Wow! What an amazing start to the story of Pandora’s international expansion. So many “firsts” for us, including the first town halls outside the U.S. And what fantastic town halls they were..
Starting with Auckland, we had a great turnout at a beautiful venue overlooking the harbor. A couple hundred enthusiastic, curious and, of course, gregarious listeners were full of questions and ideas for us.
The hospitality is palpable as I accumulate one dinner invitation after another along with offers of boat rides, nature excursions, local music shows, food and wine recommendations and invitations to return as soon as possible to see more of the country (plans are already in the works).
Many folks had used Pandora when we were available here many years ago and they had patiently awaited our return.
Listeners had lots of input and interest in helping us develop the local catalog. They have lots of local pride for their music in New Zealand! We’ve been at it for a while, but it’s going to make such a huge difference to have listeners pitching in. Everything from local rock bands to traditional Maori music.
We were also able to make a quick stop at the famous Finn Brothers’ Roundhouse Studios - a destination for artists from around the world.
Of course, we grabbed a “Middle Earth” photo and picked up a plush sheep at the airport before leaving for Australia that will find a suitable spot in our Oakland office.
Then, onto Melbourne! We hosted almost 250 enthusiastic listeners for a town hall — at the beautiful and historic Town Hall, which was built in 1867.
Again, it was a very warm and welcoming group we met with in Melbourne. It was a lively discussion and there was lots of passion about how Pandora can helps artists. Everyone could see how this new availability of Pandora can help artists thrive locally and gain exposure around the world.
As always, the t-shirts remained a big hit.
I did get a dose of Aussie “Down Under” humor as one attendee made a laughing stock of me with the thumb-up/thumb-down joke — never again will I fall for that!
We had great meetings with local media and partners who are poised to expand the many ways you can listen to Pandora, from cars to homes.
Cap’n Dan from Cairns set a new record for distance traveled to attend a town hall — 3000 kilometers! It was nice to meet you, Cap’n!
Now, on to Sydney!