Alexa Podcasts – A Step by Step Listeners Guide
We explore the different podcast services | How to set up Alexa podcasts | Best Alexa Podcasts | Podcast skills & more...
Podcasts are some of the most convenient means of seeking entertainment, news, and information.
Unlike visual mediums and articles, podcasts don’t take up all of your attention. You can listen to podcasts while cooking, or riding the subway, or while driving. As such, podcasts are the perfect tools for a modern lifestyle driven by one’s ability to multitask.
Alexa is yet another tool that’s quickly established itself as a mainstay of a modern lifestyle. Amazon’s Alexa allows you to communicate with all of your household smart devices using your voice. You can ask Alexa to play music, movies, podcasts, and control your devices.
As such, the pairing of Alexa and podcasts seems inevitable.
Alexa and podcasts complement each other beautifully, providing a convenient listening experience. And as such, listening to podcasts and music is one of Alexa’s most popular uses.
However, people often get confused when navigating the world of Alexa podcasts and all of their related skills like Spotify, Apple Podcast, Pocket Cast, Stitcher, etc.
In this article, we give you a comprehensive guide to all things Alexa podcasts.
UPDATE: You can listen to Alexa podcasts through Amazon Music now!
Amazon has recently announced that it now offers podcasts within its Amazon Music app. That certainly streamlines the process because up until now, you had to play podcasts through Amazon’s native podcast app TuneIn, or any of the other podcast services, like AnyPod, Stitcher, PocketCasts, etc.
You can now play podcasts directly through Amazon Music, which is already integrated into all Alexa devices. Amazon Music now contains over 70,000 podcasts on the platform, including Serial, Pod Save America, and The First One, the latter of which is a buzz-worthy podcast in which DJ Khaled interviews artists about their breakthrough hits.
You can now access podcasts through any of your Alexa-enabled devices or the updated Amazon Music app. However, the series of commands and functionalities are similar — you can still access Amazon podcasts through voice commands like, “Alexa, play [name of podcast].”
Introduction to Alexa Podcasts
We’ll start this Alexa podcasts guide with a brief introduction to some of the most basic questions about Alexa podcasts. If you want to figure out how to listen to Alexa podcasts using different services, please skip to the next section of the article.
What are Alexa podcasts?
Alexa podcast refers to the podcasts available in Alexa’s native podcast service — TuneIn. When you ask Alexa to play a specific podcast, it will pull findings from TuneIn, unless you manually set another podcast service as the default ‘skill.’
Can Alexa play podcasts from different services?
Yes, in addition to Alexa’s native podcast TuneIn, Alexa can also play podcasts from other services, like Apple Podcast, Spotify, AnyPod, Stitcher, PocketCasts, and Downcast. You’ll have to add these other services as a ‘skill’ in the Alexa app to get podcasts from them. If you want, you can also set some of these podcasts as the ‘default’ podcast. We’ll discuss how you can achieve that later in this article.
Which countries do Alexa podcasts work in?
Alexa podcast TuneIn is available in all countries that support Alexa in general. However, the availability of different podcast skills for Alexa varies based on the service. For example, Alexa podcasts for Apple podcast is only available in the United States. Please check to see if your desired podcast skill is available in your location.
Which echoes/devices can you listen to Alexa podcasts in?
Alexa Podcasts TuneIn
As mentioned previously, TuneIn is the native Alexa podcast service.
As the default Alexa podcast service, TuneIn is the simplest podcast service to access using Alexa devices. You also get a wide list of Alexa podcasts through TuneIn.
Please continue reading for an overview of how to set up Alexa podcasts through the Alexa app or voice commands.
How to Setup Alexa Podcasts (Step-by-Step Guide)?
Method 1: Alexa Podcasts TuneIn from the Alexa App
Method 2: Alexa Podcasts TuneIn with Voice
The best part about using Alexa’s native podcast TuneIn is that you don’t need to set it up for voice commands.
You can simply say, “Alexa, play the podcast [name of podcast]” or “Alexa, play a podcast,” and it will start playing either a specific podcast or a random podcast. You can also change podcasts or go through episodes using voice commands, but you can’t ask Alexa to play specific episodes.
As such, if you’re using voice commands, there’s no need to set up Alexa podcasts. You only need to know the right Alexa podcast commands.
Essential Alexa Podcast Commands:
Alexa Podcast Skills
‘Skills’ refers to third-party applications that have Alexa compatibility. While listening to Alexa podcasts in TuneIn is easy, you may have other reasons to seek out other Alexa podcast skills.
Perhaps you’re dedicated to another podcast service. Perhaps you already have a subscription to another podcast service. Or maybe there’s a particular podcast in another service that isn’t available in TuneIn. If you want to access third-party podcasts in Alexa, you’ll need to set up Alexa podcast skills.
In this section of the article, we’ll discuss how to set up Alexa podcast skills and Alexa podcast commands for different skills.
How to Setup Alexa Podcast Skills (Step-by-Step Guide)?
Method 1: Enable Alexa Podcast Skills from the Alexa App
Method 2: Enable Alexa Podcast Skills with Voice
How to Set a Preferred Music or Podcast Service?
By default, generic music and podcast commands go to native Alexa services like Amazon Music or TuneIn. However, you can manually set other podcast services or skills as the default.
What are the Best Alexa Podcast Skills?
AnyPod is currently one of the most popular and reliable Alexa podcast skills.
It offers all of the features available in Alexa podcast TuneIn. But in addition to those default features, AnyPod also allows you to play specific episodes of podcasts, jump to a specific time frame in the episode, and manage your subscriptions.
The biggest issue, however, is that AnyPod doesn’t have a visual interface, either a web browser, smartphone app, or software. As such, you have to control everything using voice commands.
Alexa Podcast Commands for AnyPod:
Stitcher is yet another popular Alexa podcast skill with a wide range of Alexa podcast commands. Stitcher has a web interface and app, which means you can scroll through podcast playlists using a visual interface. Stitcher also maintains current listening points, which means you can resume from the same position you left before.
#3. Pocket Casts
Pocket Casts is one of the most versatile podcast services available on Alexa. Pocket Casts makes subscribing to shows and navigating between episodes a breeze. It’s also one of the most aesthetically beautiful podcasts because it has an intuitive design that keeps changing the interface color palette based on the podcast’s design. In terms of features, it offers a dazzling variety of features for playlist filters, preferences, speed and volume normalization, etc.
Spotify is widely known as one of the world’s leading music streaming services. However, Spotify also has an impressive collection of podcasts. If you don’t like flipping between different apps and skills for music and podcasts, you can use Spotify as a single streamlined service for music and podcasts. However, Spotify’s Alexa skill for podcasts is currently limited to some of the most basic and essential commands. As of now, the Spotify Podcast skill on Alexa is currently only available for the US.
Alexa Podcast Commands for Spotify:
#5. Apple Podcast
Apple Podcast is one of the most popular podcast services out there, especially for Apple users. It provides an impressive array of podcasts from some of the most reputable sources, such as New York Time’s The Daily, Trevor Noah’s Daily Show, etc. Apple Podcast is also known for its simplicity and clean user-interface. However, Apple Podcast’s Alexa skill doesn’t have a wide range of customized commands, unlike some of the other skills mentioned in this list. Furthermore, the Apple Podcast skill on Alexa is currently only available in the US.
Alexa Podcast Commands for Apple:
Stream Podcasts from Other Devices
Not all podcast services are available in Alexa skills. Some podcasts — Downcast, iCatcher!, and Podcast Republic — are only available on some platforms and don’t have Alexa integration. However, just because one of your podcast services isn’t available in Alexa skills doesn’t mean you can’t use it with Alexa anyway.
If you’re using Alexa through a Bluetooth-enabled speaker, you can connect it to your smartphone or tablet to play from your preferred podcast app. Once you’ve linked the Alexa-enabled device to your phone, you can play your podcast app to listen to the podcast through the Alexa speaker.
The only drawback here is that you’ll be limited to basic voice functions. You can still ask Alexa to play, pause, or adjust the volume. But you won’t have greater control over your subscriptions through voice commands.
How to Pair Alexa-Enabled Speaker with Phone or Tablet?
Best Alexa Podcasts to Listen To
Best Alexa Comedy/ Funny Podcasts
#1. Comedy Bang Bang
Comedy Bang Bang is a weekly podcast hosted by Scott Aukerman that combines character-work and conversations from some of the biggest comedians in the world. The episodes usually start with a celebrity interview, but the segment is often interrupted by an assortment of oddball characters.
Anna Faris is Unqualified is a comedy podcast hosted by renowned actress Anna Faris, known for movies such as Scary Movie and The House Bunny. Anna Faris’ podcast draws inspiration from her various mess-ups as she gives relationship advice to a wide range of celebrity guests while acknowledging that she’s completely unqualified to do so.
Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend is a hilarious podcast hosted by the veteran of late-night TV Conon O’Brien. As the name suggests, this podcast is a platform in which Conan attempts to make a new friend amidst a host of celebrity guests because he’s come to the realization that the only people he knows are people he works with.
Best Alexa True Crime Podcasts
Serial is a journalistic investigative podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig. Each season of the show is an attempt to unravel a new true crime investigation with meticulous journalistic detail.
#2. Up and Vanished
Up and Vanished is an investigative podcast that focuses on cold crime cases in which someone vanished and was never found. The podcast follows documentary filmmaker Payne Lindsey as he revisits evidence surrounding cold cases and brings attention to them to ignite new leads.
#3. Atlanta Monster
Atlanta Monster, hosted by Payne Lindsey, is a true-crime podcast that focuses on the mysterious disappearance and murder of over 25 African American children in Atlanta. After the first season, the podcast focuses on another famous unsolved true crime — The Zodiac Killer.
Other Best Alexa Podcasts to Listen To
#1. The Daily
The Daily is a podcast hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by The New York Times. The Daily provides 20-minute episodes five days a week exploring the latest in world and US politics and events.
#2. Song Exploder
Song Exploder is a music podcast hosted by Thao Nguyen. Each episode in the podcast series introduces one relevant singer or musician who takes apart one of their songs piece-by-piece to discuss how it was made.
Revisionist History is a podcast hosted by Malcolm Gladwell in which he goes back in the past to reinterpret an overlooked or misinterpreted event, person, or idea.
Alexa Podcasts Troubleshooting and FAQ
What do I do if music or media is not playing with Alexa?
Alexa Podcast FAQs
Can Alexa play podcasts from my iPhone?
Alexa can play podcasts from your iPhone as long as you connect your iPhone to an Alexa-enabled speaker, such as Amazon Echo Dot or Echo Plus.
Can Alexa play podcasts from my Samsung or Android phone?
Alexa can play podcasts from your Samsung and other Android phones as long as you connect your Android device to an Alexa-enabled speaker, such as Amazon Echo Dot or Echo Plus.
Can Alexa play a podcast as an alarm to wake me up? Can you play Alexa podcasts with routine?
Yes, you can set Alexa podcast routines to make sure your Alexa plays a podcast as an alarm to wake you up. The following is a quick overview of how you can set an Alexa podcast routine:
In this article, we’ve given you a detailed overview of Alexa podcasts and how you can control them using various Alexa voice commands. We’ve also given you an overview of some of the best Alexa podcasts skills and a list of the best Alexa podcasts to listen to. Enjoy syncing up your favorite podcasts to Alexa.