Pandora "Town Hall" Meeting … lessons learned

B2B Bandits
13 Mar 2010

NOTE FROM NATE: I wrote this nearly a year before Savor the Sound (the ‘other mother’ of Small Biz Triage) became non-profit youth music education social enterprise.  Revealing.


I was invited to a “Town Hall” style meeting last week with Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora … for a music junkie, that’s the equivalent of an Apple fanatic meeting Steve Jobs.  10 points for whoever can find my bald ass head in that crowd.

Some highlights / insights:

  • He spent a lot of time talking about usability … when they added a third service to their purchase page (currently Amazon and iTunes are the only supported methods of purchasing songs via Pandora), the conversion rate actually went *down*!
    LESSON LEARNED: in an effort to please your “super-users”, don’t alienate your prospects by offering too many choices.
  • Pandora is curated by 25 musicians trained in musicology … if they don’t like your album, they will NOT catalog it
  • Pandora was designed to be ultra-scalable … slower to grow, but now they are rocking 50 million users and selling advertising like crazy
    LESSON LEARNED: how scalable is Savor the Sound? Not very.