Pandora Media Reviews | Glassdoor

Pandora Media Reviews

Updated January 10, 2019
281 reviews

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3.4
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Pandora Media President and CEO Roger Lynch
Roger Lynch
31 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "No 401k match at the moment, but apparently working on that" (in 21 reviews)

  • "Work/life balance is preached but doesn't actually seem to matter" (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pandora Media full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fun industry and great, reinvigorated culture.

    Cons

    Being acquired by SiriusXM so some uncertainty.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up.


  2. Helpful (21)

    "It is like watching a train crash happen in a slow motion"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pandora Media full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - work/life balance, if you want to do 20% of the work for 50% of the pay in the bay area, this is the place, if you feel burned out and want to just relax or are over 50, come to Pandora
    - People are amazing and you can find here friends for life, everyone is very helpful
    - Managers are a mixed bag, some awesome ones, others are very inexperienced, if joining a team be alerted if the manager is promoted from within, most managers promoted this way are not so great
    - it is in Oakland, which is much cheaper area than SF or other parts of the bay, very easy to have walk-to-work commute, adds to the work/life balance
    - office layout is good, kinda open space with 2 walls per cell, helps a lot with privacy
    - hackatons create opportunity for creativity
    - great place if you are in a diversity category (woman, person of color, LGBTIQ ...), easier to get hired and promoted

    Cons

    - important roles are being outsourced to Atlanta, uncertainty about employment in Bay Area
    - everything is slow, very slow, implementing even the simplest feature takes quarters, somewhere else it would take weeks
    - decision making is a flawed process, everyone wants to have a say, PM part of the org is bloated and slow along with design they are making all the processes slow
    - SLT did well when Pandora was 50-60 people it is much different to lead organization of 100s / 1000s of people
    - executive leadership has problems, it changes often and does not present any clear vision
    - after the SiriusXM acquisition perks are being cut
    - career growth is very limited, this is an old company and most higher up positions are taken by people who joined early, there is you and 10 of your colleagues waiting for the same position, if you care about career growth don't stay for more than 2-3 years, wait for your 1 or 2 IC promotions and leave
    - a lot of people in "consulting" IC roles, basically attending meetings and not doing much IC work
    - pay is on the low, about 50% - 70% of what you can get somewhere else (in the bay area)
    - there is a lot of politics behind the scenes. As an early IC or even Senior IC it is ok but if want to go higher than that you need to make friends
    - some people get a lot of exposure much more than others, if you are buddy-buddy with someone from ELT, you are the one they will speak about in company all-hands
    - marketing part of the org is a disaster IMO, in last 5 years I have been here there was not 1 successful marketing campaign
    - some ICs are overworked while other ICs are just coasting by and talking about doing work
    - many teams are under-resourced, there is minimal hiring happening and resources and priorities are shifting around a lot
    - very few managers are technical, and if they have been, now their hard skills are a jelly after few years in management, think about creating TLM roles

    Advice to Management

    - hold managers accountable, don't allow finger pointing
    - seriously review how PM and Design parts of the org work with the rest of the company, they should not be the blocker in all of the projects
    - give people opportunities to grow
    - make data-driven decisions, guts is important for decisions but data should be first
    - your employees have a lot of innovative ideas, listen to them
    - stop playing favorites, don't mention people by name at company meetings unless you are 100% sure you mentioned everyone who worked on that feature / project
    - think about ratio of ICs and non-ICs, it is very high, create flatter org with less layers and with more first level managers

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Sales has taken a turn for the worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pandora Media full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Immediate colleagues are great to work with
    Office is well stocked with snacks
    Work-life balance is just ok depending on if your manager likes you
    You are an hourly employee and they are ok with you logging overtime which semi makes up for the serious discrepancy in salary compared to similar sales jobs in the Bay Area.

    Cons

    Speaking for the Oakland sales team specifically and noting this because sales often felt like working for a completely different company from any other department.

    The role of account executive changed drastically in my time at Pandora partially due to three consecutive years of layoffs which affected senior management and strategy (especially in 2018). The new management from the start was clearly there to eliminate the Oakland sales team in favor of less expensive labor options in the form of MarketStar for lead gen and a junior AE team in Atlanta. The culture completely changed as people left in droves and new management continued making the job harder through poor decisions and slashing perks. Opportunity for advancement within the team became nonexistent unless you were willing to relocate to ATL and take a pay cut.

    It's really a shame since Pandora was a great place to work for years despite murky goaling practices, outdated sales tools, obvious favoritism, and unreported HR violations.

    Advice to Management

    Separate Glint feedback by department since engineers, product, sales, etc. all have completely different Pandora employee experiences.

    Listen to current employees on product recommendations and ways to help us sell, particularly if you've never actually sold the product yourself. We are the ones on the front lines talking to clients and getting an idea of what the market is looking for.

    Pandora is already considered the dinosaur of the digital audio space and selling it like a radio product instead of expanding digital ad options is putting you even farther behind competitors.


  4. "Highly reccomend"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Designer in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Product Designer in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pandora Media full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome culture, challenging opportunities, super friendly people!

    Cons

    Things run a little slow here in terms of shipping products. Aging work population has ageist bias against younger new grads


  5. "Data Science internship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Very organized company and they had clearly planned for their interns. Nice culture and people. The science team was amazing with many excellent data scientists.

    Cons

    No cons to be honest


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Good pay, work life balance, culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pandora Media full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is a positive and fun place to work

    Cons

    Sometimes promotions are more political than they should be.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Great Job, but Difficult to Move Up"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Pandora Media full-time

    Pros

    Pandora was the first job I had that I truly loved. I enjoyed the work/life balance, I felt productive and needed day to day, and I never really got bored of the position as the environment is fast-paced and the position changes to keep up with the industry.

    Cons

    Despite many rounds of all-positive feedbacks and my consistent drive to earn a senior role, one was never offered to me. I jumped through all the hoops, completed all work, maintained a positive attitude and when that was completed I was told that I shouldn't just be checking off boxes to get to the next level. The goal requirements to advance felt like a constantly moving target, and while I watched others with much less experience move up (who conveniently worked in the larger offices with closer contact to management), I continued to get more frustrated and was passed over time and again.

    Advice to Management

    There are a lot of loyal hard-working employees in satellite offices that deserve a promotion. I know I certainly never wanted to leave but felt that I wouldn't be able to get ahead unless I left.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Large, monolithic and new technology averse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Pandora Media full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Cool, if passe product. Great people. Location if Oakland is your thing. Nice office

    Cons

    Lethargic ability to implement/replace old, old source base. Institutional instability owing to recently acquisition by SiriusXM. Huge loss of long term employees leading up or down to the latter. Old entrenched engineers resistant to change.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pandora Media full-time

    Pros

    Great Culture!
    The company creates a supportive community for everyone
    One of the most diverse companies that I've seen
    Music is present all around and the product is awesome!
    Pandora has free mini concerts at work and a company wide pandora performs event
    You have the option to work from home once a week

    Cons

    There is no 401k matching yet


  10. Helpful (1)

    "People and culture make Pandora"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pandora Media full-time

    Pros

    The people, work/life balance, flexible work schedules

    Cons

    Management has gone downhill, there's no clear plan of action or at least management has not taken time to go through all of the pros and cons, they just wing it.

    Advice to Management

    too many ideas and too many hands in the pot. Isolate one issue or project at a time and execute while providing transparency to the team. Take time to listen to the employees thoughts and concerns.