Best Podcast Hosting: Features And Full Overview
2019 March 22nd at 6:30
Podcasts have exploded in popularity in recent years.
While they were once a niche area of online content creation, they're now at the forefront of the media industry. This is reflected in the fact that these days many of the world's largest entertainers and figureheads have their own dedicated podcasts.
But you don't need to be famous to start a podcast. Plenty of the most popular podcasts were started by previously unknown people. Indeed, one of the reasons that podcasts are so appealing to new content creators is how easy they are to start.
In many cases, you only need a computer, a microphone, and a few spare minutes to get going.
To help podcast creators release their content and get it on the web, plenty of podcast hosting providers have entered the market. The best podcast hosting companies offer a range of additional features that can help you improve the success of your podcast.
So, if you're trying to figure out where to host podcasts, which provider should you choose?
Let's check out my top four providers below to find out:
- Podbean: Strong core hosting features, permanent free plan
- Buzzsprout: Easy-to-use, an extended free trial
- Backtracks: In-depth podcast data analytics, easy scaling
- Blubrry: WordPress integration, unlimited options
Free plan available
Recommended for: Those who want a podcast host with comprehensive features at extremely affordable prices.
Podbean is a New York-based podcast provider that has been offering podcast services to clients for ten years. Currently, over 250,000 podcasters use its platform. The company offers a range of podcast hosting services that can get you up and running quickly. It even claims you can be hosting your podcasts on its platform within five minutes.
Podbean offers both free and premium options that require a monthly service fee. With the premium option, you're afforded a range of awesome hosting features that you may not even realize are available to podcast hosts.
One of the best features on offer via Podbean is its mobile app. You can use the app to record and release podcasts directly from your phone.
You'll also receive a dedicated website for your podcast and access to statistics on your podcast downloads.
You can use Podbean to distribute your podcast to various platforms, including Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon. Best of all, there is a range of monetization tools you can use to generate revenue from your podcast. For example, Podbean will match you with advertisers and even let you build your own patron program where users can pay to listen to your show.
Unlimited on All Paid Subscriptions
If you decide to invest in one of Podbean's paid subscriptions, you won't have to worry about putting a limit on your content. The platform's unlimited storage space and bandwidth mean you'll be able to create for an audience of any size.
This makes it perfect if you plan on scaling your podcast in the future.
Excellent Free Version
If you want podcast hosting free of charge, Podbean is one of the best options. While the platform does have a variety of paid subscription options, its free plan still allows you to access some excellent features without having to invest any money in podcast hosting. With the free plan, you can store five hours of podcasts and host 100 GB worth of bandwidth per month.
You'll also have access to the app, embedded players, your own podcast website, iTunes support, limited podcast themes, and more. Although it does lack the premium features you find in many of the paid plans, it's still a great way to check out Podbean's services before you make an investment in growing your platform.
- A large platform trusted by hundreds of thousands of podcasters
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth with paid subscriptions
- Easy distribution to major podcast outlets
- Build your own podcast website
- Data analytics available
- Easy to place advertisements
- Free option available
- Affordable price points for all paid subscriptions
- Not as much data available as some competitors
- The free option is quite limited
Free plan available
Recommended for: Those who want a platform that is easy to use and navigate.
Buzzsprout is another of the best podcast hosting platforms available to both new and veteran podcast hosts.
The company has already helped over 50,000 podcasters gain access to world-class podcast hosting services. While the platform doesn't have the same sleek interface design as Podbean, it has plenty of power under the hood.
Buzzsprout allows you to easily upload audio files. The hosting provider will also take care of all the calibration efforts required to prepare it for release. As a result, you can quickly send your podcast to different platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Stitcher, and more.
You can also set up a personal podcast application that is easily downloaded to smartphones. This provides you with a custom interface that you can use to distribute your podcast catalog. Audio players can also be added to your site, so visitors can directly listen to your podcast via your current online medium.
If you've already set up a podcast, you can migrate your current podcast content to Buzzsprout. This means it's a viable option regardless of whether you're a new or veteran content producer. You'll also have access to a wide range of stats that can help you better understand your reach and performance.
As mentioned previously, Buzzsprout doesn't have the same sleek interface that you find with some of the other platforms on my list. Still, this isn't necessarily a downside. One of Buzzsprout's best features is that its interface is straightforward to navigate and understand. If you're someone that doesn't have much experience with computers, this is one of the best podcasting hosting options available.
Free for 90 Days
If you're too nervous about making a financial commitment to a podcast hosting company, it’s a good idea to use a service that has a free plan or free trial. Fortunately, you can gain access to Buzzsprout for 90 days without having to pay.
Three months is plenty of time to decide if it's the best podcast hosting for your needs. There's also a small free plan, but it's very limited.
- Easy migration of current content
- Easy uploading of podcasts
- Easy distribution to major podcast outlets
- Build your own podcast application for your listeners
- Free 90-day trial
- Access podcast data
- Small free plan
- The free option is extremely limited
- Not as much data available as with some other competitors
Plans start at $39 per month
Recommended for: High-quality data analytics and resources that help you better understand your audience and improve advertising outreach.
As with any industry that has experienced such quick success, podcast producers are continually looking for ways to better understand audiences. Backtracks is a high-tech solution for podcast producers that want more than just basic data on their listeners.
This is because it's both a podcast hosting company and a data analysis platform.
In terms of hosting, you benefit from many of the same features you see in the other major players in the industry. Backtracks allows you to upload your podcasts, distribute them effectively, scale your platform, and more. You can even try the services with a 14-day free trial.
Data, Data, and More Data
Digital marketing has brought a new era of advertising to the world. Instead of producing advertisements for the masses, digital marketing allows people to pinpoint different consumers directly. Up until now, podcast advertising has suffered because it hasn't been able to effectively analyze data about certain core listeners.
Backtracks is changing the game, though. It provides information on your listeners that can help you better sell your advertisements. Not only will you know your audience better, but you'll also be able to pitch them to commercial partners with confidence. This can help you generate revenue and scale your podcast.
- Heavy data analytics features
- Excellent for those looking to sell advertisements
- Excellent for those looking to understand their audience
- Easy scaling tools
- Easy upload tools
- More expensive than some of the other options on my list
- Not as many core hosting details as available with other providers on my list
Plans start at $12 per month
Recommended for: If you're looking for a podcast host that can easily integrate into WordPress sites.
The last podcast hosting platform I'll take a look at is optimized for WordPress. While you don't need WordPress to host Blubrry, this hosting provider is perfect if you do want to host a podcast on a WordPress-based site. But don't worry, there are plenty of other benefits associated with this hosting provider.
Blubrry allows you to easily set up your podcast on a WordPress site through a plugin called Powerpress. You can download this directly from your WordPress dashboard. If you don't know how to install a WordPress plugin, make sure to check out our how to install WordPress plugins tutorial.
Blubrry allows its clients to easily manage and transfer podcast media and data. You'll also benefit from a range of other website options and a professional media player for your podcasts. If you want to distribute your podcast on other platforms, you can also use Blubrry to connect to iTunes, Google Play, and other favorite podcast sources.
Data is also available to help you target your market and develop effective advertising campaigns. Blubrry offers a range of different packages, but if you want unlimited storage, you'll have to contact its team for a quote.
Unfortunately, the price of this hosting provider is relatively high. If you want to host a podcast on a tight budget, it may be best to look elsewhere.
- Excellent WordPress plugin available
- Easily transfer media and data
- Distribute to top podcast sources
- Unlimited storage options with paid subscriptions
- Data analysis for advertisements
- Paid options a bit pricier than some of the other options on my list
- No free plan available
Where to Host Podcasts?
To get your podcast started on the right foot, it's essential to choose the best host for your needs and budget. With tons of different options available, you might find it hard to decide which platform to work with. Below, let's take a look at the strong points of each of the podcast hosts on my list:
- Podbean is best for those who want a comprehensive hosting platform with free and unlimited options
- Buzzsprout is best for those who want an easy-to-use platform that can help inexperienced computer users start a new podcast
- Backtracks is best for those who want access to a podcast hosting service that also has in-depth data tools for understanding audiences
- Blubrry is best for those who want to set up a podcast on a current or future WordPress site
Do you use a different podcast hosting provider to host your podcast? If so, comment below about your experiences using your podcast host!
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