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Alexa Won’t Play Radio

9 Quick & Easy Fixes

Alexa-enabled smart speakers, such as Amazon’s Echo range, are renowned as one of the top multi-audio smart home devices available.

Not only can Alexa stream songs, playlists, podcasts, and audiobooks, but it can also broadcast virtually any radio station in the world.

By enabling a radio skill via the app, you can ask Alexa to play a specific radio station by saying, “Alexa, play [radio station name]”.

Collectively, the skills have a database consisting of thousands of radio stations for you to choose from, from historic broadcasts to live digital radio stations.

Unfortunately, issues may arise which prevent you from being able to listen to the radio on your Alexa-enabled device, including:

  • You haven’t installed the required Alexa Skill(s)
  • You have WiFi connection issues
  • The radio station isn’t available in your area
  • Your Alexa device need updated
  • Your Alexa device doesn’t understand your command
  • You need to relink the Radio Smart Skill
  • You need to clear your Alexa app’s cache
  • The Smart Skill doesn’t support the radio station
  • You need to reset your Alexa device

This article will show you nine quick and easy fixes to resolve any radio issues on your Alexa device.

Alexa Won’t Play Radio – 9 Quick & Easy Fixes

There could be several reasons why Alexa won’t play a radio station, many of which can be resolved easily. 

If you are experiencing issues with Alexa playing radio stations, one of these nine possible fixes could solve your radio problem:

1. Enable Alexa Radio by Installing the Appropriate Skills

Like apps, skills give Alexa the capability to do more than just setting alarms and creating lists. From recipes to workouts, the Alexa store is bursting with many skills that will take any Alexa-enabled device to a new level of convenience.

When listening to a radio station via an Alexa device for the first time, you need to enable the appropriate radio skill.

To find the right radio skill, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Select ‘More’ from the home screen.
  3. Tap on ‘Skills & Games’ followed by ‘Categories’.
  4. Select ‘Music & Audio’ and then search for ‘radio’ in the search field.
  5. Many radio skills will pop up; with popular options as follows:
    • myTunerRadio
    • Simple Radio
    • BBC Sounds
    • Radio Anchor
    • My Radio
    • Radio Paradise
    • Radio Fun Time

Each radio skill offers different attributes that vary in style, location, and genre, so take some time to research and find the most appropriate one for you.

2. Check Your WiFi Connection

Unlike traditional FM/AM radios, Alexa relies on a WiFi connection to ‘tune in’ to radio stations worldwide.

If your Alexa device has somehow become disconnected from the WiFi or there is an issue with your router, it could be the reason Alexa cannot play radio.

To check the WiFi connection, restart your router, wait 5 minutes, and connect your Alexa device to the WiFi again.

Even when connected to WiFi, you may still experience connectivity issues when streaming radio stations via your Alexa smart speaker or device.

To ensure Alexa can receive as much of the broadband signal as possible, try some of the quick fixes below:

  1. Move the router closer to the Alexa device.
  2. Avoid interference from other appliances such as microwaves, baby monitors, and other routers.
  3. Reduce network congestion by switching off smartphones, tablets, and any other devices that are connected to WiFi.
  4. Use the router’s 5GHz channel rather than 2.4GHz.

If you’re still having trouble connecting Alexa to WiFI, the issue could lie with the network hardware rather than the Alexa device. In this case, you should check the network status in your area and contact your internet provider for further advice.

3. Ensure the Station Is Available in Your Area

As we’ve already mentioned, you need to enable at least one of the radio skills to listen to specific radio stations on your Alexa device.

However, it is worth noting that there are a few radio stations that you can only access if you are in the country in which it’s broadcast.

One significant example is BBC radio, which is only available on Alexa devices via the BBC Sounds skill, and you won’t be able to listen if you live outside of the UK.

4. Check for Updates on Your Alexa Device

You must keep your Alexa device running at optimum performance by regularly checking for software updates.

Amazon regularly fixes bugs, adds new features, and improves the security performance of Alexa, which it will release via the Alexa app.

Your Alexa device may be unable to play radio stations because you have not recently performed an update.

Check the status of your Alexa device’s software by following the steps below:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.
  2. Select ‘Devices’ from the main menu.
  3. Select ‘Echo & Alexa’ and then choose the Alexa device you wish to check.
  4. Select ‘Status’ and then scroll down and select ‘About’.
  5. The software version will show under ‘Device Software Version’. Make a note of the number and head to Amazon support to check which is the most up-to-date software version for your specific device.

If you’ve discovered your Alexa device is not running the most recent version of the software, check your internet connection because all updates should automatically download when released.

5. Make Sure Alexa Can Understand Your Command

The voice command technology that virtual assistants such as Alexa rely on isn’t always 100% accurate.

Alexa may sometimes struggle to understand regional accents, which could be why your Alexa device won’t play radio.

To check whether Alexa understands you correctly or not, say, ‘Alexa, tell me what you heard’

Alternatively, you can check your voice command activity log via the Alexa app:

  1. Select ‘More’ from the main menu on the home screen.
  2. Select ‘Activity’ and then tap the ‘Voice History’ tab.
  3. Here you will be able to see a text log of all the voice commands you’ve made to Alexa, so you’ll know whether the device has heard you correctly or not.

Another reason Alexa may not understand your commands is if it is also picking up additional noises that are interfering with the communication.

Place your Alexa device in an open space away from noisy appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, microwaves, or TVs to ensure this doesn’t happen.

You may be unable to listen to the radio on your Alexa device because the Smart Skill isn’t working.

Radio skills such as TuneIn can experience bugs occasionally, but you can usually fix them by relinking them to your Alexa device.

Remove the Smart Skill via the Alexa app settings menu. Once removed, relink it again by searching for it on the Smart Skill menu and adding it to your Alexa device.

7. Clear the Alexa App Cache

Clearing the app cache is another quick fix that could be the solution to your problem.

By deleting an app’s data, you will restore the app to its default settings, removing all the stored data, including login details.

Here’s how to clear Alexa app cache on a smartphone:

  1. Open ‘Settings’ on your phone and then select ‘Apps’.
  2. Find and select the Alexa app from the list.
  3. Select ‘Storage’ and then ‘Clear Data’.

8. Check the Smart Skill Supports Your Radio Station

Some radio Smart Skills will only play certain radio stations, which will also be affected by your location. 

For example, iHeartRadio supports thousands of radio stations just for listeners in the United States, and the BBC Sounds app is only for UK listeners to access any of the BBC radio stations.

9. Restart Your Alexa Device

When in doubt, a restart can be a good option. Shut down your Alexa device and wait one to two minutes before turning it back on again.

Sometimes a system reboot can encourage the malfunctioning software to correct itself, which could be the simple solution you are looking for.

Alexa Stops Playing Radio – 4 Potential Reasons

Playing radio or music on a smart speaker is one of the most basic functions Alexa provides, which is why it can be very frustrating when it stops playing in the middle of a listening session.

There are several reasons why your Alexa device may have suddenly stopped playing radio, and we have listed the most common reasons below:

1. WiFi Connectivity Issues

Alexa requires a strong WiFi connection to stream a radio station, so it will stop playing if your smart speaker is experiencing connectivity issues.

To check for issues with the WiFi network, make sure your wireless router is plugged in and working. Unplug the Echo device or smart speaker and wait a few minutes before starting it again.

Once you have established the WiFi connection, try playing a radio station again to see if the issue has been resolved.

2. Alexa Requires a Reboot

A hard reset is a tried and tested fix for many tech devices that aren’t behaving as they should.

Unplug the device, wait a few minutes, and plug it back in again. In many cases, a system reboot is all it takes to fix any bugs the device is experiencing.

3. You Need to Reconnect the Alexa Skill

The issue may lie with the skill you’re using to stream the radio station on. Like apps, skills are a third-party service that can be susceptible to go wrong even if your Alexa device is working perfectly.

Reconnect the radio streaming skill to see if that solves the issue. Head to the Alexa app, tap ‘More’ on the home screen’s bottom right, and then select ‘Skills & Games’. Tap ‘Your Skills’ and scroll down to the radio skill you’re trying to use. Select ‘Skill Settings’ and then tap on ‘Disable Skill’ to delete it. Then you can relink it to your account by searching for it via the search bar. 

Once you have successfully removed and relinked the skill, check in with your Alexa device to see if the issue has been resolved.

4. Check Your Network Firewall

A network firewall could block incoming traffic, which might be another reason Alexa has stopped playing radio.

To verify your networks firewall settings, follow the steps below:

  1. Open a web browser and enter your internet IP address in the search bar (find out what your IP address is by searching for it on Google).
  2. Enter the login details when requested and then go to ‘Settings’.
  3. Find the ‘Ports Forwarding’ page and look for the following open ports:
    1. 123
    2. 443
    3. 4070
    4. 5353
    5. 33434
    6. 40317
    7. 49317

How to Set up Radio on Alexa

Alexa can access thousands of radio stations worldwide at the drop of a hat; all you need to do is ensure you have set it up correctly via the Alexa app.

Firstly, make sure that you are using the most up-to-date version of the Alexa app by checking for updates in your app store.

The next and most crucial step of the setup process is to install the appropriate skill(s) that will enable your Alexa device to play radio stations.

Open the Alexa app, select ‘More’ from the home screen, and choose ‘Skills & Games’.

Look for ‘Music & Audio’ in the ‘Feature Categories’ section and then search for ‘radio’ in the search bar.

Your search will provide you with a list of available radio tuning skills, such as TuneIn, MyTunerRadio, and Select the skill(s) you wish to use and click ‘Enable to Use’ to activate it.

To begin listening to a specific radio station, ask Alexa to play it via the radio skill you’ve just enabled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Alexa Play Radio for Free?

Alexa can play the radio with the help of the appropriate skill. 

Fortunately, all Alexa skills are free, so there is no additional cost for playing radio on any Alexa device.

Unlike music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, both of which require a subscription to access the ad-free premium versions, you can access free music via the thousands of radio stations.

Can You Get Internet Radio on Alexa?

Unlike regular radio, which is transmitted via AM or FM, internet radio is a digital audio service broadcasted and streamed via the internet.

The most popular internet radio stations include the likes of Worldwide FM, Pandora Radio, and FIP.

While it is possible to listen to internet radio by streaming it on a web browser or media player on a computer, smartphone, or tablet, you could also listen via an Alexa smart speaker.

Like FM/AM radio stations, you can listen to internet radio stations by enabling particular skills via the Alexa app. 

Radio skills such as myTuner, Simple Radio, and TuneIn all have 1000’s of analogue and digital radio stations in their databases. 

To play an internet radio station on your Alexa device, you’ll first need to check if there is a radio skill available that supports the particular station you’re trying to listen to.

Once you have enabled the correct radio skill by searching for it on the Alexa app, your Alexa device will be ready to start streaming the internet radio station you’re looking for.

Which Radio Stations Can You Get On Alexa?

With the right skills enabled, Alexa can play virtually any radio station in the world from the comfort of your own home.

You can request a particular radio station by saying ‘Alexa, play…’ followed by the radio station’s name, frequency, or call letters.

Here is a list of some of the most popular radio skills that will help expand Alexa’s portfolio of AM, FM, and digital radio stations:

  • MyTuner Radio
  • Simple Radio
  • BBC Sounds
  • TuneIn
  • Radio Paradise
  • Radio Fun Time
  • Radio Anchor
  • TED Talks
  • My Radio

In Summary

There are several reasons why your Alexa device will not play a particular radio station. 

The majority of the time, there will be a simple fix, for example, troubleshooting your WiFi connection, enabling the correct Alexa skill, or updating the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.

We hope this article has proven helpful in providing some handy hints and tips for you if you are having trouble listening to a radio station on your Alexa smart speaker or device.

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Author: Tamsin Bright
Writer, ToolCrowd
Tamsin Bright regularly writes about architecture and home design topics and is the editor for the Smart Home and Home Tech sections of ToolCrowd. Tamsin holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and loves nothing more than helping people see the potential in their homes and making their lives easier through great design. When she’s not writing for ToolCrowd, you can find Tamsin indulging her passions for graphic design, cooking, gardening, and all things tech. Contact Tamsinarrow_right_alt