Can Alexa play the radio? How to play Alexa radio stations

Can Alexa play the radio? Sure, she can control your lights, change channels, and play your streaming music services, but does Alexa play radio stations too? The simple answer is: Yes! So read on for more…

You’re probably pretty familiar with the world’s favorite smart speaker AI by now. 

According to reports for 2021, there are around 40 million users of Alexa in the US alone. The Amazon-built interface is one of the most flexible and easy-to-use in the world. In fact, many credit Alexa with starting the smart speaker boom to begin with.

But, how much do you know about what Alexa can do?

Here’s everything you need to know about tuning into radio stations on Alexa.

Can Alexa play radio stations?

To play “Alexa radio”, you’ll need to access specific skills within your Alexa device. You can do this with your iPhone or Android device. Alexa accesses the internet by tapping into internet streaming services when you activate your skill. 

There’s no FM tuning here, so you will need an internet connection to reach Alexa radio stations.

Once you’ve enabled your skills, you should be able to use Alexa’s radio function for a range of things. Users can use radio stations on Alexa to wake you up in place of an alarm, or you can set the radio up to start streaming at a specific time. 

Can the Echo and Dot play radio stations?

So, can the Echo dot play radio stations?

There are a ton of Alexa devices available today, from the Amazon Echo Dot, to the Alexa Show with its own dedicated screen. Each solution has its own range of unique features to offer, but most can handle simple tasks like playing your favorite music. 

Most Amazon Alexa products will be able to access radio, as you just need access to the “Skills” section of Alexa. Make sure you check the functionality of the latest Echo products before investing though.

What radio stations can Alexa play?

The Amazon Alexa radio stations you can access will usually depend on where you are. 

Radio stations on Alexa include things like:

  • myTuner Radio: Support for up to 50,000 free stations from different countries. You’ll also be able to listen to podcasts on the same service. 
  • iHeartRadio: Another radio station supporting thousands of stations for US listeners. You can find guidance on how to link the service here
  • TuneIn: Access to thousands of radio stations around the globe. You’ll be able to access music, as well as news reports. However, you will need to pay a fee for live access

When you access the Alexa internet radio skills, you’ll be able to choose which content you want to listen to from various internet-based companies. 

Can Alexa play local radio?

So, can Alexa play local radio stations?

Crucially, the radio you can access from your Samsung Galaxy or iPhone with Alexa will be limited specifically to which stations have an internet streaming service.

If your local radio stations also broadcast online, and they’re available with applications like TuneIn, or myTuner, you should be able to use them. 

Local radio on Alexa is not available through AM/FM connectivity, so you won’t be able to access stations like you would with a normal radio. 

How to add radio stations to Alexa

To access Alexa internet radio, you’ll first need to add a “Skill” to your Alexa speaker.

Alexa Skills are the tools or apps the Alexa operating system uses to do certain things. You can find Skills for everything from controlling your smart TV, to managing your house lights. 

To access your Skills, visit your Alexa app on Android or iPhone. You’ll have downloaded this app when you first got your Alexa device. 

Go into the menu by tapping the lines on the upper left-hand corner and select “Skills and Games”. From there, you can visit “Categories”, and scroll along to “Music and Audio”. 

You should find several Skills available for music. Scroll until you find a radio option, or simply tap on the search bar and enter “radio” to find one of the tuners available for Alexa. 

You can then tap on the skill and install it to begin using Alexa radio.

How to ask Alexa to play a radio station

Learning how to listen to radio on Alexa isn’t as complex as it seems.

Depending on your local radio’s internet service, you may even be able to ask Alexa to play a station just by saying “Alexa, play [station name]” and seeing what she can find. This won’t always work, but it’s worth a try if you want to avoid installing Skills.

Installing the Skill options to you have more tuners to choose from will usually be your best bet, however. Once you have a Skill installed, you can usually ask Alexa to play a station through one of the services you have. For instance, you might say, “Alexa, ask TuneIn to play [radio station].”

When you install your Skills, you’ll usually see a little information on the page giving you advice on how to work your verbal requests.

How to use Alexa for radio alarms

If you prefer to have Alexa wake you up – rather than relying on your smartphone, you can ask the service to wake you at a specific time, after you’ve downloaded a Skill, or using one of the available local stations already connected to Alexa. 

To access the alarm function, just say, “Alex, wake me up with [radio station] at [chosen time]”

Remember, Alexa will need to be connected to your Wi-Fi, or she won’t be able to access the radio. 

The good news is once everything is set up, you can listen to radio for free – so there’s no need to worry about any monthly subscriptions or extra costs. All you need is your internet connection. 

Try some of the following stations to start your 

Alexa radio journey:

myTuner Radio

Great for international radio stations, myTuner Radio can find all kinds of stations from around the world, including BBC and NPR. There’s also the option to simply ask for a radio station specializing in a specific genre, like sports, or rock. 

Just say, “Alexa, play MyTuner radio rock stations.”

Radio Anchor 

If you’re more interested in news than radio, Anchor will bring you reporting from all over the world. Add the Skill to your Alexa system on your smartphone, and you can even ask Alexa to play specific news stories, like “Alexa, ask Radio anchor to play sports stories”. 

Radio Paradise

This handy radio station Skill is great for parties and events, because you can play all kinds of music genres, without having to search through endless channels. Just say “Alexa, launch Radio Paradise”, and the music will start playing. 

You can also ask Alexa to identify the songs you like. 

Radio Fun Time

A fantastic radio app with tons of classic content and episodic shows, Radio Fun Time is great if you like listening to older shoes. Just say “Alexa, open Radio Fun Time” to access the Skill after you’ve added it to Alexa with your smartphone.

There you have it, everything you need to know about Alexa radio! 

Radio Fidelity: For the love of radio.