Finding the right fit for your podcast hosting is one of the first steps you will take when creating a successful podcast. With so many options out there it can be overwhelming to try and pick the right one. By the end of this blog post you will:
Understand what is normally offered with a podcast hosting service.
Have an idea of the big podcast hosting companies.
Have a breakdown of which company offers what and for how much.
Hosting services offer a variety of features, but those features come with a higher price tag. This list will help prioritize your needs and goals to pick the best fit service.
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What is podcasting hosting and why do I need it?
Simply put, podcasting hosting is a service where you upload your podcasting episodes and seamlessly distribute them across multiple platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play. This distribution is done through something called a Really Simple Syndication Feed or RSS.
In order to grow your audience and reach of your podcast, you will need to pick a hosting company in order to submit your episodes to these distribution channels. There are a few things to consider when picking a hosting site. You’ll want to make sure that you can easily use their interface, you’re comfortable with their pricing, and they have an easy system for submitting your podcast to additional channels.
Best podcasting hosting companies of 2020
SoundCloud is a personal favorite of mine. Their interface is easy to use and has a very simple way to get your RSS feed so you can submit your podcast to iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.
I’ve helped a bunch of people submit their podcast to iTunes using SoundCloud and all of these have found the interface really easy to use and navigate. They have also recently added a feature where fans can support your podcast by adding a button to your profile.
Here’s the scoop on their pricing. You can get unlimited uploading, episode scheduling, analytics, HD storage and downloads, and full embed controls for only $12 a month.
BuzzSprout, another widely used podcasting site, has a lot of the same features as SoundCloud but differs in pricing. While SoundCloud has an unlimited option, BuzzSprout only offers 3 hours of podcasting per month for the same price of $12.
If you are recording an hour-long episode each week, this won’t be enough and you’ll have to bump up to the next pricing tier. With that said, they also make it easy to publish your RSS feed on other platforms, provide analytics, and embed codes. They also allow you to transcribe your podcast within their platform which makes it easy if you’re also promoting your podcast on YouTube.
Podbean keeps things really competitive when it comes to pricing and user interface. Their easy-to-use platform also comes at a cheaper price than the other options. There are some downsides to their unlimited plan for only $9. If you’re planning to have multiple podcasts, multiple admins, and want to remove the Podbean branding, you’re going to have to pay for their top-tier plan at $99. This plan also comes with their live support which can be useful when first starting out.
Podbean is taking it one step further by offering video podcast support which is available on their $29 a month plan. So if you’re looking for a hosting site with audio and video covered, you may want to consider Podbean.
Libsyn is another good option if your goal is to simply record, upload, and distribute. There is one major difference between their pricing and other hosting sites. You are paying for storage instead of hours. The idea is essentially the same, the more hours you record, the larger your files. To me, it seems easier to keep track of my upload capacity in terms of hours rather than megabytes. The other part of their pricing that I don’t like is that there are other fees if you run out of storage, want to use their app on your phone, or want to use your own domain for branding purposes.
Overall, you’re going to get a lot of the same features with Libsyn as you do with any other podcast hosting company in this article, it comes down to how much you plan to upload. Their pricing might make perfect sense for you and can act as an easy and cheap way to get listed on the major platforms.
If your website is built on WordPress you might find this hosting company interesting. They have built a plugin for WordPress sites that helps you with episode SEO, subscription URL creation, and more. This tool allows you to make different podcast category pages, subscription pages, and statistics right on your WordPress dashboard.
Their pricing is similar to Libsyn in the sense that it’s based on storage. Their recommended plan costs $20 per month and includes 250MB of storage. I think any podcaster putting out 4 episodes a month would be fine. If you needed to bump up to the next tier, you’d be paying $40 a month.
Transistor offers a 14-day trial so you can test out all of their cool features before buying a plan. If you wanted to try it out, you can sign up here. One thing that really caught my eye with their service was the detailed analytics report. While many other podcast hosting services offer analytics, I liked how clean and detailed their reporting looks.
When looking at their pricing it seemed pretty reasonable. Their starter plan is $19 a month and gives you everything you need to get started. You get unlimited storage, a podcast-ready RSS feed, detailed analytics, and 10,000 monthly downloads.
Audioboom puts a lot of emphasis on advertisers right off the bat. They offer a service to help you get connected to advertisers to help your podcast make money in addition to giving you hosting, RSS feed, analytics, and the ability to embed episode players. The advertising service is available on the pro plan and is only available for podcasts that get over 10,000 plays per episode. While this seems like a hard number to reach, it gives you a goal and can help you create a plan to work toward that goal.
If you’re just starting out, their basic plan will work great for you. You will get unlimited uploads per month so you don’t have to worry about going over your limits.
When you sign up for Simplecast, you get all the basic services you need to get your podcast started. One additional thing they provide is a customizable website to host your podcast. They are easy to update, add additional pages, and can be used to promote your show. If you want to use your own domain, you can do that too! While you may already have a page dedicated to your show on your website, it’s nice to know that you can create an additional resource right from your hosting company.
Let’s talk about pricing. For $15 dollars a month you get 2 team member seats to manage your show, unlimited storage, RSS feed, show website, embeddable players, 20k downloads included per month, and email support.
Podiant offers a simple and clean approach to podcast hosting. They offer unlimited storage of your podcast episodes, flexible website pages that reflect your brand, easy listening with major platforms, and third-party integrations. You can get all of this for just $12.99 a month.
If you wanted to have one-to-one technical support or help to build your podcast website or cross-network analytics you would have to pay for the highest tier at $35.97 a month.
Castros also offers a WordPress plugin just like BluBrry. While they offer the usual services with their basic plan, (unlimited storage, podcasting website, and embeddable player) they also offer the ability to transcribe your episodes. Like I mentioned earlier, this makes it easy to re-purpose for uploading your episodes to YouTube. Having a transcribed video can help you rank better and reach more people.
They offer three tiers of pricing, the Starter plan for $19, Growth plan for $49, and a Pro plan for $99. If video is a big consideration for your show, you’re going to want to check out their Growth or Pro plan. These plans include video republishing to Youtube.
Need help picking a host? We can help.
If you’re having trouble picking a hosting site for your podcast don’t panic! We can help you pick a hosting site based on your needs. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the entire podcast creation process, we have services that can help you get things up and running fast.
Our podcasting services will help you plan, produce, and promote your podcast. The best podcasts start with a tailored strategy used to reach your audience so you can meet and surpass your business goals.