How to Listen to Podcasts Using Your Amazon Echo


Your Amazon Echo may be one of the smallest but most capable gadgets you own. Far more than a portable speaker, it’s a tool that makes life easier. You can use your Echo device to learn the weather forecast, create a shopping list, provide background noise, and experiment with cool Alexa Skills.

There are a ton of Alexa skills available for your Amazon Echo, including ones that allow you to listen to podcasts. So while you’re doing dishes or just zoning out on your bed, you can stream your favorite podcast to fill the space. But before we get into the best podcast Skills, let’s cover the basics.

What Are Alexa Skills?

Skills are downloadable extras that allow Alexa and your Echo to do more things for you.

Made by third-party developers, the best Alexa skills unlock the potential of your Echo in impressive ways. Skills for your Echo devices are similar to apps for your mobile phone, and they only take minutes to download.

On the Amazon website or in the Alexa app for iOS or Android, you can browse all the available Alexa skills in one place. Use the categories on the left to narrow your options down by broad topics, like Games & Trivia, Lifestyle, News, or Shopping.

How to Enable Podcast Skills for Alexa

Maybe you already listen to several podcasts per day. On the other hand, perhaps you don’t subscribe to any yet, but you’re ready to get started. Either way, learning how to listen to podcasts on your Amazon Echo is a simple process.

After finding a skill you want, go to its detail page and look for the Enable button on the right. Or, you can simply use voice commands to enable an Alexa Skill, and say “Open [Skill Name]” to both enable and open the skill. For assistance, say “[Skill Name] Help.”

You can view all your enabled Skills in the Alexa app. Go to the in-app menu and select Skills. From there, it’s also possible to change parental permissions, set notification preferences, and disable skills.

With the basics out of the way, you’re ready to start enabling podcast Skills for your Echo. Below, we’ll look at eight appropriate Alexa skills you should enable for podcast-listening purposes. Plus, you’ll discover why they’re excellent additions to your Echo device.

tunein live alexa skill details page

Just say ”Alexa, open TuneIn Live.”

By default, the TuneIn Live skill is what Amazon will use if you try to play a podcast. That said, it’s worth mentioning just in case you’ve ever enabled another Skill as your default, and find yourself wanting to switch to something else.

You can find a bunch of niche podcasts, including some in the storytelling, true crime, and comedy genres. In addition to podcasts, you can also use the TuneIn skill to listen to live sports and get play-by-play, curated ad-free music, and commercial-free news.

pocket casts alexa skill details page

Just say “Alexa, ask Pocket Casts to play my Up Next.”

In order to use this skill, you need to have a free registered Pocket Casts account. Once you’ve linked your Pocket Casts account to the skill, you’ll be able to access your entire podcast collection and listen to your favorites at any time.

Your playback progress will be synced between devices, so you can seamlessly switch between listening on an Echo device and listening on your smartphone. Once Pocket Casts has enough information about your listening habits, it’ll recommend new podcasts for you to check out.

3. My Pod

my pod alexa skill details page

Just say “Alexa, ask My Pod to play Stuff You Should Know.”

You’ll find all of the most popular podcasts available through the My Pod Skill, and you can add your favorites to a playlist that My Pod will remember the next time you launch the skill.

What’s unique about the My Pod Skill is that you can upload your own MP3s or use a shareable link to play audio and video files and folders from Amazon Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. You can use these files to create a playlist on My Pod’s website and then ask Alexa to play it on your Echo device.

apple podcasts alexa skill details page

Just say “Alexa, play The Daily on Apple Podcasts.”

There are millions of shows available to explore on Apple Podcasts through your Echo device, and they’re all free. Similar to Pocket Casts, the Apple Podcasts skill allows you to link your account so you can seamlessly switch between devices even when you’re in the middle of an episode.

5. Global Player

global player alexa skill details page

Just say ”Alexa, open Global Player.”

Global Player is a great skill to enable on your Echo device if you want a good mix of UK-based radio and podcasts. You can listen to live radio and the past seven days worth of radio from popular stations like Capital, Heart, Radio X, and LBC.

Or you can just skip straight to podcasts. There are thousands of options to explore, including Global Originals like The News Agents and My Therapist Ghosted Me. You can also choose your favorite radio presenter and speak their name followed by the word “podcast,” to hear their podcast instead of their entire radio show.

spotify alexa skill details page

Just say “Alexa, Play An Oral History of The Office podcast on Spotify.”

Spotify is currently one of the most popular music streaming apps, and more niche podcasts have been making their way to the platform. Any podcast you can find in the Spotify mobile app, you can also cue up on your Echo device through the Spotify skill. The skill is free to enable, though you may find yourself wanting to pay for a Spotify subscription to avoid hearing ads in the middle of your podcast episode.

the good news podcast alexa skill details page

Just say ”Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”

Distressing news often seems more abundant than the cheerful variety—that’s why you might agree this Alexa skill is a worthy addition to your Echo. The Good News Podcast is hosted by Colleen and Neil and comes from the creators of Cards Against Humanity, a wildly popular card game.

In each episode, you’ll hear positive highlights from the news, and get an upbeat start to the day. This skill can also be incorporated into your customized Alexa Flash Briefing, so you can hear good news from Colleen and Neil when asking Alexa for the day’s headlines.

stitcher alexa skill details page

Just say “Alexa, ask Stitcher to play my New Episodes.”

Consider Stitcher your ticket to more than 400,000 podcasts. If you create a Stitcher account, it’ll respond to playlists created on the Stitcher website, including episodes from your curated Listen Later Playlist.

You can speak the name of any playlist created on Stitcher to start playing episodes, or just ask Stitcher to play a podcast in a specific genre. If you come across a random podcast that you like, Stitcher tells you the name of the podcast and which episode it is so you can easily find it again.

Start Listening to Podcasts on Your Echo Device

You may not have realized your Amazon Echo can do much more than play music and have Alexa answer all your random questions. Now, you know your Echo device can be used as a podcast discovery tool!

Regardless of your current podcast habits, Alexa makes listening to podcasts even easier. Why pull out your phone when you can simply command your Echo to play your favorite podcast?

Las Vegas News Magazine

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