Nashville: Country Music’s Red Carpet

The CMT Awards graciously invited Pandora to attend this year’s ceremony and to tweet from the Purple Carpet as Country’s hottest celebs arrived at the show. While we thoroughly enjoyed being close to the stars, we also took this opportunity to learn more about Nashville, a place referred to by many as “Music City”.

CUnderwood.JPGThousands of aspiring musicians have flocked to Music City over the years with a guitar and a dream hoping to take their place alongside the many greats of American music. Everyone from Dolly Parton to Black Keys, Elvis to Taylor Swift, Waylon Jennings to Jack White have done time in Nashville. The city’s “Music Row” is home to hundreds of record labels, publishing houses and recording studios focusing on gospel, country, pop and more. Read More →

New Orleans: Sunrise to Midnight

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, it is a place where generations upon generations of musicians have cultivated their unique sounds, you can feel it and hear it as you walk through the city, there is nothing else quite like it.

Screen shot 2012-05-04 at 4.32.12 PM.pngA few of us from Pandora were very lucky to attend this year’s Jazz and Heritage Festival and we soaked in the amazing sounds, hospitality and culture of the city. Our founder, Tim, and leader of music curation, Addi, spoke at the Sync Up conference, which is put on in conjunction with the festival. We also met up with some of our New Orleans listeners at a Sunday morning Town Hall. It was great to connect with our local New Orleans listeners amid such a musical weekend.

We had some amazing musical experiences on the streets of the city, both at and outside of the festival, thanks to a couple of wonderful local guides who quickly became our newest friends. Read More →

Pandora at SXSW

Screen shot 2012-03-22 at 10.19.26 AM[1].pngWe did it! Weeks of late nights and early mornings, hundreds of tacos and thousands of music fans and now we are home from hosting our first official showcase at the South by Southwest festival in Austin TX: Pandora’s very own Discovery Den.

This year the music portion of SXSW saw at least 25,000 attendees, hundreds of venues and more than 2,000 bands of every genre possible. The festival is a place where lesser known artists become discovered as well as where popular artists often show up as special guests. Some of the festival’s top names this year included Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Jack White and Kanye West. At the Pandora Discovery Den, we featured four days and nights of amazing music including acts like Band of Skulls, Big K.R.I.T., Glen Hansard and Gary Clark Jr. The place was packed and people seemed to be having a good time, which we love! Read More →

SXSW, Here We Come…

Every March, music aficionados and fans alike head to Austin, Texas for the renowned SXSW festival and it’s only a natural fit for Pandora to be there too. We are excited that, for the first time ever, we will have an official presence at the festival.

Because Pandora enriches the lives of music fans by helping them discover and rediscover music they love, we are bringing that concept to life with the Pandora Discovery Den. The Pandora Discovery Den will be hosted at the legendary Austin venue Antone’s from Tuesday, March 13 through Friday, March 16.

We will treat attendees to a variety of live musical performances, spanning from Rock to Hip Hop to Americana, including Theophilus London, WALK THE MOON, Gary Clark Jr and Bahamas. Attendees will also have the chance to win daily raffles with limited-edition items, participate in hands-on technology demos and much more! Read More →

Live from New York, it’s Pandora…and Portugal. The Man

This evening, we are hosting our second live event as part of a new listener appreciation series. Tonight’s concert features Portugal. The Man, and we’ve invited some of the band’s most avid New York City fans to a free show at The Bowery Ballroom. One of the central missions of Pandora is to bring together bands and fans. We’ve been successfully doing that online for some time now, so it’s exciting to see this offline component now coming to life!

We’ve started a special page on Pandora so that fans across the country can follow the series. Check out www.pandora.com/pandorapresents to see some of the special content, such as behind the scenes interviews, thoughts from fans, and special mixtapes that are curated by the featured band, including Portugal. The Man and the first band of the series, Dawes.

Our first show was held in Portland, Oregon, on December 13. There will be more shows to come throughout this year, so stay tuned for the next city and band announcement.

We’re really looking forward to tonight’s show (which is brought to our fans for free, courtesy of Budweiser). If you don’t have a pass for tonight’s show, a few have been set aside to give away at the door at 7 p.m. Get there early if you’d like to join us for an awesome night.

- Tim (Founder)

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! Read More →

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)

Meeting Dr. Watson, Co-Discoverer of DNA and Creator of the Human Genome Project

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I had the rare treat of meeting with, and presenting Pandora and the Music Genome Project to the scientist who actually discovered DNA, Dr. James Watson. He’s a wonderful man with an obvious curiosity, and some very strong opinions about Chinese opera!

Had a terrific time touring the Cold Spring Harbor facility out on Long Island, where a global assembly of some of the world’s brightest natural scientists come together to do bench research. We convened for a town hall in a seminar room full of biologists and their friends to talk Genome.

It was certainly an unusual town hall with a whole new set of questions around the science and implications of the Music Genome Project. Read More →

Sioux Falls and Omaha

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Well, we capped off the Dakotas/Nebraska tour with a lecture at Augustana College in Sioux Falls (thanks to the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society) on Thursday and a terrific town hall that evening; then a meetup at the amazing Durham museum in Omaha last night (with a relaxing drive across the plains in between). We sure lucked out on the weather this trip. Not a flake of snow.

sd 3.jpgSioux Falls – thanks to Jeremy and the crew at the Museum for Visual Materials for being such a great host and for spreading the news locally. And what a turnout – around 250 people showed up for a very lively conversation – first time we’ve had more people show up than actually RSVPd. I learned something: classical music helps plants grow faster than rock music… That’s apparently been scientifically proven. Go figure. Read More →

Fantastic Fargo and Great Grand Forks!

What a great day. Started with bang in Fargo at Babb’s Coffee shop, then a quick drive to Grand Forks for a talk with a very engaged group of prospective entrepreneurs at the Ina Mae center; topped off by a truly wonderful town hall in downtown Grand Forks at the Coffee Company. Sarah and her crew were wonderful – completely rearranging every piece of furniture in the room to accommodate a big crowd – even more people showed up than had RSVP’d. A serious group of power users. Two gents had driven 2.5 hours from Canada! We even borrowed chairs from the fitness club and the women’s hair salon next door! One of the many great advantages of hosting these in smaller towns and special thanks to the 94.7FM DJs who knew the proprietors and helped us with the chairs – fortunately they were Pandora fans :)

We also just ran way over on our RSVPs for Omaha on Thursday, so we’ve moving the event to the Durham Museum (801 South 10th Street).

Gotta get some sleep for the long drive to Sioux Falls tomorrow.

This is fun!

Tim (Founder)