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Audio was the only means of acquiring information before the advent of television, computers, and of course smartphones. In recent times; however, audio channels are making a comeback in the form of podcasts.
So, I too decided to join the bandwagon and start my own podcast show. When I started doing my homework, that’s when I realized that you need to assess which are the best podcast hosting platforms first. This information has to be handy with you soon after you have decided upon the concept of your podcast.
75% of Americans know what podcasting is and the percentage is increasing every year.
I tested a couple of popular podcast platforms, started with free apps for podcasts and moved to paid podcast hosting site – BuzzSprout in no time.
I would like to draw your attention to a fact I learned while doing my homework and that is, podcast hosting is different from website hosting.
Selecting the top podcast hosting site is indispensable for managing the podcast files, attracting the audience, boosting the growth of your podcast, and ultimately monetizing your podcasts.
I am sure all of you know about website hosting.
So let me just share my experience with podcast hosting and the most popular podcast platforms.
Everything You Need to Know About Podcast Hosting
So, you must be excited to get started with your new podcast but do you know what does podcast hosting actually means?
You must have heard about iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, etc but don’t confuse these with podcast hosts as these are only podcast directories (podcast playing platforms).
To begin with, let’s understand what a podcast is?
A podcast consists of a bunch of mp3 audio files clubbed into a single file. Usually, this single podcast file requires a lot of space and bandwidth for storage and hosting. Therefore, a separate and specialized hosting site other than a web hosting platform is needed.
Now that we have covered the basics of a podcast, the next step is to know about podcast hosting services.
As mentioned earlier, it is a specifically designed service to store the large media audio files of a podcast and deliver them to the hosting platforms from where audiences can listen to them and download them.
Starting a podcast requires you to register with a hosting company that will host the .mp3 audio files and upload them on the server, as well as intimate them regarding your show details.
The most important role performed by a podcast hosting website is the generation of the RSS feeds. RSS feed describes a podcast (audio) file to the hosting platforms.
Thus, the basic setup of a podcast hosting site comprises of the .mp3 files, webserver, and RSS feed.
Things to look for in an ideal podcast hosting provider
Further, you can investigate and find out if the below features are offered by your podcast hosting platform.
- Do they offer analytics reports and dashboards?
- How well they integrate with popular marketing tools?
- Do they offer social media sharing options?
- How good is the technical support?
- Additional features like streaming compliance, unlimited storage, and bandwidth, free website, etc.
Difference between podcast hosting and web hosting
Let’s take a glance at the below table where I have etched out a few major differences between web hosting and podcasting hosting.
|Podcast Hosting||Web Hosting|
|Stores podcast media files.||Stores web files.|
|Capable of hosting large podcast media files.||Capable of storing smaller web files but not large podcast media files.|
|Offers plenty of storage space and bandwidth.||Comparatively lesser storage space is offered.|
|Offers adequate resources to support high download requests.||Not capable of supporting simultaneous downloads due to limited server resources.|
Which are the Best Podcast Hosting Platforms in 2020?
After researching a lot and consulting a few experts, I have jotted down the top 10 podcast hosting sites for you.
If you are looking for a simple, swift, and user-friendly provider, then I would recommend Buzzsprout for you. This podcast hosting website can help you upload and publish your show within the blink of an eye. It comes with a free 90 days trial and the basic plan costs only $12.
The basic plan of BuzzSprout is comparable to the PRO plan of other hosting services.
My most favorite feature of BuzzSprout is its embedded media player, which you can customize as per your taste.
Some splendid features of this service include effortless creation of a video highlight within the episode dashboard.
Additionally, it enables you to create a video clip from a section of your podcast episode that can be shared on social media for promotional purposes.
With “Magic Mastering” tool you can refine the audio and give it a professional touch before making it available for download. You can also add chapter markers to the podcast which will be extremely useful for your audience.
Next, I have picked Libsyn for you if you want to take services from an old, reliable, and experienced name in this business. With a large customer base, this is another top podcast hosting site. Libsyn’s clientele includes Large Enterprises, Celebrities, Professional Media Companies, and even Government Agencies.
With Libsyn’s help, you can create your podcast’s presence anywhere. Users can pre-schedule and publish their future podcast shows for hosting with Destinations.
Users can get plans at a price as low as $5 for 50MB upload bandwidth per month. If you need more bandwidth, then you can go for the 250 MB plan at $15.
PodBean is next in my list of most popular podcast platforms. You can certainly give this provider a try as they offer a month of free hosting as soon as you sign up with them using specific coupon codes.
You can use their $14 plan for hosting your podcast via them. With the magnificent features and powerful tools of PodBean, you can not only popularize your podcast shows but also monetize them.
The best part about PodBean is its partnership with the ad sponsors. As a result, you can easily insert ads in between episodes and in return benefit monetarily.
With affordable plans starting at $12 a month, Blubrry makes another great choice for podcasters.
One unique and outstanding offering of Blubrry is the WordPress podcasting plugin – PowerPress. Thus, it helps podcasters to conveniently manage their podcasts and upload their episodes to the podcast hosting site with PowerPress.
If you are still thinking what’s the benefit of this, then let me inform you that it allows you to submit your podcasts to iTunes and Google Podcasts easily. Thus, creating your podcast’s presence everywhere is a breeze with Blubrry.
Capture the attention of your audience with Captivate. Although a newbie in the podcast hosting market, yet they carry with them the experience of running Podcast Websites for years.
Launched by Rebel Base Media, this excellent podcast hosting platform offers mind-blowing plans. Whether you are at a cheaper plan or an expensive one, everyone can avail unlimited podcast uploads, advanced analytics tools, and marketing tools.
You can create an in-built call-to-action button, get a podcast website, utilize plenty of customization capabilities, etc with Captivate. Additionally, you can generate an email list for email marketing purposes. They also offer their services in integration with the Interactive Advertising Bureau which is another beneficial attribute of Captivate.
Speaker Studio tool is another best free podcast hosting platform which offers limited yet essential capabilities with its free plan.
Available on mobile as well as desktop, you can utilize this tool to embed widgets on the podcast site, schedule episodes, etc.
It offers humungous storage capacity, private episode sharing option, helps to insert ads and thus can monetize your podcasts and generate profitable revenues for you.
Do you want a free podcast hosting site?
If so, then consider using Anchor. Built with simplicity, Anchor allows users to directly submit the podcast episodes to iTunes via the Apple account.
The plus side of this is that you can obtain stats from Apple directly to gain insights on audience engagement and hence understand the performance of your podcast episodes.
Can you get a provider for $19 per month and offer up to 10000 downloads? Yes, that’s possible.
With Transistor you can easily host your podcasts whether you are a novice or professionally experienced. The best part of this fantastic podcast hosting site is that they don’t charge you on an hourly basis for uploading your podcast shows with their unlimited plan.
Perform a range of activities starting from uploading and publishing your shows, interpreting the performance of your show on an episode-wise basis with the analytical tools and a lot more with Transistor.
Castos is another platform from the list of best free podcast hosting platforms. With its amazing features, podcast hosting is no longer a cumbersome task.
What makes this service stand apart in the crowd is its Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin. Thus, podcasters can directly upload new episodes from the WordPress website and even manage the RSS feeds of their episodes.
If you believe in try and buy, then this service provider is just apt for you because you can opt for its 14-day free trial version first before going for the paid version.
Last but not the least, I would mention Simplecast next in the list of most popular podcast platforms. They work with renowned clients and brands like Shopify and Slack.
Simplecast offers embedded players, advanced analytics tools for analyzing your podcast shows and episodes, and a lot more with plans available at $15 and $35.
Podcasters can avail unlimited uploads, get a website, several customization features, and the facilities just don’t end here because this platform can also support up to fifty thousand downloads on a monthly basis.
The Bottom Line
To put everything in a nutshell, I have provided you with an extensive list of the best podcast hosting platforms that you can utilize to start your own podcast.
Although, every podcaster has its particular set of requirements, yet the above list is quite diverse to help you begin your podcasting journey.
Before that, do check out some of the best podcasts for entrepreneurs and side hustlers, to get some real inspiration.
Podcast Hosting FAQs
How to begin a podcast?
What equipments are needed for creating a podcast?
However, if you are just a beginner and have a limited budget, then having at least a good microphone is recommended.
What are the ways of promoting your podcasts?
Your website can also be a good promotional spot. Apart from this, we can definitely not forget social media platforms for grabbing people’s attention.