Are you thinking about starting and growing your new podcast into a successful one? Podcasting can be a great adventure, but you'll need to find the best podcast hosting services in the market to start your journey.
As you know, podcasting has become quite prominent in recent years, and it is of no surprise that it attracts a similarly huge number of people to start a new podcast.
As a result, the competition is relatively high, and you'll need to do everything you can to get an edge over the others. One way to get a quick starting boost for your new podcast is to get any fabulous podcast hosting services.
This article will tell you all there is to know about the 15 best podcast hosting services in 2020.
So, let's get started!
What is Podcast Hosting?
Before I begin with the top 15 list, it's better that you first get a good idea about what exactly podcast hosting is about so that you can set up proper expectations.
The basic idea behind podcast hosting services is that they provide you with file hosting and RSS feed for your podcast.
A podcast hosting service will host your podcast audio files, and when a new listener subscribes to your podcast, they send the files directly to them.
If you wonder why you'll need a podcast hosting platform, consider this: Your Podcast audio files will have a huge file size.
Personal websites don't have enough bandwidth and space needed to host podcasts. Podcast hosting platforms fix precisely this issue.
These hosting services also save you a lot of time that you would have spent on managing audio files or setting up servers if you were to host the files by yourself.
You can spend this saved time working on and improving your podcast instead, thus helping you get an edge over all others who aren't using a podcast host.
The usual podcast hosting platforms provide simple services like allowing your listeners to download files and providing them with an RSS feed about your audio files.
However, the market's top options do much more than that: marketing features, 24/7 support, social sharing, and many more.
Some will also provide you with unique features like a free website and a free domain. Some even offer unlimited bandwidth.
So yeah, the features vary depending on the platform. That's why it's essential to be informed about all the various podcast hosting platforms and their advantages so that you can choose the most suited one for you.
Best podcast hosting sites of 2020?
It's time to learn about the best podcast hosting platforms out there so that you can make an informed purchase and begin with your podcasting journey.
All these podcast hosting platforms on the list have something different to offer to you, and one specific hosting service might be more suitable for you.
So, make sure that you go with the podcast hosting services that you think will suit you the most. In my opinion, these are the top 15 podcast hosting platforms:
The Best Podcast Hosting for Beginners (Free – $12/month + $20 Amazon Gift Card)
I am kicking off the list with the #1 podcast hosting platform on the market, Buzzsprout.
There are a lot of factors that lead to them becoming the absolute best podcast hosting platforms. One primary reason is that they offer a completely free plan with unlimited team member accounts.
They have been in the podcast hosting market since 2009, and over the decade, they have gained the trust of 100,000 podcasters.
Buzzsprout is overall relatively cheap, and the plans are great.
The free plan, especially, is pretty good. It allows you to upload 2 hours' worth of content every month and your episodes remain hosted on the website for 90 days.
Along with that, the free plan offers you unlimited team members and advanced stats. One downside to this plan is that you will see ads on your podcast website.
Buzzsprout offers three paid subscriptions that range from $12-$24, and all the options will give you the following features:
- Advanced Stats
- Unlimited Storage
- Unlimited Team Members
- Import Podcast for Free
- Buzzsprout hosts the episodes indefinitely
The plans differ from each other in the amount of content you can upload per month.
In case you want to upload more content than your plan allows you to, Buzzsprout will enable you to buy extra hours starting at $4 per hour for the $12 per month plan.
The bandwidth that you get per month is 250gb, which might seem low at first but keep in mind that it's enough to easily sustain 50,000+ downloads.
Alright, let's also take a look at the features that earned Buzzsprout the #1 spot on this list.
One of the most remarkable features of Buzzsprout is that it allows you to embed a podcast player straight to your website. So, you can feature one or more episodes directly on your website.
Buzzsprout has an analytics feature where you can view your listeners' complete analysis, including how many listeners downloaded your podcast, downloads per episode, which countries your listeners belong to, and more similar data.
The analytics function is one cutting edge feature that is much better than what you will find in your average podcast hosting platform.
One thing I love about Buzzsprout is the ease of use. The act of uploading and scheduling your podcast is pretty straightforward. You only have to upload and set up the basic stuff like title and description.
The audio quality is superb, as well. Buzzsprout also offers some additional services like transcriptions for your podcast and quality upgrades for audio.
A less-talked-about feature of Buzzsprout is its chapter markers. These markers help your listeners get a quick idea about your episode content. Pretty useful, but keep in mind that they are optional.
So yeah, you should see now why Buzzsprout is the number one podcast hosting service. It offers excellent value with some great features like the analytics functions and the podcast player embeds.
Best Easy Podcast Hosting Powering Over 225,000 Podcasters Worldwide ($29/Month + 1 Month Free)
Podbean is the number two podcast hosting service on this list, and it's quite deserving of its spot as well.
Like Buzzsprout, Podbean has been in the market for a decade, and over these years, it has accumulated some pretty neat features.
If you are on the fence about jumping into Podbean, don't worry! There is an entirely free plan so that you can try things out.
Once you have made up your mind, you can go ahead and purchase a plan. There are three paid plans, all priced very well for what they offer you.
The cheapest you can get is the $9 per month plan if you bill annually, and it offers you unlimited bandwidth and unlimited storage.
Let's talk about some of the cool features of Podbean.
Podbean allows you to efficiently distribute and promote your podcast episodes through the major podcasting apps and directories like iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Alexa, and more.
You can add your ad campaigns into your podcasts to monetize your episodes better and integrate a Patreon so that you can accept support from listeners.
The above two features are specific to the $29 plan, though. That's why this plan is the better one to get. You will get the most out of your money here.
One feature I use a lot and find extraordinary is the Youtube channel sync feature. Podbean can auto-upload a Youtube version of your podcast to your channel if you turn on syncing when publishing an episode.
Not only Youtube, but you can also set it to auto-post on Facebook and Twitter.
Podbean has a neat mobile app that improves the ease of use. It also features analytics reports, thus helping you know what type of content your listeners like.
To summarize, Podbean is an incredible podcast host that offers unlimited storage and bandwidth and some neat marketing and social media features.
If you think Podbean would be suited for you, the unlimited plus plan ($29 per month) is the top offering, so don't think twice and jump right into it. It's incredibly worth it!
Best Built-In Podcast Analytics ($19-99/month)
Third on the list is Transistor, another famous, high-quality podcast hosting service. This one is primarily known for hosting quite a few popular podcasts like Honeybadger, Drift, etc.
What makes Transistor stand out from the rest of the platforms is the analytics and marketing features.
One neat thing about Transistor is that it allows you to import your feed from another hosting platform by following a few simple steps.
Here is a quick look at the Transistor pricing:
There are three plans in total, along with one free 14-day trial.
The first plan is the Starter plan, which will cost you $19 per month. But! If you decide to bill annually, it will cost you only $190 per year. That is, you will save $38.
The features it offers include unlimited podcasts and episodes, 10,000 downloads per month, and two users.
Next up is the Professional plan, which goes for $49 per month. However, similar to the Starter plan, you can decide to bill annually and save yourself $98 per year.
It naturally includes everything that the Starter plan covered, but now you can create five users on a single account. You also get 50,000 downloads per month, as opposed to only 10,000.
Finally, the Business plan costs $99 per month (or $990 per year for the annual payment option, which saves you $198 per year).
It further ups the features from the previous plans, and now you can make up to ten users, and you also get 150,000 downloads per month.
Transistor's main features include unlimited shows, branded websites with your domain name, multiple users on a single account, advanced analytics, and distribution of your podcast episodes.
Like mentioned before, Transistor's main forte is its analytics features. The dashboard shows you useful information like the number of subscribers, average downloads per episode, total downloads over a period, and similar things.
I recommend starting with the Starter plan and upgrading your way up as you slowly grow your podcast. Also, the annual payment option is a no-brainer, considering the amount you will be saving.
Industry-Leading Features Powering Top Brands ($15/Month)
Next up on our list is Simplecast, a podcast hosting platform that provides you with industry-leading features at a cheap price ($15 per month).
You can get the hint of Simplecast being an industry leader by the podcasting brands it powers. These include some of the largest podcasting brands, like Facebook, HBO, Nike, etc.
Simplecast offers three plans:
The Basic plan is the cheapest plan, with the price being $15 per month. It provides you with all these features:
- Two team member seats
- Unlimited storage & uploads
- Distribution to everywhere your audience listens.
- Basic analytics
- Customizable show website with a custom domain
- Manage multiple shows with one account
- Embeddable episode web player
- Recast for you (and your listeners)
- A secure (HTTPS) site and Rich Site Summary feed
- 20K downloads included per month
- Email support
The second plan is the Essential plan, which you can pick up at $35 per month. It includes every feature from the Basic plan, plus the following set:
- Four team member seats
- Additional web players (Mini & Show)
- Compare analytics across two episodes
- Location analytics (country & state/region)
- Unique Listener reports
- Web Player analytics
- Technology analytics (apps, browsers)
- 50K downloads included per month
The last and the most expensive plan is the Growth plan, which, if you decide to go with will cost you $85 per month and will give you all the features from the previous ones, but also these additional features:
- Nine team member seats
- Compare metrics across five episodes
- Location analytics (+ detailed metro areas)
- Detailed Device analytics
- Web Player Embed Location analytics
- Network (ISP) analytics (home, office, mobile)
- Technology analytics (+ device details)
- 120K downloads included per month
One feature that particularly stands out is the recast tool. What does it do? It allows you to schedule and share some clips of your podcast on different social media websites.
Some powerful features that Simplecast has are a completely functional website, a variety of web players, advanced analytic tools, and one-click publishing.
Another nice feature is that it allows you to collaborate with multiple managers on a single account.
To top it off, I would recommend Simplecast if you want to get some industry-leading features like one-click publishing to help you with your new podcast journey at an affordable price.
You can start with the Basic version, and as you grow your audience, you can upgrade your plan accordingly.
Best for Marketing and Growing Your Audience ($19/Month)
Number five on the list is Captivate, a podcast host introduced just recently, in 2018. But, don't let its age fool you.
Despite how young Captivate is, it still has an impressive service to offer. It also happens to be the only podcast host that's growth-oriented, so expect some fantastic analytics features.
Captivate has three paid plans, along with a free seven days trial. The cheapest subscription costs only $17 per month, while the most expensive is $90 per month.
You will get these cutting edge features with all the plans. Yes, you read it right! ALL the plans!
- Advanced Analytics
- Unlimited Podcasts
- Import your show for free
- Stunning Podcast Player
- Calls to Action, Built-In
- Automatic Podcast Website
- Unlimited Team Members
- Analytics, Anywhere
- Thoughtful Podcast Marketing
One feature that I particularly like is the automatic podcast website. You get a website with every version, and this website packs some excellent features and is highly customizable.
There are opt-in forms on the website to generate leads from your podcasts, making building an email list an easy task.
Also, if you are already using another host, don't worry; it's simple enough to import your shows to Captivate, thanks to the easy import tool.
So yeah, as you can see, Captivate, though young, has tons of potential and will become one of the new big podcast hosting sites on the market.
I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in marketing and growth features. Take the seven days trial and see if it works for you. Also, don't forget to get the WordPress plugin if you have a WordPress website!
Best Storage Capacity ($18/Month + One Month Free)
Spreaker is mainly a mobile-focused website, but the speaker studio tool is available for both PC and mobile.
As usual, there are three paid plans available, plus a free version, which is quite limited when compared to the ones of hosting services so far.
The pricing ranges from $6 per month for the cheapest to $45 per month at the high-end range. The high-end subscription offers the following features:
- Multiple Podcasts Hosting
- Customizable RSS Feeds
- Programmatic Monetization
- Limited access podcasts
- Full Statistics
- Customizable Player Colors
“Customizable RSS feeds” is a feature that can sell you on Spreaker. The monetization features are also pretty good.
But what earns Spreaker the number six position on this list is the storage capacity. With their most popular plan, the $18 per month subscription, you get 500 hours of audio storage and 3 hours per live podcast episodes.
I would recommend Spreaker to anyone looking for a host that beats other podcast hosting sites when it comes to its excellent storage capacity.
Best WordPress Podcast Hosting Solution ($19/month)
If you're looking for good podcast hosting services with fully featured WordPress integration, then look no further than Castos as it's the best.
As for the pricing, Castos will cost you only $19 per month for the cheapest option while $49 per month for the uppermost range.
Some of the features you will get are an unlimited number of podcasts, episode uploads, and downloads. It's also easy-to-use.
Additionally, if you go for the most expensive subscription, you will receive these features:
- Video Republishing to YouTube
- Headliner Audiogram Integration
- Advanced Analytics
- Video File Hosting
By the way, if you want to try out Castos without paying a single cent, you can always avail of the free 14-day trial.
One feature that separates Castos from the rest of the competition is the automatic transcription feature, which can be quite useful.
Overall, Castos is an excellent choice if you're looking for a podcast host that features a perfect, easy-to-use WordPress integration.
The Best Toolbox of Podcasting Software ($8/Month)
Number eight on this list is Fusebox, a podcast host created by a successful and experienced podcaster. The main goal of the platform is to help you convert website visitors into listeners.
One of the great things about Fusebox is the price. You only need to pay $8 per month to use the whole thing! There are only just two versions, a free one and a paid one.
These are the features that you will get with the paid subscription:
- Sitewide sticky player
- Full player
- Singletrack player
- Mobile friendly
- Light vs. dark
- Email capture
- Custom colors
- Social sharing
- Speed control
- Downloadable MP3s
- Custom sort
- Volume control
- Host migration
- Future timestamps
A great feature that Fusebox has is the email capture function. There is also a transcript plugin that will automatically put an SEO-friendly transcript of your show live on your website.
In conclusion, if you want a cheap solution for displaying podcasts on your website, Fusebox is for you. However, count free podcast hosting out as the free version is quite restricted.
Best Podcast Hosting Platform for Website Builders ($67/month)
Podcast Websites is like your usual podcasting host as it offers standard features like a fully functioning website, 24/7 support, security, backups, etc.
Except, it has a bit more to offer you in the form of some unique features like you will receive digital marketing support from experts to help promote your podcast.
You will also receive help regarding everything podcasting from industry professionals with years of experience backing their advice.
Podcast Websites has an academy where you can find video tutorials and the like, and a community forum.
But wait, there is more, and you also get access to an easy-to-use drag and drop builder that comes with themes relevant to podcasters.
With this builder, you can make mobile-friendly landing pages to market your podcast as the best possible.
Though, a downside to Podcast Websites can be its high cost. Still, the features offered are well worth the price, but yes, the price would be a problem for those on a budget.
Overall, I would say Podcast Websites have some high-quality features to offer, and if you can afford it, go for it.
Best for Dynamic Ads and Monetization ($9.99/month)
Audioboom is a popular podcast website that gives you a platform for hosting, distribution, and an embedded player, all in a single package.
What's more, they also offer your podcasts' monetization as one of the podcast hosting platforms' main selling points!
If you manage to hit more than 10,000 views on your show, they will provide you with tools for putting dynamic ads and sponsorships for your episodes.
The pricing is pretty lovely, as well. You only need to pay $9.99 per month to get started on the platform with all these features:
- Unlimited episodes per month
- Up to 10,000 plays per month on the Standard Plan, or 25,000 with the Plus Plan.
- Distribution via Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher
- Advanced analytics with breakdowns by device, app, and geographic region
- Embeddable Players for your website and social media integration
To conclude, I would say Audioboom has excellent features to offer you at a convenient price point, so if you think it would suit you, go for it.
What is the Best Free Podcast Hosting?
Not everyone wants to shell out money just to test some platforms out, and it's a pretty understandable stance as well. If you are one of them, don't worry, there are plenty of free podcast hosting options on the market.
These podcast hosting sites are a bit limited in their capabilities, but don't let that discourage you. Many offer enough features that you will still be getting plenty enough to test podcast hosts out.
Here is my list of the best podcasting hosts on the market that offer a free subscription or a free trial.
The best free podcast host platform is none other than Buzzsprout, the #1 podcast host. Buzzsprout's zero cost subscription is impressive when compared to the competition.
If you get the Buzzsprout free plan, you will get two hours of upload time, and your hosted episodes will stay up for 90 days.
While the features are great, the thing that makes Buzzsprout especially suitable for getting into podcast hosting is its ease of use. So, you can count on checking out the free version being a smooth ride.
Libsyn is one of the oldest and most popular podcast hosting websites on the market, dating back to 2004. You can say it is among the first real hosting services.
It is an excellent place for quickly getting help on monetization, and the platform is suited for beginners and pros alike.
With Libsyn, you can get between 50 MB and 1.5 GB of audio storage per month and other essential features like analytics reports, their app, and Rich Site Summary feed generation.
Though Libsyn isn't a free podcasting host, you will need to pay $5 to obtain a month of service. Still, that's some killer value, that's why it's on this list.
SoundCloud is a popular podcast host. It's also the largest music and audio hosting website in the world.
With their excellent free account, you get 3 hours of upload time per month, along with basic analytics reporting, all their embedded players, timed comments, and Twitter cards.
So yeah, the free version is pretty nice for getting a feel of podcast hosting. Therefore I would recommend you to check it out at least once.
Podomatic is another podcast host platform on the market with a great free version.
It is quite simple to use, as you can do everything, from creation to promotion, from a single dashboard. Podomatic helps crowdsource you with the help of platforms like Patreon.
They also offer social sharing features to compliment your podcasting. Free hosts won't usually offer this feature.
Best WP Podcast Hosting Runner-Up ($12-80/month)
The last free podcast hosting service on our list is Blubrry, a website famous not only for podcast hosting but also managed WordPress hosting with PowerPress, a WordPress plugin.
Blubrry has a policy of giving the creator full control. You will receive some great features from them and a manual on how everything works and what you can do to make your podcast successful.
You get unlimited hosting in their high-end subscription, but only 100 MB on their cheapest plan costs $12/month.
If you are looking for a great podcasting experience, I would recommend Blubrry to you.
What Are Podcast Directories?
“Podcast directory” is a term you might have heard a few times already, so what exactly are these “podcast directories”?
Put simply, they are services that receive your audio files, along with your Rich Site Summary feed, and they publish them on their website or app, from where the general populace can easily access your shows.
Examples include services like iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc. As you can see, these services have a broad reach as they are available on all platforms.
What Podcast Platforms Should I Publish My Podcast On?
Getting a podcast host platform up is only half the battle. You still need to figure out where you will publish your shows.
Here is the list of great platforms with a considerable user base, thus increasing your episode views.
1. How to Submit Your Podcast to iTunes?
iTunes is a massive platform with similarly enormous popularity. Some might even consider it the most popular platform since if you look at the stats, Apple Podcasts recently passed 50 billion downloads.
Follow these simple instructions to get your podcast up on iTunes:
- Obtain an active Apple ID (or use an existing one) for submitting your podcast.
- Log-in to iTunes Connect.
- You will find a box for entering your RSS feed on the top-left area.
- All the info from your podcast host platform will show up as a preview. Recheck everything just to make sure everything's in order.
- Click ‘submit,' and…you have done it! Now, you just need to wait for the approval.
2. How to Submit Your Podcast to Google Play?
I don't think I need even to say anything about the popularity of Google Play. It's that big a platform. Here's how you can submit your shows to Google Play:
- Sign-up for a Google account if you haven't already.
- Go the podcasts section of Google Play Music, and click the publish button.
- Google will ask you to enter your RSS feed. Do it, and click submit.
- You should receive a verification mail in your inbox.
- Click the publish button now, and wait for it to be approved.
3. How to Submit Your Podcast to TuneIn?
While TuneIn is still a growing website, it has gained 75 million listeners already, so it's worth publishing your podcasts on here.
- Check out the TuneIn contact form, and fill in all the necessary info.
- Push the submit button, and that's it! You Just need to wait for the approval now.
4. How to Submit Your Podcast to Stitcher?
Stitcher is a popular radio service focused around podcasts (as well as international news). Instructions for submitting to them:
- You will have to apply to their content provider page and fill in the required info.
- Once you have got the verification, you should add in a show.
- Add your RSS feed, click on submit, and wait for it to get approval.
5. How to Submit Your Podcast to Spotify?
Spotify is a highly popular website for downloading and listening to music with high-quality audio and an ad-free experience. Lately, it has been on the path to becoming the largest podcasting website.
Earlier, it was a bit of a hassle to get your podcast up on Spotify, but that is no longer the case. They recently released a beta program called “Spotify for podcasters.”
You will find the instructions for getting started there, which is quite simple as you just need to log-in with your account and submit your podcast's RSS feed.
After that, you need to wait for Spotify to make their move.
Podcast Hosting: Steps to Start a Successful Podcast
- Cook up a great podcast idea.
- Pick a podcast style.
- Research your topics properly.
- Get some professional equipment.
- Arrange a monetization strategy.
- Purchase a great podcast host.
- Put a lot of effort into your first few episodes.
- Plan out your podcast schedule carefully.
- Be sure that you publish your shows on all popular directories.
- An effective digital marketing strategy will pay-off in the long-run.
- Create your podcast website, along with social media profiles for it.
- Try to create a network by coming into contact with other podcasters.
What is the Best Podcast Equipment I Need for My Show?
Obtaining a podcast host platform is good progress towards your goal, but you will need to buy some professional equipment to record high-quality audio for a successful podcast.
Some people think they can get by fine with just their cheap phone/laptop/PC microphone, which might be indeed true if you only want to podcast as a little hobby.
However, if you are serious about podcasting, you must get some excellent equipment.
Otherwise, you would find it very hard to make your podcast grow as competition is high, and others will be using high-quality audio equipment.
Here are my top picks for podcasting equipment:
1. Blue Yeti: Best Podcast Microphone.
Like I said before, you can't just start with your inbuilt phone or laptop's mic. You will want to make high-quality recordings, and for which you will need a dedicated mic.
USB microphones are relatively cheap, and at the same time, they are much better than your phone or laptop's in-built mics.
There are mainly two types of mics, dynamic, and condenser. Which variety would be better for you depends on your requirements.
Are you going fora solo show? Then Condenser type it is. Among the top mics in this category is Blue Yeti, it's all-around fabulous, so I would recommend getting it.
On the other hand, if you want to record shows with a group, then a dynamic mic would be more suitable. A good recommendation would be the Audio-Technica ATR2100.
2. MacBook Air: Best Laptop for Podcasting.
Podcasting doesn't have any high power requirements; per se, you just need to make sure your laptop or computer can run the audio editing software you would use.
Pretty much any recent laptop should be fine. If you're looking to buy a new one, I recommend the Macbook Air.
3. Logitech C920S: Best Webcam for Streaming.
As with the mic, a laptop or phone webcam won't cut it when it comes to recording videos. What do you need a webcam for when podcasts are audio-based?
Well, video podcasts are a thing, and as you grow your show, you will want to make video shows that you can upload to websites like YouTube.
Not only that, but you will also be meeting with a lot of different people throughout your journey, and you need to make that the video quality of the Zoom call looks high-quality enough, it will help you look more professional.
Looking professional is vital as many of these people will be potential sponsors and interviewers, you can't afford to let opportunities like these slip by.
Webcams are pretty cheap these days, and they offer some excellent quality. My recommendation is the Logitech C920S.
4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x: Best Headphones for Podcasting
You will also require a nice pair of headphones since podcasting is all about the audio. Headphones will help you listen to your shows to pick up any distortion, p-pops, or similar audio-related issues in your episodes.
High-quality headphones will be required to serve this purpose. I recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.
5. Mackie PROFX8V2: Best Mixer for Podcasting
A mixer can help your podcasts feel more professional. Mixers allow you to control the input and output and add effects like echo, reverb, etc.
They are a worthy investment, no doubt. Among the best mixers on the market is Mackie PROFX8V2.
What is the Best Podcast Software to Record My Episodes?
Okay, by now, you have gotten a podcast host, a place where you can publish your shows, and all the required equipment. It's time to look into podcast recording software.
Using podcast software is pretty easy, in my opinion. You will take no time to pick up audio recording and editing, and quickly output professional shows.
These are my top picks for best podcast recording software:
A great piece of podcasting software is Anchor, and it's best known for its ease of use. One of the most accessible podcast software out there.
Anchor allows you to record high-quality episodes that you can distribute across all the big publishing websites with a single click of your mouse. You will get a free page with your URL, as well.
Also, Anchor's editor is quite simple, and hence you should have no issues getting used to it. For example, if you want to rearrange your video, you only have to drag and drop the different segments.
It is undoubtedly the best software out there for recording podcasts as it also gives you free, unlimited hosting. I recommend it. Go check it out!
If you don't want to deal with the hassle of installing podcast software, then Zencastr is for you. With it, you can record high-quality audio from your web browser alone.
A good thing about Zencastr is that it allows sending a link to your remote guests, where they will record their audio, and you will receive the track at your place.
Since there is a transfer of files involved, you may think there would be chances of noise entering the files or them getting compressed. But don't worry!
Zencastr provides you with only very high-quality audio without any changes done to it. So, you can do podcasts with remote guests without any worries.
The best thing? You can use Zencastr for free. The free version includes eight hours of audio per month and two guests. You still have to pay for post-production, though.
The paid subscription, priced at $20/month, will give you unlimited guests and recordings, an editor, and 10 hours of post-production every month.
3. Avid Pro Tools
The final item on the list is Avid Pro Tools. It is a powerful podcast recording software with lots of features.
Though the tool isn't for everyone, other podcast software may offer sufficient power for most people, and they may not have ever a need for software as powerful as Pro Tools.
But, if you are the sort of person who looks for only the best, then this is the software that you should buy. You can pick it up for $299 per year, and get some additional bonuses as well.
What Are the Benefits of Podcast Hosts and Why Do You Need One?
Well, as I said before, podcast host websites are pretty essential to your podcasting career. You will need it at some point, if not right at the beginning itself.
As you know, podcasting can earn you some good money, but that's only possible if you give in your all, including getting a podcast host. Here are the top benefits of a podcast host:
1. No Compromise in Quality
As you know, you will need to store audio files that will weigh high amounts of data. Personal servers aren't for this purpose.
If you decide to go with a personal server anyways, you will get slow speed, and once you run out of storage, you will have to compress your files, thus lowering the audio quality.
But, if you got a podcast host, storage is no longer an issue as you will be getting unlimited amounts of storage on dedicated servers that transfer data at high speeds.
2. Podcast Hosting Sites Can Handle Data Transfer
Since you will have a large volume of data on your server, your listeners will have to spend some time downloading the files from your server, which will take up some bandwidth.
There is no problem if you get a small amount of traffic. But, if you get thousands of visitors, it will become a problem since it will consume considerable bandwidth.
Personal servers can't keep up with this much data transfer, so your visitors will suffer from low download speeds, or if the traffic becomes abnormally high, your server itself might crash.
So yeah, podcast host websites' dedicated servers take care of the issue.
3. You Save Money on Storage
As said earlier, you need a high amount of storage for storing your files at high-quality and uncompressed.
Server storage isn't cheap, and maintaining a personal server has its hassles and other costs attached to it.
Podcast hosts provide you with sufficient storage. However, not all hosts will give you an unlimited amount of storage.
There is no need to worry about it, as most podcast hosts offer a subscription with unlimited storage. Once your audience grows enough, you will only need to upgrade your subscription.
4. Faster Speed
We live in a period where speed is everything. Nobody has the patience to waste too much time waiting. In such a fast-paced world, you can't provide low-speed downloads for your shows.
Personal servers are bound to hit a bottleneck once you hit a certain number of visitors, and the server can't do anything but lower the download speed.
The majority of your visitors would just move on from your website if it takes them too much time for your show to load.
Once again, podcast hosts save the day as they provide unlimited bandwidth.
5. Robust Analytics
If you are looking to grow your podcast, you must analyze your podcast's reception and plan out your shows accordingly.
Podcast hosts make the job easy as they provide you with built-in analytics tools that you can then use to look at easy-to-read data regarding your podcasts statistics.
6. Additional Security
Your data is something that you can never afford to lose. The internet is full of all sorts of trolls and hackers that might leak your data for fun (or worse, they might sell the info, or possibly threaten you with it).
Security is essential today, but it's not easy to manage on a personal server. You will have to hire someone to manage and keep your server updated.
But, at that point, you can just get a podcast host, which will do all this for you automatically, and it will also be a much cheaper solution.
How Do I Choose from the Best Podcast Hosting Sites?
To start a potentially successful podcast, you need to do everything in your power to improve your odds. Podcast hosting websites is a card that's in your control. Getting the best on the market is a no-brainer.
But, remember, a podcast hosting website that works for someone else may not suit you. Ask yourself questions like “How much storage do I need?” “What kind of analytics will I require?” etc.
When you start considering these questions, you will find that you are better able to narrow down the list. Some of my top tips are:
1. Know how many hours of monthly audio hosting you need per month.
Make some estimates of how many files you will need to upload each month. If you find that you require more storage as months pass by, simply upgrade your account.
2. Look into server reliability, bandwidth options, and uptime guarantees.
Always be sure to check out all the specifications of a host. Some podcast hosts will provide you an upgrade to unlimited bandwidth and storage. These can be useful when your audience grows bigger.
3. Research sign-up prices vs. renewal prices, as they may be different.
Some podcast hosts provide special offers for renewal of the subscription. Also, if you decide to pay for a host annually, you will almost definitely get an instant discount.
4. Make sure the host has a lot of essential features.
A feature-complete podcast host platform always pays off in the long-run. Even if you think you don't require a particular feature, you might just need it in the future anyway.
Give all these tips the thought of the day. In my opinion, Buzzsprout is the best option, so join it today!
7 Useful Steps to Start a Podcast
There are a few things you should know before starting your podcast.
As podcasts become increasingly popular by the day, entering the market right now is a great time, but to properly do it, you must consider some things.
1. Choose a Name For Your Podcast.
The name of your podcast is quite essential since it will become your brand. That's why it's necessary to think out a title carefully. You might regret it if you give it a simple name.
The name should: be creative, catchy, tell your audience about what the show is about, and preferably contain an SEO keyword.
2. Add a Cover Photo.
Humans get 80-85% of the info of their surroundings through vision alone. A great cover photo makes it much easier for people to form an impression about your podcast.
The cover photo that you use should look professional, so don't use stock photos. Also, your cover photo should preferably be relevant to your podcasting niche.
3. Add Your Intro Music.
The intro music for your shows is crucial for building a podcast brand. The clip that you use must be short and catchy.
Ensure that it's unique sounding as it will help your listeners associate it with your brand much faster.
4. Get The Necessary Equipment.
As I have said before, professional equipment is an essential requirement for starting a successful podcast. The bare minimum would be a mic, a recording software, and a podcast host.
So yeah, this shouldn't prove too costly for you, and in return, you will be able to produce a seamless podcasting experience.
5. Create Your Environment.
Creating a proper environment for your shows is necessary to keep your listeners engaged with your episodes.
Planning out your podcast show's content and structure will be of enormous help. You should try to keep the intro as engaging and concise as possible.
A dull start will lead to a lot of people losing interest quickly and dropping your show.
6. Record and Release.
You can record multiple shows at once, or you may want to keep it restricted to just a single podcast, do whatever works the best for you.
Once you have finished recording, release your shows to all the big platforms like Google Play, iTunes, etc.
7. Promotion and Marketing.
For proper growth of your podcast, promotion and marketing are super important. Even if you manage to get a small but dedicated following early on, you will lose your steam quickly without any marketing strategy.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. are pretty good for running a straightforward marketing campaign.
Having other podcasters in your network will also help with your promotion. You can also pay money to radio stations to advertise your podcast.
Finally, inviting a well-known guest can lead to a rapid increase in popularity. You should look into expanding your network as much as possible, which will help you get some big names as your guests.
Podcast Hosting FAQ
- Do you think starting a podcast is worth it?
Podcasting is an excellent opportunity to make some money. However, do note that you need some particular skills to become successful.
If you are a great speaker, an entertainer, and have knowledge about digital marketing, podcasting is for you.
- Where can you host a podcast?
You can host your shows on a podcast hosting website. There are many of these, some of the notable ones are:
- Where can you host podcasts for free?
There are many podcast hosting websites that offer you a free account. But, keep in mind that free plans have a lot of restrictions attached to them. Buzzsprout has an excellent no-cost subscription available.
I recommend getting a paid subscription if you are serious about getting into podcasting.
- Is podcast hosting needed?
You need some kind of website to host your podcast, but personal hosts don't cut it due to storage and bandwidth issues.
So, podcast hosts are needed, yes. They offer you unlimited amounts of bandwidth and storage.
- Can you make money with podcasting?
Yes, podcasting can make you money. The top podcasters earn millions from their shows. However, this is only possible after some extensive marketing.
Once your podcasts have grown enough, you can start getting sponsors who will pay you.
Affiliate programs can also help you make money. All you have to do is advertise a product in your show and drop a link to buy it. You will get a commission for each purchase that happens through your link.
- How often should you publish a podcast?
You need to make sure that you don't post too little content as it will lead to listeners' poor retainment. But, at the same time, you shouldn't post too much content, either.
Too much content can overwhelm your listeners. You also want to avoid your podcasts dropping in quality, as more content will mean a more stressful schedule. Try to strike a balance.
In this article, you saw my top 15 podcast hosts, and hopefully, at this point, you should be able to decide how you want to proceed with podcasting.
If you are still unsure, recheck every platform's features, and see what clicks for you. Deciding between limited and unlimited storage can be a first step to selecting a subscription.
Once you get it going, check analytics regularly, and put reasonable effort into marketing and monetizing your podcast.
My recommendation for a podcast host? Buzzsprout is the best, no doubts about it.
You should choose the host that fits you the most, and have fun with your podcasting adventure!