Are you battling to decide which podcast hosting platform to use? Not sure how or where to start? Promoting your podcast, increasing your audience, and monetizing your site are common goals of all podcasters. You can’t have a proper podcast without a reliable podcast hosting provider. Bandwidth, storage, downloads, RSS feeds, and useful analytics are the essential criteria provided by podcast hosting platforms.
Podcasting is a great way to increase your audience and customer base, as you capture both readers and listeners. Depending on whether you are a small business, an independent, or a large enterprise, you will need a podcast hosting provider that caters to your specific needs.
Or maybe you’re looking to upgrade your current podcast to a podcast host that is tailor-made to suit your podcast needs. Importing (or migrating) existing episodes to another provider is an option most podcast host sites offer. It’s as simple as one click, with the right provider. So, let’s get started.
Buzzsprout – the best podcast hosting sites
Buzzsprout.com is an American podcast hosting provider owned by Higher Pixels, Inc. It was launched in 2009 and gets used by over 100,000 podcasters.
- 250GB of bandwidth (except Pro Plan). This amount of outbound bandwidth translates to 20,000 to 40,000 episodes per month, depending on the length of each episode.
- Episodes are hosted indefinitely
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited team members
- Podcast stats
- Listing with multiple directories
- Podcast website
- Embeddable players customized to promote your brand • Free podcast importing
- RSS feed and support
- Option to cancel anytime
Buzzsprout Key Features
- Analytics – podcast statistics help you track your listeners by location, application and a total number of plays. Buzzsprout offers its users advanced statistics. You will find out which applications your listeners use, where your podcasts are being listened to, and the number of times they are played. As a result, you get to know your listeners better, which in turn allows you to better tailor podcast topics to your listeners.
- Simple upload procedure – You upload your audio and Buzzsprout automatically optimizes each episode. You can publish straight away or schedule a date and time for each episode to go live.
- Customizable embed player
- Get listed with Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Alexa, Overcast, PocketCasts, Castbox, Podchaser, and Castro.
- Manage multiple podcasts with multiple team members all from the same account.
- Each episode gets transcribed. This makes your podcast accessible to search engines, hearing-impaired, and speed-readers. This comes at an extra cost. (only $0.10/min)
- Chapter markers help listeners to navigate the podcast, return to favorite sections or skip forward to get spoiler alerts.
- Buzzsprout will help you monetize your podcast via affiliate marketing programs. They offer you 15% of the purchase price and listeners get 20% off their first order as well as free shipping for purchases over $50.
- Pay an extra $6 per month and get 192k Stereo optimization. This beats the 96k mono and is better for podcasts that use advanced equipment or a lot of music on their show.
Get started with Buzzsprout
What distinguishes Buzzsprout is a very user-friendly and easy-to-use interface, ideal for beginner podcasters. The only thing you need to do is upload a multimedia file, and the rest will be taken care of by Buzzsprout. With it, you can schedule your podcasts or publish them immediately. What’s more, Buzzsprout will automatically optimize the episodes, so you have to worry about nothing.
Simplecast is a podcast technologies company. Their catchphrase is “The first and last word in podcast management”.
They don’t offer a free version but do have a 14 Day Free Trial.
- Industry-leading publishing.
- Sharing tools.
- Robust audio streaming infrastructure.
- Audience by Simplecast, which is an audio analytics platform.
- Enterprise-scale analytics at affordable rates.
- Imports or migrates if you want to switch to Simplecast.
- Embed (player) ready to use on-site builders like WordPress and Squarespace, blogs like Medium and across social media platforms.
- Custom website domain.
- One account can host multiple shows.
- Has Recast, which is a sharing, discovery and reporting tool. Recast is the first listener-powered audiogram tool.
- With Simplecast API 2.0 (publishing and distribution) you can build your own website, upload tool, listening app and analytics dashboard.
Simplecast has 3 payment podcast hosting plans. Basic, Essential and Growth.
Basic costs $15 per month. There is a slightly reduced rate for all plans if you pay annually but then you are locked in for the duration.
- unlimited storage and uploads.
- Distribution across all platforms.
- Custom show website with a domain.
- 1 additional team member.
- Embeddable episode web player.
- Secure HPTTS site and RSS feed.
Essential costs $35 per month and includes everything from the Basic as well as additional team member options, 2 new players (Mini and Show) and more advanced analytic tools and options.
Growth is the premium at $85 per month. It includes everything from Essentials as well as a deeper level of analytics. It also offers API publishing.
Audioboom offers to host, distribute and monetize your audio.
They have two different categories, one that caters to newbies, starting out, or individuals podcasters that run small indie podcasts. The other category is designed to serve established individuals with a large audience (over 10,000 plays per episode), or podcast networks, also with over 10,000 plays per episode.
They offer ad-free options for individuals with plans starting at $9.99 per month. They also offer a Plus Plan for podcasts that have over 25,000 plays per episode, still with ad-free options. The cost per month can be as much as $99.
Once your audience has grown to over 10,000 plays per episode Audioboom offers to help you monetize your site.
- Unlimited episodes.
- 10, 000 plays per month (25,000 with the Plus Plan.)
- Your podcasts can be distributed via all the main directories like Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Google, Stitcher and more.
- Advanced analytics with breakdowns by app, device, and geographic location.
- It offers an embeddable player for a website and social media integration.
Here is another podcast hosting platform intent on keeping hosting free and all about letting creators retain ownership of their content. The same business model that Anchor has, applies to RedCircle too. Revenue is gained by cross-promotion, donations, and sponsorships.
With RedCircle free best podcast hosting you get:
- To own your content.
- Use RedCircle tools and technology to monetize and customize your podcast.
- Focus on exclusive content.
- Apply RedCircle’s Dynamic Insertion technology to monetize and cross-promote your podcast. Cross-promotion occurs when podcasters advertise and network between themselves so more revenue is created among that particular community, in this case, the RedCircle podcasting community.
- To join a strong podcast community.
- To build revenue from subscriptions.
Podomatic has a free app for Android and iOS phones. They make it really easy to get your podcast uploaded and published. Their site shows you how easy it is.
The free plan is very basic but you can still monetize your podcast (unlike some other providers which only allow monetization with paid plans).
The basic free and best podcast hosting plan gets you:
- 6 hours of episodes per month. That equates to 500MB of storage.
- 15GB of bandwidth which translates into 180 hours. That’s more than enough for small podcasts and newbies.
- Make money with Patreon and Advertisecast.
- Get free analytics to track your listenership and improve your reach.
- You can stay with the free plan as long as you like.
You have a lot of information to digest and as you can see it is no easy task to decide which podcast hosting provider to go with.
But the process becomes a whole lot easier when you are focused on what you want to get from your podcast. Who are you talking to? And how do you want your podcast to evolve?
Free best podcast hosting plans are awesome for open-source supporters. And the business model used is a fair and transparent one.
Other hosting platforms offer unlimited storage and bandwidth and charge you to access their analytics and monetize your site.
Fortunately, many hosting sites offer deals without tying you down with a contract and most make it easy for you to migrate and import your material if you find a better fit elsewhere.
So, enjoy creating your podcasts, focus on content and get signed up with the podcast hosting platform most suited to your aspirations.