Hometown town hall…

We had a great get-together last Thursday in our very own hometown of Oakland, CA at a perfect spot called Preservation Park, right downtown.

Town Hall_Oakland 12.8.jpgA really large crowd showed up, loaded with lots of questions and comments:
There were many questions about how we decide what music goes in Pandora, and on how artists are paid – including from a number of musicians whose music is on Pandora. There were also questions and suggestions about advertising on our site – is it targeted? For example, one married attendee asked about the frequency of dating site ads…I assured her this wasn’t a hint of any kind!

Pandora is very conservative on this issue, and it is heartening that our listeners also have a pragmatic attitude about the business benefits – good thing considering how Pandora works!

Folks also had a lot of questions about specific stations (Allman Band, Led Zeppelin, flamenco music…) with an equal mix of complaints and compliments – one thing that our attendees learned, as did I, is that our suggestion option isn’t as obvious as it could be. Need to fix that.

I was particularly struck by the number of people who were interested in Pandora’s relationship to the local community, and how we see community work and philanthropy in terms of our company’s mission. That’s a major topic inside Pandora right now. We’ve been doing a lot, but are thinking strategically about how to expand. Oakland definitely has a lot of community pride. It’s great to finally be able to meaningfully contribute to our community.

Really heartwarming question from someone to close off the evening: “how can we be better listeners?” Pretty cool :)

Tim (Founder)

Tim Westergren

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

58 thoughts on “Hometown town hall…

  1. Thanks so much for hosting the townhall Tim! Oakland definitely loves Pandora, and I’m wearing my thumbs up t-shirt right now.

  2. Tim… That was a wonderful, informative and exciting meeting.
    To follow up on the odd coincidence that two of us had “reservations” about the selection for the Allman Bros, and Led Zeppelin station. I spent the weekend listening to both.. and here are some the anomalies I think…
    Allman Bros, had lots of ACDC, and Santana, and soft Beatles music…
    LedZeppelin has too much late 80′s, 90′s heavy metal… (I guess I am stuck in the 60′s : )
    Anyway, so appreciate all my Pandora Stations, usually the mixes are just what I want! (and I am now more conscious of hitting pause.. saving your 2 cents per hour!)
    I will continue to subscribe, and give Pandora as my favorite Holiday gift.
    Thanks again for your time and vision,
    Jenny

  3. Tim, I so enjoyed attending the town hall meeting last week and learning more about the inner workings of Pandora and how it came to be. As a musician (keyboard player, like you, many styles), member of the Uptown Business Improvement District Board and a working Rent-A-CFO, I can honestly say that you are one of the few companies where I would LOVE to work if you ever have an opening for a CFO/Controller/Financial Consultant. You have an awesome model, great philosphy and a company that I love to see thrive here in Oakland. Keep up the great work!
    Laurie

  4. Great meeting – and entertaining. My wife and I have each been pd. subscribers for nearly 3 years. You’d be surprised how many Pandora fans don’t know Pandora is based right here in Oakland.
    As much as I’m overwhelmed w. email – I’d like to receive a monthly newsletter. We never hear anything from you (except the music), One year we never got notices bills were due.

  5. Thanks for maintaining this blog. I love Pandora!
    One request: My general impression is that the spectrum of songs included in a channel is fairly limited. In other words, once I’ve listened to the channel a couple of times I start to experience a great deal of redundancy/repetition to the point of tiring of that channel.
    Do channels on premium site include more songs?
    Can Pandora expand the # of songs played on a channel?
    Thanks,
    Ben

  6. Off topic but I couldn’t find a contact page.
    While I was listening to my station, your program chose for me to listen to Nickleback. With no skips remaining for the hour I was subject to no less then what I would consider torturer. I am appalled that your system would believe I would actually enjoy this verbal diarrhea and would like an apology for this atrocity and hope your program never makes this mistake again.
    Thank you and good day.

  7. Thanks for the invite.
    It was interesting to hear the background on the company. As a longtime Oaklander — I look forward to what Pandora can bring to the Oakland community via music events or similar.
    I have asked Santa for a Pandora membership — hope he comes through!

  8. Wow, the work you guys are doing in getting all the artists together is just amazing. I have always loved Pandora, but these new initiatives are just heavenly.
    The meeting was pretty worth it, me and my girlfriend had ourselves a great time. Oakland <3 Pandora!

  9. As to advertising, you had better unload the bigots at Lowe’s right quick, or you are gonna lose me. I can live with the dating onslaught, but surrendering to right-wing fascist Nativist pressure is a very bad call on the part of such a ubiquitous company, and by partnering with them you condone. As of this writing, they have not reversed their anti-Muslim decision, and it’s a disgrace – it’s almost 2012, not 1912, when lynchings happened every day…
    I was just about to subscribe…

  10. This is really great to get Pandora free on my iPhone, that allows simply play the app and Pandora music… i got iDA-X305S on my iPhone just for Pandora. i wish i could have a Pandora membership. OMG

  11. You should add a share function to these blog posts so that we can share them on our Facebook and Twitter pages. XOXO

  12. Pandora is great. I enjoy listening to it every day and makes doing what I do so much better! I have one huge suggestion which I know there are many out there who agree with me… A great improvement would be to support the “Show what I’m listening to” option on windows live messenger. That would be great!

  13. A small thing, but could you PLEASE restore the bookmark feature from the main website? It still exists for the mobile app and the Adobe Air standalone app, but it’s broken on the desktop. And that makes me sad panda.

  14. How about listing the station being played with the song and artist. I have numerous stations and have to do a lot scrolling to figure out if I want that song on that station.
    Would it ever be possible to use lyrics to organize songs?

  15. Very frustrated i have tried to create my holiday station in spanish and I keep getting everything but spanish music! Or I get spanish music that is not holiday…here let me give you a SIMPLE SUGGESTION
    How about coding Holiday-S for spanish maybe your sophisticated software can then figure it out!

  16. You had better unload the bigots at Lowe’s right quick, or you are gonna lose me. I can live with the dating onslaught, but surrendering to right-wing fascist Nativist pressure is a very bad call on the part of such a ubiquitous company, and by partnering with them you condone.

  17. How do I pay securely? Your upgrade page is not secure and I don’t enter credit card info on such pages. I emailed twice about this but alas, no reply?!?

  18. Guys, you really need to expand to Europe. I was in Bay Area for 6 months, got hooked on Pandora, and now back in Stockholm nothing really cuts it anymore, just love how your engine picks out songs.
    So yeah, I’ve been telling everyone how good it is, so please sort out the legalese so we can listen to it over here :)
    Regards,
    Adde

  19. I’m late to the party but why, oh why, did Bookmark disappear. I used it to buy songs all the time, and now I can’t. So, when I’m listening in my office, if I hear a song to remember, I open up Shazam on my phone so I can save it for later. I’m a staunch supporter of paying for my music, so I buy a lot… through Shazam.

  20. Totally frustrating. Can no longer Move songs to the Radio Station I wish to select. It’s like only PANDORA knows where I
    should place my music. Fact is this old timer thinks Pandora, although doing a fine job, doesn’t know all the music I know.
    rw

  21. Hi Bob,
    Jeff here from Pandora…
    There are two ways to move a track to another station:
    1. Hover over the album art on the Now Playing page, you should see an arrow. Click on it and select that option from the menu.
    2. Click on the album art in the top right of the page – the menu with that option should appear.
    Hope this helps. Thanks for listening!
    PS if you ever need help with Pandora, visit help.pandora.com (you can email us from that page as well!)

  22. where I should place my music. Fact is this old timer thinks Pandora, although doing a fine job, doesn’t know all the music I know.

  23. Hi Pandora
    I also work in the online business and find it very strange that your service is not available in Denmark.

  24. Hi there,
    Jeff from Pandora here…
    Sadly, we can only legally offer Pandora services to listeners located in the United States. This applies equally to free and paid accounts, as well as Pandora on all computers and supported devices.
    Audio content streaming regulations differ from country to country, and we are still working on acquiring the proper licenses to accommodate them in each country.
    You can sign up to be notified when this happens by going to http://pandora.com/restricted
    Thanks for your patience in the meantime.

  25. A couple of weeks my Pandora broadcast started cutting out in the middle of songs. Just for split seconds, but it ruins the listening. It also cuts out even worse when I move the mouse. Right now I just checked out a competing online radio station it had no such problem. So I assume that this problem is with Pandora and not my internet connection. And this PC has a 2.60 GHz processor with 4GB of memory. Too bad. I really like the way Pandora allows you to use a song as your music genre. I’ve only looked at 2 competitors so far and they don’t do that. Btw, this is the only avenue I see on the website to give feedback like this (i.e. “no contact us” link).

  26. My wife and I love Pandora on her new Ipad 2. We’d rather have song lyrics than the bio.

  27. I really think Pandora should expand more to other countries. Although I understand that on many countries the government can be very strict, like China. But there are many out there that are very lenient and easy to expand into.

  28. Hi Gil,
    Jeff from Pandora here…
    Thanks for the note. We are still working on acquiring the proper licenses to accommodate them in each country.
    You can sign up to be notified when this happens by going to http://pandora.com/restricted
    Thanks for your patience in the meantime. We definitely appreciate your support!

  29. i can’t locate a contact address for your company, but would like to say:
    i love pandora. i don’t mind the ads much, but is there ANY way to customize the adds or “thumb down” a certain one? the target ad with the whiney kids makes me want to claw my eyes out.

  30. Hi George,
    Glad you and your wife are enjoying Pandora. We appreciate the suggestion for the iPad.
    Thanks for listening!
    - Jeff (Pandora)

  31. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for the feedback. Ads are a very important part of our business, and we’re still trying to get that perfect balance.
    Thanks for listening!

  32. Hi there,
    I love your project, I am from Italy and it is a pity indeed that we cannot access your service from here…
    Do you plan to extend it in the future?
    Thanks a lot

  33. Feature Request: When pandora changes tracks, please update the Window Title to something like “SONG TITLE – ARTIST – Pandora Radio”. This would allow me to know the name of that song simply by hovering my mouse over the tab without switching tabs.

  34. I have started to use Pandora more and more but never at length. I am on the road and have spent more time than usual in my hotel room for the last four days – so I have had my “Jackson Browne” station on the entire time. I like it – for the most part, but… here is the thing I don’t understand. How come you play the same songs by Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Neil Young (separate albums) I understand about playing a variety of artists that are like the one I chose to be the main one but… I have heard the same song played by the above artists in the last few days and I would think I would hear different songs as you have not even scratched the surface of the albums played. There is one exception – Elton John. With him, you do Play a variety of songs and I don’t think I have any repeat.

  35. idk anything about this but i didnt know how else to get in touch with someone, and i love the station but yall need to have the lyrics to every song on here.

  36. town hall meting was great and was good to see what is on people’s minds and their reactions to various music. Songs continue to be great.

  37. Just to see all those members at a Pandora convention demonstrates the success and support that Pandora has had over the past years. I think Pandora is one of the best internet radios out and I will continue to support it no matter what. I have Pandora for my Blackberry and I can’t do one day without listening to it which show how much I love it.

  38. Hi! – Is there a pandora app available for blackberry playbook? or for my HTC windows phone? I got both of them recently and would like to hook them up with some music. We listen to pandora all the time at work 10 Bellevue but I would like to listen to it when I don’t have a computer in front of me! Thanks in advance!

  39. I run painting company. Do I have to register Pandora to listen the music during work in customer house? We have smartphone connected to Makita Radio and stream through the phone.