In a fun recent development, for the first time ever we now have Pandora One gift cards available in Target stores across the country. It's really exciting to see Pandora featured in a retail location. Something about a physical object in a brick and mortar store that feels a bit different, and really cool. They make a great gift - especially for all of you last-minute gift givers (you know who you are).
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.
One comment that really struck me was the idea of inserting random songs into stations to see if it would generate a spontaneous and random improvement - just like a genetic mutation! It's a really interesting notion, after all, that's the process that has defined human evolution for thousands of years.
Looking forward to our Milwaukee town hall tomorrow night (10/13) at the Iron Horse Hotel.
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.