Best Podcast Hosting Websites
What Is Podcast Hosting?
Today there are a wide array of podcasts on many subjects stretching from knitting to mathematics. Whatever your specialty hobby is, there is most likely a podcast to accompany it.
A podcast's host can refer to two things:
- The figure that dictates the topic and direction of the featured content. Depending on the size of the podcast, the host may also have the task of editing and uploading each episode.
- The website the podcast is uploaded onto and distributed through
Hosting a podcast requires being a skilled conversationalist and comfortable holding space for the topic. You may have favorite podcast hosts already, and they are undoubtedly dedicated to the content they make.
If you have a subject in mind, feel you have some interesting contributions to make or for any other reason want to make your own podcast, then a podcast hosting website can help you upload your content and get it out to listeners.
It is possible to upload podcast material to a personal website. However, as easy as this may be, it does have disadvantages:
- Personal websites may have restrictions in the amount of traffic they can receive before either the speed slows down or further visitors are cut off
- If you personally host your podcast, it is entirely your responsibility to market it and be your own PR team and get it out there. Such marketing takes time away from your actual passion: making your podcast itself.
- While free personal websites may have some options to upload files, these are usually limited, and the costs of buying and running a big enough server to keep high-audio-quality podcast files on racks up.
Dedicated podcast hosting websites aim to streamline this process and make it affordable and understandable to even podcasters without much technical know-how. This article will discuss the best podcast hosting websites and how you can use them to get that conversation you've been yearning to have off the ground.
Why Use a Podcast Hosting Site?
Podcast hosting services have considerably expanded over the last few years, and it is with good reason.
The benefits of using a podcast hosting site are numerous, but these are some of the best reasons to consider:
Storage of files can get expensive if you have to host your episodes yourself. Plus, it may simply be untenable for you to personally have your computer running 24/7 for people to download your podcast from.
Podcast hosting websites allow users to upload multiple series of multiple podcasts for reasonable prices (or sometimes free).
Depending on the type of podcast that you want to upload and the audience that you want to engage, it can be worth paying for a podcast hosting website.
Some ask for a payment per upload, others run on a subscription basis. Paying for hosting incentives the podcasting website to act in your best interest; a small fee could help you gain access to thousands of listeners.
Different podcasting sites attract different audiences. Unless your podcast idea is very obscure, it is likely that there is an audience already suited for your content.
Search out the best site that fits your style to already have – perhaps consider those with podcast networks in related subject areas.
People access podcasts in a myriad of different ways, and accounting for all of them yourself would be exhausting.
Podcast hosting websites push your content to many different locations, such as Apple, Spotify and iHeartRadio, and make it accessible to your audience, however they get their podcasts.
When you are starting your first podcast, it is understandable if you feel unsure on what direction to take; you may also need guidance editing.
Podcasts sites have many features and resources available that will help you with the upload and editing process.
Key Features of a Podcast Hosting Site
For a comprehensive podcasting service, podcast hosts will need to consider a selection of features to see if a given podcasting hosting website is the right fit for them.
How you want to manage your content, how often you intend on uploading and how financially profitable you want your podcast to become help determine which website you use.
For example, if your desire is to create a podcast solely for fun, then you will not have to stress about the monetization features of a website.
In contrast, if you are wanting this to transform into a stream of income, then the available analytics surrounding features such as subscription will be a key feature.
Before pinpointing what key features you want a podcasting hosting site to have, you will need to outline what you want to have available at the beginning of your podcast depending on what you want to do.
Of course, these can change over time as you become more proficient in the creation process, but creating a benchmark is a great way to select the right podcast website.
Here are the key features to consider:
The technology you have access to will determine the type of podcasts you can make.
If you have a fast-running computer with good recording features, then you will more likely want to choose podcasting websites that cater towards maintaining audio quality.
Your chosen website must be able to handle the file type that you upload, in the size and quality that you want to upload in.
Outside of technology, you must consider how compatible the features of a podcasting website are with your aims.
If you want to create a podcast where there is a distinct personal feeling of you as the host in the content, then try and find podcasting websites that allow for interconnection with WordPress and social media accounts.
On the other hand, if you are wanting to create a podcast and remain anonymous, find podcast hosting websites that do not require these features to run and allow you to use a pseudonym on your account.
How your podcast performs and who is engaging with it on a regular basis are key measures for understanding your audience.
The statistical services available vary between podcasting websites, but most offer some statistics to allow hosts to plan content and engage with their podcast's audience in a methodical way.
Working with analytical features can help you structure your future shows – the quantitative data you receive from analytical services will enable you to identify what is good and what needs improving.
While there are free podcasting hosting websites, many require some form of payment.
A website may offer different pricing structures or levels of cost. Some you pay just when you upload episodes; others require a subscription whether you upload or not.
Consider which payment model is worth it for you.
Paying by episode may be more expensive per episode, but if you upload irregularly you may save in the long run. Whereas if you upload four times a month, a subscription could be worth it as it is a set amount each month that you can budget for.
The bandwidth of a site will determine how often people can download your content.
For example, if you bandwidth is limited to 100 MB and your podcast episodes are 5 MB each, only 20 can be downloaded per month. If you find these limits difficult to work out, practicing your numerical reasoning will help.
Some sites charge the podcast host once they exceed a certain amount of downloads, which can be frustrating when trying to grow your podcast, while others simply stop listeners being able to download unless the host pays more.
There may also be restrictions on how much you can upload.
Hosting sites such as Soundcloud allow all users to upload content for free, but there is a limitation on how much one can put on a site. Once you hit this limit, you have the option of paying to upload more content.
Making your podcast accessible to more people is a great way to grow your audience.
Not everyone has the ability to stream from the internet all the time, so choosing a website that enables downloads means people can listen at any time regardless of their data signal.
Further, podcasts are by their nature an audio medium. However, this excludes deaf and hard-of-hearing people from your audience, as well as others who enjoy the option to read instead of listening.
Podcasting hosting websites that offer space to upload transcripts of your episodes or perhaps offer transcription services themselves are a great way to access this part of your potential audience.
If you are looking to make podcasts a financial pursuit, these services are some of the first things to look out for.
A subscription package can make podcasts profitable.
Some podcast hosting websites allow their users to integrate subscription services where people can pay for access to a podcast or features beyond the free episodes, such as ad-free episodes or bonus content.
These types of services are still developing as they are new. Usually, the hosting sites take a percentage of the money you make from subscriptions, similar to the selling services that feature on eBay and Etsy.
Also, look for other monetization features offered by your chosen hosting website.
For example, if you offer monthly content of considerable length, some websites allow listeners to buy each episode individually.
Others have existing deals with advertisers that may make it easier to interest them in your show
A less mercenary approach is a digital tipping pot, where listeners can donate out of goodwill. This may be preferable to you if you are simply making the podcasts for fun.
What About Free Podcast Hosting?
Money and prices have become a prominent discussion within the podcasting world.
Depending on what you want from a podcasting service, there are good reasons to consider using a free podcasting site, beyond being much more financially accessible.
You may be new to podcasting, and using free podcasting sites is a great, low-pressure way of practicing how to upload, edit and advertize content.
Free podcasting sites are generally free for both listeners and hosts. This means that the content you upload will be accessible to everybody.
However, the free services do have their limitations, and many podcasting websites do have the option of subscription to expand what is on offer to you.
A subscription to a podcasting site usually results in the removal of external adverts from your content. Without paying subscribers, podcasting sites resort to advertising for their income.
The adverts can often be disruptive to the flow of your content. If you are adamant about having an uninterrupted podcast without adverts you will likely have to pay.
It is also worth considering how much limitations on how much you can upload at once affect you. With websites you pay for, you have the option to upload as much content as you like.
Once you have gained experience of podcast hosting on free websites, it is most likely you will naturally turn towards paid services. Doing so will ensure your content is fully tailored to your preferences.
Best Podcast Hosting Websites
As already discussed, there are podcast hosting services being created frequently due to the rapid increase of it as an entertainment medium.
It would not be possible to go through every hosting website, but here are some of the best ones that offer you great services.
Pricing: Free to $24/month
Buzzsprout is the home to over 100,000 podcast hosts. With a wide range of hosts, there are already many genres for your podcast idea to fit in with.
There is a free hosting service where users and upload two hours of content each month that is kept up for 90 days.
In addition, users have the option of multiple subscription packages, which bring a list of benefits including increased upload time and permanent storage of a host’s content.
Other features of Buzzsprout include statistical analysis to track where people are listening and downloading your content. Buzzsprout also has a blog to notify you of any updates quickly.
Pricing: $25/month or $49/month, plus additional options from $59
The aim of Resonate is to inform and create professional podcast hosts.
As you upload and build your content, because of Resonate's structure, you will become more knowledgeable about hosting.
Resonate services offer podcast hosts a range of features including information on audio production and podcast marketing. It has options for sale to perfect every aspect of your podcast, from editing to episode images.
With quality and professionalism being two of Resonate's major practices, hosts can expect good support and technological services.
Pricing: Free to $99/month
This service prides itself on having an all-in-one solution for hosts.
Unlike other services, Podbean includes everything under one roof. Monetisation, unlimited download services and a variety of analytics are some of its offerings.
It is possible to start hosting for free, but access to publishing, promotion and streaming comes at a cost.
Hosts can upgrade to a premium for access to all features, including unlimited storage space and advertising for a fixed price. Detailed engagement data is restricted to their Enterprise tier.
Podbean also has an app that allows users to monitor their content easily.
Pricing: Free to $50/month
Spreaker is suitable for everyone, with features scalable to users with varying levels of experience.
Whether you are just starting as a podcast host or are a seasoned pro, Spreaker has subscription packages to suit your needs.
Founded in 2009, the hosting website has become one of the more enterprising podcast services. Hosts uploading content will have access to collaboration features and priority support.
Its professional tiers offer everything needed to get your podcast up and running, including uploading to iHeartRadio, Spotify and iTunes as standard, and detailed statistics, customizable RSS feeds and other monetization options.
Their enterprise publishing package may seem expensive at $120/month, but Spreaker offers it as the complete education in podcast hosting.
Pricing: $19 to $99/month, with discounts for annual plans
Castos offers options for both public podcasts that anyone can subscribe to, and private podcasts to offer certain groups of people exclusive content.
Unlike other websites, there are no storage or bandwidth limits for any tier.
Castos has gives its potential users more choice with three different levels. Each of these offers the host different advantages.
If you are unsure of what service to choose from, Castos offer a 14-day free trial so that you can a feel for their site and offerings.
Pricing: Free to $24.99/month
Podomatic is one of more easier and cheaper sites to upload content. Rather than prioritize an array of intricate features, Podomatic is a site where ease is the outstanding benefit.
Hosts can upload some content for free but there are limits on bandwidth and storage, but for a fee of $2.99 a month, hosts get access to 500MB of storage, analytical services and no expiration in their content.
If you are looking to trial podcast making and get something out to the public quickly, Podomatic may be a good choice.
Pricing: Free to $144/year
The music streaming service has been around since 2007 and has developed into one of the more prominent podcasting services for hosts.
Like many other services, hosts can choose either a free account or a premium package where they can access a myriad of different benefits. Free users can only upload 3 hours of audio.
The greatest advantage of Soundcloud is its reach and interaction. It has a bigger audience and more users than most other sites, and it is likely that you will find your niche on Soundcloud.
Pricing: $12 to $80/month
Not to be mixed up with the mobile phone distributor, Blubrry was founded in 2005 and is one of the more developed services.
With a full integration of hosting, statistics and branding services, hosts on Blubrry are able to make content that is structured to their requirements.
Further, the audience on Blubrry is renowned for its activity and honesty. You will receive plenty of feedback on your services, giving you the opportunity to see what is entertaining and what needs to improve.
These are only some of the podcast websites that are accessible. With more and more services appearing, the competition is fierce for getting hosts on their sites.
As a consequence, Podcasting sites are getting better. If you are a host then you now have access to a great variety of services, which can expand your idea into a career. Podcasting has branched into videography, branding and monetization. Today there is a growing market to take advantage of.