Back in the early days of Pandora, I was frequently the person who would post to our blog with news about the latest product enhancements and company milestones. Through the years others increasingly filled that role, but I wanted to pop up here one more time to share one last bit of news: after 10 years, I’m in the process of handing over product and technology leadership to others and transitioning to an advisor role.
I just sent the following email to the Pandora team and I wanted to share it with you as well.
In May of 2004 I met [Pandora founder] Tim for breakfast at a diner in Potrero Hill. I was there to learn about his company Savage Beast and consider the opportunity to join the team of 10 or so he’d assembled. While perhaps I had reservations about the business (music kiosks for book stores!), I knew at once that I wanted to throw my lot in with Tim. Fast forward 10 years and it has truly been the adventure of a lifetime.
The story of Pandora has had many chapters and through most of the twists and turns, I was solely focused on how I could help get the company to the next stage. Rarely did I stop to think about a world where I didn’t make my contribution to the next chapter. I confess though that maybe 18 months ago, I started to think about what I’d need to do to hand over the pen so others could author chapters after my eventual departure.
Then [Pandora’s former CEO] Joe’s decision to leave pushed all of those thoughts to the side. My focus for the last twelve months has been to ensure that the company landed confidently in the hands of an exceptional new leader. We’ve found that leader in [Pandora’s new CEO] Brian. As I look at the revitalized executive leadership team he has put in place, consider the great leaders on my own team, and contemplate the exciting roadmap we’ve set for the future, I’ve decided that all the pieces are in place to allow me to step aside and let others write the next chapters.
So today we’ve announced that in three months I’ll be transitioning to an adviser role.
We’ve also announced that, effective today, [former Pandora VP of Engineering] Chris Martin has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer and will join the executive leadership team representing our engineering efforts. We are also promoting [former Pandora VP of Technical Operations] Steve Ginsberg to Chief Information Officer today and he and his team will now report to [Pandora CFO] Mike Herring. I’m as proud of all the senior leaders on my team — Chris, Steve, [Pandora VP of Design] Tony and [Pandora VP of Product Management] Mike — as I am about anything I’ve ever accomplished here. These promotions are one reflection of that, and they are richly deserved. If there are successes from the last 10 years you credit to me, they’d almost surely more fairly be credited to Chris, Steve, Tony and Mike.
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If you have ever been to South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festival, you know that 6th Street is like a musical pulse running through the heart of Austin. Live music comes pouring out from every direction as attendees file down the closed off street, their ears guiding their next move. For music lovers, it’s a magical experience. At Pandora, we love getting to bring the thrill of discovering an artist to life through live performances, but we also don’t want you to miss out if you can’t make it to Austin for SXSW. That’s why we’ll be live streaming all four days of our third annual Pandora Discovery Den. Read More →
In the past few months, we’ve launched two new listener-requested features on mobile that have received overwhelmingly positive responses: our Sleep Timer and Alarm Clock. Today I’m happy to share that we released version 5.2 for Android, allowing listeners to fall asleep and wake up to their favorite Pandora music on their Android tablets in addition to their smartphones.
Just like on Android smartphones, the functionality of Sleep Timer and Alarm Clock will work the same across tablets (including Kindle Fire) that have updated to the latest version of the Pandora app. You can find the Sleep Timer and Alarm Clock options in your settings drawer, located in the upper right corner of your Pandora app screen.
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The earliest Valentine’s Cards can be traced back as far as the 1800’s in Britain, when the festival of February 14th became synonymous with love and all things heart shaped. These days Saint Valentine’s Day, or more commonly just ‘Valentine’s Day’ is stamped as the opportunity for people to declare anonymous love and/or potentially undying affection.
With that in mind today is Valentines Day and chances are if you haven’t already got a gift you are cutting it close to the wire!
Don’t worry we have just the thing for an instant gift, the Pandora Valentines Mixtape. It is free and you can make, send and they will receive it today!
You can create a personalised online mixtape for a friend or valentine over at the Pandora Australia Facebook page. It is a great way to share the music you love or the music you know someone else loves.
It is as simple as 3 easy steps to send a mixtape:
- Click through to Facebook here: http://on.fb.me/LWNk9M
- Choose the artwork & mixtape name
- Then pick the lucky person who will receive the gift
Go ahead and send as many as you like, to friends, family and lovers alike and if you want to check out our full range of Valentine Stations which are ready made to listen to you can do that right here.
Hazel, Pandora ANZ
At Pandora, our central mission is connecting artists with listeners who will love their music. Our goal is to enable every talented artist to reach the audience they deserve, without regard to the style of their music or their popularity.
When it comes to access and promotion, enormous hurdles have always confronted musicians and comedians, especially independent or self-releasing artists, in getting an equal opportunity to be heard. This is why I’m thrilled to introduce our new open music submission process. Read More →
Music discovery has always been at the heart of the Pandora experience and today we’re thrilled to announce the launch of personalized station recommendations on both iOS and Android mobile devices.
Pandora had 76.2 million people listening to 1.58 billion hours of music just last month alone. When you layer on the more than 35 billion pieces of thumb feedback we have received since launching in 2005, it equates to billions of data points right at our fingertips. These valuable insights into our listeners’ tastes provide us with a deep understanding of what people love about music and enables us to power the best personalized radio experience for each individual listener.
Up until now, we have primarily been focused on making behind-the-scenes improvements to the playlist experience and we’re excited about the opportunity to apply our same methodology to this brand new Pandora feature. Read More →
Happy New Year!
Last month we released a new version of our Pandora app for iOS that included a top-requested new product feature from our listeners: an Alarm Clock. The response from listeners using the new Alarm Clock has been overwhelmingly positive and today I’m thrilled to share that we’re releasing version 5.1 for Android that will now allow listeners on Android smartphones to wake up to their favorite Pandora music as well.
Just like the one we built for iOS, the Alarm Clock for Android includes key features like the ability to easily snooze. When the alarm goes off, your music will begin to play with album art scrolling in the background. At this point, you can choose to keep listening to your music simply by tapping the song title or artist name on your phone screen, snooze or turn off the alarm. There are also a few notable features that are unique to the Alarm Clock for Android, including the ability to customize how often your alarm repeats throughout the week. Since you don’t have to keep the Pandora app running in the foreground in order for the alarm to play music when it fires, the Alarm Clock for Android is easier than ever to use. Read More →
With 2014 around the corner, let’s rewind through 2013 to capture some of the most memorable musical moments with our End of Year genre stations.
2013 Top Pop
Pop music reached record popularity in 2013 with the help of gigantic crossover hits from Rock, R&B, Hip Hop and Dance. Check out 2013 Top Pop for the biggest Pop chart-toppers on Pandora. It was a very good year for TV alums, veteran Justin Timberlake and newcomer Ariana Grande both made a huge splash. Beyond all the hype, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez delivered with the biggest hits of their career. And of course one of the most anticipated releases of the year was from One Direction, following their multi-monster singles. Finally, leading up to his 2014 Superbowl performance, Bruno Mars proved to be a superstar with the energetic “Locked out of Heaven” and “Treasure” to the more emotional “When I Was Your Man”. Read More →
Nothing gets me in the spirit like the right song and by spirit I mean holiday spirit. I’m always refreshed to hear new eclectic interpretations of favorite holiday songs. This year, there’s sure to be something to satisfy the holiday music fan in your life: from Pop to R&B, Punk to Classical. If you’d like a sampling of 2013’s newest holiday releases, check out our Today’s Christmas station.
Two of 2013’s most anticipated Christmas albums come from chart-topping women. Pop sensation Kelly Clarkson’s debut holiday collection Wrapped In Red contains five original songs, including the single “Underneath the Tree.” Also releasing her first holiday collection is R&B singer Mary J. Blige. Blige’s A Mary Christmas features guests like Michael Buble, Rod Stewart and Barbra Streisand is sure to bring on the Christmas cheer.
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We are really excited to announce that we have officially hit 1 million registered users in Australia, in just under a year since we launched here. This means every 30 seconds someone new is discovering Pandora in Australia – and on average listening with us for over 2 hours a day!
Thanks to all our listeners for being with us. Come and join the conversation with me over on Twitter #PandoraAUS or facebook.com/pandora