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.
A 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 :)