Play Alexa Podcasts With Ease

Options to make the process less clunky

person using app on phone

Getty Images / Manuel Breva Colmeiro

It's refreshing to listen to a podcast on an Amazon Echo device, which uses the Alexa voice assistant; just tell Alexa to play a particular podcast series and you’re listening to the latest episode. However, it's not perfect. Want to hear an earlier episode? Subscribe to a new podcast? Alexa struggles with both.

Here are some tips on how to play podcasts on Alexa and improve your podcast experience.

Playing Podcasts on Alexa Using TuneIn

The default skill Alexa uses to play podcasts is TuneIn. To do anything more than playing the most recent episode of a podcast, you’ll need to access TuneIn using the Alexa app on your phone:

  1. Open the Alexa app.

  2. In the upper-left corner, tap the hamburger menu.

  3. Tap Music, Video, & Books.

    alexa app main menu
  4. Tap the Music tab.

  5. From the menu, tap TuneIn.

    alexa app entertainment menu

    Before you do anything else, at the top of the screen, right under TuneIn, select the device you want the podcast to play on. Otherwise, you’ll be wondering why the podcast isn’t playing, even when it really is; it's just on your Echo device in the next room.

  6. Type the name of your podcast in the search bar, then tap the search icon.

  7. Tap your selection.

  8. You’ll see all the episodes listed. Tap the one you want to hear, and TuneIn will begin playing it through Alexa on the device you’ve selected.

    alexa app podcast menu
  9. You're done!

Playing Podcasts on Alexa Using AnyPod

The TuneIn skill on Alexa is still somewhat clunky. To create a smoother podcast listening experience, enable the AnyPod skill. To do this on your Echo device, simply say, “Alexa, enable the AnyPod skill.” Or do it through your phone app using these steps:

  1. Open the Alexa app.

  2. In the upper-left corner, tap the hamburger menu.

  3. From the menu, tap Skills.

    alexa app main menu
  4. In the search bar, type “anypod,” then tap the search icon.

  5. From the search list, tap AnyPod.

    alexa app skills search
  6. On the AnyPod screen, tap Enable.

  7. You can now play AnyPod on your Echo device using a voice command, such as, “Alexa, ask AnyPod to playLeVar Burton Reads.’”

  8. Additional commands for controlling Alexa include:

    • Alexa, ask AnyPod to subscribe to [or unsubscribe from] LeVar Burton Reads.’”
    • Alexa, ask AnyPod, ‘What are my subscriptions?’”
    • Alexa, ask AnyPod to fast-forward five minutes.”
    • Alexa, ask AnyPod to play episode four ofLeVar Burton Reads.’”
    • Alexa, play the next [or previous] episode.”

    Want to know more about AnyPod? Open the Alexa app main menu, then go to Skills > Your Skills > AnyPod. Here you’ll find information about the AnyPod Skill and a link to access the entire user manual.

  9. That's it!

Playing Podcasts on Alexa Using a Routine

A routine is like a shortcut you can use to tell Alexa what to do. It can be based on a command or a time of day.

  1. Open the Alexa app.

  2. In the upper-left corner, tap the hamburger menu.

  3. From the menu, tap Routines.

    

    alexa app main menu
  4. Tap the blue Plus (+) sign.

    alexa app create routine
  5. Tap the When this happens + sign.

  6. Choose the event you want Alexa to respond to. For this example, we’ll use Voice.

    alexa app create routine
  7. Type the phrase you want to use. For example, “Play my favorite podcast.” Tap Save.

    alexa app create routine
  8. Tap the Add action + sign.

  9. Tap Music.

  10. Tap Select Music Provider, then select TuneIn.

    alexa app select music provider
  11. Type the name of your podcast, then tap Add.

  12. Review your selection, then tap Add again.

  13. Finally, tap Create. Now, you can speak your command to your Echo device to play your podcast.