After years spent whining about how the iPod was killing the music industry, rock legend Neil Young pulled his albums from Apple Music and launched his own iPod killer, the Pono Player. It was a weird pyramid shaped device that specialized in high-resolution audio, sold through its own music store, which Ars Technica memorably declared a tall, refreshing drink of snake water.
Anyone surprised to hear, then, that even as iPod sales die, Young’s Pono Player is having trouble keeping pace with it?
In a new post on Facebook, Young says that while the company has shipped “tens of thousands” of its $400 Pono Players to fans, and despite the fact that users have purchased “hundreds of thousands” of tracks from their store, Pono just can’t scrape together money to expand in more markets.
“Today we are trying to set up stores in multiple countries and are restricted by a lack off resources,” he wrote, claiming that Canada, Great Britain, and Germany would be the first targets. “This is our highest priority. As soon as we have the funds, those stores will open. We wish it could be faster than that.”
The company’s also looking for a CEO to replace tech alum John Hamm, who left the company in July 2014. Young claims the “search continues” for a replacement, during which time he will continue to act as interim CEO. Something tells me it’ll be hard to get a proven leader to take over, as long as listeners can’t really tell the difference between this and regular iTunes files. What do you think?