TLDR: Buzzsprout is the best podcast hosting site. Its feature-rich platform is competitively priced and the market has taken notice. Buzzsprout has helped over 100,00 people start their own podcast and also comes with a 90-day free plan.
Do you have a unique message and perspective you want to share? Are you ready to share your knowledge and insights with your listeners? Do you believe you have what it takes to create a podcast?
If the answer to these questions is yes, you will need to know a thing or two about podcast hosting.
Having a great idea is an excellent place to start, but you should also be familiar with the specifics of publishing a podcast.
Those who want to reach 75+ million listeners in the US (and even more throughout the world) will need reliable podcast hosting.
We want to make things easier for you, which is why we will discuss the best hosting options for your podcast in this article.
Our guide also mentions details like how to choose suitable equipment and the software and steps required to start a podcast show.
Keep reading to learn more about podcast hosting options and requirements.
What Is Podcast Hosting?
If you are reading this, I assume you know what a podcast is. It is an audio show that usually has multiple episodes.
But what is podcast hosting?
Podcast hosting is a service that provides a place where you will store your audio files, and RSS feeds for the podcast.
The company provides a server where you will keep the required audio files, and the information provided is used to generate an RSS feed.
Based on this feed, podcast directories will recognize new episodes and publish them once they appear.
Why do you need a dedicated podcast hosting? Is it possible to host it on your personal or business website?
You can host podcast audio files on any site, but here’s the catch.
These files are large, and they often go up to 500MB or more. If your podcast has thousands of listeners, you will need a lot of bandwidth.
The wise move would be to find dedicated podcast hosting instead of wasting your site’s resources.
What Is The Best Podcast Hosting?
Let’s jump straight into the list.
1. Buzzsprout – Best Overall
If you are searching for a beginner friendly but feature rich podcast platform, Buzzsprout will not disappoint.
It’s been around since 2009 and currently has more than 100,000 podcasting users.
The core focus of Buzzsprout is to create a smooth experience for new podcasters.
It has an intuitive user interface and offers a clear step by step guide on how to submit to Spotify or iTunes.
The best feature on Buzzsprout is ‘Magic Mastering’. This is like an Instagram filter for your audio.
It optimizes audio compression and levels so that they can match the best practices for each platform you wish to upload to. The feature costs between $6 and $12 per month depending on the plan you are on.
For $0.25/minute, you can get your episodes transcribed.
The main drawback of Buzzsprout is that they have no app that can be downloaded on mobile devices.
You can, however, run it through your internet browser.
It is also important to note that Buzzsprout converts uploaded audio files to mono MP3 at 96kps.
This can be an issue for experts.
- Supports video soundbites
- Chapter makers
- Audio transcription
- Multiple accounts support
- Email customer support
- Podcasting stats
- Easy to use
- Free podcast website
- Transparent statistics dashboard
- 90-day free plan
- Automatically converts audio files
- Free Plan deletes files after 90 days
Buzzsprout pricing is based on the length of your episode and not the storage size.
Free Plan: Upload 2 hours per month. The episode is hosted for 90 days. You also get advanced stats, and unlimited team members.
$12/Month Plan: Upload 3 hours each month and add more content for $4 per hour. You also get advanced stats, unlimited storage, unlimited team members and the ability to import podcasts for free. Magic Mastering is available for $6/month.
$18/Month Plan: Upload 6 hours each month and extra content for $3 per hour. You get everything in the $12/month Plan plus Magic Mastering for $9/month.
$24/month Plan: Upload 12 hours each month and extra content at $2 per hour. You also get everything in the $18/month plan and Magic Mastering for $12/month.
2. Captivate – Best Design
From the intuitive user interface to a fully customizable podcast website, Captivate is one of the best podcast platforms on the market.
It was built by Rebel Media and Podcast Websites. As a result, this could possibly be one of the best-designed podcasting solutions around.
Its dashboard is user-friendly and comes with clear yet comprehensive statistics.
You also get dozens of tooltips on things like advanced solid stats for all tiers, publishing options and bitrate.
It is also easy to integrate with the complimentary free website or your own website.
Captivate has exhaustive features, a great user experience and a free website available with each plan.
The platform further makes it easy for you to monetize your program. There is an easy to add built-in CTA and you can create Sponsor Kit PDF to show your stats when reaching out to potential advertisers.
Captivate’s best feature is that there is no limit on the number of podcasts you can host and no limit on how many team members you can add.
While Captivate might be newer than its competitors, the team behind it is made of industry veterans and have managed to add most of the features you need in a reliable podcast hosting platform.
There is a free 7-day trial offer to help test the features.
- Advanced analytics
- Unlimited podcasts
- Unlimited team members
- Import shows from other podcast platforms
- Intuitive podcast player
- Live chat support
- Easy to use
- No changes made to your files
- Built-in calls to action
- Free podcast website
Compared with Buzzprout, Captivate charges based on the number of downloads vs the number of hours uploaded. Each plan includes the full suite features to help grow your podcast continually.
Audio Influencer: $49/month paid monthly or $44/month paid yearly. You get 60,000 downloads per month.
Podcaster: $19/month billed monthly or $17/month billed yearly. You get 12,000 downloads per month.
Podcast Brand: $99/month billed monthly or $90/month billed yearly. You get up to 150,000 downloads per month.
Captivate offers a 7-Day Free Trial plus money-back guarantee two days after the expiry of your trial.
3. Transistor – Best for Businesses and Professionals
Transistor is the podcasting used by Alexis Ohanian and other brands like Kickstarter and Basecamp.
The podcast publishing platform is aimed at businesses, professional podcasters and creatives. It offers hosting and analytics for thousands of brands, organizations and creatives across the globe.
It is ideal for people with multiple shows under their names.
Considering it is geared towards professionals, expect Transistor to have all the usual advanced features such as embedded players, listener analytics, one click publication to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts and more.
You also enjoy a wide range of customizable options.
The ability to host unlimited podcasts with a single account is probably the main advantage of using Transistor.
This makes it easy for you to keep all your podcasts in one single place. This is without a doubt one of the key reasons companies love Transistor.
While it is a newer podcast hosting and analytics platform, Transistor has a reliable team behind it.
You also get many offerings for a single price.
Take advantage of their 14-day free trial to find out more.
- Unlimited podcasts
- Advanced analytics
- Multiple users per podcast
- Built-in podcast website
- Private podcasting
- Live customer support
- Easy to use
- Generous monthly downloads
- Step-by-step layout
- Unlimited shows
- Embed player on your website
- Ample trial period
- Cannot customize the player on lowest tiers
Transistor has three payment plans:
Starter: $19/month or $190/year. There is no private podcasting and you can’t remove branding from the player. You do, however, get 10,000 downloads per month and two additional users per podcast.
Professional: $49/month or $490/year. You get one private podcast, 5 additional users per podcast, 50,000 downloads per month and 500 private subscribers per podcast. You cannot remove branding from the player.
Business: $19/month or $990/year. You enjoy three private podcasts, 10 additional users per podcast, 150,000 downloads per month and 1,000 private subscribers per podcast.
With each plan you get a 14-days Free Trial.
4. PodBean – Best Affordable Podcast Host ($9/mo)
If you are a newbie and need a user-friendly podcast hosting platform packed with advanced features, PodBean will make a great choice.
The podcast hosting platform offers great pricing including a 5-hour limited upload plan in the free plan.
With the paid plans, you enjoy unlimited uploads, advanced stats, a free website, custom domains and so much more.
PodBean also has a podcast app for Android and iOS.
The most unique feature on PodBean is their crowdfunding option. The feature works like a blend of Patreon and Kickstarter.
The crowdfunding feature makes it easy for new podcasters to quickly advance from a hobbyist into a paid professional.
Moreover, PodBean is easy to use, and provides many tools to help you get started.
You also benefit from monetization and marketing tools like the ability to create custom designs, promote on social media as well as use embedded players.
Started in 2006 and currently with over 400,000 podcasts, PodBean is a podcast hosting provider worth considering.
While the podcast hosting platform is great for newbies, one of PodBean’s big markets is enterprise podcasts.
Organizations such as Stripe, JP Morgan and IBM use the platform for their podcasting needs.
- Free website and subdomain
- Embeddable players
- Android and iPhone app
- Monetization support on paid plans
- Easy to use
- Affordable plans
- Unlimited storage on paid plans
- Unmetered bandwidth on paid plans
- Has a free plan
- Basic website functions
- Limited basic plan
PodBean offers four plans:
Basic: $0. This is always free. You get 5 hours’ total storage space, and 100GB monthly bandwidth.
Unlimited Audio: $9/month billed yearly or $14/month. You enjoy unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth. Ad Marketplace and Premium sales is available for monetization.
Unlimited Plus: $29/month billed yearly or $39/month. You get everything in Unlimited Audio plus video podcasts as well as Patron program and PodAds for monetization.
Business: $99/month billed yearly or $129/month. You get everything in Unlimited Plus in addition to private podcasts with SSO authentication, option to remove Podbean branding, live chat support, Podbean pro app, multiple admins and unlimited podcast channels.
5. Simplecast – Best Progressive Podcast Host
If a well-designed player on a fully packed platform is a priority for you as a podcaster, Simplecast probably has the best-looking embeddable player.
The multiple-Player option can be embedded on your social media or website.
Simplecast has been around since 2013.
The most unique feature on Simplecast is the Recast. This is a creation tool that makes it easy to share audio clips.
You can customize clips with coloring and artwork before sharing on platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Your listeners can also access the Recast editor and use it to create their own clips.
Moreover, Simplecast supports private podcasting, and provides you with a customizable website for your shows.
When it comes to simplicity, Simplecast lives up to its name. It is easy to set up and use.
The platform also makes it very easy to upload existing podcasts and move them from Simplecast when leaving the service.
The only thing you need to remember is Simplecast re-encodes MP3s that are more than 128kbps to 128kbps. Files with 128kbps or lower bitrate are not affected.
Stereo/mono encoding is also not affected. Even with all the simplicity, the platform does not feel basic or limited.
- Analytics tools
- Listener reports
- Location analytics
- Secure website and RSS feed
- Embeddable episode web player
- Email support
- Easy to use
- Multi-users and access levels
- Unlimited storage and uploads
- Decent amount of downloads per month
- Customizable show website with a custom domain
- Additional features require higher plans
There are three payment plans to choose from:
Basic Plan: $15/month or $13.50/month if prepaid annually. You enjoy unlimited uploads, a website, analytics and multiple people to manage your podcast and more.
Essential Plan: $35/month or $31.50/month when prepaid annually. You enjoy more customization, additional team members, advanced analytics, ability to use custom domain and a lot more.
Growth Plan: $85/month or $76.50/month if prepaid annually. You get everything in Essential Plan plus compared metrics across 5 episodes, detailed device analytics, web player embed location analytics and network (ISP) analytics.
All three plans include a 14-day commitment-free trial.
6. Castos – Best for WordPress
Castos has excellent features and is considered to be the best podcast hosting platform for WordPress.
It gives you the freedom of publishing your podcast either through the simple podcasting WordPress plugin or right from Castos.com.
Castos further allows unlimited upload and download bandwidth and you also enjoy advanced stats. It is ideal for users that already use WordPress.
The most attractive aspect about Castos is their simple Podcasting WordPress plugin. The plugin solves the issue of hosting podcast files on your blog.
If you are using a WordPress based website, you can install the Castos plugin to turn your website into a podcasting solution. The plugin is easy to use and configure.
You will be able to manage everything from the WordPress dashboard as well as generate multiple RSS feeds for separate podcasts, embed a player, upload audio directly from Castos and so much more.
Castos gives you unlimited storage at no extra cost.
You also get automatic transcription and monetized individual RSS feeds.
The best thing is the platform doesn’t change the bitrate of your audio files.
If you are searching for a new podcast hosting platform, Castos should definitely be on your list. Take advantage of the free trial to find out more.
- Unlimited podcasts, episodes and downloads
- Customizable podcast webpage
- YouTube republishing
- Automatic podcast transcriptions
- Podcast analytics
- Private podcast
- Podcast editing service
- WordPress plugin
- Easy to use
- Unlimited storage
- Optimized for WordPress
- Free trial
- Good analytics
- You have to pay more for advanced features
- Requires WordPress technical knowledge
Castos has three subscription plans.
Starter: $190/year. This is perfect for podcasters who need all the essential features. You also get up to 100 private subscribers.
Growth: $490/year. You get everything in Starter plus 250 private subscribers and video republishing to YouTube.
Pro: $990/year. This is ideal for podcasters that produce video content and need more features. It includes everything in Growth plus 500 private subscribers, headliner audiogram integration, advanced analytics and video file hosting.
Castos offers a 14-day Free Trial.
7. Fusebox – Best Looking Player
Formerly known as Smart Podcast Player, Fusebox offers one of the best looking players for WordPress.
The platform was developed by Pat Flynn and is today used by some of the biggest podcasts on the market.
The hosting platform comes with a unique podcast transcript plugin that helps generate meaningful notes for more engagement as well as better search engine optimization.
The best feature on Fusebox is the player. With most podcast options, you will not get as many player controls.
Fusebox offers three podcast play options: full player, single track player and site-wide sticky player.
Thanks to this flexibility, you will be able to increase podcast listens and downloads, make it easy to locate an episode and give listeners a chance to browse your website while listening to your podcast.
The player is mobile responsive.
Fusebox does not just showcase your episodes but also provides you with a wide range of advanced features like email capture, social sharing buttons, timestamps and more.
It makes it easy for you to engage your audience, improve your email list and offer rewards for your listeners such as text transcripts.
You get all the features you would need to start and grow your podcast.
There is also a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to integrate podcasts with a WordPress website.
- Customizable player
- Email capture tool
- Smart Track player
- Download and share options
- Speed control
- Mobile friendly
- Social sharing
- Custom episode sorting
- Rev.com Integration
- WordPress plugin
- Email support and webinar trainings
- Easy to use
- 3-in-one podcast player
- SEO friendly
- Customizable user interface
- You need a WordPress website
Fusebox is a premium plugin. You get to choose between a monthly membership of $12/month and a yearly membership of $8/month billed annually. A Free plan is available with limited features.
8. Spreaker – Best for Live Podcasting
If you are interested in recording, editing and managing podcasts, Spreaker will help you do exactly that.
Thanks to their desktop and mobile apps, you can record, live stream, view stats and do more on the go. You don’t have to be in your studio or next to a powerful computer to create a podcast.
Spreaker was launched in 2010 and currently offers a wide range of unique features for podcasters.
The most unique feature is the Live Podcasting option which focuses on live broadcasting and chat; it makes you feel like a radio presenter. You allow your listeners to interact with you live as you host a podcast.
Spreaker is ideal for podcasters who are constantly on the go.
The software is well made and offers a full array of features.
In addition to being able to create live podcasts, you will be able to use the app to edit as you record.
Spreaker has a free plan to help you test out its features.
- Multiple podcast hosting
- Customizable RSS feeds
- Monetization options
- Advanced statistics
- Customizable player colors
- Live podcasting
- Easy to use
- Fully featured mobile and desktop apps
- Chat with listeners
- Full integration with Spreaker Studio
- A free plan is available
- Statistics are limited by plan
- Embedded player is limited by plan
Spreaker has three professional plans, an enterprise plan and a Free Plan.
Free Speech: $0. This is always free and only offers multiple podcasts hosting with no statistics, customization and monetization.
On-Air Talent: $6/month billed yearly or $7/month billed monthly. You get multiple podcasts hosting, customizable RSS feeds and programmatic monetization.
Broadcaster: $18/month billed yearly or $20/month billed monthly. This is the On-Air Talent plan upgrade with limited access podcasts and advanced statistics.
Anchorman: $45/month billed annually or $50/month billed monthly. In addition to everything in Broadcaster, you will get full statistics and customizable Player colors.
Publisher: $120/month with 60,000 downloads and +$2 for every additional 1,000 downloads. It is the ideal plan for enterprises and professionals because of professional features like audio ads trafficking tools, collaboration features and priority support.
9. Blubrry – Best for Podcast Hosting Statistics
Blubrry is all about simplicity and easy hosting.
It is one of the oldest podcast hosting platforms.
Just like Castos, they have created a powerful WordPress plugin known as PowerPress. The plugin helps you manage your podcast right from your WordPress dashboard.
Blubrry is the 1st IAB Certified Company to be in compliance with Podcast Measurement Guidelines. This means that listener metrics and stats will be very accurate.
Each plan includes a free WordPress website.
Blubrry was launched in 2005 and has since grown to be one of the best podcast hosting platforms on the market.
It is particularly ideal for podcasters who already have WordPress knowledge.
The PowerPress WordPress plugin is the feature that makes Blubrry stand out. The plugin makes it easy to upload your podcasts directly from WordPress dashboard without having to log in on Blubrry.com.
The podcast host is feature-rich and comes with unlimited bandwidth.
You get a 25% leeway when you exceed your monthly upload limit.
Blubrry offers an easy integration with your WordPress website, advanced industry-leading statistics and ‘no-fault’ overage which allows you to upload more than your monthly limit without any extra charge.
Whether you are starting your first podcast or looking for a new podcast host, Blubrry is worth giving a try.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- PowerPress plugin
- Advanced statistics
- Free media migration and importing
- Free WordPress website
- 24/7 customer support
- Easy integration with WordPress
- 25% free overage
- Edit old content
- Free media migration
- IAB certified statistics
- No free plan available
- Complex for non-WordPress users
Blubrry offers four payment plans:
Small: $12/month. You get 100MB storage per month. This is the only plan that lacks video podcasts.
Medium: $20/month. You get 250MB storage per month.
Large: $40/month. Offers 500MB storage per month.
Extra Large: $80/month. Includes 1,000MB storage per month.
Each plan includes no-fault overage and the storage limit resets on the first day of every month.
10. AudioBoom – Best for Monetization
If what you need is a podcast hosting platform that lets you host, distribute and monetize your podcasts, AudioBoom should be on your list.
In addition to the typical hosting opportunities, the platform extends to include added features to help you manage multiple podcasts. This makes the platform ideal for radio groups and network podcasters that need a single interface to manage all elements.
AudioBoom has an amazing monetization feature that is unlocked once you surpass 10,000 monthly downloads per episode.
The feature enables you to gain access to their targeted ad network, branded partnerships and sponsorships.
This is a great way of making money through your podcast after it has gained traction.
You also get analytics and insights to help understand the performance of your podcast, who your listeners are, and the type of content they want.
You will be able to invite people to collaborate on your show as well as manage permissions for your co-host.
Whether you are importing existing podcasts or uploading new episodes, AudioBoom offers some of the best features on the market.
You can add the player to your website, social media or blog.
The platform is responsive and works on all screen sizes.
- Embeddable player
- Dynamic ad insertion
- Advanced analytics
- 24/7 customer support
- Easy to use
- Host, distribute and monetize from a single platform
- Huge market for advertising and sponsorships
- Multiple channel management
- Simple podcast page
- Unlimited episodes per month
- No AudioBoom app
- High threshold of downloads needed to access Podcast Pros plan
AudioBoom has two plans:
Podcasters: $9.99/month or $99/year. This is for persons searching for an ad-free option. You get unlimited episodes per month, 10,000 plays per month on the Standard Plan or 25,000 on Plus Plan.
Podcast Pros: This plan is unlocked once you start getting more than 10,000 plays per episode. You get more ways to monetize your podcast such as sponsorships, access to AudioBoom’s list of targeted ad-network, and manage multiple podcast channels through contributor accounts.
11. Resonate – Best for Full-Service Production
Resonate Recordings was started with the understanding that creating a successful podcast is hard.
It is one of the best podcast production companies and they currently have a hosting platform.
You can use Resonate hosting separately and enjoy having your own podcast website, a beautiful embed player, a great audience insights dashboard and more.
The best thing about Resonate hosting is that you get a full-service production.
The goal Resonate is to simplify podcasting by taking care of the many moving parts between the creative and the technical sides of a podcast.
This is achieved by providing a wide range of podcast services which include audio production, podcast hosting, video production, marketing and producer services.
You also get unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth and a 14-day free trial.
The main drawback with Resonate hosting is that although you get a free microsite, you cannot use your own domain.
All in all, getting professional editing, production and seamless hosting makes Resonate a worthy candidate even for professional podcasters.
- Unlimited episodes
- Unlimited show users
- Detailed embed player engagement data
- Unlimited downloads
- Live chat support
- Analytics dashboard
- One-click publishing
- Free podcast microsite
- Beautiful embed player
- Good insights dashboard
- Share your podcast on any platform
- You can’t use your own domain
With Resonate hosting you get three subscription options.
Basic: $25/month. With this you get unlimited episodes, unlimited show users, analytics dashboard, detailed embed player engagement data, unlimited downloads and live chat support.
Premium: $49/month. The premium plan gives you everything in the Basic plan plus a Podcast Microsite.
Professional: You need to contact Resonate to request a quote. In addition to everything in the Premium Plan, you get premium Podcast Microsite Themes, private hosting and a private slack channel with Resonate team.
You get a 14-day free trial with the Basic and Premium plans.
12. Backtracks – Best for Podcast Analytics
Backtracks is a unique podcast hosting platform focused on analytics.
The platform connects creators and advertisers so as to link the best content with the best ads.
The platform is ideal for podcasters with a decent size brand or media company.
While the prices are a bit high, they are worth it if you take advantage of their advanced analytics.
The platform was created to solve the issue of traditional analytics not being able to differentiate between a play and a download.
As a result, Backtracks has powerful analytics which has been built on an open-source framework.
You can get a wide range of data including viewing trends, getting historical data, creating custom reports as well as taking advantage of AI to make sure the data is accurate.
Moreover, Backtracks has a modern interface which makes it very easy to use.
Backtracks’ focus is on podcast aggregators and enterprise customers. Consequently, their focus is on the analytics suite and lacks many other features.
Their customer support is also tied to the pricing plan with the lowest plan only getting email support.
However, this is by no means a bad podcast host.
They have a beautiful embeddable player with clickable transcripts.
Take advantage of the 7-day free trial to find out more.
- Customizable player
- Advanced analytics
- Unlimited storage and episodes
- Scheduled publishing
- Podcast hosting
- Global content distribution network
- Easy to use
- Better monetization
- Comprehensive analytics
- Supports third-party hosting
- Option to import existing podcasts
- Analytics data export
- Customer support is tied to pricing plan
- Limited features
Backtracks has four subscription options:
Publisher: $99/month or $89/month billed yearly. You get up to 3 shows with unlimited episodes.
Publisher Plus: $199/month or $149/month billed yearly. You get 5 shows with unlimited episodes.
Publisher Premium: $$299/month or $249/month billed yearly. You get up to 10 shows with unlimited episodes.
Enterprise: You need to contact Backtracks for flexible terms. The plan offers unlimited number of shows and a 24/7 dedicated support team.
What is the Best Free Podcast Hosting?
There are a lot of options available when searching for free podcast hosting platforms.
The important point to always remember is:
What’s important to others might not be important to you.
Therefore, your focus should always be on what you get with the free plan.
Here are some of the best free podcast hosting services in 2020.
Buzzprout has a free plan that requires no credit card or contract to sign-up.
Considering Buzzprout is one of the oldest podcast hosting platforms and works with notable podcast directories like Spotify, Stitcher and Apple/iTunes, it offers some of the best podcasting features.
With the Free plan, you will get the following:
- 2 hours per month limit
- Advanced stats
- Unlimited team members
- Podcast website
The main disadvantage is that the Free Plan only hosts episodes for 90 days and contains ads on the Podcast website.
You can upgrade to any of the affordable paid plans to get rid of the ads and access Magic Mastering (the best feature on Buzzprout).
PodOmatic is a free service but also offers Pro Services for podcasters interested in advanced tools and expanded storage and bandwidth.
PodOmatic Free plan offers the best way for beginners to learn as it is easy to use and keeps track of all your podcasts.
With the Basic (Free Account) you get the following:
- 500MB storage. You get to store up to 6 hours of recording for free.
- 15GB bandwidth/month. This is equivalent to 180 hours of non-stop listening.
- Basic stats. You get total data for all your episodes as well as daily tracking.
- No expiration.
The free plan has all the features you need to jumpstart your podcast.
You can always switch to the PRO plans whenever you want.
You probably know SoundCloud as a music hosting platform. While it still remains popular for music hosting, you can host a podcast on it.
The best thing about SoundCloud is that you can embed any of your episodes from SoundCloud by placing a URL anywhere on your website’s page or post.
SoundCloud offers a free plan which gets you the following:
- 3 hours upload limit per month.
- Real-time stats on plays, likes, reposts, comments and downloads.
- Lossless HD storage and download
- Embed player customization
While the features on the free plan are limited, they are ideal for a beginner.
You can upgrade to SoundCloud Pro unlimited at any time.
Podbean offers a completely free version.
You can upgrade to any of the paid versions when your podcast grows.
With the Basic (always free plan) you will get the following:
- 5 hours’ total storage space
- 100GB monthly bandwidth
- Embeddable players
- Android/iPhone app
- Free podcast site
- RSS Feed and iTunes support
- Basic podcast stats
Spreaker is popular as an all-in-one system for both new and established shows.
The Free Speech (free plan) includes the following:
- Multiple podcasts hosting
- 5 hours’ audio storage
- Unlimited listeners
- Live podcasting
- RSS feed for each podcast
- Embedded player
- Stats on downloads and daily listeners
There is no short answer to the question on which is the best free podcast hosting. As aforementioned, it all depends on your needs.
Do you need a hosting that offers the most bandwidth or storage?
Do you have an established podcast or are you a beginner starting from scratch?
Are your interests in a service that is dedicated to earning income or one that serves as a second-party recording platform?
These are just some of the questions you should answer before making a decision.
Be honest with what you really want.
How Do I Choose from the Best Podcast Hosting Sites?
Here are the most important factors to consider during the selection process.
Storage Capabilities and Restrictions
It all starts with storage capabilities and restrictions.
The actual limitations might depend on the plan you select.
For example, free hosting might only come with two hours of recording time per month. You might not be able to host more than several episodes at once, which is a problem if you are planning the podcast to last.
Premium plans usually remove restrictions when it comes to recording time and storage space.
The experts suggest going with an unlimited plan because you don’t want barriers to stop you from being a successful podcaster.
You might also expect other benefits like automatic post-production or free promotion tools.
If you publish a new podcast episode, the odds are it will be downloaded and listened the most in the first couple of days.
It is why you need a reliable hosting service that has you covered during this peak.
You don’t want users to experience lags, slow downloads, and other problems.
It is imperative to look for a host with maximum uptime, even when the demand is high.
Analytics is an integral part of increasing your listener base.
The statistics provide you information on daily and all-time downloads for every episode.
You should have access to the number of subscribers to your channel, reviews, countries where your listeners are located, etc.
Information is power, and you can use analytics to your advantage.
It will help to tailor the content to your listeners and redefine the delivery strategy.
Some podcast hosting services might change the format or other specifics of your files once you upload them.
They might adjust the format from MP3 to WAV, or change metadata and bitrate.
It would be best to find platforms where this doesn’t happen. That is the way to ensure original information and file format will always be uploaded.
What Are Podcast Directories?
A podcast directory is a place that lists podcasts in different categories. They are beneficial for both publishers and listeners.
If you are a listener, a podcast directory allows you to find the desired show quickly.
These services allow searching based on different parameters, such as sorting by genre, the latest episode date, or alphabetical categorization.
For publishers, this is a convenient method of reaching more listeners.
Depending on the platform, adding a podcast to their directory might be free or not. Some directories will demand fulfilling specific conditions before publishing the show.
After registering on the website, the service will monitor your feed. Any time a new episode appears, the directory will download it and display it to its users.
Thanks to that automation, there is no hassle with adding every new episode – it is enough to register and upload your audio!
Where Should I Publish My Podcast?
Your goal should always be listing the podcast on as many locations as possible.
By doing this you are more likely to attract more listeners.
A podcaster’s primary focus should be on adding your episodes to the most popular podcast directories:
- Apple iTunes
- Google Podcasts
Check out a step-by-step guide on adding your podcast to popular platforms below.
How to Add a Podcast to Apple iTunes
Apple iTunes gives a lot of space to podcasts, which takes them to the top position for downloaded episodes.
According to 9to5 Mac, iTunes has more than 500,000 shows listed and over 50 billion downloads.
These are the necessary steps for getting your podcast published:
- You will need an active Apple ID. If you have an Apple device, the odds are you already have one. The registration is entirely free.
- Head to iTunes Connect, and enter your account.
- Find the dashboard for podcasts and type in RSS details.
- iTunes will now use the information from the feed to display information about your show. Check if everything is correct, and make sure the artwork looks appealing.
- Finalize the submission process and be patient for the response.
How to Add a Podcast to Google Podcasts
Google might be late to the race, but as a podcaster you shouldn’t ignore it..
Google Podcast has over a billion active users every month.
Follow these steps to add a podcast to this service:
- Create an active Google account. Everyone has one these days, but if you don’t, the registration is free.
- Head to the Podcasts section. You will find it under the Music tab in Google Play.
- Find the Publish icon and click it to start the process.
- Accept the terms and conditions and enter the address of your feed.
- Finalize the process. You will receive an e-mail confirmation that you submitted a request. It takes a day or two for them to approve it.
How to Add a Podcast to Spotify
Spotify is a famous music & podcast streaming provider with 87 million paid users and 191 active listeners monthly.
It has a huge potential because it also offers an option to download podcasts.
Here is how to send a request to publish a Podcast on Spotify:
- Use the Podcasters subsection of the site. Register and add the RSS feed of your podcast.
- Submit the request and wait for the website’s approval.
How to Add a Podcast to Stitcher
Stitcher has been around since 2007 and offers both radio streams and podcasts.
It features dedicated mobile apps, as well as a downloadable desktop player and other options to reach audiences everywhere.
Those who want to join Stitcher should do the following:
- Check out the sign-up form and provide the required details.
- From your dashboard, add your podcast. Enter the RSS feed and submit.
- After the podcast gets approved, it will be published on the site.
How to Add a Podcast to TuneIn
As a beginner podcaster, you shouldn’t underestimate a website that has more than 120,000 radio streams and over 70 million listeners.
They offer both radio stations and podcasts, which increases the overall audience.
It isn’t hard to add a podcast to TuneIn:
- Use the e-mail form to add details about your show. Try to be detailed since some information might be shown publicly to potential listeners.
- Send the request and be patient to receive an approval. As soon as you do, the podcast will be listed on TuneIn.
What is the Best Podcast Equipment I Need for My Show?
Here is a quick checklist of the equipment you will need:
- Audio mixers
Some are optional but will deliver a fantastic listener’s experience. Check out our top picks below.
Sound is the core of your podcast, which is why you need a top-quality microphone.
You can get a decent microphone for around $100, although premium ones cost over $1,000.
Mics can use XLR and USB ports. The latter offers easier connectivity and no need for adapters, but the former might deliver better sound quality.
Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone is a true bargain deal. It comes with a case to ensure it is easy to carry it around, and it can capture sound well.
Those who want to take things to the next level should consider Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone. It is excellent in suppressing ambient noise, and the sound quality is impressive.
Make sure to get a mic stand to avoid holding a microphone in your hand.
Additionally, an attachment can block out the wind when shooting outdoors and minimize background noise.
While you are shooting, headphones contribute to noise cancellation and allow you to focus on what you are saying.
They are also convenient for editing since you will hear better than via speakers.
If you need to choose between high-quality microphones and headphones, always go with the former.
As for the headphones, a decent pick like Audio-Technica ATH-M30x will do. The single-side cable exit is convenient, and the item isolates sound well, even in loud environments.
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless is a great pick for premium headphones. The best thing is that there are no wires, which means there is no risk of touching the cable and adding unnecessary noise to the video.
An audio mixer is an optional equipment piece.
If you have a guest on the show or want to add sound effects during it, a mixer can be convenient.
The primary task of an audio mixer is to adjust volume from different sound sources.
For example, if the host is loud, but the guest is quiet, a mixer will ensure that their volumes are even to the listener.
You can’t go wrong with Mackie ProFXv2. It supports eight sound channels, and the sliders are easy to operate.
Apart from recording podcast audio, you can also shoot the video of your show.
Your audience may appreciate seeing the people talking and observing their reactions.
A camera can contribute to your reach, especially if you have a celebrity guest.
If you want to record videos of your podcast, do not go with basic cameras.
Instead, pick a medium-priced model like Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. It can deliver a full HD picture, and it is compatible with Windows and Mac.
This also allows you to put your podcast on platforms such as YouTube.
A laptop is always better for recording podcasts than a desktop due to its portability.
What if you decide to change the settings where you shoot the podcast? It is harder to move a desktop PC, while the laptop can be ready for transport in seconds.
We won’t make any particular recommendations, but you can’t go wrong with a MacBook or Lenovo laptop.
What is the Best Podcast Software to Record My Episodes?
Now that we have podcast hardware all covered let’s discuss software.
You need a voice recording tool that specializes in podcasting.
The market offers a long list of recording software solutions that will meet and exceed your expectations. Here are some of our top choices.
Podcasters will love the options available with Logic Pro X.
The software was made by Apple, which means you can only use it on Mac computers.
Logic Pro X is suitable for both beginners and professionals.
It doesn’t have a big learning curve, although it will take a while to discover all available features.
You can add more than a thousand different audio tracks to the timeline.
These allows you to adjust every detail of your podcast and add sound effects where necessary.
Some features available include adding vintage EQs, replicating acoustic spaces, and inserting effects where necessary.
Try Logic Pro X to see if it suits your needs.
If you are just entering the world of podcasting, you will love Anchor.
While you can record with your desktop or laptop, this tool also offers Android and iOS support.
That means you can use a smartphone to record your podcast, which is convenient.
Anchor is beginner-friendly, and you will find it easy to cut and rearrange audio clips.
Users can add music from Spotify or Apple Music and invite others to be their podcast guests.
The analytics will show relevant statistics of your show’s performance. It’s convenient that the platform also acts as a podcast host.
You can try Anchor for free.
Have you ever heard of the term Digital Audio Workstation?
It’s famous under the abbreviation DAW, and it describes the tools that specialize in editing audio files.
Avid Pro Tools is popular among music bands and performers, which speaks in favor of its quality.
You have a long list of effects and editing options available to tailor everything to your needs.
You don’t have to get into details, but if you are a perfectionist, this is the tool for you.
The service is premium and requires paying $299 to subscribe for a year. Check out Avid Pro Tools’ website to learn more about the software.
The guests you plan to bring to your podcasts may not be in the same city or country. If that’s the case, you need software that can help solve this.
Zencastr focuses on ensuring that the sound quality of remote guests is the same as your studio quality.
The tool uses VoIP connection ensuring there isn’t any sound quality reduction.
You can share files via Dropbox and Google Drive, which makes Zencastr very compatible.
Users can choose between the free plan, which limits you to eight hours of recording and two guests every month.
If you go with the premium plan, there are no restrictions for recording or guests. You also get ten hours of automatic post-production, which is a tempting deal for $20/month.
Try Zencastr to see if it is the right choice.
What Are The Benefits Of Hosting A Podcast?
Have you ever listened to the JRE Experience podcast launched by Joe Rogan?
According to reports published online, Joe Rogan earns around $40,000 per episode.
The financial benefit is not the only advantage of launching a podcast.
You can also expect to:
- Build brand awareness
- Reach a new audience
- Strengthen relationships with existing and new visitors/customers
- Increase traffic to your website and boosting sales
- Having fun in the process of creating the show
What about the benefits of using a podcast hosting site?
Let’s take a look at the main advantages of using a professional service to host your show.
Maintain High File Quality
You have two options for hosting a podcast.
The first one is using your website to host the podcast. However, you probably have limited storage available. You’ll have to decrease file quality to remain within limits.
Shrinking the files reduces the podcast quality.
The alternative is to use a professional podcast hosting site. These have dedicated servers capable of hosting large files allowing you to maintain high audio quality.
No Worries About Bandwidth
Apart from storage, your personal hosting plan has limited bandwidth.
If your podcast turns out to be popular, millions of people could be downloading and listening to it.
That means you will need huge data transfer capabilities, and the chosen hosting plan won’t have you covered.
Letting the listeners download the podcast from your personal hosting might use up the bandwidth, which will make your website inaccessible.
This is why most podcasters choose a dedicated podcast hosting plan.
That way, they don’t have to worry about bandwidth and whether users can download the podcast or visit their website.
Saving Money on a Hosting Plan
Podcasts are delivered via Rich Summary Site (RSS) feeds. Depending on podcast length, they can be 50-500MB or bigger, especially if you also publish a video podcast.
If you publish the podcast every week, you will need up to 2GB of space per month. At that rate, you will fill the available storage quote quickly.
Podcast hosting sites have different plans, and some include unlimited storage and bandwidth.
You may not need it at first.
If you are a beginner, you can choose a basic plan that will be more affordable. Even if you go with a premium plan with unlimited bandwidth, the price is still quite reasonable.
Optimal Speed at All Times
Imagine yourself as a listener of the podcast.
You head to a website and play the desired episode only to find out that it is impossible to listen because most of the time is wasted on buffering.
Even if you try to download the podcast, the speed is slow, and that is annoying.
Although you liked the podcast’s idea, you move on to other alternatives.
Podcast hosting sites will ensure optimal hosting speed at all times. This is especially important during the first couple of days after launching a new episode.
This is why you need a reliable hosting service that has you covered during this peak.
You can’t risk the hosting server to be down at any moment. That is why we picked websites with maximum uptime on our list.
Additionally, the hosting should ensure optimal download speeds at all times.
A dedicated solution will ensure that there are no speed or bandwidth problems, which allows listeners to download and stream without worry.
Podcast hosting sites offer detailed analytics for your program. They will show overall, and episode-related statistics, such as daily and total number of downloads, countries users come from, etc.
Detailed analytics is important so you can understand which content resonates most with your audience.
This allows you to adjust it for future episodes and keep listeners engaged for as long as possible.
For example, if you notice a dropoff after 30 minutes, consider shortening your podcasts.
Thanks to these insights, you can tailor your content to ensure it is exactly what the audience needs.
If you plan on publishing anything online, it’s important to protect it from cyber-attacks.
Creating content for a podcast takes a lot of time and it’s easy to neglect security.
Podcast hosting sites make things easier in this department. They have a reliable security system that often includes firewalls, SSL certificates, and other measures.
These websites understand cyber-security threats, which is why they update their security measures regularly.
You can also count on daily and weekly backups. In case anything goes wrong, it won’t take much time to get all the content back.
What Are The Steps To Starting A Podcast?
Smartphones seem to be the main reason behind the popularity of podcasts.
Nielsen indicates that over 36 million US citizens use their mobile phones to access podcasts.
The report also mentions that the audience growth rate will continue at least until 2023.
Whether you are an individual or business starting a podcast, you have a high potential of reaching a large audience with it.
However, you need to do everything right.
Check out this detailed step-by-step guide on starting a podcast.
Step 1: Pick a Theme for Your Podcast
The first step to take is to choose a theme for your podcast.
For example, if you are a successful entrepreneur, your focus could be on sharing tips for startups and fellow businesspersons.
Experts recommend picking a topic you are passionate and knowledgeable about. No point in hosting a sports podcast if you don’t know anything about sports.
An alternative is to choose a theme that makes the podcast personal.
You’ve probably watched TV shows like the Late Show with David Letterman.
The name didn’t limit him to a single niche, which is why he has the privilege of welcoming guests from different industries.
Even if you go with a personal approach, try to specialize in a specific area.
For example, you can host guests related to the entertainment industry to discuss movies, TV shows, music, etc.
If your podcast is too generic, it might feel watery, which will make it difficult to attract the audience.
Step 2: Select A Name
The name of your podcast is the first thing any potential listener will see.
This is why you should pick a name that informs the audience immediately what your podcast is about.
Apart from the actual name, consider adding a tagline.
It serves to explain what your podcast is about and generate extra interest.
Here is an example of a good name:
“CODCast – The Best Call of Duty Podcast Out There”
Notice the wordplay with the word “podcast” in the title and the tagline that explains the topic.
You can also go with a descriptive name right from the start:
“How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur – Experience-Based Tips”
This title describes the topic well while being attractive. Notice how the tagline suggests that you offer tips based on experience. That indicates you are an expert in this area, which might attract the audience.
As we discussed above, you can use your name:
“The Bart Simpson Show – Everything About Cartoons”
It is up to you whether you need the tagline in the actual title. The focus should be on coming up with an attractive name that’s not too long and is right on-point.
Step 3: Cover Photo
The cover photo will be another item that the audience will relate to your brand.
You want it to stay in line with your niche.
For example, if you are talking about movies, this is an excellent choice of cover art:
It is inspired by a famous movie (Star Wars, anyone?), which makes it catchy.
The design is also suitable for the niche, which is another thing to consider.
Don’t worry if you are not a professional designer.
You can always hire an expert or use free tools that help you to design a cover photo.
Step 4: Add A Catchy Tune for Your Intro
An intro tune is another step to increasing podcast awareness among the listeners.
You want to come up with a catchy song that you will play at the beginning of each podcast.
The idea is for the audience that doesn’t listen to the podcast for the first time to connect the tune to it right away.
If they catch themselves singing the tune during the day, even better!
Please note that there is no need for the intro music to be longer than ten seconds.
Try to come up with something catchy and unique that also fits your niche.
For example, if you talk about boosting confidence, the tune shouldn’t be a heavy-metal one. Instead, go with brighter tones.
Step 5: Set Up Your Studio
It is time to prepare the environment where you will shoot the podcast.
Your equipment should consist of the following:
- Microphones – one for the host, and another one (or more) for your guest.
- Camera – this is only necessary if you also plan to record a video of your podcast.
- Software – a specialized recording tool that will allow you to capture the audio.
It is crucial to find a quiet environment with minimal background noise.
Lock the doors if necessary, and avoid any distractions (people entering, mobile phones ringing, etc.) that could affect the footage.
Step 6: Pick the Host and Design an Outline for the Episode
There is no reason why you shouldn’t be the host of your podcast, as long as you are the best fit.
You should speak fluent English (or the desired language of your podcast) and be clear and concise.
The way you deliver information is as important as your content.
Never go unprepared into shooting an episode.
Before recording it, consider the main topic, prepare questions for the guest, and divide the entire episode into sections.
This will help you to navigate through the content and make everything easier for the audience to follow.
Step 7: Edit and Release the Podcast
The final step is to use the recording software to perform the required edits.
Here is a suggested format:
Intro music + 1st Part of the Episode + Advertisement + 2nd Part of the Episode + Key Takeaways + CTA (Subscription, Event Reminders, etc.) + Outro Music
Consider this a suggestion rather than a format to follow to the smallest detail. Make sure to remove any background noise and other sounds disrupting the flow of your podcast.
Feel free to suit it to your podcast’s specifics. However, avoid spamming the audience with ads and other “unnecessary” content.
Can I Be Successful and Make Money from Podcasting?
Think of podcasting as any other business – if you do things right, you will succeed.
You have multiple ways of making money with a podcast, including:
- Premium content
- Events and conferences
Ideally, a podcaster is an expert in his focus area and an entertainer and marketer who knows how to sell his/her product.
Making a podcast might be fun, but building an audience is a tricky business. You need to find ways to attract the audience, interact with them, and strengthen those relationships to get regular listeners.
Once you do that, it will be easy to make money from podcasting.
How Do I Promote My Podcast?
Even the best content will have difficulty reaching a large audience without marketing efforts.
The hardest step is getting the initial follower base. Consider advertising on social media, and start by sharing the podcast on your profile.
Ask friends to listen and share, too, as that will help to increase the number of listeners in the beginning.
Don’t forget about actual marketing efforts, and consider launching ad campaigns on social networks.
Remember to target the primary audience for your podcast – for example, an entrepreneurship video is most suitable for young adults.
Another neat trick is inviting an influencer or a celebrity to your podcast. The guest should be relevant to the topic of your show.
How Often Should I Publish My Podcast?
It will depend on numerous factors, including:
- Episode length – if you are only shooting a 10-minute podcast, consider daily episodes. But if an episode lasts for an hour or more, weekly releases are better because you don’t want to burden the audience (and yourself) too much.
- Niche – those shooting an NBA podcast should consider publishing more episodes during the playoffs. You can consider timing the episodes based on the events in your industry. For example, publish an episode previewing upcoming NBA matches a day or two before they are played.
- Audience reaction – is your audience asking you to release episodes more often? Listen to what the listeners want and tailor the content accordingly.
What Are the Best Sites to Host My Podcast?
You have two options for podcast hosting – using free or paid platforms.
Some websites, such as SoundCloud, are free forever, but they limit upload time per month.
Other free platforms might have other restrictions.
That is why it is better to stick to a premium plan. Here are some paid podcast hosting options:
Ultimately, pick a website that suits your needs best.
How Do I Ensure My Podcast Has High Sound Quality?
Microphones play a crucial factor in securing a superb sound quality.
Apart from using high-quality mics, make sure you place them at an appropriate distance.
If you are moving away from the microphone often, consider clip-on mics for consistent sound.
Post-production is important to optimize sound quality.
It allows you to ensure the volume of all speakers is at the same level. You can also remove mistakes like the phone ringing and saying “ummm” too much.
We’ve reached the end of our article on the best podcast hosting websites in 2020.
As you can see, it is all about finding a platform that suits your requirements.
If you are only experimenting, don’t hesitate to go with a free hosting plan.
Most platforms mentioned in our reviews offer one, and that gives you a window to try if the service suits you.
Additionally, you can also check whether podcasting is your cup of tea.
Remember that podcast hosting is only one element of creating an amazing audio show.
The important thing is not to rush anything.
While taking care of every detail, try to have some fun in the process.
As long as you mix interesting content with a reliable podcast hosting service, you have great odds of making your show a success.
What did you end up choosing in the end? Let me know.