Thinking of becoming the next sensational podcaster that the world will recognise even in their dreams? Great! That is the type of spark you need to succeed.
What else do you need?
A podcast does not just consist of recording some audio and submitting it to iTunes. You also need a platform where you can store your audio recordings. Simply put, you will need a podcast hosting platform.
Several businesses have been in operation for a long time, while others are springing up on a regular basis.
If you want to launch a podcast, cut cost, or switch to a more reliable hosting platform, there are many that you can consider.
But because there are so many competing podcast hosting systems available, deciding on one may be tough.
To make your life easy, we have tested well over 30 platforms and come down with a list of 25 best and reliable platforms that you can count on.
So, what are you waiting for? Dig into the list and find out what each of these companies have in store for you.
Let us begin.
Buzzsprout was created to make podcasting easy minus the severe restrictions and limitations.
They offer one of the most well-designed dashboards you will ever encounter, which allows you to spend a lot more time producing your podcast content rather than fiddling with uploads and other administrative tasks.
That they are constantly releasing frequent updates and various other features is something you will truly start appreciating once you start using their services.
Your website can have a podcast player embedded from Buzzsprout. Yes, they allow embedding, and you can choose to highlight a single episode or add an entire playlist of sessions or episodes.
In addition, they provide a simple-to-use dashboard for analytics, which includes an algorithm capable of predicting the number of listeners each of your podcast episode will get during the first 3 months.
Not just that, you can also see which countries you listeners are coming from, giving you valuable data for understanding your target market in a better way.
Additionally, they make it very simple to upload your podcasts and schedule them. If you need it, they can also provide podcast transcription services. It is available to everyone an add-on service.
The audio quality is likewise excellent, and you may improve it by upgrading to 128k stereo optimization for providing a more immersive experience to your listeners.
Did I mention that you can submit your podcast to all the major directories by utilizing Buzzsprout?
Another advantage is that you can simply include chapter markers for each episode. This tool aids listeners in better understanding short facts about your episodes at a look by providing them with more information. These are not needed in any way but having them does not hurt, either.
Buzzsprout has a free plan that will allow you to upload two hours of audio every month. The uploaded podcasts will stay hosted on their platform for 90 days.
You can upgrade anytime to you their paid plans that will cost $12 a month for the starting plan, allowing you to upload 3 hours of episode per month with indefinite hosting and unlimited storage.
Want more? They have the next plan that costs $18 a month and allows indefinite hosting and unlimited storage with 6 hours of podcasts per month.
The highest plan they offer costs $24 a month allow you to upload 12 hours of audio a month. Of course, indefinite hosting and unlimited storage are both included.
Psst… If you join Buzzsprout and upgrade, you get an Amazon Gift Card worth $20. That’s Buzzsprout’s way of showing appreciation.
Captivate comes from people who have experience of running podcast websites for years! So, they put in all their experience in one place to ensure that you have the best podcast hosting experience.
They have an ultraclean dashboard with advanced analytics that is still very easy to understand. The platform ensures that both the player and the website look picture-perfect and that you have the ability to add call to actions in different locations with ease.
Captivate does not put any limit on the number of team members you can have, and they even allow private podcasting irrespective of the plan that you select.
It also includes many other helpful features, like bulk uploads and clever user interface elements like a default scheduling time, WordPress connection via their own plugin, and a slew of other functions.
One new feature is a podcast sponsorship kit PDF that is both attractive and simple to create, and it allows you to promote recent episodes as well as display important download statistics.
Without a doubt, you will get a fantastically designed mobile-friendly website that instantly incorporates your colors. If you want, you can use your own custom colors.
Captivate does not have a free plan, but they do offer a free trial that lasts for 7 days. If you are happy with the trial, you can upgrade. Their basic plan starts at $19 a month that covers up to 12,000 downloads a month.
Their next higher plan costs $49 a month offering 60,000 downloads each month. Finally, their most expensive plan will cost you $99 a month with download cap of 150,000 per month.
For podcasters, Spreaker is no less than a one-stop shop. From novice podcasters just starting their podcasting carrier to established podcasters with a large amount of material to share, Spreaker offers a solution to make every podcaster's journey a pleasant and lucrative one.
This podcast hosting provider brings together producers, listeners, and advertisers in a single location irrespective of whether it is the web platform or the mobile apps. This allows easy monetization opportunities for podcasters.
Podcasters of any plan level can use Spreaker to seamlessly enable the publication of new podcast episodes to the main listening sites as they publish new episodes. Yes, you can quickly have your content distributed to platforms like Alexa, Deezer, Google Podcast, Spotify, Apple Podcast, and more.
Multiple podcasts may be managed and scheduled from a single user account. You can monetize your content with dynamic ad insertion. You can insert ads at show level or even episode level. If you have collaborators, you can use their team management feature, too! The platform also offers IAB certified stats so that you can get vital information about your shows and listeners!
The company offers a free plan that will allow you to upload no more than 10 episodes or 5 hours of audio. You can move on to their paid plan with 100 hours of storage at a cost of $5.50 per month. If you want 500 hours of storage, you can settle for their next higher plan that costs $16.50 a month. Their highest plan costs $41.25 a month and allows up to 1500 hours of audio storage.
Cards Against Humanity, Honeybadger, Drift – these are some popular podcasts hosted on Transistor.fm. This professional service will help you with the distribution of your podcasts to Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and so on.
What makes Transistor stand out is their analytics platform that gives you everything you need to learn. Trends and statistics such as the mean downloads each episode, the total count of subscribers you have, and the total downloads over time are all available – you get to know everything from their analytics dashboard.
The company will allow you to host unlimited shows, create your branded sites with custom domains, manage multiple users in a single account, and so on.
If you are using hosting platforms like Anchor and Libsyn, you can quickly import your podcast feed using the different import tools that Transistor has to offer.
Transistor does not offer a free plan. However, you can enjoy a 14-day free trial and if you are satisfied with what they have to offer, you can always upgrade to one of their three paid plans. Their basic paid plan is called Starter Plan that will cost you $19 a month and offer unlimited podcasts, 10,000 downloads a month, and up to two users.
If you want more, their Professional Plan is up next at a price of $49 a month and offers 5 team members, 50,000 downloads a month, and unlimited podcasts.
Finally, you will get the Business Plan that will cost you $99 a month and give you 10 team members, 150,000 downloads, and unlimited podcasts.
Simplecast is another industry-leading podcast hosting provider. In case you are not aware of, Simplecast is the platform that some of world’s most popular brands use for podcasting, and they include the likes of HBO, Facebook, Nike, Kickstarter, and so on.
Some of their incredible features include multiple podcast players and web players, single-click publishing, team collaboration, a fully functional and mobile-responsive website, advanced analytics and more.
Of course, you can expect the analytics to be extremely powerful because the type of companies that use Simplecast are known for making data-driven decisions. So, weak analytics is something that Simplecast cannot afford to have.
Simplecast has something called Recast tool that will allow you to share podcast clips on social media. You can even use it for scheduling your podcasts.
Do not expect a completely free plan from Simplecast. They, however, offer a 14-day trial beyond which you have to upgrade to one of their three paid plans. The Basic plan starts at $15 a month offering 20,000 downloads, embeddable web player, two team members, and unlimited uploads and storage.
Next comes the Essential plan for $35 a month and offers 4 team members, 50,000 downloads a month, additional web players, analytics for apps and browser, and unlimited uploads and storage.
Finally, for $85 a month, you get their Growth plan that has everything that the Essential plan has to offer plus 120,000 downloads a month, 5 additional team members, ISP analytics and more.
PodBean has been in the podcast hosting business for over ten years, has hosted over 540,000 podcasters over the years, and is one of the most user-friendly providers on our list.
Their most important features include things like dynamic ad insertion, YouTube auto-upload, social media auto-posting, Patreon program for earning recurring revenues from listeners, and so on.
They have dedicated mobile apps to ensure that you do not miss out on readers who prefer listening to podcasts on the move.
PodBean will offer you a free plan under which you get 100GB of storage and up to 5 hours of audio storage. If you want, you can always upgrade to Unlimited Audio plan starting at $9 a month. This plan gives you unlimited bandwidth and storage along with access to ad market, advanced designs and pro themes.
The next higher plan (Unlimited Plus) will cost you $29 a month. It gives you all the features you get with the Unlimited Audio plan plus features like dynamic ad insertion and Patreon program.
Finally, they have the business plan that costs $99 a month that covers all the features that Unlimited Plus has to offer. Additionally, you get support for private podcasts, advanced statistics, multiple domains, and live chat support.
Libsyn is one of the oldest podcasts hosts you will come across. They came into existence in 2004, and the platform is used by noobs and pros alike. They reported 62 million audiences in 2016, and in the same year, they also registered 4.6 billion downloads. Unfortunately, Libsyn has some serious storage restrictions with max monthly storage capped at 1500 MB. The minimum you get is 50 MB.
Compared to other providers, the storage offered by Libsyn is too less. However, the company does offer advanced analytics, mobile apps, and premium content feature.
As for the pricing, Libsyn does not have a free plan. However, their paid plans start from just $5, making them one of the cheapest podcasts hosts to exist today. You can upgrade to reach their highest plan that costs $75 a month.
Podomatic is a platform that enables producers to record, publish, and market their new audio content all from a single interface. One of their assets is their capacity to assist you grow your podcast advertising revenue and crowdsourcing revenue with the aid of Advertisecast and Patreon.
With Podomatic, you can share your podcasts on different social media platforms, and it can even be played straight on your Twitter and Facebook feeds. They also have a partnership deal with Weebly that allows creating a website without additional cost while having free Android and iOS apps for your podcasts.
Podomatic has a free plan, and their pro plan costs $2.99 a month. If you go for annual payment, you get to pay $2.49 a month. The free plan will give you 15GB bandwidth per month and 500 MB storage, whereas the paid plan will throw in 100GB bandwidth a month with 2 GB storage.
That concludes my list of best 8 podcast hosting platforms for 2021. But before I wrap up, let us go through some quick FAQ session.
No, it is not! Podcasting requires a lot of skills. To start with, you must be a great speaker. However, this is one skill that you can develop over time. There are many podcasters who started slow and were shaky at the beginning, but now they have bloomed into speakers that people love to listen.
You must also know how to entertain people and above all, you should know how to market your podcasts. As for marketing, you must spend a lot of time in marketing your audio stuff, and that is not going to be easy. You must learn digital marketing tactics to put your podcasts in front of people and earn an audience.
Your podcasts are essentially audio files. People who listen to your podcasts will stream your content much like videos minus the visuals. This requires bandwidth, and of course, a place to store the audio files. This is where podcast hosting comes in.
Additionally, podcast hosting platforms will aid you in publishing your podcasts on different platforms, which is essential for grabbing an audience. With no audience for your podcasts, you cannot earn money!
Yes! There are several podcasts hosting platforms that will give you a forever free plan for hosting your podcasts. As a beginner, you should start using those free options. However, once you start getting followers, it will be a wise decision to upgrade your hosting package. Do not forget that free podcast hosting comes with some serious limitations such as limited bandwidth and limited storage.
Podcasts allow you to make money in two different ways. The first and the most basic method is affiliate marketing wherein you promote certain products and urge your listeners to purchase them. Anyone purchasing products through your affiliate link will earn you a sales commission from the company.
The other method is to sell sponsorships. In short, you will create slots in your podcasts where you will mention different companies. This method can generate high revenue only if you have a sizeable audience. Companies will not come and buy ad slots in your podcasts if you do not have a big fan following.
There is no golden rule here. Many factors come into play. The first and most important thing is the niche you are working in. If your niche dictates daily podcasting, you must go for that. If it requires once-a-week podcasting, that is what you should opt for.
Do not forcibly change stuff!
Again, never forget the audience that you have. The routine of your target audience should determine the frequency of your podcasts. If you are targeting working people, they will perhaps listen to your podcasts during the weekends. Students, on the other hand, may prefer to listen to your podcasts every night.
It all depends! So, no one can set a golden number. You must discover the frequency by yourself. Of course, study your niche thoroughly and the popular podcasters in your niche and see what they are doing. This should be your starting point.
Another important factor you should consider seriously is the podcast episode duration. If your episodes are really lengthy, there is no point publishing podcasts too frequently. People might not have the tenacity or time to listen. Shorter episodes can happily do away with more frequent publications.
Whenever you are looking for podcast hosting solutions, makes sure that you are going through all their features properly and understand whether they have everything that you are looking for, or not!
Remember that all that a company has to offer might not be what you need. So, you must have a clearly defined set of requirements and then compare them with the offerings of different companies.
Also, do not upgrade without a reason. If your current package is good enough for you, you should stick with that.
Here are a few things you should look for:
- Ability to create a website.
- Detailed analytics.
- Advertising opportunities.
- Crowdfunding opportunities.
The last one is quite important. If you run into some problem, the company offering the hosting should be available to fix the technical issues so that your podcast shows and episodes remain accessible to your followers.
I strongly recommend opting for Buzzsprout as they are one of the best providers you will come across. They have a full free plan so that you can get started without spending anything on hosting. Of course, you need to spend money on equipment for recording your podcasts and that is something that the no hosting platform can help you with.
Finally, if you really want to step into podcasting, I recommendation will be to take it very serious and approach it as your new business. If you have a callous attitude, you are not going to success. Afterall, success never comes easy!