Pandora

 

pandora

 

My career has been committed to building products and services for the creative community, so I’m super excited to join Pandora as a VP of Product to continue on that mission. I’ll be working with the great team at Pandora to build products and services for artists and the music maker community.

I’m fired up because I’ve had a lot of respect for Pandora through the years. Tim Westergren’s entrepreneurial story is legendary, and the entire team built the best personalized radio service on the planet. The numbers speak for themselves. With 80 Million active unique users a month, Pandora is by far the biggest Internet radio service and is responsible for more than 50% of SoundExchange’s total royalty revenue. It’s amazing to me that they’ve reached these numbers without any true network effect, which is a testament to the quality of their radio experience. Pandora’s also the leading pure music service (i.e., not YouTube) and the growth is just getting started as Pandora is only available in 3 countries (US, Australia, and New Zealand) whereas the other major services are available in 50+ countries.

Pandora’s technical prowess is second to none. The team created a magical and bulletproof listening experience for all kinds of music lovers across all platforms. They engineered a unique and comprehensive Music Genome to jumpstart great music into the ears of likely fans. The playlists are further optimized by harnessing the billions of preference data points from all their users, not an easy feat. It’s a music + data nerd’s heaven, which is a major reason I’m so jazzed to join the team.

I have felt the power of Pandora’s Music Genome first-hand when I was introduced to one of my all-time favorite songs, Mary on a Pandora radio station I created in sometime in 2006 I think. I fell in love with that song and would have done anything to listen to it again. Before the days where everything was available online, I spent a lot of time and effort to hunt that track down. Mary was a bonus track off the Japanese Import of Groove Armada’s Vertigo album and was completely unavailable in the US. I searched exhaustively in bootleg shops and across the web to no avail. I finally found it selling in a record store in Japan and got it shipped over. It was the best $60 I ever spent for one song. The power of music. It was then I realized that Pandora could deliver a music experience like no other.

 

Vertigo

Cover of Japanese Import for Groove Armada’s Vertigo Album

 

 

I’ll be working with some great people on building a better bridge between the music makers and Pandora’s massive base of music fans. We have a chance to significantly move the needle to improve the welfare of artists, while strengthening the connection to their fans. Given all the opportunity ahead to expand globally and empower more artists and fans through Pandora, it feels like we’re just getting started. Looking forward to the road ahead.

 

 

fluence tnwMartin Bryant, the Editor of the The Next Web, wrote a great piece about Fluence today. Martin is a curator on Fluence. He’s also an artist who used Fluence to promote his songs to curators on the system. He talks through the process and the implications for what we’re doing with Fluence. Our mission is to make curators like Martin Bryant more accessible. We built a service where the creative community can connect directly and give each other feedback and share their work to new audiences. It feels good when the Fluence platform is recognized by curators like Martin and written about in publications like The Next Web, one of my personal favorite sites on the web.

Todd Michael Schultz submitted this amazing track Hotel to Fluence and sent it to me directly. I’ve listened to it many times, shared it on twitter and facebook, and now I’m blogging it for posterity. I’m a huge fan of this track. It’s got a great “hotel” metaphor for life and relationships, and the songwriting is tight. The song arcs nicely and definitely has a summer style anthem sound to it. I can see a mass of people singing this out load. I had a chance to meet Todd Michael Schultz during one of my trips to LA and was psyched to see the man behind the song. Super solid all the way around. I hope you enjoy as much as I did. Can’t wait to see it live in full production.

 

Steingold Music delivered some incredible weirdness and brilliance with a recent submission into Fluence. I am so happy to share the magic of TinderHoe. It may make you laugh and ponder. The video footage synching to the beat back and forth is tight and fun. It doesn’t get boring because the song keeps lifting and new footage keeps us laughing.

From the first images through to the end, I was riveted. I had to watch it several times to understand it, and even now I’m not sure I completely do. It made me laugh at us as a society. It will probably have the same effect on you. At times it felt like the trash-TV factory of Maury Povich, but I don’t mind a getting a bit dirty in the trash TV to crack up to deftly stitched weirdness with a good beat.

It was so much fun, Joe Fernandez tweeted it out to Sean Rad the CoFounder of Tinder.

 

I had the awesome opportunity to meet the creator Jason Steingold in Santa Monica this week and learn more about TinderHoe. Maury Povich’s day time talk show has a straight but sad formula that works. He brings in troubled couples who are going through the challenges of raising an unplanned child and then manufactures the drama on the show. At the end of the session the paternity results reveal if the guy is in fact the father of the child. If the the result is negative, the father erupts in a “daddy dance.” This is a thing. Steingold brilliantly and imaginatively weaves this into a unique and fun journey. These “almost-daddies” can bust a move, and some of the antics are pretty hilarious and just plain silly. The audience members are a trip too clapping away with abandon and no shame. I hope this gives you as much joy as it gave me.

I caught the sounds of Aria Lanelle through Fluence with her early submission of Got it Bad. I took to it quickly, because it was so damn good. It’s very easy to fall in love with her retro, style, music, and vocals. She’s so talented. Just thinking of that track is making my face contort with the soul. Damn.

Ok, so Aria came out with an EP just 4 hours ago! The tracks on that EP are incredible and divergent with so many layers. Such a great work of art. Listen now and get as excited as I am. “Back In” is incredible with a fresh beat that makes you move around. I love track “All” (night long)…wow. It’s powerful and strong. Really dug it. It’s all good. Very excited to share my love for Aria Lanelle’s music with the world. Enjoy.

 

And Check out the video for Got It Bad. Your face may contort too with the universal sounds of a great song.

 

Buy it all on iTunes and support Aria!

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