Amazon’s Echo line of products may have introduced the world to the idea of smart speakers that respond to your voice, answer questions, and play music among other things. But one thing Amazon’s Alexa voice service hasn’t been great at until now is playing podcasts.
While you could ask Alexa to play a podcast, by default it would stream the latest episode of a show from TuneIn, and navigating beyond that was a pain. Third-party skills weren’t much better.
Now two of the biggest players in the podcasting space have announced support for Alexa.
Amazon announced today that Apple Podcasts now works with Alexa-enabled devices including the Echo line of smart speakers.
That means you can now access over 800,000 podcasts using Alexa. And if you add your Apple ID to your Amazon account using the Alexa app, you can also pick up listening where you left off on another device — meaning you can start listening to a podcast on your phone or computer and then resume on your Echo, or vice versa.
Meanwhile, Spotify announced that it’s also making podcasts available to Alexa-enabled devices. Spotify already featured strong support for Alexa, but up until today podcasts had not been available.
Spotify notes that podcasts are available through Alexa whether you have a Spotify free or premium account. Users can ask to play a specific podcast, ask for the latest episode, or a previous or next episode, or navigate by time. You can also resume an episode where they left off on another device.