December 13, 2019

Apple has partnered with Amazon to launch support for Apple Podcasts on Amazon Echo devices. Starting today, Echo owners in the United States can ask Alexa to play any of the 800,000 shows in the Apple Podcasts directory.

To set up the integration, Echo customers must first link their Apple ID in the Alexa app. As well as asking Alexa to play a specific show, playback progress will automatically sync with all of your Apple Podcasts app across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

You can now say things like ‘Alexa, resume 9to5Mac Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts’ and the Echo should start playing it with playback progress synced to your Apple ID. Apple Podcasts integration is available on the entire Echo family, from the cheap Echo Dot all the way up to the Echo Studio. On the same day, Spotify also announced podcasts integration with Alexa.

The usual slew of audio commands will also work, like ‘Alexa skip 30 seconds’. Amazon says it is rolling out in the US today with no word on international availability yet.

You can also set Apple Podcasts as the default podcast provider for Alexa. This means you won’t need to explicitly include the words Apple Podcasts in your voice query. To set Apple Podcasts as the default podcast service, open the Alexa app and go to Settings -> Music & Podcasts -> Link/Manage New Services.

This partnership makes Amazon Echo the first third-party client for the Apple Podcasts service. Previously, the only smart speaker with Apple Podcasts integration was the HomePod.

Earlier this year, Apple refreshed the web experience for its Podcasts directory amidst rumors that Apple is planning to publish original content podcasts as soon as next year, presumably as a premium subscription offering. Apple has already partnered with Echo on Apple Music integration and we saw the Apple TV app land on Amazon Fire TV ahead of the Apple TV+ launch.

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