Radio 4 voice command stopped working

Userlevel 1

I used to be able to start radio 4 with the voice command "OK Google, play BBC Radio 4" now this just leads to Sonos playing Radio 4 Extra. Has any one else seen this to know how to fix it?

11 replies

Do you currently have the BBC Sounds Skill installed in your Amazon Alexa App - if not, then perhaps install that and try again to see if that fixes it.

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

This is a problem pertaining to the Google Assistant on Sonos. The OP is right; one can no longer play BBC Radio 4 from TuneIn on Sonos, instead the Assistant decides to play BBC Radio 4 Extra. This doesn’t happen with Google’s own devices, only on Sonos. I have also noticed other radio stations no longer working, including LBC London from TuneIn. Why doesn’t Sonos bother implementing BBC Sounds and Global Player into voice commands alongside Apple Music like on Google’s own devices? This would solve all those problems as they wouldn’t end up occurring in the first place. 

Sonos says that the user experience gets better over time thanks to updates, but the only thing I’ve discovered is that the experience just seems to be getting worse.

Oh I see my earlier post was entirely wrong here. I thought the OP was referring to Alexa rather than Google so I’m just writing to apologise for my earlier mistake <sorry>.

I’m not sure if the Tune-In dispute with the BBC is still at the root of this issue, as widely reported online. Obviously with Alexa, the solution is to add/use the BBC Sounds skill instead of using Tune-In, but I guess there’s no way to add the BBC sounds service to Google, or to perhaps use some BBC stations (via Tune-In) outside of Google/Amazon on 3rd party speakers without ‘BBC Sounds’.

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Unfortunately there isn’t. Thanks anyway for your input though, it’s much appreciated.

BBC Radio 4 is still available on Sonos via Sonos Radio on the App.

I too am getting the Google Assistant to give me 4extra when asking for 4.  This has only happened in the last day or so.

I have exactly the same problem. Went to Sonos Customer support on 30 May who tried it and got the same result. They blamed Google and said they would raise it as an issue with them.

So no cure and no immediate prospect of any one either. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Hey @Tarpey, @JamesDan, @Gribin Isaf@purrlyne and others,


To make sure, I just tested it myself and can reproduce this issue. I’ve flagged it again with our engineers, but we don’t have anything else to share at this time. The workaround at the moment is to start playback through the Sonos app.

We appreciate your patience on this, and I’ll update here again if we have anything to share.

Userlevel 1

I have spent a considerable sum on Google Points to create a Mesh WiFi Network that reaches to the Workshop and shed at the bottom of the garden. I have a 2nd Gen Play 5 in the workshop and a 1st Gen Play 5 in the shed. The whole point of the install is that I can walk down and play the radio - any radio station or music I can stream - without remembering my phone or tablet, just by asking Google. It  was all working fine, shed and workshop players in sync etc until a few days ago...when Radio 4 became Radio 4 Extra, whose catalogue of programs were first made when streaming was playing in the river.

Userlevel 1

Typical with Sonoa, google, amazon and tunein. All blame each other and do nothing about it. I came on here hoping to find a solution, as I’ve often done since buying a Sonos system. Always the same - no answers, although quite often after weeks/months it by some miracle gets fixed! Well at least there is some information here that it works okay on a google device, makes me less sure google are to blame. That said I do think they are to blame, and likely this is simply some kind of database input problem whereby “BBC Radio 4” in assistant is pointing to “BBC Radio 4 Extra”. Simple to fix, but probably needs an internal change request , which in turn probably takes weeks/months to implement, whereby the fix would take seconds… I really do suspect for most of these issues the answer is known, but the culprit(s) won’t own up!

I used to be able to play BBC Radio 4 and BBC world Service using voice command (google Assistant) on Sonos Move.

For a few weeks when I say ‘ hey Google, play BBC Radio 4,’ it starts playing BBC radio 4 Extra. 


When I ask it to play BBC World Service it goes silent. On the Sonos app I can see it’s trying to play something on VPR which is not working (there’s no streaming)


This is only happening when using Sonos Move. It’s working without a fault on Google point devices. So it’s *not a Google Assistant* issue.


I presume streaming links from the BBC need updating *somewhere*. If I need to raise this issue with someone else but Sonos, I will but i need to know with whom. I presume someone At the BBC needs to update the links…


This is super-frustrating as the only reason we got Sonos Move is so we can play radio in the bathroom using voice commands.


I get the same issue.  If I disconnect the Sonos speaker then Google works as it should - in this case plays BBC Radio 4. When I re-connect the Sonos speaker it will on play BBC Radio 4 Extra