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)


  1. Albert
    December 13, 2011 at 1:40pm
    Thanks so much for hosting the townhall Tim! Oakland definitely loves Pandora, and I'm wearing my thumbs up t-shirt right now.
  2. Ji
    December 13, 2011 at 1:58pm
    It was great to see Pandora listeners in my area! Lots of passionate listeners like me :)
  3. Jenny Callicott
    December 13, 2011 at 2:03pm
    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
  4. Laurie Cooperman Rosen
    December 13, 2011 at 4:14pm
    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
  5. mike
    December 13, 2011 at 8:31pm
    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.
  6. BK
    December 14, 2011 at 12:59pm
    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
  7. Disapointed
    December 14, 2011 at 3:13pm
    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.
  8. mike j
    December 14, 2011 at 10:17pm
    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!
  9. John Mathews
    December 16, 2011 at 3:20pm
    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!
  10. SouthernWreck
    December 18, 2011 at 12:48pm
    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...

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