Pandora Founder Tim Westergren Presented with Music Business Visionary Award


(Pandora Founder Tim Westergren (left) speaks with Sam Howard-Spink; Photo by Chianan Yen courtesy of NYU Steinhardt)

On Wednesday, May 4, NYU Steinhardt proudly presented Pandora Founder Tim Westergren with the second Music Business Program Visionary Award. The award honors a business figure of note for their lasting and positive impact on the music industry through innovative, effective, and creative business leadership.

Mr. Westergren sat down with Clinical Assistant Professor Sam Howard-Spink before an audience of Music Business students, alumni, faculty, and friends to discuss the evolution of Pandora and his thoughts on the state of the music industry. In the course the interview, Mr. Westergren explained in-depth the creation of The Music Genome Project that powers Pandora’s personalized internet radio stations, as well as his time spent working with Congress to negotiate sensible performance royalty rates for internet radio broadcasters. He also discussed key moments in Pandora’s history such as its inclusion as a launch application on the Apple iPhone, and partnerships with auto companies such as Ford that facilitate listening to Pandora in the car.


(Students line up to ask Mr. Westergren their questions; Photo by Chianan Yen courtesy of NYU Steinhardt)

In response to student questions from the audience, Mr. Westergren talked about the ways in which Pandora balances its radio “feel” and still provides a link to download sales, and new projects that will extend the company’s reach with new partners.

At the end of the ceremony, Student Ambassador Board leaders Katie Curran (G ’11) and Zach Lee (UG’ 11) presented Mr. Westergren with the Visionary Award. In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Westergren encouraged students to make use of the many opportunities made available by the Web, and to use their knowledge and experience in the digital space to drive their entrepreneurial ideas and ambitions.

View Steinhardt’s Press Release here.

Stay up to date with Pandora by following Tim Westergren (@timwestergren) and Pandora (@pandora_radio) on Twitter.