Milwaukee Town Hall

Great town hall last night in Milwaukee at the Iron Horse.

In spite of rain and a Brewers playoff game we had a full house (though we ended in time for folks to see the last few innings, Brewers leading by one).

Lots of great conversation as usual, including quite a bit of discussion about the advertising on Pandora. Listeners clearly have a desire to find different ways to interact with the ads – book marking them, saving for later, expressing preferences on their favorite kind of ads, etc.

It was really interesting to survey listeners on their usage. In a show of hands, a substantial majority listened to Pandora on smartphones, and a substantial majority of them listened to it in the car. That’s a serious trend for us. That number looked very different a year ago.
There also continues to be an appetite for greater control over station curation – ie. being able to control individual attributes. This group was clearly a group of power users!

A great visit.

Tim (Founder)

Tim Westergren

Founder http://www.pandora.com/profile/tim

18 thoughts on “Milwaukee Town Hall

  1. I’m surprised about the substantial majority of listeners listening on a Smartphone; the audio quality over the mobile streams is so significantly degraded compared to even the free quality of the desktop stream it’s almost painful to listen to over anything but the cheapest of included-with-the-phone earbuds. High-quality mobile is limited to 64kbps; as a Pandora One subscriber on the desktop I receive a 192kbps(?) stream.
    A support rep at Pandora had this to say: “Many carriers have trouble streaming even the “normal” quality audio on phones.” This just isn’t true with the full nationwide rollout of 3G networks giving way to 4G networks; my cell phone streams data as fast as my home cable modem connection in the high-density urban area where I live.

  2. I’m glad other people want more control over the individual attributes. This is something I’ve wanted for a long time and one of the main reasons I don’t use Pandora actively. Pandora has difficulty finding songs I like because there are far too many possible attributes in each song. I put in a song I like, and suddenly Pandora starts finding me matches based on attributes that I really don’t care about. For example, I may put in a song that I like for it’s minor key tonality, but I cannot tell Pandora to select more songs with that attribute. Instead, Pandora starts pulling up songs that have acoustic instrumentation, but I don’t really care if the song is acoustic or electric. Suddenly I’m getting acoustic songs that are in major keys and sound nothing like what I was looking for.
    Allowing users to select which attributes they like in a song would greatly improve this problem.

  3. I spend several hours a day proofreading medical charts. I love listening to Pandora while I do that. I haven’t liked the substitution of rock groups for country singers who have recorded the same songs. There were several songs by Messenger yesterday that I recognized from having heard them by a “more” country singer. I would also like to expand my profile a little to include general ballads from most singers from the 1990s on. I find listening to up-tempo music makes it difficult to concentrate on my proofing, but ballads are nice background.
    Overall, I love Pandora!

  4. Hi Tim
    I hope you get the time to check out the music that I left with you via Dropcard. “Know Flight Zone”. Thanks again for giving Milwaukee a voice.

  5. I didn’t know what to expect when I left for the meeting, but what I came out with was having totally enjoyed Tim’s presentation. I think we have a tendency to assume that things “just happen” without realizing the huge effort and sacrifices that people put into a project. I for one have enjoyed Pandora for about 6 years now, but since the meeting my enjoyment has doubled just knowing what is behind it all. Thanks for coming Tim and Staff, your visit was appreciated!

  6. I think the new Pandora is a disappointment. It is slower than before, perhaps due to the increased number of ads constantly popping up on the page. It often will start playing a song, and then for no reason skip to the next one. The history scroll doesn’t work all the time, and sometimes the audio ads are playing during a song. Changes were not for the better…

  7. i listen always thru mysmart phone while riding my bike. i am trying to ride 100 miles a week and the music helps. i am listening thru radio shacks version of earcandy and i have no complaints.
    thank you for the fine product and i do not mind the adds at all!

  8. Hi Tim! Ilove the music on pandora. It helps me get through the day, as I am shut-in, and don’t get out much. Thank you and God Bless you. Gloria Parsons

  9. I’ve been with Pandora since its inception and I continue to love it more and more. I, too, find it interesting that people want to listen to music through their smart phones when the sound
    quality is so poor. I guess I’m showing my age, but I grew up in the era of “the-bigger-the-better” speakers when sound quality was king.

  10. I can no longer sign in. I have requested my password 5 times with no response. I loved listening to pandora at work and I’d tweeked my stations to everyones liking here . So sad I can not get to them.

  11. I am new (and very pleased with) Pandora and internet radio in particular. The ability to design and control listening and have high quality sound is still hard to believe.
    I work with a faith-based organization that broadcasts its teachings on the web. Religion-talk shows on am and fm are few and far between. Listeners have to channel surf to find what interests them. Has Pandora begun to explore talk channels. The capability to self design a listening program that can educate and instruct while driving to work and not be dependent on a local channel’s lineup or reception quality (I live in the Mountain Time Zone and lose a lot on a 20 mile trip). The channels can be arranged in any talk show fashion (political left, right), news only: CNN CSPAN etc., religion by denomination. There IS a genuine market out there, I’m part of it.
    Anyway, Good JOB !

  12. When will we be able to vote on adds? I love the free music, but if I could listen to adds I like (or not have to put up with the same three all week) I’d be more likely to listen to them. It’d be great feed back for advertisers too. Talk about a great testing ground for adds…
    Please say “thumbs up” to voting on adds!
    -Thanks!

  13. I am having problems with Pandora shutting down. It just stops playing. I am a paying subscriber. I have to forward to the next song or sometimes reboot Pandora. This is not a time out. It can happen after I open Pandora within an hour or so. I do not get a time out notice.
    Also, everytime I want to play My Shuffle, I have to reconfigure My Shuffle. For example, I eliminate Christmas Music during the summer. But, when I reboot the next day, there is no memory of My Shuffle and I have to go through it every day to delete stations I don’t want to hear.
    Is there anyway for My Shuffle to “remember” my settings??
    The timing out problem is a problem. There is no need for me to pay for a service that times out intermittently.
    My renewal is coming up next month but if I don’t get these issues resolved…no need to pay for this service.
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you
    dave