For over 12 years now we have been carefully and deliberately assembling the music that streams on Pandora. The Music Genome Project collection now includes over 100,000 artists, the majority of them independent, spanning hundreds of genres. It is a great point of personal pride for me, and for all of us here at Pandora that over 95% of these artists stream every month on the service.
Over the years the Pandora office has had the great pleasure of receiving visits from many of these talented musicians and comedians. Some are well-established artists in town for a major show, others are in the middle of a grassroots tour, hitting coffee houses and small clubs up and down the West Coast (something I remember doing myself for many years).
Sometimes we just meet up to show them around the office and learn about their careers, other times our employees are treated to a short performance. We also take the opportunity to show them the Music Genome Project and walk them through an analysis of their music, along with some data on their audience on Pandora. It’s been fun to see their reaction when they learn which songs are the most “thumbed up” or how large their audience is, and what areas around the country are particularly enthusiastic for their sound (we’ll be posting some more detail on that soon).
We’ve been doing this very informally for a while, but as the shows have grown in popularity both internally and externally, we recently decided to put some more effort into the programming. Earlier this year we started taping some of our in-office performances, and we gave them a name: the Whiteboard Sessions. The performances take place in front of a giant whiteboard in a common area of our office. On the day of the show one of our designers creates a unique drawing to represent each artist on the white board, which becomes the backdrop for the performance. If you follow us on social media you may have seen some photos from these performances.
The Whiteboard Sessions are unique because the daytime office environment calls for a different kind of performance than what people normally see at concerts. These sessions are mostly acoustic and there is a lot of interaction with the crowd. And there’s lots of improvising too – recycling bins become percussion instruments. There’s really nothing quite like an intimate, un-plugged show, up close and personal. …
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.
A 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 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! …
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! …