Ever thought about broadcasting your podcast live? Loads of people fancy a crack at doing a live podcast during some point in their journey. If that's you, then you've come to the right place. We're going to walk you through the various options for broadcasting your show out live to the masses. But first…
Why Do a Live Podcast?
One of the biggest selling points of podcasts is that they're available on demand. Your listeners can tune in at their own convenience, and they'll never have to miss a minute of your content.
But there’s a massive benefit of broadcasting live and that’s the loyal audience that comes with it. If you manage to get an audience who turn up every week that’s great – they’re the big fans who promote what you do and can interact with them directly.
Getting that instant feedback and live interaction can really drive a show forward. It can energise the host and keep them motivated to turn up, week after week.
But live podcasting isn't for everyone. If you're very new to podcasting and haven't yet built that core audience, don't jump into this too quickly. If you go live right away and nobody turns up, then you're going to get disillusioned. On top of that, it's good to learn the ropes of basic presentation and mic technique without the added pressure of others looking on in real-time.
With that said, we're here to talk about how to do a live podcast. So, if you want to broadcast your podcast, what platforms are available?
There are two parts to this – there’s the non-podcasting specific platforms and the podcasting specific platforms.
Tools for Live Podcast Hosting
Let's start with the tools that were specifically designed for live podcast hosting.
This episode and article were originally created in 2017. We have updated it in 2020 to include Podbean Live Stream, which has become one of the best ways to run a live podcast.
Podbean Live Stream
We gave Podbean Live Stream a thorough review earlier this year, and were massively impressed by it.
Podbean are one of the oldest and most popular hosting providers in the world. With their live podcast offerings, you can get started for free, and run your session from your phone or computer. In your live broadcasts, you can have up to 5 participants at any one time (including yourself!).
Your audience will need the free Podbean app to tune-in. You can enable them to call into the show, or they can stay engaged via the text-based chatroom. You can play music and FX in real-time, then publish the episode directly to Podbean once it's finished.
Podbean Live Stream is an excellent option if you want to run a live podcast.
Riverside.fm are a fantastic multitrack recording platform with live broadcasting capabilities. If you use Riverside to record your podcast, you can record up to 8 participants on individual tracks in both audio and video form.
Your audience can tune in live to episodes being recorded, too. What's more, you can even have them call into the show, as well as live stream your content to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch simultaneously.
Check out our Riverside.fm review to get the full details, or, sign up to Riverside.fm today via our affiliate link. We use affiliate links for tools and services we endorse, which helps support all the free content we put out on the site. If you sign up via our link, we'd earn a small commission, though at no extra cost to yourself!
Spreaker are another great media hosting provider who offer a live podcasting option through their Spreaker Studio app. This app is also available on desktop or mobile.
With Spreaker Studio you have the option to record live or offline. It also ties into Skype really easily, as well as making it a live broadcast on your Spreaker page.
Your live episodes will upload directly to Spreaker afterwards, so just like Podbean, you don't need to mess around with your files, unless you'd like to do some editing on them first.
If you’re interested in using Spreaker then we do have our own affiliate link at thepodcasthost.com/Spreaker.
Other Platforms to Broadcast Podcasts
These aren't podcast-specific platforms so they can be limited in some ways. Getting your audio files and publishing them as podcast episodes isn't just as straightforward as it would be with Podbean Live Stream or Spreaker Studio.
That said, the fact that these platforms are so popular might help increase audience numbers. You can also combine them with dedicated streaming tools like StreamYard or Ecamm Live to give you more flexibility, and uplevel the overall quality of your broadcast.
Summary: Live Podcast Streaming
There are big potential benefits of running a live podcast. The audience engagement, instant feedback, and the feeling of being “on-air”, can all combine to keep you feeling motivated and energised. This, in turn, can also lead to great sounding content.
But if you're a pre-launch or early stage podcaster, don't rush into live broadcasting too quickly. It's important to learn the ropes first, and also to build that core audience that's going to actually turn up if or when you decide to go live.
We can help you lay the foundations and take things to the next level in The Podcast Host Academy. That's where you'll find all our courses, downloadable resources, and weekly live Q&A sessions.
If you feel you're ready to start broadcasting though, it's hard to see past using Podbean Live Stream or Spreaker Studio as two great all-rounder live podcast hosting platforms. Give both of them a spin and find out which one works best for you. Be sure to check out Riverside.fm for an excellent way to live-stream your content, too. Going live is all about experimentation, and the most surefire way to decide on what's best, is to actually go ahead and do it!