Starting a podcast is exciting but it can get complicated. Just like how every business needs web hosting or website builders, every podcast needs a reliable podcast hosting. Having the best podcast hosting from the start ensures that you can focus on podcasting and growing, while the hosting takes care of your listeners.
Podcast helps you to reach out to your audience directly and it can positively affect your business in many ways but it’s not easy! You’ll need a reliable podcast hosting to serve your podcast to your audience.
Whether you are starting a new podcast or looking to switch to a better podcast hosting – we have got you covered.
Choosing the best podcast hosting platform at the beginning helps to solve any kind of complications in the future.
It is important that they can access your podcasts by choosing the best podcast hosting provider. You should choose a reliable host which is affordable for you and feature-rich.
We have prepared this detailed guide that will help you with choosing a podcast hosting platform and what you should look for in a podcast hosting platform.
Included in our comparison, we have also asked the providers themselves to give us the reasonings why they are better and asked them a few questions so you can make a better decision.
Table of Contents
Why do you need a podcast hosting?
Chances are, you already own a website and you are wondering why can’t you just host the podcast on your website.
Well technically you can, but it is not worth it at all. It might cost up to 10x more in bandwidth costs!
Since a podcast comprises of several files that form one complete podcast, personal websites servers cannot store that large volume of bandwidth and will end up costing way more than what a podcasting hosting will cost.
A podcast hosting service keeps the audio data files on its server, which is easily accessible for subscribers to play and download and is cheaper for you in terms of bandwidth.
Also depending on the podcast hosting service you use they mostly include streaming compliance, audio tuner, and many other features!
Every podcaster has unique needs and the podcaster needs to select a podcast hosting service according to their needs.
Buzzsprout has become a favorite for the newbies since it was started back in 2009. It has an extremely simple dashboard and amazing pricing.
Packed with features such as video trailer clip, beautiful audio player, reliable support, and unlimited team members they are definitely the go-to choice.
Addons they offer are also ultra-cheap, they offer in-built audio stereo optimizer and transcription for a competitive price.
The amazing thing about Buzzsprout is they keep updating their service and add new features every now and then. They recently added their magic mastering, affiliate marketing integration, and are working on more!
Oh, and did I mention that they are only one of the very few providers to have a free plan? Their free plan is amazing and is enough for the beginners that are just starting out.
Of course, the free version has limitations such as audio deletion in 90 days and ads but its completely perfect for the beginners.
You can import podcasts from another platform very easily with their import tool for free. They provide you with a free podcast website (a website basic site can cost around $5/month).
They allow unlimited storage capacity and 250GB bandwidth (should be enough for 50,000 plays per month). If you think you would need more you will be charged $50 per Terabyte of bandwidth.
However, the hosting site only allows you to feature just one episode or one playlist of episodes. As a beginner, it is a good option but you might have to transfer to a different platform if you decide to host multiple podcasts for the sole sake of easiness to manage multiple podcasts.
Buzzsprout also offers an analytics dashboard that can estimate the number of listeners each episode receives within the first 90 days. You can check the listeners’ info and countries they tune in from, which helps you understand your target audience better.
Working with Buzzsprout is easy because it is designed for beginners.
To upload a podcast, you have to schedule the podcast, upload the audio file, enter an episode title, and submit it to the podcast directories. It’s that easy!
With a super easy dashboard and an affordable monthly bill, it is the first choice of beginners.
Everything unlimited, this is what Podbean is all bout. The podcast hosting service provides podcasters with unlimited hosting services as well as unlimited bandwidth (unlimited listeners).
Podbean has been around for a long time. With over 300,000 podcasters who use their services.
It works with directories such as iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon Alexa, and all major apps that offer to the podcast.
The Podbean dashboard is easy to use and you can learn to operate it in no time. With 24/7 user support and tones of themes, Podbean is no wonder one of the best podcast hosting websites.
Podbean also offers a very generous free plan with upto 5 hours of content and 100Gb bandwidth. Their free plan should be enough for someone who is just starting out.
You get a free website for your podcast, where you can actually edit the content and a platform for your listeners to find you.
You can also publish video podcasts where it allows you not only to support and store videos but to sync them on YouTube while publishing. The site links to YouTube to provide basic video generation.
They offer a lot of monetization options for the publishers. You can choose form their advertisement marketplace, paid membership or sponsorship. It truly lets the publisher the way they want to move forward.
It has an amazing dashboard and is loaded with various stats, monetization, promotion and even live stream functionality.
With a mobile app, you can read the analytics report and post it on Facebook or Twitter simultaneously. You can also sponsor episodes to monetize the podcasts. You can select an ad campaign and generate higher revenue. The Patron program accepts recurring revenues.
What makes Podbean one of the best podcast hostings is the fact they provide unlimited everything. The subscription charges range from $9-99.
Transistor is one step further towards a professional podcast hosting website. The site is relatively new in the world of podcast hosting but its unique tools of collaboration make it better.
Some of the most popular podcasts such as Drift and Cards Against Humanity are hosted on Transistor. It has growing users and is gaining popularity because it helps to grow the audience of their podcasters.
With Transistor you can host unlimited shows, manage multiple users, and collaborate with your team. If this is what your main purpose is, you should go with Transistor.
Being able to manage multiple users in their cheapest plan is what makes them a gem. You won’t have to pay three times the regular price just because you have another person working on your podcasts.
It allows you to generate branded websites with a custom domain name. Transistor distributes your podcasts to a wide range of audience shows advanced analytics to better understand them, basically giving you different ways to improve yourself.
There is no free plan, and we think their plans are expensive. The beginner plan has only 10,000 downloads and costs $19/month (something most services just give in their free plan
The first 14 days of trial lets you go unpaid and use all the features for free. The paid plans range from $19/month to $99/month depending on the downloads per month and the size of the team.
You can switch to Transistor from another podcast hosting site hassle-free. You can import the podcasts and get support through multiple channels such as knowledge base, live chat, and email tickets.
We do not recommend Transistor unless you plan on hosting multiple podcasts is your goal, in that case, the transistor turns out to be cheaper and feature-rich.
Simplecast has been in business for over 6 years. It has acquired a reputation in podcast hosting with its industry-leading features and economical starter packages.
It allows you to manage, distribute, and grow podcast audience from when you have one listener to a million or more.
The powerful tools are truly powerful because with Simplecast you can podcast with just one click! How hassle-free is that?
With a separate and fully functioning website, you can own the territory while also managing with web players and checking advanced analytical tools.
With Simplecast you can get unlimited audio file storage capacity, unlimited content uploads, and easy distribution of podcasts to all major podcasting platforms.
Another outstanding feature is the Recast tool. The Recast tool can help you schedule and upload clips of the original podcasts on social media accounts. Among many other features, another notable feature is a collaboration with other multiple podcast managers within one account.
The only difference between different tiers of plans is the number of downloads you get and the level of analytics you get.
Simplecast offers a free 14-day trial when you subscribe to one of their plans. The fee for subscription starts at $15 per month and goes up to $88 per month.
Captivate is relatively new in the podcast hosting business market but it has gained quite a few good words in the industry.
The podcast hosting site is an excellent match for those who are obsessed with growing podcast hosting audiences using their advanced analytics.
The provider hyper-focused on growing listeners allows you access to unlimited podcast uploads, unlimited members for collaboration, and a new podcast player.
Excellent marketing tools and savvy analytics helps gauge the audience closely. The monthly plans start from $19 and go up to $99 depending on the number of downloads per month.
You however only get 12,000 downloads/month even when you pay $20/month which in my opinion is slightly overpriced.
If you value the user data more so it can help you improve and target the right audience, then this is the podcast hosting platform for you!
The distinctive features include an automated podcast website and the calls to action come built-in. All of the plans are customizable, the website is mobile friendly and donation support is built-in.
If you want to generate an email list to get more leads, the site has got you covered with a player call to action. When someone listens to your podcast and you want to add them to your email list, you can achieve those future sales by pushing the person down the sales funnel.
If you switch to Captivate, you can import your shows and feed easily. The marketing tool generates links automatically to Overcast, Pocket Casts and other platforms to orient new subscribers to other shows.
Spreaker is excellent for use on desktop, tablets, and mobile phones. With amazing features on their paid plans such as Broadcaster and Anchorman make Spreaker one of the best podcast hosting websites for professional podcasters.
The interface is very easy to use and easy to learn. The website allows multiple shows hosting and website show page. Even if you face trouble accessing any features, you can access their knowledge base for queries or send an email for help to their customer care.
The mobile-friendly podcasting site gives its users incredible storage capacity and upload volume. It allows podcasters to host 500 hours of audio and 3 hours long live shows with their standard package.
Although the starter 14-day free-trial package is pretty basic, all paid plans provide top-notch accessibility.
The paid plans start from $5.50 and go up to $41.25. With Spreaker, podcasters get to embed widgets on their website, schedule the upcoming episodes, and get a mobile app as well.
The paid plans allow podcasters to share monetization revenue, privately share episodes and add intro ad insertions into podcasts. The advanced analytics allow detection of download and listen to numbers for your podcasts along with location and traffic sources.
With Spreaker you get a better understanding of the audience and you learn to grow an audience with remarkable analytical tools. At last, its auto-publish feature helps publish podcasts to YouTube.
Castos was built to make podcasting and WordPress go hand in hand. The WordPress plugin can be installed and you are ready to host your podcast episodes in WordPress’ podcast section. If you have a WordPress website then Castos is the perfect podcast hosting website for you.
Castos offers to start a 14-day trial but all of their packages are paid plans. Their plans range from $19 to $49 per month. You can get the YouTube publishing and video podcast hosting features with the higher paid plans.
Among numerous other features of Castos, automatic transcription for WordPress at an additional fee is the best one so far. Other features include unlimited storage capacity, unlimited audio file uploading, and unlimited bandwidth!
If you join Castos from another platform, you can import your shows and episodes for free. Despite the intuitive dashboard, if you face any difficulty, you can chat with the support team or send emails.
Fusebox was created by one of the most famous podcasters Pat Flynn. He infused the website with features that viewers would adore. After all, a podcaster understands what’s better for podcasting!
Fusebox has a fusion of amazing features such as email capture for marketing, transcript plugin with live SEO text to transcript podcasts to the website.
The interface is straightforward and intuitive. After installing the Fusebox WordPress plugin, you add your RSS feed and enter the subscription URLs to list your shows on all major directories of choice.
You also get a feature of color customization to add a personal touch to your podcast player.
This podcast hosting website is all about security, backups, and 24/7 live support. The platform is one of the safest podcast hosting platforms because the uploads are backed up daily.
The built-in statistic features, digital marketing support, and podcast promotion are like a breeze if you plan on growing your audience. You can avail podcasting advice from experienced people who have been around for a long-time.
You can watch their academic video tutorials, and join the podcasting community to learn and discuss anything about podcasting.
It offers only two podcast plans that are quite expensive when compared to the rest. The two plans are $77 and $97 a month. You would not have to pay for everything and will have access to everything under one roof.
They basically have all the features included in simple billing terms, you have two options to pay, monthly and annually. You get a discount if you decide to go with annual plan. As easy as that.
They target the people who want peace of mind and don’t want the technical aspect set them back.
You can also build with unique themes of podcasting with the drag and drop builder. The themes will not only make your podcasting website look fantastic on the desktop but it will be mobile-friendly. It also allows you to add landing pages to market podcasts.
Audioboom is popular for its ease of use. It is hassle-free to host podcasts, distribute and embed the player. When you get 10,000 plays on an episode, they let you sponsor your show and also provide tools to create ads for shows.
With Audioboom, you don’t have to care about ins and outs of monetization. They do it for you! Surprisingly you can gain access to unlimited podcast uploading, with their economical starter plan.
Their plans start from $9.99 and if you gain less than 10,000 plays per episode then you can enjoy all features at the same starter pack.
You also get detailed insights on the performance of each episode, analytics, collaboration with other podcasters, sponsorships, and email support for queries.
Conclusion: Choosing the Best Podcast Hosting
A podcast hosting provider hosts the audio files and generates the RSS feed. A reliable podcast hosting provides your subscribers uninterrupted access to your podcasts.
They should also provide you with features that will help you make things easier and be time-efficient.
The best podcast hosting services provide you more features at a competitive price.
A podcast hosting platform should host your .mp3 files, listeners should be able to tune in without any interruptions.
You should choose a podcast host based on your requirements.
If you are just starting out and plan to host a single podcast and want to keep things simple, PodBean is made for you!
If your goal is to manage multiple podcasts and don’t want to have limitations on the amount your upload, Captivate is your go-to platform!
Other services we mentioned are also good in their own way which we have discussed in the individual descriptions but these two are the ones that can work with any kind of needs and we were most impressed with.
They both have completely different pricing modules which are amazing for different individuals with different needs.
Starting a podcast is an exciting journey, and choosing the best podcast hosting provider is a crucial task. We hope this detailed guide we made for you helped you to decide the right podcast provider for you