So you've just gotten an Amazon Echo or another smart speaker that has Alexa built-in. Now you want to learn how to play podcasts on that smart speaker. The good news is, it's relatively easy to do just that. There are also many ways to play podcasts on Alexa, seeing as many music services also have podcasts included now.
By default, when you ask Alexa to play a podcast, it will look for it on TuneIn Radio. That's not a bad way to do it, but TuneIn Radio does not have many podcasts, and unless the one you are looking to listen to is super popular, it likely is not on TuneIn Radio, unfortunately.
How to play podcasts with TuneIn Radio
TuneIn Radio is mostly a radio station, but there are podcasts available. To get to TuneIn, you're going to need to download the Amazon Alexa app from the Google Play Store and log in.
From there, tap on the Play icon on the right side of the Alexa button, at the bottom of the screen. You'll see a Browse Music option towards the top, tap on that.
That screen will show you all of the music services available on each Alexa device (the example below shows the Sonos One). Tap on TuneIn.
Once you get into the TuneIn section, you'll want to scroll to the very bottom to find the Podcasts.
From there, you can search for podcasts, or browse through different categories of podcasts.
Once you find a podcast you want to play, tap on it, and then tap on the episode you wish to play. It'll take a few seconds but it'll start playing for you.
Unfortunately, using Alexa voice commands to play podcasts through TuneIn Radio on your Echo or other smart speaker is pretty terrible. About 90-percent of the time, Alexa is not going to know what you are talking about.
How to play any podcast using the AnyPod Skill
Luckily, there is a skill out there that does make things a whole lot simpler. And it's AnyPod.
First you'll need to enable AnyPod, which you can do by saying "Alexa, enable AnyPod skill" or downloading it from the Amazon Alexa Skills store.
From there, you can then ask Alexa to start playing a podcast for you, and she'll actually know what you're talking about. Making things much simpler for everyone.
As a tip, you'll want to head to AnyPod's website and subscribe to the podcasts that you typically listen too. It's unfortunately a pretty tough thing to play podcasts on Amazon Alexa devices these days. That is something that Amazon will likely fix in the future, seeing as smart speakers are the most popular product that is sold with Alexa built-in.
If you were looking to play podcasts through something like Google Podcasts or Spotify, that's not possible. AnyPod is really the only way to do just that.
How to add podcasts to Alexa Routines
Before we get started, you do need to use the TuneIn Skill for podcasts in Alexa Routines, which is rather unfortunate. But since you don't need to give it a command to play the podcast - just the routine skill - it's not too bad.
To get started, go to the Amazon Alexa App and swipe in from the left of the app.
Tap on Routines.
Tap on the Routine you want to edit or simply start a new one.
Tap on Add Action.
Then tap on Music.
Select your music provider, which is going to be TuneIn Radio.
Then add the podcast that you wish to listen to.
After that, you're all set.
Unfortunately, podcasts and Amazon Alexa do not quite get along to well just yet. That should hopefully change in the near future. Seeing as podcasts are getting pretty popular these days - almost more popular than music. But for now, we have to settle for TuneIn or using AnyPod to play podcasts on Alexa.