this agreement, the Philips brand will continue to be an innovation leader in this space.” (via The Music Network)

Sweat It Out Launch New Venture Art Killers
Aussie label Sweat It Out – home to Australian electronic acts like RUFUS, Emoh Instead, What So Not, and Motez – has launched a brand new Artist Management and PR company named Art Killers. Its flagship artists will be announced in the coming days. (via Art Killers)

WAM Releases 2013 Financial Report
Western Australia’s peak music body, WAM, has released its Annual Report, highlighting WAM’s efforts in boosting the state’s music industry through its many programs and events. Among its many achievements, the report shows that in 2013 over $246,000 was directed towards WA musicians, increased the WAM membership base by 33%, and attracted over 15,000 attendees to the new-look WAM Festival and Business Conference. There’s plenty more info available in the full report, which you can read here.

Artist Signings

Slayer Sign To Nuclear Blast To Form Own Label Imprint
Metal legends Slayer have begun work on a new album, set for an early 2015 release, that marks the launch of the band’s very own label imprint as part of a deal with Nuclear Blast records. The as-yet unnamed new imprint brings an end to the 28 year relationship between Slayer and Rick Rubin’s American Recordings. The band have already released the first taste of their new album in ‘Implode’, available as a free download from, and premiered live at the recent Revolver Golden God Awards (where Melbourne’s Twelve Foot Ninja claimed ‘Best New Act’)

Trophy Eyes Sign Deal Global Deal With Hopeless Records
Newcastle punk band, Trophy Eyes, have inked a worldwide deal with US label Hopeless Records as they work towards recording their first full-length album this June, due for release later in 2014. The five-piece melodic hardcore upstarts won the Triple J Unearthed Soundwave competition in February and released their five-track EP Everything Goes Away, featuring the track ‘May 24‘.

Kim Churchill Signs To Warner
Australian guitarist and songwriter Kim Churchill has signed a deal with Warner Music Australia for the release of his new album Silence/Win, out Friday 23rd May. To support the release of his third studio album, featuring 11 tracks recorded in Vancouver, Churchill has released a video for new single ‘Window To The Sky‘ and announced details for a national tour through May/June. Tickets and dates available from

We Are The Brave Join NYC Label KID Recordings Roster
Sydney’s We Are The Brave have joined revered New York indie label KID Recordings. The Aussie duo, consisting of singer-songwriter/producer Jess Chalker and hip-hop producer Ox Why, have celebrated the deal with the release of a new remix EP of their track ‘Sparrow’, featuring re-works by the likes of Rich Morel, The Dualists, Nightriders, Culture Fires, and GNOME.

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