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8 IT Companies Hiring Right Now

Jose Fermoso

March 02, 2010

Pandora

ABOUT

Pandora is the most well known online music streaming service. It’s a “music recommendation engine” that takes a few of your favorite songs, analyzes their musical attributes, and then plays similar songs — all for free. It started out as the Music Genome Project, looking at musical attributes, and eventually grew to include “focus traits” (like vocal harmonies and key tones). On the business side, each song comes with a link for a user to buy it.

Like other streaming music sites, Pandora was almost forced to shut down because of increased royalty rates. But a last-minute deal with the big music labels allowed Pandora to pick up a bigger share of the pie through advertising, which funds profitable new phone applications. The music available goes back about 100 years, but doesn’t include Latin music.

Currently, Pandora makes about $50M a year.

PRODUCT + INDUSTRY

Music streams through web-based desktop, browser, and mobile applications.

E-commerce Software, Music, web, advertising

LOCATIONS

Oakland, CA, and New York, NY

THE RECESSION

The company almost didn’t make it, but this had little to do with the recession. As a free service, it stayed afloat for years by selling targeted ads on the site and by burning through VC capital. Rising music royalty rates promised to bankrupt the business until they struck a deal with the labels and their artists, keeping rates affordable. Pandora was then able to forge ahead with several key revenue-driving initiatives, including several applications for smart phones that push their ads to the growing mobile space. Innovations like this made them finally profitable in 2009. They’re often the first company of its type to come out with available mobile apps for new hardware/software builds.

But if online advertising has shriveled, why has it continued to feed Pandora’s rise? Because Pandora’s user base constantly feeds the company their particular preferences, allowing the company to sell its advertisers finely tuned packages of targeted ads. And with more advertisers looking for sure things, they’re more willing to invest with a company highly appreciated by its community. Recently, Pandora added a new premium version of its service for a small price.

WORKING HERE

From the company:

As we build on our dramatic success, we are looking for talented, enthusiastic people to join our dynamic team. We offer competitive compensation, comprehensive benefits, a downtown Oakland location walking distance from BART and with easy freeway access, and, above all, a terrific team and great work environment.

From the workers:

“The employees make decent money and seem happy. There is a low turnover of employees.”

OPEN POSITIONS

Billing Coordinator/Accountant — Responsible for preparing billing requests for advertising campaigns. Responsible for uploading and understanding 3rd party ad servers delivered impressions.

Interactive/Graphic Designer — Exceptional eye and enjoy pushing the limits of design in all directions. Responsible for creating cutting-edge online advertising that is well-integrated into the overall Pandora experience. Flash Design/Development, Authoring of HTML and CSS to implement ad units.

To apply, send cover letter and resume to pandora-jobs@pandora.com.