At the Wells Fargo Tech Transformation Summit today, I listened to a variety of tech leaders discussing what’s going on in a variety of sectors. The lunch session had a surprise speaker, Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora. His comments were so relevant I wanted to share some of what he had to say.
In response to a question about how Pandora expands the content they offer, the answer was twofold. First, they do have people who simply categorize songs. But in addition, Pandora has the best data source and feedback loop to determine what to play because they have tens of thousands of simultaneous users who are providing implicit signals by listening to the songs that they play. The acknowledgement that these implicit signals are key was nice to hear. Given that Baynote uses implicit signals from consumers to drive engagement via personalized online shopping experiences, I loved this comment.
In response to a question about the metrics that matter to Pandora, Westergren responded by saying that engagement with Pandora is what matters most. Even though they are an ad driven site, it was nice to hear that Pandora is making sure that they have a quality offering with highly relevant content that engages their users as a top priority and that they measure engagement to determine success. The focus on engagement and relevance in understanding consumers was music to my ears.