Libsyn Vs Blubrry | Where Should I Host My Podcast?

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We compare two giants of the podcast media hosting industry!

Blubrry and Libsyn are two veterans of the podcast hosting world. If you were in a room full of podcasters then there's little doubt that most would host their show on one of the two. Both platforms have an excellent reputation and offer a fantastic service, definitely high up our list of the best podcast hosting services out there.

But if you've narrowed your hosting choice down to Blubrry vs Libsyn, how do you split them?

Firstly, full disclosure. At The Podcast Host we've hosted many of our shows on either Libsyn or Blubrry and are affiliates of either service. We do that, though, because they're both great! On that note, you'll get a free month with both Libsyn and Blubrry if you use our code when signing up.

Our Libsyn coupon code is podhost and our Blubrry coupon code is also podhost.

We highly recommend either service to anyone who asks about media hosting, so this article isn't about ‘which is better'. This is about finding the differences between the two, and recommending the right one for your context.

Price & Storage

The bottom line here is that Libsyn are slightly cheaper if we were to base it on monthly storage allowance. 250MB of storage at Libsyn is $15 a month, the same amount of storage at Blubrry is $20 a month.

The smallest monthly payment you can make with Libsyn is $5 for 50MB, whilst Blubrry's is $12 for 100MB.

It's worth mentioning however that Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month on all their plans as part of their No-Fault Podcast Hosting. You can also replace your files at any time with no storage penalty.

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How Much Space Will I Need for my Podcast?

Of course, space is a bit meaningless here – what you want to know is, how much do I need?!

Well, a decent quality minute of audio is just under a single MB in size. That's if you mix your show down at 128kbps. In this instance, a 10min episode would be just under 10MB.

I tend to mix spoken word content lower than 128kbps, and if you're using iTunes or Adobe Audition (rather than Audacity's LAME encoder) to create your MP3s, then you can go as low as 96kbps without any noticeable loss in quality. Many people actually go as low as 64kbps. If you want to read our full coverage of this debate, check out the podcast bit rate article here.

10mins of audio at 96kbps drops below 7MB, so you can cut down on storage (and help save your listener's data plan) by using this bit rate.

The upshot is, a weekly podcast doing 30 minute episodes every week is likely to use around 84MB per month at that rate. But extend much over the half hour mark and you'll be going beyond the 100MB per month plan.

Remember your coupon code when signing up to get a free month: podhost

Websites & Publishing

When we get to publishing, there are a couple of differences worth noting. To kick off, let’s look at the mechanics of creating your podcast episodes online

Plug-ins for Self-Hosted Podcasting

Firstly, Blubrry stand out for the simple reason that they publish Powerpress – the de-facto king of WordPress podcasting plugins.

Powerpress gives you a huge amount of power to publish a show within your own WordPress website. It ties in with the WordPress editor to allow easy uploading of podcast episodes, never leaving the WordPress space.

Powerpress also comes with a slew of options around controlling your RSS feed, allowing you to work with multiple feeds should you need to have more than one podcast on the one site.

In mid-2019 Libsyn rolled out their Libsyn Publisher Hub plugin, which essentially plays the same role as Powerpress.

This means that you can link up your self-hosted WordPress site with your Libsyn account and work exclusively inside your site going forward. Like Powerpress, you can publish new episodes in there, without actually hosting the media on your own site.

The plugin is a massive improvement on Libsyn's previous Beta WordPress plugin. My one issue with it though is that you can only seem to place the episode player at the very top, or very bottom of a post. With Powerpress, you can position the player anywhere you like inside your shownotes.

In both cases you need to install the tool and enter your account details to set up the link, but after that uploading a podcast is a one step process, regardless of which service you use.

Additionally, with Libsyn you can create a post on WordPress directly from the Libsyn side with their On-Publish feature. Post customisation is, understandably, pretty limited here though.

Now this assumes that you're publishing the episode on your own self-hosted WordPress website (remember we've got a free course on how to self publish on WordPress). But that's not the only option.

Publishing Episodes With Your Media Host

The alternative to running a self-hosted WordPress website is to publish with either Libsyn or Blubrry.

Libsyn specialise in this and put a lot of work into their templates, offering a range of options in creating a home for your podcast on their website. That means you'll be running a mydomain.libsyn.com website, which is a great option for some people.

You can also whitelabel it, using your own domain, but running on Libsyn. This takes a lot of the technical stress out of podcasting. You don't have to run a website, keep it updated or worry about glitches. Libsyn will take care of the tech while you can stick to presenting!

For a nice example of a Libsyn website customisation, check out The Story Behind podcast.

Blubrry have always had a mydomain.blubrry.com option too, though they don’t promote it as a service. It’s Blubrry’s belief that shows should have their own website, though some of their customers still choose this option.

As a result, Blubrry provide a basic WordPress site to everyone who hosts there.

But, right now, if you want to host your website with the media host, rather than have your own WordPress site, Libsyn is the best option.

Remember your coupon code when signing up to get a free month: podhost

Podcasting Statistics

Libsyn Podcast Hosting Statistics
Country Stats in Libsyn

Both platforms offer exceptional stats. If I want to find out how many people listened to my show on Stitcher on an iPhone in Detroit last month, I can do that.

A big difference here is that Libsyn's stats are staggered based on your pricing platform. You get no stats for $5 a month, but you can add $2 to bring it up to $7 per month for basic stats. You're still on the basic stats package at $15 per month, and move up to advanced stats by paying $20 per month or more.

Blubrry Podcast Hosting Statistics
Client Stats in Blubrry

Blubrry on the other hand offer their Professional stats on all packages, from their lowest monthly rate of $12 per month and up.

In terms of Blubrry's Professional stats v Libsyn's Advanced stats, I've not found any way to split them and say that one is better than the other. There are a few little differences but, for your average podcaster, there's very little in it.

Blurbby are IAB Certified, which means they're in compliance with podcast measurement guidelines. Libsyn also deliver their stats based on these guidelines and are working towards certification. Both have been proven to be equally robust platforms.

On this front, it really depends how important stats are to your show. Measuring basic download numbers is important in the long run, but is knowing exactly where these downloads are coming from, what they're coming through, etc?

Well, it can be, depending on your show. Especially if it's a location-specific show and you offer some sort of physical product or service that requires your customers to be on location.

If you're looking for comprehensive stats at a lower cost, then Blubrry is the best option here!

Remember your coupon code when signing up to get a free month: podhost

Players

In December 2015 Libsyn launched a brand new player that embeds or publishes in your posts. The player is fully customisable and displays your cover art (either your series artwork, or an episode specific cover), along with share buttons, a full episode playlist, and a download button.

Libsyn Podcast Player

Not to be left behind, though, Blubrry recently released a new player as well. This player is available to Blubrry hosting customers, working with Powerpress.

The new player has social and subscribe buttons and can be used on almost any website, so you don’t necessarily need to be using a WordPress site to host externally. The player is designed to work on all devices too, be it a phone, tablet, or otherwise.

Blubrry Podcast Player

Remember your coupon code when signing up to get a free month: podhost

Apps

Your show can have its own custom mobile app built by Libsyn if you are on their $20 a month plan, or higher. There's a one-off development fee of $50 to have this done. It's paid during sign-up, after you complete the forms which detail your requirements, and then there is a $10 a month additional fee for the apps.

Libsyn's smartphone apps aren't directly connected to your RSS feed, so you can publish app specific content such as PDFs, photos, videos, and extra audio. These can be used as an extra incentive for listeners to download your show's app, instead of subscribing in a podcatcher.

Blubrry don't have an in-house app option. Instead they direct you to an external app development partner, reasoning that they prefer to send you to someone who does that exclusively.

If an app is important to you, and you want to have it included in your hosting, Libsyn is the way to go.

Remember your coupon code when signing up to get a free month: podhost

Premium Content

You can offer your listeners premium content with both Blubrry and Libsyn. If you want to offer a paid subscription service to your listeners then premium content is a great incentive, and just one of the monetisation options covered in our ‘how to monetise a podcast' guide. So how do both platforms differ in the services they offer here?

With Libsyn, your premium content is set up and delivered through their MyLibsyn subscription management service. With this, the end user can consume your premium content on the webpage Libsyn has set up for you on your own website with their HTML5 player, and also via a free custom smartphone app for your show for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices.

Libsyn's goal with their premium service is to “make it easy for your audience to consume your premium content – but also lock it down so people can’t share it out of your control.”

With Blubrry, you'd set up your premium content inside your website (on PowerPress, and not via the Blubrry interface). This means your paid subscribers would be given an I.D. and password to your site, where they could log in and consume your premium content.

Monetisation is always a big issue for podcasters – we have to pay the bills… It's something we talk about a lot inside the Podcast Host Academy, though, so if you're struggling with it, join us in there.

Libsyn DestinationDestinations & Social Media

Libsyn offers up what they call “destination publishing” which means you can control exactly where each new episode does or does not go. You can publish to any day/time in the future to the minute to each directory, independently of each other.

You can also set up Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and more as destinations and publish custom messages and links to each of them.

Podcast Directories

Both services enable you to be listed in every major podcast directory – including Spotify.

Both services also support the new iTunes/Apple Podcasts tags. This means you can add episode numbers, season numbers, and have your show displayed as “serialised content” if you want new listeners to begin at episode one.

Summary

Whether you choose to host your podcast on Blubrry or Libsyn, I know you'll be completely satisfied with the service you receive. It's really about weighing up these differences between the two and deciding which service best suits your podcast's needs.

I think it’s fair to say that they both have a slightly different ethos when it comes to media hosting.

For Blubrry, it’s very much about the simplicity and speed of “post – upload – publish” from the dashboard of your website. If I wanted to work within my own site as much as possible, then I’d host with them.

As for Libsyn, it’s about letting their site handle the distribution of your files, and their belief in having different feeds for different destinations. If I wanted to publish episodes exclusively to destinations like Stitcher, for example, I’d host with them.

Remember, if you're still struggling to choose, or you need help setting it all up, we can help you out if you're a member of our Podcast Host Academy

I'd love to hear what you think of each provider.

Why did you choose Libsyn over Blubrry, or vice versa?

Let us know in the comments below.

Don't forget, you can get a month's free hosting with either Libsyn or Blubrry by using our code. Our libsyn coupon code is podhost and our blubrry coupon code is also podhost.

What Our Readers Think About Libsyn Vs Blubrry | Where Should I Host My Podcast?

Sorry, comments are closed.

  1. Some of this article is out dated now, for instance dropping your link in to Facebook no longer creates a player as facebook has disabled this. Also did you do a section on comparing how many destinations each host distributes to? Libsyn now distributes to Spotify. Maybe it’s time for an update on this article because overall it’s a fantastic resource.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marc,
      Thanks for this update.
      I’ve only just read te article, almost a yer after you – a great one, but I’m not sure if it’s still up to date.
      Matthew doesn’t appear to be replying to any posts now.
      I’m thinking of using Lypsyn. Do you have any more updates on either platform?
      Many thanks,
      Karen

  2. Monique says:

    Hi Matthew,

    I am completely starting from scratch with everything I am looking to start my podcast as soon as get all necessary equipment and start off with the right platform. What do you recommend for someone who doesn’t have a domain or a website of their own where should I start. I can tell you that I want to add videos to my podcasts and I will be interviewing people at some point and I am also looking to gain income from my podcasts. I will add blogs as well and want to be able to add music with a great quality without technical glitches. Where do I start ??? Thanks In Advance

  3. Heather says:

    Good Morning, New to podcasting( Audio Theater) Have created a 5 episode audio theater drama called Triple Six . Do I need a host to publish on iTunes or stitcher. Do you recommend just setting up a cartwheel on our website not really sure how to make any $ to continue to produce I was hoping to charge per episode but it looks like most of the audio productions are hosted on various sites and audio theater makes $ on advertising? Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Feel like our product is not really a podcast more like a small budget film.

  4. Karen says:

    I chose to go with Blubrry and have loved them due to seamless integration with my WP site… but their billing process is WEIRD and CLUNKY . It’s fine after you set it up for auto billing. But if anything goes awry, forget it! My card didn’t work so they sent me a note. I entered a new card. For some weird reason their site is not able to process this card. I checked and there are plenty of funds available in that card. HERE’S WHERE IT GETS HORRIBLE — Blubrry does not have anyone in billing who is available to process a card for you. They can’t even connect with billing and they dont have someone who can help you. I have no idea why they can’t process the card, and they don’t have anyone who can solve the problem. AND they canceled my podcasts so listeners can’t access them. I’m so frustrated. I’m now checking Libsyn though of course I am praying Blubrry gets their act together in the next hour!

  5. Nicole says:

    Hey Matthew! This article has been incredibly helpful to me, so thank you so much for going into so much detail about the two hosting sites! I am in the planning stages of starting my podcast, but I want to make decisions very very soon to get the ball rolling. However, with so many options out there and me not being very tech-savvy, it’s kind of getting overwhelming because I want to make sure I choose the best one! I have a feeling that eventually my podcast could become very big because it’s meant for all audiences, not just a specific audience. I want to have my own website to also post the podcast on, but I want my podcast to be on iTunes, Google Play, Spreaker, and dreaming big here, but Spotify and iHeart Radio one day too! Yesterday was the first day I looked into Blubrry, and I like that they offer Powerpress and a basic WordPress website (even though I wasn’t sure about doing my personal website with them), but how basic is it? I want my website to also to be like a blog where I share show notes and have a tab for my personal side gig and what not. I’ve heard great things about Squarespace and that’s what I’ve been thinking I was going to do, but this other option could save me some money. Just curious now what you think and what may be the best option for me. Thank you for your help!

  6. ismayil says:

    Thanks so much, such great content here!
    very helpful, much appreciated!!!

  7. Jesse says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for publishing yer another informative article. I am s little confused about one thing though. I already have a website that is up and running through hosted by Siteground and now want to launch a podcast off the back of the website. When you say that I need a podcast host like Libsyn or Bluebrry can I link my existing website to these hosts or do I need a totally new website?

  8. Jye Citizen says:

    I am new to the podcasting game, my friend and I are in the process of building just out of our rooms. My question is what is the difference between the media host like libsyn and the podcast distributor like Spotify? If we were to use Libsyn, this means we are able to upload our podcast to the distributor sites like Spotify, Apple or Sound Cloud.

    Thanks

    • Matthew McLean says:

      Hi Jye, that’s right yes. I’d recommend reading this article which explains things a bit more.

  9. Sammy says:

    Hi, can anyone tell me which hosting media site they prefer better, Libsyn or Blubrry?

    Thanks!