Neil Young set to launch Pono streaming service

Pono Music, Neil Young's digital music service, is changing. Instead of just offering tracks to download, Pono plans to offer a hi-res music streaming service too.

"We're gonna re-emerge as a streaming service and a hi-res download offering," Young told Rolling Stone. "We provide the best that's available. Full resolution music. Great sounding music."

He continued: "We're pushing towards getting a presence in iPhones." (However, at the moment iPhones don't support hi-res audio, so you need a third-party app - find out more here.)

Young also confirmed he was working with a Singaporean company to "maintain our quality level when we go to streaming".

MORE: Pono PonoPlayer hands-on review

He didn't explicitly say the streaming service would support hi-res audio, but given his commitment to sound quality, it's safe to assume it will. This will position it as a rival for high-end streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz. In fact, Qobuz Sublime is precisely that - a hybrid hi-res streaming and download subscription service.

According to Young, Pono is still setting up partnerships to obtain streaming rights. He didn't say when the service would launch.

Pono has had its share of troubles. Its online music store went offline in July after its content partner was acquired by another company (and remains offline). And this despite the PonoPlayer supposedly sounding "like God".

And of course, the PonoPlayer still hasn't officially launched in the UK...

MORE: High-resolution audio: Everything you need to know

Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.