Article Index: Buzzsprout | Podbean | Spreaker | Podcast Websites | Blubrry | Libsyn

Where should I host my podcast?  What’s the best podcast hosting site? There’s some one of the most frequently asked questions in this medium, alongside “what shiny mic should I get?” and “why does the sound of my own voice make me want to die?”.

Different podcasters have different wants and needs, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. There are a lot of fantastic services out there.

TLDR – I don’t care, just tell me who to choose!

Alright then, at this point in time our “just go for it” option is Buzzsprout. Buzzsprout make it amazingly simple to launch a podcast. Their site is clean, quick, and easy to navigate. You can be set up and ready to go in a couple of minutes.

Before we dive into the meat of this content though, I just want to make sure I’m not jumping ahead. There are two other common questions you might have in your head right now.

Once you’re satisfied with our answers to both of these questions, we can see about finding the best podcast hosting partner for you and your show.

For this roundup, we decided to reach out to the media hosting services we know and trust, and put some questions to them.

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The questions we wanted to ask were…

  • Tell me about the main differences between your pricing/hosting tiers
  • Do you have minimum audience numbers before people can apply?
  • What audience and download stats do you offer?
  • Do you alter episode files in any way? Eg. bitrate, meta data, file-name, etc
  • How would it work if I wanted to host 2 or more shows with you?
  • Do you offer dynamic advert insertion?
  • Can you offer a mobile app for podcasts you host?
  • Do you provide a website or webspace for each show?
  • Do you have any restrictions on max episodes or bandwidth?
  • Can you work with video podcasts, or video in any way?

These will hopefully help you understand each service’s main areas of focus, and where they specialise and excel in.

Just to let you know, most hosting companies run partnership programmes, so most of the links below are affiliate links. But, we don’t list services we haven’t tried and don’t think are great – your trust is important to us! If you sign up with our link, we get a small commission, but it wont cost you more. In fact, it costs you less with quite a few of them if you use the coupon code listed!

Anyway, enough waiting – here’s the list. Time to choose your host!

Buzzsprout is a host that prides itself on simplicity and speed. It makes it super-easy and quick to upload and publish your show, and offers a range of tools to share and promote it once it’s out.

We host our Podcraft podcast on Buzzsprout, and they’ve recently introduced their brand new Wave podcast player, which you can see below.

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.

Visit Buzzsprout here

Tell me about the main differences between your pricing/hosting tiers

Buzzsprout’s plans are organized by the amount of hours of new content you upload each month. So we don’t charge for storage, downloads, premium features, or bandwidth.*

There are four tiers:

  • 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.

*Buzzsprout does have pro plans for podcasts that have over 250GB of outbound bandwidth per month. This typically covers 20k-40k epiosde plays per month.

No. We have thousands of podcasters who are just starting out and only have a handful of people listening to their podcasts. Everybody has to start somewhere. : )

  1. Plays / unique downloads for each episode
  2. Average number of plays per episode for my podcast
  3. Play trends (listens over the past 7, 30, and 90 days)
  4. Where are people listening from? We’ll show where your podcasters are located in the world. You can see a map of the world as well as your top cities, countries, etc.
  5. How are people listening to my podcast? This shows what device or browser your audience is using to listen to your podcast. You can view this for a specific episode or for subsets of your episodes.
  6. How many people are listening to my podcast? Typically RSS feeds will report subscribers, but we don’t think this is a good number for podcasts since they bring in a lot of false assumptions and miss out on many of the ways people listen to podcasts.

Instead we developed our own statistic called listeners. This stat will predict how many actual people will listen to your podcast within the first 90 days after it being released.

Yes. Buzzsprout has an integration with Voxnest Dynamo that allows you to add advertisements to your podcast. We also have an integration with Podtrac Analytics so you can add additional play tracking for advertisements you sell yourself.

Buzzsprout does not take a percentage of any advertisements.

You can host as many shows on Buzzsprout as you’d like, and you can quickly switch between them inside of Buzzsprout. Each podcast has it’s own plan so one could be on the $12 plan while another was on the free plan.

Conversion: Buzzsprout will automatically optimize the file for delivery. This means you can upload an uncompressed WAV file and Buzzsprout will automatically convert it into a MP3 file for you. By default these files are encoded at 64k mono, but we recommend podcasts with heavy use of music upgrade to 128k stereo.

Automatic ID3 Tagging: Buzzsprout will retain all meta-data and ID3 that has been included in the originial file. If the file is missing some ID3 tags, Buzzsprout will automatically insert your artwork, title, author, and other ID3 tags. This removes the step where podcasters typically tag their episode before uploading it to their host.

We provide webpages that look great on mobile, but we don’t create apps for our podcasts.

Yes, we automatically provide customizable public pages for each show. These are great for podcasters who are just starting out and don’t have their own website.

For podcasters on WordPress we provide a WordPress plugin as well as fully customizable embed players.

All of our plans allow you to upload as many episodes as you’d like each month. If you go over your allotted time then you can be charged overage for that month (between $2-$4/hr).

Our normal plans include up to 250GB of outbound bandwidth per month. This typically covers 20k-40k epiosde plays per month. If a podcaster consistently hits this limit then we’ll reach out to them and move their podcast to a pro plan. If it’s a one-time spike we wouldn’t move the podcast.

Since the vast majority of podcasts are audio podcasts, we decided to focus exclusively on audio podcasting.

We believe that audio does have some benefits over video podcasts; they are much smaller files and listeners can listen to podcast while they are doing something else like driving in the car or working out. Some of our customers do re-purpose their content in video form – they typically will start a YouTube channel or upload their videos to Vimeo.

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.

Special Offers

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

Visit Podbean’s website

Tell me about the main differences between your pricing/hosting tiers

We try to keep pricing super simple. Our flagship plan is the $9/month Unlimited Audio Plan. This comes with unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth. No monthly limit, no number of episodes limit. This plan comes with tons of features: comprehensive statistics, free site which can incorporate your own domain and SSL support, access to monetization mechanisms such as PodAds ad marketplace and Premium (all monetization is optional). Furthermore, it includes full distribution and auto social sharing.

For podcasters who want to do video or manage multiple channels from one account, they’d want our Unlimited Plus Plan. Like all our plans (other than free), podcasters never have to worry about storage limits (quite a strong value for video for $29). And, this plan lets podcasters run their own audio ads by using Podbean’s dynamic insertion technology. Additionally, podcasts at this level can use our built-in patron program to bring in listener donations and provide special content.

We do offer a basic free plan, which we’ve recently upgraded. It is great for those testing the waters (and you can easily upgrade later if needed).

Lastly, we provide sophisticated enterprise class services to media brands, companies and organizations. Whether a media company or radio station looking to expand promotion and gain revenue or a company providing private podcasts for internal communications, we create a custom plan within a turnkey platform to meet their needs and make it easy. We provide a custom quote and can offer demos and free trials for businesses who want to explore these options.

We offer robust stats to help you understand your podcast growth, such as:

  1. Unique downloads for each episode
  2. Trending data for various time periods (including a custom view)
  3. Your top 10 episodes in the past week, 30 days or a custom time period
  4. Sources of podcast downloads (e.g. iTunes, Google Play, etc.)
  5. Geography of downloads (country, state/province)
  6. The first 60 days download stats for each episode. This gives you a fair comparison to see popular, attention-getting episodes.
  7. Listener retention over a seven-week period, to understand and grow listener loyalty
  8. Downloads by time of day/day of week, to understand peak download times for your podcast

We have an optional add-on called “user engagement intel” that provides in-depth listener behavior, such as how long people listen, what they skip and repeat. This really helps a podcaster get a handle on ways they might improve the show or be able to share with advertisers and supporters how their podcast stands apart.

With the Podbean Unlimited Plus plan, you can purchase any number of channels and manage them via one account.

Yes.  Podbean’s advertising marketplace, Podads, uses ad insertion to help podcasts expand monetization opportunities by dynamically runing higher bid ads first and allowing multiple ads to be run on one podcast spot for different geographic targeting. Podcasters choose whether to opt in to PodAds.

Additionally, we offer the use of our dynamic ads system to insert your own ads/audio content to Unlimited Plus and Business users. The technology allows you to save time running your own ad campaigns and maximize your ad revenue with geo targeting, time-limited campaigns and more.

Yes, all Podbean podcasts are included in the Podbean app and we offer special opportunities to be featured. For our Business users, we also create white-label apps.

Yes, each show gets a free website professionally designed for podcasting. You can choose themes and customize the website.  We support using your own domain also. HTTPS with SSL certification is provided for free.

No,  except the Podbean free plan, all other Podbean plans come with unlimited episodes and bandwidth.  No monthly limit, no overall limit.

Yes, we offer unlimited video podcast hosting in our Unlimited Plus plan at $29/month (annual plan).  

Spreaker is an all-in-one podcasting platform that gives creators everything they need to grow their business, from recording and production tools to distribution and dynamic ad insertion

The powerful Content Management System gives podcasters more control, with options for publication timing, distribution points, social sharing and even which shows you want to monetize.

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.

Visit Spreaker’s Website

Tell me about the main differences between your pricing/hosting tiers

All the plans that we have offer the opportunity to create podcast live or recorded and be discovered and listened with ease. The main differences are in terms of the audio storage capacity, time of broadcasting and data analytics.

Higher plans offer much more space to store your audio content as well as much more detailed stats that can help you understand who your listeners are and what they like to tune in to. The Pro packages also offer the chance to join our new monetization program and get the opportunity to monetize your podcasts.

Absolutely not. Spreaker can be accessible from anyone in any moment, there’s no limit in terms of listeners and anyone can easily import the RSS feed and have the podcast hosted and distributed on our platform as well.

Podcasters on Spreaker can dive into different type of data: we offer statistics on live/download/on demand plays. Spreaker has the unique feature of the live option – that’s the reason why we also provide that particular information – plus geolocation, demographics, sources (from where your audience is listening included iTunes and all the other referrals), devices split. Recently, we introduced the evolution stat which allows podcasters to measure and compare the episode’s performance over time, and take actions to increase their lifespan.

We do alter files to mp3 at 128 kbps for streaming consumption on the Spreaker’s website, apps, and embedded player. This grants good streaming performance also with slow internet connections.

We DO NOT alter mp3 files at a higher rate for downloads and distribution via RSS Feeds. This means that we serve the original file to these two means and we don’t change the files’ metadata and ID3 information.

Spreaker doesn’t give any limits in terms of the number of shows that any podcaster can create on our application. You can ideally have 20 different shows on the same profile, what matters is the audio storage that you have on your account. If you have a good storage amount in terms of hours (the Broadcaster plan offers up to 500 hours for example, Anchorman 1500 hours etc) you can have as many shows as you want. Once you reach the limit of your plan you have two options: you can upgrade to the higher plan or delete some old content to make free new space.

Spreaker Enterprise customers can also add unlimited collaborators to let them manage the shows without accessing the company’s master account. This will grant the company sensitive data and its account’s settings.

We have an advanced Monetization program based on dynamic ad injection. Ads can be placed as pre-, mid-, and post-rolls and the podcaster can also control the injection set up at the entire show level or for specific episode one. Ads are inserted anywhere: on Spreaker’s website, apps and embedded player, on downloaded episodes and to outside platforms via RSS Feed.

Anyone with a Pro account can join the monetization program – there is no downloads threshold to enable the technology – and we cover a lot of countries such as USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain with more to come soon.

Spreaker Enterprise customers can have the total control over content and a higher yield on ad inventory. Moreover, they can traffic their own ads: this gives publishers the ability to leverage their own partnerships while using Spreaker’s integrated ad server and smart, dynamic ad insertion technology.

Yes, on our store page for $99/year every podcaster can build and purchase a custom app (for iOS or Android). Listeners can catch LIVE or pre-recorded content via the app, can interact closely in real-time through the chatbox and like the podcast.

We provide a complete show page where the podcaster can store and show his content, a CMS from where they can customize, schedule and manage anything they need about the podcast itself such as: a custom player, the distribution and scheduling options, the statistics.

We don’t provide video integration. Podcasters can do their video set up in sync with Spreaker but this has to come from an external service.

Podcast websites, podcast hosting

Podcast Websites (PW) does exactly what it says on the tin: gives you a podcast website, but it also does a whole lot more than that! This is 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, PW could be well worth the extra cost.

Special Offers

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

Visit Podcast Websites

Tell me about the main differences between your pricing/hosting tiers

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.

We offer full stats, from Geographic location to listening device. This is free to our annual plan users, and $10 per month extra for monthly users.

Blubrry LogoBlubrry 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 are the first independent podcast hosting service to be given IAB certification, meaning they official comply with Podcast Measurement Guidelines.

Special Offers

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

Visit BluBrry here

Tell me about the main differences between your pricing/hosting tiers

Simply the amount of uploads in a calendar month is allowed. Total storage is unlimited, the different levels are how much you can upload in a calendar month. A full breakdown of Blubrry pricing is available here.

Blubrry has an industry leading stats service. The Professional level stats are included with all levels of hosting. Also available is the stand-alone stats option (which you can use with ANY podcast hosting service) for $5 per month. We also offer free level stats to anyone.

We have the ability to write ID3 tags for Audio but only if the podcaster wants us to, but we do not alter the file in any other way.

Each hosting subscription is for 1 show unless it’s a pro-level account.

Yes, we provide a basic WordPress site for each hosting subscription at Blubrry.

Not directly. If a podcaster is using WordPress we have a partnership with App Presser where they will make an app for an additional fee.

No, just how much you can upload per calendar month. We also give an extra 25% “No Fault” in the monthly hosting quota.. So if you are on the 100mb plan, we really give you 125mb!

Yes, our system works the same for video as it does for audio. (Note: video files are much larger so a larger plan may be needed)

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.

Special Offers

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

Visit Libsyn’s website

Tell me about the main differences between your pricing/hosting tiers

We have two different services – Libsyn.com and libsynPro.

Libsyn.com is for indie podcasters, small business, non-profits, small churches.

Pricing for Libsyn.com is based on how much you plan to upload in any given calendar month. Once the month is over, all files remain active in your account – they just no longer count against your current months upload quota.

The account levels vary from $5 a month to $75 month with quota levels varying from 50 MB to 1,500 MB of NEW content you can upload in any given calendar month. There’s no overall cap on total storage and we have users with files uploaded in 2004 that are still active in their accounts.

libsynPro is for Enterprise customers, Podcast Networks, Celebrities, Government Agencies, and Professional media companies and those looking to do lots of Video Podcasting. Pricing is based on how many different shows (RSS feeds) you manage and how much download bandwidth you get. This service offers unlimited monthly uploads.

No – anyone any size can host with libsyn. 1 download or 1Million plus per episode.

Unique downloads per episode, with Geographic, User Agent and Destination specific break downs.

Only our Advanced 400 MB and great accounts give the Geographic, User Agent and Destination break downs.

These tutorials go over our stats in more info –

Advanced Stats

Basic Stats

And we’ll be adding more stats info later this year.

No!!!

But we do have an option if you want to overwrite the ID3 tag info with what you enter in our publishing system – this is an optional feature and not something we do by default.

For most users what you upload to us is exactly what gets downloaded by the end user.

On Libsyn.com – You would need a different show slug / account for each show. Each show account supports a single RSS feed, single show title, single show description, single show artwork, single Google Play Music destination, single iOS app, single Android app,..

You can use one email address to register both show accounts – then you would only need to log in one time to manage all your shows – but you would need two separate paid accounts for two different shows.

On LibsynPro – the system is set up as a podcast network and you can have multiple shows in an account.

Yes – we have offered that for over 10 years.

We even have tools now to allow for the cutting of ads that were originally baked in – you pick the time codes of the ad and either have it removed right then or you can schedule it to be removed some time in the future after the campaign ends.

For most customers the tools are there for you to use to insert in ads you get on your own. You pay us a fee to use the ad stitching tools.

On Libsyn.com – we manage the campaigns for you – on LibsynPro you manage your own campaigns.

We automatically assign a pre-roll and post-roll slot – and allow for up to 10 mid-roll slots user assigned per episode down to mSec resolution.

You can have white lists and black lists – and can geo target campaigns down to individual city levels.

You can schedule campaigns to deliver as soon as possible or level out with a max number of downloads per day / week / month.

We were the first company to offer mobile apps for Podcasters. We have been doing that since 2009. We offer iOS, Android and Window Phone apps.

Our apps support Audio, Video, PDF’s, Image Files and Blog posts. The App can be your entire online media hub for your audience and your Brand.

All branding is 100% your branding.

iOS Examples:

The Feed – Podcasting Tips from Libsyn, Today in iOS, podCast41, WTF with Marc Maron

Android – Google Play Store – Examples:

The Feed – Libsyn Podcasting Tips, WTF with Marc Maron, Mohr Stories with Jay Mohr

Android – Amazon App Store – Examples:

Ben Greenfield, The Feed – Podcasting Tips from Libsyn, WTF with Marc Maron

Windows Phone Apps Examples:

Ben Greenfield, 20 Minutes Yoga Sessions, Mountain Bike Radio

Windows Apps Examples:

podCast411, Ben Greenfield, Hamish & Andy

Yes. You can even bring in your own custom domain.

The sites are fully mobile responsive and very easy to set up and nothing you ever have to worry about updating security on.

http://thefeed.libsyn.com

http://podcast411.libsyn.com

http://thestorybehindpodcast.com

Above are three examples of sites set up on Libsyn.

The sites allow for the addition of widgets, plus other standard pages you would expect for a podcast site. The sites are designed for the end user to make it easy to consume the podcasts.

On Libsyn.com – you are limited on how much new content you can upload in a given calendar month. That number will depend on how you encode the files, the length of the episodes and the account level you choose. There is no limit on the downloads. We have some shows doing multiple millions of downloads a month.

On libsynPro – it is unlimited on the uploads – you do pay a per GB fee on the download bandwidth consumed by the end users.

Yes – we support the hosting of Video, Audio and PDF files for podcast episodes – just like iTunes supports all three. Our system is one of the few that is 100% compatible with iTunes and the full capabilities of Media file delivery via RSS feeds.

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, volume levelling, exporting & publishing) then Alitu, our Podcast Maker app, can do that for you, and publish automatically to all of Blubrry, Podbean, Libsyn and Spreaker, so far. We’re also looking to tie into Buzzsprout and Podcast Websites, very soon.

Best Podcast Editing Software Alitu

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!

Still Struggling to Choose?

I know, there’s a lot of options!

We’re happy to coach you through it though, including the full setup, if you’re a member of The Podcast Host Academy.

We also have a course that cover the whole launch process, including everything from designing the show to publishing and promoting it. We’d love to see you in there!

If you’re thinking about moving hosts, the service you’re moving to can often help you out. But, again, we’re happy to coach you through that in the academy.

If you already know which one you’re going to sign up for, we’d love to hear which one you’re thinking of signing up to, and why.

Or, if you have a favourite that isn’t on this list – or run a media hosting service yourself – then please get in touch via the comments section below!