Pandora Premium adds AutoPlay feature to keep the music from stopping – The Verge

Back in December, when Pandora first announced Premium, its all-you-can-stream music service, the company showed off a feature called AutoPlay — brought back to life from Rdio — that would keep the music going by creating a radio station based on what you were just listening to. But when Premium launched in March, AutoPlay had been held out of the initial release while the company fine tuned the product.

But now it’s ready, and available to all Premium users on iOS and Android starting today. AutoPlay will create a station based off the album or playlist you were just listening to, and users can give songs a thumbs up or down, which will further personalize the feature to your liking. The idea was good enough that Spotify released out the same feature earlier this year, months before Pandora Premium even rolled out.

Despite the delayed release of AutoPlay, Premium seems to be off to a decent start for the company. Pandora users who have tried Premium have increased their listening hours by 30 percent, the company says. Premium’s flagship “add similar songs” feature, which can create a tailored playlist for you on the fly, has shown a strong success rate, with users keeping 86 percent of the songs it recommends.

But with the first wave of trials coming to an end, Pandora’s task now moves from getting people onboard with the Premium trial to turning them into paying users. And that’s a challenge for even the biggest streaming services.

The AutoPlay feature is available as part of an update to Pandora Premium on iOS and Android today.

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