why does alexa only play samples

Isn’t it bothersome that your virtual assistant is only playing samples of songs and not the whole song itself?

Why does Alexa only play samples? What’s the reason behind it not playing the whole song that I ask it to play?

In this guide, we’ll be going over the reasons why your Alexa is not playing the complete version of songs. Furthermore, we’ll give you the guide that would get rid of this dilemma once and for all!

If Alexa only plays samples, you need to make sure that you have a full subscription for the streaming service you’re using. Furthermore, ensure that you’ve set it up as the default music service.

Why Does Alexa Only Play Samples?

Before answering the question of why will my Alexa only play samples of songs, it is first imperative to understand what’s causing it.

There are many reasons why Alexa is only playing samples of songs that you ask it to play.

However, there are a few ones that are common across the majority of users of Alexa-enabled devices. Some of these reasons include:

You’re Not Subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited

The common misconception that people have is that when you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime, you would already be able to play all the songs you want.

But, that’s not what the case is. In fact, there are limitations on the songs you can play on Amazon Prime. If the title you chose was not available, then it would really just play samples.

You Have a Different Default Music Service

Oftentimes, if you command your assistant to play a song and it’s not your default music service, it would either not play or it would play a sample of the song.

To fix this, you would have to go through the app to toggle your source as the default music service.

You Don’t Have Full Subscription

Whether you’re using Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, or any other type of streaming service, you need to make sure that you have a full subscription.

For instance, you can choose Spotify as your default music service, but you’re not on Spotify Premium. The tendency is that it’ll play some music completely, yes, but it’ll have commercials.

The Song Is Not Included in the Echo Library

And last, but most definitely not least is the fact that the song is not in the library of what you’re trying to play from.

People sometimes forget to be specific when it comes to Alexa. They forget to mention where it should be playing from or they forget that it’s not set as the default music service.

So, how do you fix and resolve this? Are there ways on how to stop Alexa from playing only the samples of songs?

How Do I Make Alexa Play Full Songs?

make alexa play full song

Now that we know the common reasons for this, let’s head over to the tutorial on how we can stop this from happening again in the future.

Step #1: Check If You’re Fully Subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited

Most people would be subscribed to Amazon Prime, but not to Amazon Music Unlimited. The problem with this is that not all songs are available on Amazon Prime. They’re many, yes, but not everything is available there.

So, take a look at your subscription and double-check if you’re subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited.

This goes to other music streaming platforms as well. Check if you are subscribed to the full version instead of the free version.

Step #2: Check the Default Music Service on the App

In the event that you’re subscribed to the Music Unlimited subscription, the next thing you want to do is to check if Amazon Music is the default music service that’s set on the app.

Here are the steps on how you can check this.

  1. Go to the More section of the app and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down and choose Music and Podcast.
  3. At the top you’ll see Default Services. That is what the default service is.

Make sure that what you’re using is the platform or the service where you have a full subscription. Otherwise, Alexa will continue playing only the samples of the songs that you pick.

Step #3: Speak Clearly

If you prefer to use voice commands, make sure that you speak clearly. Oftentimes, Alexa not properly understanding the command is the root of all major problems that users have.

So, in order to be free from this dilemma, speak clearly. Alternatively, use your device and navigate it through their dedicated app.

I Don’t Have Amazon Music Unlimited, What Should I Do?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone, in fact, there are a lot of people who have Amazon Echo devices or other Alexa-enabled devices who are not subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited.

To work around this, you can try using a different music streaming platform like Apple Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, and many others.

Make sure that you have a full subscription so that Alexa would play the songs completely. So, here’s how you can set that up.

  1. Open the Alexa app and go to More on the bottom-right corner.
  2. Select Settings > Music and Podcast.
  3. Under Services, click Link New Service.
  4. Now, select the service or the platform that you want to set as the default.
  5. Then, hit on Enable Skill and log into your account through the Alexa app.
  6. Add it as the default music service by clicking Default Services.
  7. Select the new music streaming platform you want Alexa to play from.

Even if you’re not subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited, you have the solution on how you can make your virtual assistant play complete songs!

Your Alexa that’s only playing samples is a result of you not being fully subscribed to the default music service’s platform. It’s also good to check if you’re able to give the command clearly.

Read Next: Top Funny things to Do with Alexa


If you’re part of the demographic asking why does Alexa only play samples, then this guide is your key to overcoming that problem!

Don’t immediately arrive at the conclusion that the problem is with the hardware. Most of the time, it’s not!

With this guide, you will never again be bewildered on why your Alexa is only playing samples!

Nicole B