Everything wrong with Podcasts on Amazon Echo

Travis McEndree
Jan 6 · 3 min read
Photo by Jan Kolar (www.kolar.io) on Unsplash

I assume like many, you listen to podcasts. They’re a great form of modern entertainment, and you learn new things, laugh with your favorite podcasters or listen to amazing stories by creative authors.

Like many, you probably want to play your podcasts everywhere, and have tried to play your podcasts on all the devices you can think of, including your Amazon Echo. Unfortunately, at the current moment, listening to podcasts on your Alexa enabled device is either a pain, or is an incomplete feature. Below, I’ll go through on the current experience of Amazon vs Rivals and what Amazon could do about it.

How Google Assistant and Siri work with podcasts

Photo by Charles on Unsplash

Google Assistant and Siri are miles ahead of Alexa when it comes to podcasts due to ease of use, features available, and software features available.

With Google Assistant, you can ask your Assistant to play a podcast, and it will do it. Where it goes further, is you can have your Google Assistant play your podcast on a speaker group so you get surround sound if you have multiple speakers. Google Assistant/Google Podcasts syncs with the mobile app so you can resume or pause and pick up on any device. I would love to see Alexa do the same, but with the current available limited podcasts skills it is currently unavailable. Apple Podcasts and TuneIn get an unfair advantage vs third party skills like AnyPod and Pocket Casts.

As for Siri, With Siri on the HomePod and iPhone, you have full access to the iTunes Podcast Library. You can ask Siri to play a specific episode of a podcast and it is something it does better than Google Assistant and Alexa. I am hoping we can get a feature similar to this.

What Amazon can do to fix this

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Amazon recently partnered with Apple to release Apple Podcasts via Alexa. This is great! This gives people who use the Apple Podcast app and Amazon devices access to easy podcasts. Unfortunately for Android users, there is no Apple Podcast app. However, there are many great Android apps available, and some like Pocket Casts that have an Alexa skill. To make podcasts better on Alexa, Amazon desperately needs to do the following:

  • In the “Music, Video and Podcasts” section of the Alexa app, show a link to get more podcast skills.
  • Create a “Podcast” model OR Update the “Music” model so skills like Pocket Casts, AnyPod and more can take advantage of these skills and use their preferred app. Please make this work on Stereo Pair and Home Theater!
  • Create “Alexa Cast”. This would basically be a Chromecast copycat. The Amazon Music app does this, and the Alexa app itself does this.

Personally, I prefer the second solution out of all, but please let Amazon know how you feel with this thread. I would love to see much discussion, and will update this post if anyone from Amazon messages me, or posts below. Please share if this is something you’d like!

Thank you all!

Travis McEndree

Written by

Hi, I’m Travis. I am an Amazon and Microsoft obsessed fanboy. I am currently writing a series about Amazon Echo, Fire TV and Alexa. Follow for more 🙂

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