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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 Alexa to learn the weather forecast, create a shopping list, provide background noise, and even listen to audiobooks.
Maybe you’re not an audiobook fan, or perhaps you’d like to use your Echo to enjoy other listenable content. Either way, you’re in luck. That’s because you can use Alexa to listen to podcasts on an Amazon Echo too.
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, Skills unlock the potential of your Echo in impressive ways. You can download them in minutes, as well.
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, making your Echo capable of playing podcasts is a simple process.
I need an alibi.
— Maybe She… (@CantWaitToNap) January 5, 2018
Below, we’ll look at several appropriate Alexa Skills you should enable for podcast-listening purposes. Plus, you’ll discover why they’re excellent additions to your Echo device.
On the Amazon website or in the Alexa app, you can browse all the available Alexa Skills in one place. Use the categories on the left to narrow the options down by topic. As you can see, the Skills homepage features several headers that break the tools down into sections.
How to Enable Podcast Skills for Alexa
After finding an Alexa skill you want, go to the Skill detail page and look for the Enable button on the right.
After you have enabled a Skill, just use the “Open [skill name]” voice command. For assistance, say “[skill name] Help.”
You can also view all your enabled Skills in the Alexa app. Go to the menu and select Skills. From there, it’s also possible to change parental permissions, set notification specifics, and disable Skills.
With the basics out of the way, you’re ready to start enabling podcast Skills for your Echo. Here are eight Alexa Skills we recommend for listening to podcasts.
1. Any Pod
This skill lives up to its name because it plays (almost) any podcast in its directory when you ask. The collection already includes thousands of podcasts and tens of thousands of episodes. Don’t see something you want to listen to on the first try? No worries. More podcasts are added every day.
To play a podcast, just say “Alexa, play [podcast name].” In situations when you don’t remember a podcast’s complete title, you can give a command that relates to the podcast. For example, if Dr. Laura hosts a podcast, say “Alexa, play Dr. Laura.”
AnyPod also subscribes or unsubscribes to podcasts at your command with the “Alexa, ask AnyPod to subscribe/unsubscribe” cue. If you’re not sure whether you’ve subscribed to one yet, ask, “Alexa, ask AnyPod what are my subscriptions?”
Need some suggestions to get started? See if you can access these true-crime podcasts on AnyPod.
Enable: Any Pod (Free)
2. Pod Buddy
You can use Pod Buddy to play specific episodes in a podcast series categorized by number. Alternatively, you might want to play a random episode of a podcast you love. Just say, “Play a random episode of [podcast name].”
Do you like hearing long podcasts in several segments? Pod Buddy also starts podcasts at preferred times in overall episodes. Make a note of when you stopped listening. Then, ask Pod Buddy to start the next session in the same place.
Enable: Pod Buddy (Free)
Maybe you’re pressed for time and want to make the most of your Echo-enhanced podcast experience. Use the intelligent search feature built into this Alexa Skill. It lets you find the newest episodes of a podcast. Or, let other listeners suggest which episodes to hear. The Podcast Player responds to a command that reveals the “best” episodes in a series.
Hear one you like? Make sure to rate it to guide fellow listeners.
Enable: The Podcast Player (Free)
4. Magic Podcast [No Longer Available]
This Alexa Skill highlights podcasts by topic. Ready to hear one about horses or cars? In the first instance, you could say “Alexa, ask Magic Podcast to find a show about horses.”
Alternatively, just add the word “Play” before saying the name of a podcast title to hear it, along with topical episodes in order of relevance. Don’t like one enough to continue listening? Use the “Skip” command to go to the next offering in the list.
Enable: Magic Podcast (Free)
With more than 40,000 podcasts to choose from, Spreaker banishes boredom through high-quality audio content. One of Spreaker’s features suggests related content, which helps if you like to stick to specific themes. It asks, “Would you like to play this?” If you do, say “Yes,” but if not, say, “Skip.” The access to related content helps you swiftly build a list of favorite shows.
Spreaker also speaks search results to you. Hear a list again by saying “Repeat.” You can also cancel a search by saying “Stop” or “Never mind.” Some of these commands aren’t shared by other podcast-related skills on this list. However, they’re so intuitive it won’t take long before they’re a part of your Echo vocabulary.
Enable: Spreaker (Free)
Boost the capabilities of this Alexa skill with a linked Podbean account. Then, you can hear podcasts recently listened to within Podbean but not with the Echo.
First, create a podcast list in the online version of Podbean. Then, rank the podcasts in order of preference or another way that makes sense.
After that, you can use numerical shortcuts to go to podcasts with the Echo. Just say “Alexa, ask Podbean to play my podcast number one.”
Enable: Podbean Podcast Player (Free)
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.
You may not have positive, uplifting, motivating people in your personal life. That’s okay. Read books, listen to podcasts, seek out information from people who are living the life you want to live.
— Ciara Johnson (@hey_ciara) January 4, 2018
This Flash Briefing skill doubles as a podcast, so you can also hear good news when asking Alexa for the day’s headlines. Your hosts Colleen and Neil highlight top positive stories, helping you get your day off to an upbeat start.
Enable: The Good News Podcast (Free)
Consider Stitcher your ticket to more than 100,000 podcasts.
Like the Podbean Podcast Player, this skill gets even better with a Stitcher account. It responds to playlists created on the Stitcher website. You can hear episodes from the Listen Later playlist, for example. Also, speak the name of any playlist created on Stitcher to start playing episodes from it. You can also use the “Binge listen” command to hear hours of a preferred show.
Find a random show or episode you like? This skill tells the name of a podcast or episode, allowing you to find it again.
Stitcher is one of the best podcast libraries available. Check out these comedy podcasts guaranteed to make you laugh to get a taste of what Stitcher has to offer.
Enable: Stitcher (Free)
What Podcasts Do You Listen to on Your Echo?
Before reading this, you may not have considered your Amazon Echo a podcast discovery tool. However, as these skills prove, it is.
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?
Give these skills a try and let us know how it goes. Can you easily get to your favorite podcast with your Echo? What podcasts are you planning to listen to on your Echo from now on? Please let us know in the comments below!