amazon echo

Nearly three months after Amazon said it was adding podcast availability to Alexa devices, the integration has become reality. The company has created a “preferred podcast setting" which means users can pick something else, like Apple, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or Pandora, as the skill that delivers podcast content to their Alexa. That means they won’t need to explicitly mention the skill each time they ask the device to start playing a show.

“Whether you’re listening at home or on the go, you don’t need to worry about losing your spot,” Amazon said in the announcement. It said users will just need to link their Alexa account to their podcast app account and they they’ll be able to seamlessly pick up where they left off listening on a different device, such as their smartphone or Apple CarPlay.

Edison Research also reported earlier this year that its survey of monthly podcast listeners found 10% said the smart speaker is where they most often listen to shows. That compares to 65% for smartphones and 25% for desktop computers and laptops. Yet for podcasters, smart speakers have mostly been an area of promise, rather than actual listening. Edison Research reports that just 3% of smart speaker owners reported listening to a podcast on the device. That’s less than the 5% who listen to audio books. The most common use is listening to AM/FM radio, which Edison said 18% of smart speaker owners said they used the device to do.


Here’s how to set up podcast listening with Alexa:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app, then tap the menu button in the upper-left corner.

  2. Tap “Skills & Games” and search for the podcast skill desired.

  3. Tap Enable to Use.


Here’s how to set up a default podcast service and ask Alexa to play something without saying "on Apple Podcasts" or “on iHeartRadio” each time:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app, then tap the menu button in the upper-left corner.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Tap “Music & Podcasts.”

  4. Under Services, tap Link New Service.

  5. Sign-in to the skill.

  6. Once signed in, tap the X icon in the upper right corner.

  7. Tap Select Default Service.

  8. Select the skill as the default podcast service.