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.
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 as many podcast hosting services as we could think of. Below, are the ones who took the time to reply.
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. If you’re a hosting company yourself, and you’re not included, then let’s talk. Answer the questions above and fire them through to us via the contact page.
Anyway, enough waiting – here’s the list, in alphabetical order…
AudioBoom’s $9.99 monthly subscription model is a great fit for podcasters with smaller audiences or those who simply want an ad-free option for hosting and distribution. If a podcast receives under ten thousand plays per episode we still offer advanced analytics and embeddable players. For individual podcasters or radio and podcast networks who wish to serve ads on their content and who garner ten thousand or more plays per episode we offer plans at no charge. There’s a more detailed listing of all our plans at audioboom.com/podcasters.
There is no minimum number of plays for the $9.99 subscription plan.
We offer the following analytics to all partners regardless of the plan they choose:
- Number of listens (7 Days, 30 Days, 90 Days, Past Year, All Time)
- Listens by Country and City (top ten)
- Listens by Device and Distribution Platform
- Listens by Age and Gender
Regardless of the format and quality of the uploaded file, audioBoom will always transcode to, and serve 128k mp3 files. Titles, descriptions and images are under the full control of the uploader.
Podcast networks have the ability to group all of their podcasts on one page. This allows them to manage their content and view their analytics all from one location and assign contributors to individual podcasts or the network as a whole.
We do offer dynamic ad insertion for podcasters who wish to monetise their shows. To be clear, there’s a checklist of advertising categories that podcasters look at and if they do not wish to serve ads for certain kinds of products or services (cigarettes or alcohol for example) they can indicate that when they sign up.
All podcasts hosted on the AudioBoom platform are also available on the AudioBoom app which is free and available for Android and iOS.
With the $9.99 paid subscription podcasters may publish up to five episodes per month. Each episode can be up to two hundred minutes long. That limit is the same regardless of which plan one signs up for.
AudioBoom’s uploader accepts most common video formats but strips and hosts the audio only.
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 option (without hosting at Blubrry) 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.
Not at this time.
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)
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.
You can read more about our plans on Buzzsprout’s pricing page.
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. : )
- Plays / unique downloads for each episode
- Average number of plays per episode for my podcast
- Play trends (listens over the past 7, 30, and 90 days)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
You can read more about Buzzsprout stats here.
We don’t offer ad insertion. Though, episode uploaded in the current month can be edited if you wish to make a change.
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.
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.
Absolutely not. And there’s no “application” process, you just sign up!
We offer advanced analytics and data, based on the well known, industry-trusted system used for 5by5.tv since 2008.
We add the metadata (title, description, copyright, artwork, etc.) automatically so that podcasters are not forced to do this manually. We don’t alter the audio quality in any way.
You’d sign up for our standard plan and add a second podcast for $8/month. A third would cost another $8/month. Etc.
We don’t, because we know from 7 years of experience selling advertisements that both sponsors and podcasters find this type of advertising obtrusive, insincere, and ineffective.
We don’t offer a mobile app. Listeners can use any client they wish.
A professionally designed, responsive website and blog is included for free for every podcast, with more templates coming soon.
No. The only restriction is a file size limit of 100mb, easily achievable even for exceptionally long podcasts in high quality using our recommended mp3 export settings.
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 –
And we’ll be adding more stats info later this year.
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.
Android – Google Play Store – Examples:
Android – Amazon App Store – Examples:
Windows Phone Apps Examples:
Windows Apps Examples:
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.
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.
Tell me about the main differences between your pricing/hosting tiers
The great majority of podcasters go with unlimited audio (or video if needed) as it offers all the functionality and predictable costs.
There is also a basic plan, and the pricing chart outlines the limitations of that. It’s good for podcasters just getting started, but to be honest with the unlimited audio at $9/month, that’s by far and away the best way to go.
Our business and network plans offer more, starting at $99/month. Because they’re generally pretty customized (# of channels, etc.) we have sales reps that can get just the right plan for anyone who might need those. Essential difference: a premium network and premium support (so for very large podcasts, this is often the way to go…we save files on multiple servers on a smaller shared environment so speeds are even faster even if they have huge download/streams at once).
The network plan provides multiple channels under one admin and also a couple admins/users. The business/enterprise plans offer the private/internal podcast option. This is also where things like white labeling/non-branded sites and players, custom apps, groups (i.e. private members being divided up into who gets what content) and multiple levels of users/administration and SSO comes in.
For hosting, no. Also, any podcast no matter where it’s hosted can submit to our directory free (no DL minimum). For the sponsorship marketplace, the minimum is 1000 downloads/episode (though we can hand select/approve smaller shows for advertiser matches, and Podbean hosted shows get in with 500 downloads).
This video tutorial and article show the various stats. We also now offer “audience behavior intel“- soon to be changed to “user engagement intel” (an add-on feature, through our new app marketplace) which is very detailed info from the Podbean app and player about just what the audience is doing (how long they listen, who’s listening – if private members), etc.
Two options: buy separate unlimited accounts (most economical, but you do need to log in to your dashboards separately), or a business/network plan (multiple podcasts in one dashboard, premium network, multiple admins, etc.).
No. Right now only host-read ads. We have offered dynamic insertion a while back, but at that time there just wasn’t enough interest.
Yes, all Podbean podcasts are included in the Podbean app – which seems to be what most people want. But, we also can create a custom app just for them (for a fee). We’ve done this for several business clients.
Yes, each show gets a site (under layouts you can see there are a ton of themes, and each can be customized – these “podcast pages” are very robust with lots of functionality and style). Customers can also map this to their own domain for branding/integration (or simply use embeddable players or plugins if they have their own blog/site).
No, not for unlimited plans. We do have a fair usage policy so shows using excessive network resources are encouraged to move to a more appropriate business plan.
Yes, as you can see in the video plans. That’s actually a big selling point for us, because for video (with HLS available as well) our plans are super affordable. We host some pretty well known/high quality video casts. For regular audio podcasts, we also have the publish to YouTube option and shortly, thanks to our API being open to developers and our app marketplace, we should have an app connected that lets people repurpose FB Live videos.
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). Recently we introduced the split of the devices with the information on the desktop/mobile and browser/store used by the audience.
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.
Last January we launched our monetization program. It’s still in beta and it’s the step 1 of a bigger process that will be finalized by the end of this year with a full dynamic ad insertion feature. Currently what we offer is the possibility of inserting pre-roll ads determined by location placed automatically through the audio content.
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. At the beginning of June we are going to refresh completely the design of those apps and make them even more appealing and user friendly.
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.
No restrictions on those sides.
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.
The hobby tier includes everything you need to publish and run your show. The professional tier offers a few extras for those looking to profit from their show and treat it as more of a business. As a result it includes: Episode scheduling, more in depth analytics, iTunes review monitoring, support for your own custom domains name and customisation of the ZenCast hosted website.
- Downloads today, this week, this month, all time.
- Daily downloads over time.
- Downloads for most popular episode.
- Downloads for most recent episode.
- Trend of downloads for recent episodes.
- Distribution of downloads for popular episodes.
- Listening Methods (App used)
- Referring domains and urls
- Download location, by country, state & city.
No modifications, what you upload is what people hear. The only change we make is file-names, to ensure that there there are no caching issues with some apps in the case where an episode’s audio is replaced and the app is only looking at a file name and not the guide.
Nope, we believe the best ads are host read (and also garner the best rates for podcasters).
Incredibly easily. From the Podcasts page, you can simply create a separate show. No need for a separate account/password. In addition, download numbers can be seen across all shows at once, or just the one.
No, however there is a mobile first website that’s responsive and accessible on all browsers with direct subscribe links to popular iOS/Android apps.
A website is automatically created for each show. Podcasters can choose to use it, or their own site if they prefer. If using the ZenCast site, it’s automatically updated with new episodes, the second they go live. Furthermore, it’s possible to browse hosts, contributors and guests of a show and see which episodes they have appeared on. Furthermore, if multiple shows are on ZenCast, they can be referenced to cross promote.
Currently, the only restriction is a 200mb file size limit. This is to ensure people aren’t uploading uncompressed .wav files (it happens more than you’d think!)
ZenCast suggests focusing on audio and linking to supplemental video in show notes, or using Youtube/FB video to promote your show. If video is the sole medium, Youtube is the place to be right now.
Essentially the reason people listen to podcasts so much is because they are a passive form of entertainment. You can be driving your car, in the shower or cooking dinner whilst listening. Video throws all of that out of the window and forces your listener to squint at a tiny little screen in their hand and try to pay attention. Speaking to podcasters that have experimented with video, they usually see around 20% of the listeners compared to their audio shows.
And for brevity, a few other inclusions are:
- Google Analytics Integration: All your podcast’s downloads show alongside your web traffic in Google Analytics.
- Monitoring of ratings & reviews: All 150 local iTunes stores are constantly monitored for new ratings. You can also track how your show is going and whether the plead for a review on the last episode actually worked.
- Tracking hosts and guests: ZenCast can serve as a ‘CRM’ for your show, storing host/guest contact information, and seeing how much of an audience certain guests bring to your show. You can also see when the last time a guest was on the show, to invite them back on.
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!
If you’re still struggling to choose, we can coach you through it, 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 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!