SiriusXM, the satellite radio network, has just released a new Alexa Skill that allows you to listen to the service’s radio stations through Alexa. Even though this is an Alexa skill, accessing SiriusXM stations is similar to accessing music through service’s like Spotify or Pandora. Once you have the Alexa skill enabled, which you can do by saying “Alexa, enable SiriusXM,” and configured your login credentials through the Alexa app, you can then ask “Alexa, play [station name] on SiriusXM” to start listening to a station.
It’s a bit strange that this functionality requires an Alexa skill, yet does not use the standard method of accessing an Alexa skill, which would be to say “Alexa, tell SiriusXM…,” like all other skills. It probably has to do with SiriusXM’s subscription requirements, which do of course apply to Alexa streams. You’ll need either the online-only SiriusXM subscription, or the streaming add-on to one of their regular subscriptions.
SiriusXM is requiring Alexa-enabled device manufacturers to pass their certification criteria before those devices may stream the service’s radio stations. All of Amazon’s Alexa devices, including the Echo and Fire TV line, have passed the certification and can stream SiriusXM radio just fine, but other third-party devices may not be able to access the service just yet.