On a personal note…

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.

Team,

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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Tablet Listeners: Fall Asleep and Wake Up to Your Favorite Music with Pandora!

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.

Settings w Alarm Sleep Timer
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Introducing Pandora’s Open Music Submission Process: Getting Your Music Heard

curation picAt 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.
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Discover More Music with Personalized Station Recommendations

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.
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Android Listeners: Start the New Year (and Every Day of 2014) by Waking Up with Pandora

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.
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Wake Up with Pandora: Introducing the Alarm Clock on Mobile

We think most folks would agree that waking up from a deep slumber to the tune of their favorite music almost always trumps the repetitive bleeping noise that typically comes out of an alarm clock.

In August, we unveiled a new way for Pandora listeners to fall asleep to their favorite stations with the Sleep Timer, and today I’m thrilled to share that we’re releasing a new version of our Pandora app for iOS that contains another top-requested new product feature from our listeners: an Alarm Clock.

The Alarm Clock allows you to wake up to your favorite Pandora music and includes key features like the ability to 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 snooze, turn off the alarm, or keep listening to your music simply by tapping the song title or artist name on your phone screen.

01-drawer     03-alarm_set
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