Best Podcast Hosting Platforms

Best Podcast Hosting Platforms

Do you have an epic podcast episode all recorded and ready to share with the world? Now it’s time to make sure people can actually listen to your podcast. Before you resort to standing outside your friends’ windows with a boombox, try one of these popular podcast hosting services.

Which podcast host is right for me?

Before we take a look at ten of the most frequently suggested options for hosting your podcast, let’s talk about how you should make your pick. There isn’t a “one size fits all” hosting option. The best podcast host for you will depend on factors like your budget, content, target audience, comfort with technology, and expectations for your podcast.

Is your podcast just a personal passion project, or are you hoping to make some money off it in the near future? Are you a technological novice or a WordPress wizard? Here are just a few of the factors you may want to consider when making your choice:

  • Price
  • Storage and bandwidth
  • User-friendliness
  • Technical support and customer service
  • Technical support and customer service
  • Analytics
  • Extra features

Above all, what’s most important is that you do pick a host specifically designed for podcast hosting. These hosts have the server power, bandwidth, and storage to handle large media files without causing download issues for your listeners. Plus, they’re tapped into the podcasting community and are frequently adding new updates.

Now, what are your choices?

10 of the Best Podcast Hosting Options

1. Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout is a veteran platform (est. 2009) and popular among new and experienced podcasters alike. It offers a free plan that removes episodes after 90 days, a good option for getting your feet wet before upgrading to their priced month-to-month plans, which start at an affordable $12/month for 100 MB of storage.

Buzzsprout’s standout features include its incredibly clean user interface plus a barrage of user-friendly services, such as (but certainly not limited to):

  • Are there cons? Well, nothing’s perfect. The podcast websites you can create through Buzzsprout are simple and compelling, but some may find them a bit basic compared to other services.
  • Easy to understand podcast statistics and analytics
  • An embeddable player to add to any website
  • Unlimited addition of team members

Are there cons? Well, nothing’s perfect. The podcast websites you can create through Buzzsprout are simple and compelling, but some may find them a bit basic compared to other services.

Unusually, Buzzsprout’s plans are also priced based on how many hours you upload each month rather than on storage size. This can make it difficult to estimate how much storage you need, since there isn’t a 1-to-1 correlation between episode length and file size. On the whole, though, it’s easy to see why Buzzsprout is a popular choice.

2. Blubrry

Blubrry is also one of the largest podcast platforms, designed and started by podcasters in 2004. Its basic plan, like Buzzsprout’s, starts at $12/month for 100 MB. As an added bonus, Blubrry has no-fault overage, which means you can exceed your monthly storage by up to 25% with no extra costs.

Blubrry works especially well if you use a WordPress site alongside your podcast. Many podcasters use a separate website as a landing page, easily indexed in search engines, for visitors looking for more info on your content. One of Blubrry’s stand-out features is Powerpress, a WordPress plug-in that lets users easily and directly share episodes to any WordPress website.

Blubrry was also the first hosting company to receive IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) certification for the reliability of the stats and analytics it provides. Though its plans are pricier than similar options and you may not like it as much if you don’t use WordPress, whatever way you look at it, Blubrry is a solid choice backed by history and dependability.

3. Captivate

One of the newer kids on the block, Captivate is helmed by a team of experienced podcasters called Rebel Base Media. Billed as a growth-oriented platform, its focus is on marketing and helping you increase your podcast audience.

This vision is behind its standout features, which include mobile-friendly websites and incredibly user-friendly podcast sponsorship kits—PDFs that let you highlight recent episodes and key download stats to help win over potential sponsors. It also has built-in calls to action (CTAs) that allow you to turn listeners into new leads by, for example, getting them to sign up directly to your email list.

Captivate’s basic plan is $17/month for up to 12,000 downloads (billed yearly, and with a week long free trial). It’s very geared towards monetization and promotion, so the slightly higher cost may not be right for you if you’re just a casual hobbyist. If you’re trying to turn your podcast into a profit, however, Captivate has a lot to offer.

4. Castos

Castos began as a podcasting hosting tool designed for use with WordPress. Castos owns a WordPress plugin called Seriously Simple Podcasting that integrates directly with WordPress. This means you can do pretty much whatever you want—uploading episodes, managing your podcast—straight from your WP dashboard.

Castos has a higher price tag than Blubrry, at a starter package of $19/month, but it’s a good deal: Castos’ basic plan comes with the benefit of hosting an unlimited number of podcasts plus unlimited episode uploads and downloads.

You do have to upgrade to its less budget-friendly growth ($49/month) or pro ($99/month) packages to access Castos’ most premium suite of services. These are designed to help grow and monetize your podcast, especially automatic republishing of your content to YouTube. But all users can enjoy features like pay-as-you-go transcriptions services and smooth integration with Spotify.

5. Libsyn

Launched in 2004, Libsyn is an old hand at podcast hosting. They don’t offer any type of free trials, as many of the other platforms listed here do, but that’s because their cheapest plan costs only $5 a month for 50 MB.

Keep in mind, though, that 50 MB isn’t a lot of storage, so most podcasters end up upgrading to a higher tier. Also, a lot of Libsyn’s more advanced features like an app for iOS and Android or the ability to use your own domain name cost a few extra dollars per month to add on.

Overall, Libsyn seems a little outdated compared to some of the other options on this list. Still, it’s a well-established platform worth considering, especially for beginning podcasters on a shoestring budget.

6. Podbean

Podbean is a widely used hosting service that offers an excellent free plan called “Podcast Starter” that’s been designed with, well, podcast starters in mind. For the cost of zero dollars a month, you get five total hours of storage, 100GB bandwidth per month, and free features that include an iPhone/Android app, embeddable player, and your own website.

That’s a pretty sweet deal, but Podbean’s priced plans are attractive as well, starting at the appealingly affordable price of $9/month for unlimited storage and bandwidth. Podbean also helps you make money with your podcast if you want to, with features like an advertising marketplace and a “Patron Program” that allows you to set up exclusive paid content, kind of like a Patreon account.

That’s a pretty sweet deal, but Podbean’s priced plans are attractive as well, starting at the appealingly affordable price of $9/month for unlimited storage and bandwidth. Podbean also helps you make money with your podcast if you want to, with features like an advertising marketplace and a “Patron Program” that allows you to set up exclusive paid content, kind of like a Patreon account.

7. Resonate

Resonate is a brand spanking new hosting service (seriously, it launched July 2020). It’s the newest offering from Resonate Recordings, a full-service podcast production and editing company. Resonate’s claim to fame is that it’s even more of a one-stop-shop than its competitors: you can use a single platform to host your show and produce, edit/mix, and distribute your podcast.

This provides a much easier user experience, with features like one-click posting and streamlined scheduling, a podcast microsite, and an audience insight dashboard. Resonate also reports the fastest feed and episode download speeds among its competitors.

Although it has a 14-day free trial, Resonate’s prices are steeper than other hosting services: $25/month for a basic hosting plan and $49/month for Premium Hosting, with added costs for other services (basic cover artwork, for instance, has a price tag of $299).

These costs can really add up, and many beginners won’t need or want another company to handle your launch and production. However, if you do want to hand over a most of these elements to professionals, Resonate could be a great option for you.

8. Simplecast

Simplecast, founded in 2013 and recently updated, is an industry powerhouse whose customers include big-name companies like Facebook, Nike, and Shopify. Whether you’re creating a podcast for business or pleasure, you’ll be in great company.

Its website highlights “industry-leading” tools for publishing, distribution, and analytics. Users enjoy one-click publishing, custom web domains hosted on Simplecast itself, and the ability to invite multiple team members, plus a strong, stable audio infrastructure.

Simplecast is uniquely geared toward helping grow and distribute your brand in a modern way. One standout feature, for example, is a tool called Recast™ that allows you to schedule clips from your podcast to share on social media, and the same tool offers helpful insights into listeners’ sharing habits.

This social media savvy and significant range of tools and features makes Simplecast a great choice, and they offer plans for individuals (starting at $15/month) as well as businesses. They do put a soft limit on the total monthly downloads your podcast receives, but your account won’t be canceled if you run over.

9. Transistor

Transistor is a popular choice for bigger brands and serious podcasts. It operates on a streams-per-month model where you get X amount of podcast downloads per plan (it has a 14-day free trial, but not a free plan). Even better, you’re allowed to host an unlimited amount of podcasts on one account.

Transistor also brings a serious focus on private and public podcasting. Private podcasts are a fantastic option for podcasters who want to have “members-only” or exclusive content. They’re also ideal for anyone who wants to provide secure content, like government clients or an internal company podcast.

Transistor’s analytics are detailed and its features well-designed. However, the streams-per-month model means having multiple podcasts will eat into that total. In terms of overall pricing, it’s accessible enough at $19/month for the starter plan, but the next plan (Professional) goes up to $50/month with no options in-between.

This could get a little pricey for an amateur, but business owners and professional podcasters will likely find Transistor’s features appealing.

10. Spreaker

Let’s close out the list with another excellent budget choice, Spreaker. Spreaker has a $7/month (or $6/month billed yearly) basic plan that gets you hosting for multiple podcasts, customizable RSS feeds, and monetization features you can program.

Spreaker is really worth looking into, though, because of its emphasis on providing a smooth, well-designed interface for mobile users. Since approximately 69% of podcast listeners do so on their smartphones, Spreaker’s Studio app for iOS and Android is timely and convenient.

This app turns your device into a mini podcasting studio, allowing you to record on the go, chat with your audience during live streams, and access analytics from your tablet or iPhone. Alongside it, you can even build a customized mobile app for your own podcast to be shared with listeners.

Spreaker is another good option for new podcasters on a tighter budget, although some users point out that most of the good features really aren’t available on the basic plan. Spreaker’s website itself is a little outdated, too, which might not suggest the sleek, modernized aesthetic some podcasters are looking for.

Putting it all together

There are tens of podcast hosts out there that we haven’t even touched in this list, and if your favorite hosting service or another name you’ve heard isn’t on here, don’t panic. Yes, you have an overwhelming feast of choices in front of you—but isn’t that better than having just a sad few crumbs to choose from?

The bottom line is that, with so many podcast hosting services available, you’re bound to find something that works for you as long as you put in the research first and think about your priorities. If you have any advice or experience with hosting services to share, drop us a line in the comments below!

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