Playing Music and Podcasts with Alexa

Echo Smart Speaker in black white and grey

by Joe Lonergan

In order to play music and podcasts on Alexa you will first have to link a music or podcast service to your Alexa device or alternatively you can go with the default service from Amazon Music which can be enabled with your voice.

To link a music or podcast service open the Alexa app on your smart phone.

1. Go to the Settings tab
2. Go to Music and Podcasts
3. Here you will see a list of services such as Spotify, Apple music, Apple Podcasts, Tune in and more. Choose one from the list.
4. Select “Enable to Use.” Depending on the service you may have to login to your account to link it.

Once you have linked a music or podcast service now you can play the music or podcast you desire. Try saying “Alexa play talking technology podcast from Spotify.”

Alexa is bias towards their own Amazon music service, which is why it is easiest to enable. Just say “Alexa sign up to Amazon Music”. You can sign up for as little as 4.99 per month.

Note, Google Music is not available on Alexa smart speakers. If you are only interested in Podcasts and not Music, you do not have to sign up to any Music service. By Default, Alexa uses tune in as its service to play podcasts. While most podcasts are available on this platform, not all podcasts are available on TuneIn. For example, one of the most popular podcasts in the world the Joe Rogan experience is exclusive to Spotify.

Setting a Default Service

You can also set services like Apple podcasts or Spotify as your default service, so you do not have to keep saying the service name every time you ask for a song or podcast. You can do this by launching the Echo page on the web or by going to the Alexa app on your mobile device and launch Settings > Music and Media under the Account section.

Then find the option “Choose Default Music Service” and then select a service like Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music.

So, what else can we do after our podcast starts playing successfully? Say for example

  • “Alexa play the Irish History podcast”

After the podcast starts playing you can say:

  • “Alexa fast forward five mins”
  • “Alexa play the previous or next episode”
  • “Alexa play the most recent episode”

If you stop playing a podcast and then you ask Alexa to play it again then it will resume from that same position providing you do not switch to a different podcast in the meantime.

Happy listening and do not be afraid to try different commands or phrases if you do not have immediate success. If you are having trouble getting a particular podcast it can be a good idea to go to the webpage of the podcast to check if you are asking for the podcast by the exact name.