Podcasts are a way for creators to share their audio content with the world. But having podcasts does not simply mean you record an audio clip and upload it on iTunes. You also have to think about where to store these podcasts for their accessibility and retrieval. So when you’re preparing to start a podcast, you’ll need to sign up with one of the best podcast hosting platforms where you can build your podcast feed and store your audio recordings. Think of it as starting a website or blog, where you need a web host, so you need a media host when you start a podcast.
This article is to help you decide among the best which ones in the market are perfect for helping you launch your podcast. Before we go through the list, we’ll first discuss our criteria for coming up with this list.
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In this guide, we tried and reviewed the best podcast hosting based on affordability, reliability, customer and technical support, monthly upload volume, compliance, storage capacities, monetization, user-friendliness, marketing integrations (or lack thereof), and many more.
In a nutshell, a great podcast host should be a platform that’s quick and reliable. Since we deal with streaming here, the platform should be able to provide consistent audio quality and steady download and streaming speed. Securing your files is also another consideration.
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Here are our picks for the best podcast hosting platforms to try:
The key to a great podcast hosting service is to allow users to stream your content while maintaining crisp, clear audio. Buzzsprout maintains your audio’s quality, and you can upgrade it to 128k stereo optimization for better sound. Not only that, but they also offer podcast transcription services as an extra add-on.
Buzzsprout also offers additional unique features, such as allowing you to create a video ‘highlight’ right inside the episode dashboard. Another cool feature that significantly helps in the marketing aspect of your podcast is that you can select a section of your show, and they’ll create a video version of that, which you can then share on social media.
The free plan is good for 90 days. After that, to avoid your content being removed, you can opt to subscribe to their paid plan, which starts at $12/month.
As an added bonus, when you sign up for BuzzSprout and upgrade to a paid plan, you get a free $20 Amazon gift card!
Spreaker is a one-stop-shop for podcasters. From those just getting started to publishers developing tons of content, Spreaker has a solution for making any podcaster’s journey a smooth and profitable one.
Spreaker has an advanced Content Management System (CMS) that lets you simultaneously upload and schedule multiple episodes. The CMS takes a lot of effort and time off your plate compared to constantly logging in manually to do this. Furthermore, its built-in marketing features ad revenue sharing, dynamic ad insertions, and paid subscriptions for easy monetization.
Spreaker also lets you upload five hours worth of audio with their free plan, which has no listener limits.
They offer a free plan, and their cheapest paid plan starts at only $5.50/month (although their most popular one starts at $16.50/month for 500 hours worth of storage).
Transistor is a perfect blend of just the right amount of features and ease-of-use podcast hosting service, making it ideal for professionals and beginners alike. In addition, they offer unlimited podcast hosting plans, which means they don’t charge you for hours of upload as some other hosts do.
Transistor lets you develop as many podcasts as you want on the same account at no extra cost. You can also embed the podcast player on your site, so visitors do not have to leave your page to listen to it. Moreover, you can import your podcast to a different hosting platform via an RSS feed. Pretty convenient, right?
Podbean is one of the industry’s well-known and reliable podcast hosting services providers, which is why they’ve been around for more than ten years. Helping over 560,000 podcasters and playing host to over 10 million episodes and 8 billion downloads, Podbean is one of the brands to consider when you’re thinking of starting your own podcast.
With Podbean, you will have a free podcast website included with your account that you can easily customize using their free themes. Their Advanced podcast scheduling also helps in your content management. In addition, their embeddable podcast player can publish on popular podcast sites, plus automatic upload to the Podbean app is also quite handy to offer your subscribers a seamless experience when checking your website.
They offer a free plan (but with limited storage), and their paid plan starts at $9/month with unlimited storage.
Simplecast is the name powering other prominent names in the corporate world (supporting businesses like Nike, Facebook, Twitter, and even Harvard University).
They offer great features and publishing options for podcasters, giving them the tools to help them monitor their show’s growth and track the details of that growth.
Simplecast re-encodes audio files over 128kbps to that bitrate, but they won’t alter anything uploaded at a rate of 128kbps or lower. Their embeddable players are some of the best-looking (and user-friendly) in the current market.
When you’re a professional and focused on growing your listener-subscriber base, then Captivate is the best podcast host provider for you.
One of their outstanding features includes automatic podcast websites and built-in calls to action. In addition, every plan comes with a customizable, mobile-friendly website with donation support built-in.
The call-to-action embedded in the player makes it easy to encourage listeners to sign up and subscribe. For example, if someone is listening to your podcast player, they can sign-up directly to your email list via an opt-in form.
If your website is already running on WordPress, you don’t have to look beyond Castos.
Setting up Castos is easy. Just go to their website or click the link below, sign up for their 14-day free trial. It then requires you to install their plug-in. Once you’re done with that, you’re already ready to host your episodes. Just add a tab or a section on your website where your followers can check them.
Other features include tools for private podcasts and premium content, as well as a transcription service. They also offer a podcast editing and production service that may come in handy when your hands are full. Castos doesn’t alter your bitrates or metadata in any way.
Podcastics is a relatively new player in the industry, but with the wealth of features they’re offering, they’re giving industry stalwarts a run for their money.
Podcastics include features such as analytics, including the number of plays, hours, sources, and locations. It also lets you conduct Live streaming sessions to interact better with your listeners. You can also record Podcasts and edit episodes within the platform. It also includes smart features like QR codes, smart links, surveys, and heat maps.
Fusebox lets you play your podcast using various podcast players: full player, single-track player, and site-wide sticky player.
Installing Fusebox is a pretty straightforward process. First, you install the Fusebox WordPress plug-in and add your RSS feed. Then, you enter your subscription URLs to push your show to the major directories. Finally, you edit the colors of your podcast player and then add the player to your posts and pages. Oh, and to increase your email list, Fusebox lets listeners subscribe to your distribution list from the podcast player.
It offers a free plan, and paid services start at $15.83/month (billed annually, with two months free when you sign up).
Podcast Websites is not the cheapest option on this list, but it sets you up with what amounts to your self-hosted WordPress website. The website is already equipped with a range of really powerful plug-ins to help you engage your listeners and grow your show.
With Podcast Websites, you also receive digital marketing support from specialists to help promote your podcast, ads, and podcasting advice from real, experienced podcasters. So if you want to run a powerful, customizable podcast website, but you’d like someone else to take care of it, Podcast Websites could be well worth the extra cost.
Paid plans start at $99/month
Some long-time podcasters may feel that they’re in a rut, that their career is on a plateau. Switching to Audioboom may help them find new inspiration and the means to bring their podcasts to a whole new level. In addition, experienced podcasters get better monetization opportunities to grow their audience and revenue further.
Paid plans start at $9.99/mo or $99/year
The best free podcast hosting platforms let you create an easy method to upload audio files. They also allow you to generate an RSS feed to describe the files and establish file locations for download.
A free podcast hosting platform also lets you publish to iTunes (Apple Podcasts), Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more with relative ease. Storage is also another factor. Most free service providers offer minimal storage, so it would be nice to choose a provider which gives you more room for additional storage.
Here are our picks for the best free podcast hosting platforms to try:
Buzzsprout is available free, but your content is removed after 90 days.
Don’t be discouraged, though, because Buzzsprout still gives you access to most of its handy features even without subscribing. This hosting service was designed to make podcasting simple but not limited. They have one of the best-designed dashboards we’ve seen, straightforward and intuitive.
Buzzsprout makes it convenient to upload and schedule your podcast too. Upload your audio file, change the episode title and description, and submit your podcast to all significant directories.
Libsyn is one of the most popular choices because it focuses on helping everyone from novices to podcasting pros who are looking to monetize their work quickly.
They offer podcast hosting plans with different storage limits each month but with unlimited bandwidth. In addition, while their plans are not free, they remain very affordable. They include monetization options, detailed analytics, and WordPress integration with their plug-in called Libsyn Publisher Hub.
Whether you’re into indie music or podcasts, you surely have heard about Soundcloud. With Soundcloud, you will have access to all of their embedded players, Twitter cards, and other features. Even with a free account, you can upload 3 hours of content per month and get basic analytics.
SoundCloud Pro’s Unlimited account gives you unlimited upload time, lets you schedule the release of each episode, and the ability to pin five podcasts to your profile.
The free plan includes a 3-hour upload limit. Paid plans start from $6 per month.
Podomatic lets you upload and store up to six hours or 500 MB worth of audio content for free. In addition, Podomatic allows listeners to enjoy 15 GB bandwidth (around 180 hours) a month.
For additional means to monetize, a user may connect with their Patreon account to build an audience willing to pay for your content. Podomatic also lets you connect your podcast on Facebook and Twitter feeds and pay anytime you’re ready to upgrade your account – no trial periods!
Offers a free plan and paid services start at $9.99 per month.
Blubrry offers two essential podcast tools; the first involves a regular hosting service that stores and distributes your podcast. The other one is a WordPress plug-in called PowerPress. You can integrate PowerPress with Blubrry or use another hosting provider if you like the plug-in.
Using Blubrry with PowerPress makes it easy to upload your podcast episodes directly to your podcast hosting provider. It also allows you to submit your podcast iTunes/Podcasts and Google Podcasts easily.
Blubrry offers a free 30-day plan. Their paid services start at $12 per month.
We keep talking about the importance of choosing the most reliable podcasting hosting platform. Why? Because it’s crucial for your podcast since it will help you grow your audience faster while making it easier to manage your podcast files.
But what is podcast hosting in the first place? How does it help you grow your followers as a creator? Podcast hosting is a specialized service that offers to store and deliver media files associated with a podcast. It is akin to having a web host for your website.
Podcast Hosts have specialized platforms built for storing and delivering large media files. They are made specifically for podcasters and have specialized tools to handle media files. This is important because your followers’ experience in streaming your audio files would not be optimal without these tools. Podcast hosting services also employ an army of experts in the industry, which makes a huge difference in the long run.
Podcasts are here to stay, and we believe it still has room to grow despite its volume. In addition, some people prefer podcasts over other types of content because they learn better when listening to a discussion, or podcasts allow them to do two or more things simultaneously.
As such, if you’re a digital creator and are eager to share your content with the world, there’s still a lot of room for your podcasts. However, the quality of your content is not enough to bring in the followers and make them stay. You also need the right tools so that you can provide the best listening experience to your patrons. That’s why you need a solid podcast hosting platform that ensures your audio streams without buffering as soon as listeners hit play.
However, as a reminder, do not just go with the most expensive one on the market. The amount you pay for a podcast hosting service does not guarantee that all your requirements will be met. Instead, make sure you find the right platform that fits your specific needs, especially your budget.
If you are looking to get started right away, we recommend one of our top 3 picks:
Last updated on by Joshua Holdeman
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