Amazon Alexa devices will now allow you to play podcasts from Apple
Taking a step further in a series of partnerships, Amazon Alexa-enabled devices like Echo speaker will now support playing podcasts from Apple. People will just have to say, “Alexa, play (insert show name here) on Apple Podcasts” to get a program.
The latest move from the two rivals makes Amazon’s line of Echo devices the first third-party clients to support the Apple Podcasts service without using AirPlay. Earlier, Apple’s HomePod was the only tech in the market to give this level of support. According to Amazon, the addition brings to Alexa devices Apple’s library of more than 800,000 podcasts. It also allows customers to set Apple Podcasts as their preferred podcast service.
This is not the first time the two big tech giants have shaked hands on a partnership deal like this. Earlier also Apple launched it’s Apple TV app on Amazon ‘s Fire TV platform, as well as the launch of Apple Music on Echo devices and Fire TV. Amazon, in response, has expanded its assortment of Apple inventory to include Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch and more.
Alexa offering syncing with Apple Podcasts, which were potentially the selling point for HomePod, makes the old apple’s HomePod less special now.
If users link their Apple ID to their Alexa app, they’ll also be able to pick up where they left off listening in the Podcasts app. The command would be: “Alexa, resume playing (show name here) on Apple Podcasts.” This is potentially an acknowledgment that a Siri skillset isn’t going to be what sells the HomePod going forward.
Not only Apple but Spotify also announced today that both Free and Premium U.S. customers will be able to ask Alexa for podcasts as well as set Spotify as their default player.
Yes, we know that the support for Spotify podcasts was announced in September at Amazon’s annual Alexa event in Seattle, making it less of a surprise but, at that time only Spotify Premium users have been able to use Spotify Connect to stream to Echo and not the free ones. With the new announcement by the company, now the free service would also stream to Alexa devices.
Both Apple and Spotify aiming to link their podcasts to Alexa is interesting and proves that in one way or the other Alexa-enabled devices have always been the main way for people to access podcasts. Other apps are used, too, of course, but in an uneven popularity distribution.