The Best Podcast Hosting Services: Where to Host your Podcast

Looking for the best podcast hosting service? Here, we outline the best hosts, plus three top recommendations to make your choice easy!

Best Podcast Hosting

Where should I host my podcast?  What's the best podcast hosting site? These are some one of the most frequently asked questions in the biz, alongside “why does the sound of my own voice make me want to die?”

Well, we can't change your voice, but we can tell you about the best hosting options! Each Podcaster has their own wants and needs, so there's no one-size-fits-all answer. There are a lot of fantastic services out there. But, in this article, we're going to help you find the best podcast hosting for you.

Summary: What's the Best Podcast Hosting?

If you want to make a quick decision, here are our top picks, right now!

1. Simple & Low-Cost – Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout make it amazingly simple to launch a podcast. Their site is clean, quick, and easy to navigate. It's not the cheapest in the world, but if you run just one show, it's the lowest cost GOOD platform.

2. Multi-Show & Audience Growth Tools – Captivate

Captivate are building a suite of tools, right inside their hosting, that'll help you grow your audience as fast as possible. For sheer growth potential and multiple shows, choose Captivate.

3. Multi-Show & Private Podcasting – Transistor.fm

Transistor offer unlimited shows, and private podcasting built in. Alongside your public shows, you can run private feeds for your community, internal team podcasts or protected premium content.

And remember, if you're still at the start of the journey, check out our full guide on:

How to Start a Podcast – Every Single Step

Note: Links to podcast hosting platforms in this article are affiliate links. That means we get a comission if you sign up, at no cost to you. But, we always review fair, and the income helps to support the free content we put out to help you. Thanks for supporting!


Top Podcast Hosting Picks

Buzzsprout

Great for Simplicity, Video Promotion & Good Value

buzzsprout, one of the best podcast hosts

Buzzsprout is a podcast host that prides itself on simplicity and speed. They make it super easy and super quick to upload and publish your show, and their import tool can transfer you from another host in no time at all.

Buzzsprout also offer a few unique features, such as the ability to create a video ‘highlight' right inside the episode dashboard. You can select a section of your show, and they'll create a video version of that so you can share it out on social. It's a great way to give people a glimpse into what your show's all about.

Their new “Magic Mastering” tool offers users the ability to have their audio polished up prior to hitting publish. They describe this as “like an Instagram filter for your audio”. Definitely not something for the experienced audio editor, but a great option for folks with no interest or clue about the production side of things.

They also offer the option to add chapter markers, which is becoming more common inside podcast players. This gives listeners the ability to pop back to an episode in future and listen to a particular part to review the content. Great for learning shows in particular!

Finally, while there are cheaper options out there, Buzzsprout's $12 plan is, for me, the cheapest GREAT option on the market.

Special Offers

If you use our link to sign up then you’ll get a $20 Amazon gift card if you stick around for at least 2 months.

Sign up for Buzzsprout

How Much Does it Cost?

You need one paid account per podcast, and pricing is based on how much you upload, every month:

  • Free – Upload 2hrs of new content each month. Episodes are deleted after 90 days.
  • $12/month – Upload 3hrs of new content each month. Episodes are hosted indefinitely as long as you’re on any paid plan.
  • $18/month – Upload 6hrs of new content each month. Episodes are hosted indefinitely as long as you’re on any paid plan.
  • $24/month – Upload 12hrs of new content each month. Episodes are hosted indefinitely as long as you’re on any paid plan.

Other Features to Note

👍 Thumbs Up

  • Unique “Listeners” stat: gives you an estimate of your total listener numbers based on past trends.
  • Nicely designed, mobile friendly and pretty well featured website, built into the hosting
  • One of the nicest looking embedded podcast players around
  • Multiple episode players available
  • “Magic Mastering” option to help the inexperienced producer with their sound
  • Easily create ‘video soundbites' for sharing on YouTube or social
  • Add chapter markers right inside the episode interface

👎 Thumbs Down

  • Your files might be altered. Limited to 96kbps on the standard plan, but this is high enough the vast majority. And, if you're music-heavy, you can upgrade to 192kbps stereo for $6/month. This can be an advantage to some – Buzzsprout takes care of conversions & bitrate so you don't have to!
  • Limited to one podcast per account, so less chance to experiment with new content

Read our full Buzzsprout review here or…


Captivate

Great for Audience Growth & Multiple Shows

captivate, one of the best podcast hosting platforms

Captivate are a hosting platform that's concentrated on helping you to grow your audience. Their tagline is ‘the only growth-oriented' podcast host and they have a feature-set built to live up to that. For example, unlimited team members to allow you to scale your show. Auto-generated links to many of the biggest listening apps out there which make listening and subscription easy. And, Calls-to-action buttons built right into the player.

Captivate have committed to releasing more growth and productivity tools in the coming months, too, so they're looking to get bigger and better around this, through the rest of 2020.

Special Offers

Get a 7-day free trial to look around the Captivate dashboard by signing up below.

Sign up for Captivate

How Much Does it Cost?

Captivate's pricing is based on ‘downloads per month.' You can host as many shows as you like on one account, and pay based on the total downloads accumulated by all of them.

  • $19 per month for up to 12,000 downloads per month
  • $49 per month for up to 60,000 downloads per month
  • $99 per month for up to 150,000 downloads per month

As a rough guide, one podcast we run has approx. 2500 weekly listeners and around 150 episodes, and it gets around 8500 downloads per month. So, even at that stage, it's still on the bottom tier.

Other Features to Note

👍 Thumbs Up

  • Calls to action right in the podcast player
  • Unlimited team members – share the burden of running your show
  • Run as many shows as you like under one account and monthly fee
  • Extensive listen and subscribe links
  • Nicely designed and mobile-friendly website, built in

👎 Thumbs Down

  • None to note!

Read our full Captivate review here


Transistor.fm

Great for Private Podcasting & Multiple Shows

Transistor.fm, one pick as best podcast host

Transistor is another host that aims to make things easy, and offers all of the normal tools a podcaster might need. But, where they stand out is in their private podcast feed feature and in the range of players they offer.

Private podcasting has long been an effective way to monetise your show, or to engage an existing community. Imagine running a public show, with a ‘premium content' option alongside, which your real fans pay for. Or, create a community based show, only available for members. Or an internal staff podcast which updates your company's team on a weekly basis. Transistor makes it really easy to run a private show, in any form. You simply invite your users, and they do the rest.

On the players, Transistor recently released their multi-episode player, which is a great way to showcase your back-catalog. You can show off your most recent episode, alongside your 25 latest episodes. It's a great way to entice listeners into your older episodes, encouraging a bingeing session and increased loyalty.

Special Offers

Transistor run a 14-day free trial, so you can set up a show, and experiment with it for a couple of weeks before spending a penny.

Sign up with Transistor

How Much Does it Cost?

Transistor's pricing is based on ‘downloads per month.' You can host as many shows as you like on one account, and pay based on the total downloads accumulated by all of them.

  • $19 per month for up to 10,000 downloads per month
  • $49 per month for up to 50,000 downloads per month
  • $99 per month for up to 100,000 downloads per month

As a rough guide, one podcast we run has approx. 2500 weekly listeners and around 150 episodes, and it gets around 8500 downloads per month. So, even at that stage, it's still on the bottom tier.

Features to Note

👍 Thumbs Up

  • Ridiculously easy ‘show import' tool so you can transfer your show in minutes
  • Single episode, latest episode, multi-episode & dark mode players
  • Proven top-notch support
  • Publish your show to YouTube automatically
  • Invite multiple team members to manage your show
  • In-built website integrates with many email providers (Convertkit, Drip, etc)

👎 Thumbs Down

  • None to note!

Podcast Hosting FAQs

If you're still deciding, here are a few questions you might have about finding the best podcast hosting.

What is Podcast Hosting?

Podcast hosting does two things. First, it's the place on the web where you upload your podcast episodes. This is where the actual audio files live. Second, it generates the RSS feed which you submit to directories – eg. Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Spotify, etc – and which allows people to subscribe to your show.

Podcast hosting is generally a subscription service. You sign up for a monthly fee, and you can upload your new episode files every week. There are a bunch of extra features that come with hosting, such as stats, marketing tools, podcast websites and more, but the basic principle is that it's a place to put your audio files.

Go Deeper: What is a media host, and why do I need one?

Can't I Host my Podcast on my Website?

The short answer is: no. With caveats. It's all about bandwidth. Audio files can be pretty big: let's say 30mb for an average kind of episode. Then, if you do well, you might get a few thousand downloads of your new episodes, every week. 3000 x 30mb is nearly 100,000MB per week, not counting downloads of your back catalog too.

While most web hosts claim they run unlimited bandwidth, they generally have fair use policies which disallow this kind of volume. So, it's common for self-hosting podcasters to be kicked off their hosting, or forced to upgrade.

Worth knowing, your own website will most likely still be the place you post your podcast, but you'll upload it to the podcast host, and then embed it on your own site.

Go Deeper: Can't I just host my podcast on my website?

podcasters connected through technology

How do I Choose the Right Podcast Host for Me?

Good question! There isn't a one-size-fits-all, so it's worth going through the strengths and weaknesses of the best in the business.

For this roundup, we've run through all of our experience with every host, and drawn thoughts from many others we know and trust. Our top picks, above, are all hosts that we actively use, either with our own shows or with other shows we work on. And, the ‘best of the rest' are all hosting platforms we've at least used in the past.

Does Hosting Handle Podcast Distribution?

Not directly, but most of the good hosts give you a lot of help when it comes to distributing your podcast. For example, both Captivate and Buzzsprout have a podcast distribution page for every show you host with them.

These pages give direct links to the top podcast directories, so you can list easily. And, in some cases, they can submit for you. Captivate registers your show on Spotify with one click.

Once you have your podcast hosting set up, head over here for our complete podcast distribution guide, to make sure your podcast gets found.

Go Deeper: Complete Guide to Podcast Distribution


Want to Make Hosting & Launch Easy?

Check out the Podcast Host Academy

If you're looking for personalised and in-depth help, take a look at our Podcast Host Academy.

With weekly live coaching to answer your questions, deep courses to grow your skills and a collection of quick-start resources, we'll help you jump the pitfalls and put out a quality show in no time. 


Other Podcast Hosting Services

Castos: Great for WordPress Integration

🏆 Honourable Mention

Castos wordpress podcast integration

Castos are the media host behind the popular Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin, which you can use to set up Castos hosting on your own website. You simply install the WordPress plugin, and from then on you can upload and publish podcast episodes from directly inside your website. No need to log into your hosting. Read our full guide on how to set up your own Podcasting website for more details.

Go Deeper: How to Set up your own WordPress Website

Other features include tools for private or “membership” podcasts and premium content, as well as a transcription service. With regards to your files, Castos doesn't alter your bitrates or metadata in any way.

Read our full Castos review here.

How Much Does it Cost?

You can podcast on Castos from $19 a month. There are two higher tiers at $34 a month and $49 a month. With the middle one, you can republish your show to Youtube, whilst the higher one lets you host video podcasts.

Special Offers

Get a 14 day free trial to test out the platform.


Podbean

Podbean hosting

Podbean have made huge strides in recent years to provide a range of brilliant tools to help Podcasters grow and monetise their shows. Their hosting is great quality, and can be easily tied in with their sponsorship marketplace, their dynamic ad insertion and their premium content service.

How much Does it Cost?

Their flagship plan is the $14 per month (or $9 per month if paid annually) ‘Unlimited Audio Plan' which would suit most podcasters. From there, you can upgrade for extra design options, their Podads and Patron programmes.

Read our full Podbean Monetisation Guide here for more info.

Special Offers

Get a month's free hosting with Podbean when you sign up using the coupon code podcraft

Visit Podbean's website

Spreaker

Spreaker podcasting

Spreaker is a podcasting platform that offers a lot more tools than most, with apps for live broadcasting, offline recording and some parts of production. You can see more about them, and other options, in our best podcast making apps article.

Spreaker have a great distribution platform, which publishes you to all of the main directories without leaving the Spreaker platform. Finally, they have a good monetisation option in the form of dynamic ads insertion, if you're happy to outsource the ad content.

Recently the platform has launched a new Enterprise package, a turnkey platform for enterprises, thought for high-volume content creators who have their own relationships for in-audio advertising.

What Does it Cost?

Their base package is $7 per month, for 100 hours of audio in total and basic stats. $20 per month gets you advanced stats and much more audio storage, at 500 hours.

You can host as many shows as you like within either type of account, providing it stays within the 100 or 500 hour limit.

Special Offers

Get 1 month for free if you sign up via our link, below:

Visit Spreaker's Website

Blubrry

Blubrry Podcast hosting Logo

Blubrry have been part of the podcasting world since the early days, providing quality hosting to tens of thousands of users. They're also well known for their excellent Powerpress plugin which allows anyone to run a podcast from their own website. You can learn how to set up powerpress or a new podcast website here.

Blubrry were one of the first independent podcast hosting service to be given IAB certification, meaning they comply with official podcast measurement guidelines. That can be a help if you're looking for sponsorship.

Blubrry don't alter your uploaded files in any way.

How Much Does it Cost?

If your show is on the short side, you might get away with their $12/month plan, for 100MB of uploads every month. Otherwise, their $20/month 250MB plan should suit longer shows.

Special Offers

Get a month’s free hosting with Blubrry when you sign up using the coupon code: podcraft

Visit BluBrry here

Libsyn

libsyn podcasting host logo

Libsyn are one of the old-guard of the podcast hosting world – similar to Blubrry, serving tens of thousands of happy customers, with a quality, reliable and extremely knowledgeable service.

Libsyn pride themselves on empowering you to be found anywhere that podcasts are consumed, and with their Destinations you can publish to any day/time in the future to the minute to each directory, independently of each other.

Also, what you upload is what your listener downloads. They don't change your files at all – though they do provide tools to add metadata to your episodes if you choose to.

How Much Does it Cost?

Libsyn starts at $5 a month for 50MB of uploads per month (approx 50 minutes).  Their 250MB plan is more suitable for most podcasters, though, and runs at $15 per month.

Libsyn is also well known for it's Enterprise offerings, catering to Podcast Networks, Celebrities, Government Agencies, and Professional media companies. You'll have to get in touch to get a quote based on what exactly you're looking to do.

Special Offers

Get a month’s free hosting with Libsyn when you sign up using the coupon code podhost.

Visit Libsyn's website

Podcast Websites

Podcast websites logo

Podcast Websites is a service built on the Captivate podcast hosting platform I mentioned above. It's the highest priced product here at $97 per month (or $77 annually) but it sets you up with what amounts to your own self-hosted WordPress website, equipped with a range of really powerful plugins to help you engage your listeners and grow your show. If you want to run a powerful, customisable podcast website, but you'd like someone else to take care of it, Podcast Websites could be well worth the extra cost.

How Much Does it Cost?

Podcast Websites likes to keep it simple, with just one unlimited premium tier, at a monthly cost of $99. But, you can pay annually, at $77 per month to save $240 over the year.

Special Offers

Use our coupon code – HOSTME – to get $10 OFF the monthly cost for life.

Visit Podcast Websites

Simplecast

Simplecast for podcast hosting

Simplecast market themselves as “the modern independent podcast hosting and analytics platform”. They offer great stats and sharing options for podcasters, giving you the tools to help you grow your show and to track the progress of that growth.

Read our full review of Simplecast

File-wise, Simplecast will re-encode MP3s that are over 128kbps to that bitrate, but they won't alter anything uploaded at a rate of 128kbps or lower. Stereo/mono encoding is kept as-is at all times. If you'd really like to run your podcast at a higher bitrate though, they're happy to discuss that with you.

How Much Does it Cost?

You can run an account from $15 a month, which puts a soft limit of 20,000 total monthly downloads on your show. You can upgrade to their 50,000 package for $35 a month, or their 125,000 package for $85 a month. Discounts are available when paying annually.

Special Offers

Get 50% off your first two months on Simplecast when you subscribe with the promo code ONSIMPLECAST.

Visit the Simplecast Website


Looking for an Editing App that Publishes Direct to your Hosting?

Edit & Publish Direct to Your Host through Alitu

alitu the podcast editing app

Another factor in choosing a host can be the tools you use to create your podcast. Some can publish directly to certain Podcast Hosts, making your workflow much easier.

For example, if you want to automate your entire post-production process (adding music, noise reduction, volume levelling, exporting & publishing) then Alitu: The Podcast Maker, can do that for you. It links to many of the hosts mentioned in this article, so you can publish automatically to Buzzsprout, Captivate, Blubrry, Podbean, Libsyn and Spreaker, so far. More are being added all the time.


The “Be Wary” Hosting List

Soundcloud

Soundcloud podcast hosting

Soundcloud are a popular platform for uploading audio. They remain, however, a music hosting platform. You can host a podcast on Soundcloud but you're going to be very limited in the tools you have at your disposal.

Their stats don't show much detail at all, and seem quite unreliable, so if you're looking to monentise your show through sponsorship, avoid Soundcloud.

Anchor

Anchor podcast host & making app

You can host a podcast on Anchor for free, and it's a really simple platform to use. However, that simplicity and value comes with trade-offs.

Anchor let you submit your show to iTunes/Apple Podcasts through their own Apple account, which can make it difficult to access your Apple Podcasts Connect stats, or manage that feed with Apple in future. The stats are a useful sample for reviewing things like audience engagement, and simply ‘owning' your own listing with Apple is important, in my opinion.

To be fair to Anchor, they've now made it possible to access and manage your show in Apple, you just need to jump through a few hoops, first.

Anchor can be a useful option for testing the water in podcasting. However, it's often said that “if you use a service for free, you are the product, not the customer”, so be wary of free services in general if you want to build a serious brand in podcasting.


Who Will You Use for Podcasting Hosting?

Loads of information there, but hopefully that's helped you to find a service that looks like a great fit for your show.Or, at the very least, hopefully it's helped you to whittle all the options down to a shortlist! Here are my top choices:

If you're looking for a simple option, with a low cost tier that's powerful & great value:

If you're looking for a growth-oriented, evolving host & the ability to do multiple shows:

If you'd like private podcasting feeds, multiple shows & a variety of players:


Still Struggling to Choose? Need Help Setting Up?

I know, there's a lot of options!

We can guide you through it, including the full hosting setup, inside our Podcast Host Academy. We run live Q&A support sessions on a weekly basis, so you can get all your questions answered. And we've got a Podcast Launch course in there that guides you through websites, hosting & publishing, in a really easy way.

The course covers the whole launch process, including everything from designing the show to publishing and promoting it. It includes every step, including video tutorials, resources, and tasks to help you take action. We'd love to see you in there!

If you're interested in improving your other podcasting skills, then check out our full course catalog and all the other features available inside the Academy.

33 thoughts on “The Best Podcast Hosting Services: Where to Host your Podcast

      1. I was also wondering about this. I can’t seem to find any independent reviews of them, although I understand they’re fairly new to the game. I’m really leaning toward them, but am on the fence due to how new they are.

        1. I’ve been using Pippa for a month now, coming over from Libsyn. The tool feels much more modern than Libsyn, and is very easy to use. I like their analytics presentation, although they could provide better data views with the data they have.

          My primary issue with Pippa is their media player doesn’t display very well. The main image is obscured by the play arrow, and there are odd amounts of white space elsewhere in the embed. Soundcloud’s embed is one of the best I’ve seen.

  1. First, thanks to Colin (and all at the Podcast Host) for putting out such great content! I’ve put my feet to the fire to start 2018 and approached 4 people to be on my new podcast, and all 4 have said yes! I believe I have the equipment figured out, but am freaking out about how/where to host the podcasts. Realistically, I hope I’ll be able to sustain 1-2 60-minute podcasts per month initially. I do not currently have a website, and have a severely LIMITED budget (don’t we all). Buzzsprout’s free option jumped out at me (but 50MB/month may not be enough). My question is – for my needs (at least to get my early episodes out there), what hosting service would you recommend? I’m not sure I’m ready to go with Libsyn or Blubrry yet. Thanks!

  2. Hi,

    I want to make a podcast with a weekly hour with music content and some talk. My question is: can i upload commercial music with artists like Arctic Monkeys, Rihanna, Madonna, etc..?

    And, if yes, can i submit this podcast to iTunes Podcast Directory (Apple Podcast Directory)?

    Thanks 🙂
    Waiting for your reply…

    1. Hi Luis, you can’t legally upload a podcast with copyrighted content like this, no. A better option might be to look for a local community radio station you can get involved in to create a show like this. Hope that helps.

    2. Hi Luis, freethink radio is an online radio station and are currently looking for people to do just what you want to do.
      you may wanna look into them. cheers

  3. Thank you Podcast Host for the great content! I was wondering about the Anchor app? I did not see that in your suggestions. With just starting, I’d prefer it be easier. Thoughts?
    Thank you,
    Dina

    1. Hi Dina, I don’t currently recommend using Anchor as a media host for a few different reasons. If you’re looking for really simple, give Buzzsprout a look!

  4. Hi, we want to launch a series of mainly speech-based podcasts. Some content will be for public access (i.e. anyone who wants to listen) while other content will only be for members of our association – there will need to be some sort of restricted access. Ideally we would like a single page showing the content types leading to other pages with content lists. Some podcasts might have a downloadable factsheet. Once uploaded the podcasts should not be deleted except by the administrator. An ability to link advertisements to the podcasts would be a benefit although not, initially, essential. We would not want random ads appearing on our pages. The podcasts should be available to download/listen to on a wide variety of devices including smart phones, tablets, laptops and PCs. Which hosts might meet our needs?

    Trevor.

  5. Thanks for a really good article! I’m looking for a podcast host and you hit on my final two, Podbean and Libsyn. I have one question… how can I tell if a podcast host supports chapter markers? I want to create a podcast for my small town. Part of the podcast will be a schedule of events for the next two weeks. I would like listeners to go directly to the time period they’re interested in. Thanks! Robert

  6. Great article! I started an Alexa Flash briefing and my goal is to publish new content 5x / week (under 45 seconds each). I started with Buzzsprout. But do any of the options allow me to automatically (or schedule ahead) a new podcast and delete an older one? Right now I have to manually delete an episode every night so Alxa only plays the most recent one. Thanks!

  7. So confusing! Looking to switch my podcast from SoundCloud and considering BuzzSprout and LibSyn but am open to considering others. However, I am looking to get into video and want a website where I can either upload or at least redirect someone to another site like YouTube.

    Ideas?

  8. Started off with Anchor, to make sure podcasting was something I was going to enjoy and stick with. So Anchor’s free platform made sense. Once I was invested in wanting to do podcasting “properly”, switched to Simplecast, and haven’t looked back, especially with their recent 2.0 update.

  9. Just been trying to get Buzzsprout to host my podcast…. their website is very user friendly, but I couldn’t get the WordPress plugin to work (not updated for last 3 major WordPress updates). The last WordPress support request was over a year ago, with similar issues.

  10. Matthew, I’m starting a podcast show, hosting at podomatic. Everything is ready there, hosting the audio files, creating the feed and promoting (it is already on on spotify…). However I made a blog with wordpress, and installed powerpress plug in to publish the podcast posts. However it looks that powerpress do the same things as podomatic, except file hosting, so now I have 2 feeds… How to deal in cases like that, keep the feed and episodes being created on prodomatic, and use powerpress just to allow publish the posts in the wordpress? (in this case, I have to set up everything on power press but not promote?). Could you give an idea? Thanks!

  11. Thanks , nearly two years later, still relevant and useful. Of course some plans and features have changed as they should, but for the beginner (as well as experienced) podcaster, this is a good starter guide to “Where do I host?” – Amar, gaatha story

  12. We’d love for you to consider adding RedCircle to your list. We’re a podcast growth and monetization platform that’s 100% free to use, including free and unlimited hosting! Our cross-promotion marketplace is a unique feature that helps like-minded creators connect and grow their audiences together.

  13. So I started my podcast a few months back & went with Anchor – and actually the main reason wasn’t because it was free, it was because it was bought by Spotify, my thinking was Spotify being the music giant of the internet is like Google buying YouTube. Most people around the planet are fine with having their vids on youtube.
    Do you think that was a mistake or a naive thought, or does my thinking have some merit?

    1. I’ve done something similar to get the shows I was managing onto Spreaker. As a business, sometimes you have to ride the waves of opportunity that are presented and do what’s best for your business. The podcasting business is no different. And let’s face it, we’re in a really new business still trying to find its legs.

  14. If you’re looking for a podcast host – heads-up! Just want to warn anyone against using Spreaker. They will bill you a renewal without warning for a year in advance and then flat out will not refund the pre-payment, even if you have moved your podcast a year ago! Highly unfair to charge for services that are not rendered, and to treat customers so badly. Warning – stay away from Spreaker! Libsyn is MUCH better!!

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