Top Podcast Hosting Platforms
Before you start a podcast, you need a place to host all your podcast files. Here’s a list of the best podcast hosting platforms you can try to amp up your podcast strategies.
Do you want to be the next Joe Rogan and host a massively successful podcast? Awesome! Podcasting is no longer an arena dominated by big-name media brands. Anyone can virtually start their podcast, by yourself or with friends.
Nowadays, the audio content industry is brimming with easy-to-use tools at one’s disposal. However, podcasting is not simply hitting the record button and then upload the audio file to Spotify or iTunes. First, you need a virtual storage space where you keep and download your podcast files.
So, what are these storage spaces we’re talking about? They’re called podcast hosting platforms (or podcast hosting providers). Think of it as a web hosting provider for websites. Only, this time it’s for podcasts.
With a whole gamut of audio hosting providers, who do you turn to for your podcast hosting needs? Don’t fret. This article gives you the top six podcast hosting platforms for you to choose from.
What is a Podcast Hosting Platform?
Before we dive into podcast hosting platforms, let’s discuss briefly what podcasts are all about. In a nutshell, a podcast is a series of digital audio files clumped together in a single file. Listeners can automatically listen to new podcast episodes from a podcast channel through the Internet.
As podcasts pile up over time, it needs more space and bandwidth. Personal web servers may not be enough to store all large-size podcast files. Hence, podcast hosting platforms were born. Podcast hosting differs from website hosting in that it has built-in tools optimized specifically for the audio format experience.
A podcast hosting site offers more than just a place to store all your podcast files. It also provides an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, unlimited bandwidth (not all), advanced analytic reports, round-the-clock customer support, and many more. Some may offer free domain and website hosting.
Podcast subscribers can either stream or download the audio content using streaming applications. Or access them through podcast directories such as Stitcher, Castbox, Google Play Music, or Apple Podcasts.
Choosing a dependable podcast hosting platform is essential to make podcast hosting an easy, secure, and convenient process. Let’s now shop around and see which of these hosting providers can offer you the best user experience possible.
Top 6 Podcast Hosting Platforms
Yes, there are tons of options to choose from when it comes to podcasting platforms. And, their numbers are growing every year, prompted by a flourishing global community of podcast listeners.
As you carve your path to podcast land, you want to know what’s important to you as a podcaster. Do you find the price, tracking reports, ease of use, and compatibility valuable to you? Keep in mind, that what other podcasters find valuable may not mean anything to you.
To guide you in your journey as a podcaster, we’ll review some of the best podcast hosting sites currently in the market.
As a podcasting platform, BuzzSprout is easy and simple. It’s recommended especially for newbie podcasters. Since 2009, they helped over 100,000 people start their podcasts.
If you’re new to podcasting, then you’ll find BuzzSprout user-friendly. Simply upload the audio file, and it will automatically broadcast new episodes to most podcast directories. Your podcasts can be streamed or downloaded on all types of devices or podcast apps.
Embed your podcasts directly on a web page or through a WordPress plugin. Additionally, you can customize the cover art and let listeners share the episodes via the social sharing buttons. There are other features you can play around.
If you want to test their services, you can start with their free plan, but this only gives you two hours of upload in a month. Their paid plans start at $12/month with unlimited storage, advanced analytics reports, and podcast migration features. However, they offer limited bandwidth (250GB per month) and you need to top up if you want to upload more content each month.
As the name suggests, Simplecast made podcast hosting and distribution incredibly simple. With their one-click publishing, you can publish your podcasts on Google Play Music, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever your listeners hang out. Some of the largest brands that use Simplecast are Nike, Fast Company, TechCrunch, and Shopify.
Whether you’re a podcasting expert or a newcomer, you can benefit so much from their powerful features. They offer unlimited storage and uploads, embeddable web players, and one account to manage multiple shows.
You can try a 14-day free trial to see if it suits your needs. Then, move up to their Basic Plan at $15 per month. As your subscribers and downloads grow, we recommend that you upgrade to their Growth Plan which gives you top-of-the-line analytics about the location, device, and technology used by your listeners.
PodBean gets your podcast up and running with just a few steps, so you can focus on producing quality content and less on the technicalities of podcast hosting. From hosting, management, distribution, and promotion, PodBean guides you every step of the way. And yes, they let you publish episodes straight from a smartphone!
One of their standout features is their User Retention tool. It provides an insight into how attractive your podcast is to your listeners. The user graph shows the percentage of your active listeners over the recent weeks.
If you want to produce video podcasts, their Unlimited Plus at $29/month is the perfect plan. It offers unlimited audio and video storage. To monetize your podcast, you can sign up for their Ads Marketplace or get recurring monthly income from listening support through Patreon.
Another podcast hosting platform that powers millions of professional and novice podcasts is Transistor. Start as many podcast shows as you like, and you won’t be charged for the extra. As long as you maintain your download limit, they don’t charge for adding more shows.
While their 14-day free trial seems okay to start with, it’s wise to upgrade to their paid plans if you’re serious about podcasting. It starts at $19/month with all the bells and whistles to jumpstart your podcasting career.
Embed your Transistor-hosted podcast channel to a WordPress site. Or if you don’t have one, let them create a podcast website for you. You can also convert passive listeners into active (and maybe paying customers) by integrating it with email marketing platforms such as ConvertKit, MailChimp, and Drip.
Since 2004, Libsyn continues to soar in the podcast hosting space. Their powerful features help independent creators to distribute, promote, and monetize their audio content. Some of the notable personalities that use Libsyn are Gary Vaynerchuck, Dan Carlin, and Ben Greenfield.
While they don’t offer a free trial, this only means that you have all the creative freedom and control over your content. You can start with their Classic 50 plan at $5 per month and upgrade as you go. Each plan offers unlimited bandwidth with different storage limits. For more custom features, their LibSyn Pro offers enterprise-level solutions with more storage.
6. Omny Studio
Last, but not least, is Omny Studio. A powerful solution for enterprise hosting, they are a clear favorite among radio stations and world-class podcasters around the world. Aljazeera, Radio.com, and News UK are a few of the prominent news media hosted by Omny Studio.
From embeddable publishing, class-leading analytics, and to one-click editing, they have all the functionalities to publish your podcasts in seconds. Each standard account costs $29 per month and comes with 1TB bandwidth. That’s pretty generous even for successful podcasts. But if you need more, reach out to their sales team so they can create a plan that suits your budget.
Here at Full Scale, we use Omny for our sister podcast, Startup Hustle. It’s the podcast for entrepreneurs who need their regular dose of business tips and advice. Go check out our new episodes every week on our archive list or subscribe to our channel. Good luck with your podcasting!
Grow your Podcast Brand
As a closing thought, there’s no single best approach to finding the best platform to host your podcast. But you need to start somewhere, right? This list should point you to the right platform that works for you.
Check if your podcast hosting platform has an ample space to upload all your content. Do they have analytics and compliance features to steer your podcast in the right direction? Can you afford the monthly or yearly subscription to keep all your podcast files?
Poke around the web, talk to a sales rep, and ask recommendations from active customers. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your budget and the features you need that your podcast hosting platform should deliver.
If you want to take your podcast journey up a notch, talk to the experts. Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson are startup innovators that host a massively-downloaded Startup Hustle podcast. It’s a podcast FOR entrepreneurs, BY entrepreneurs. Just like you.
They are also the brains behind Full Scale, a Kansas-based offshore software company, and this blog you’re reading on. From podcasting and web development to content marketing, Full Scale provides all the digital services you need to scale up your startup.
So, get in touch with us today to get your FREE consultation.