Where to Host Your Podcast in 2020
As a new podcast creator, you’ve got a lot of options on places to host your podcast. Let’s find out which one is right for you.
So if you are like, well, just about anyone living in 2020, you’ve thought about starting a podcast. You get some buddies, set up some mics, and discuss what 80’s synth pop band has the best vocalist while drinking craft brews on your new show, “Tears for Fears and Beers.” You decide you don’t like that name anymore, so you settle for “Bock of Seagulls.” But after recording is over and you’ve mastered your file… how do you distribute it to the masses of hungry 80’s music fans that are dying for your content? That’s what we are diving into today. What options do you have when it comes to hosting your podcast, both free and paid? Let’s dive in!
Difference Between Hosting Sites and Directories
Now, as easy as it might seem, you unfortunately can’t upload your podcast directly to the sites where you typically listen to podcasts, such as Spotify and iTunes. They require something called a RSS feed, or “Really Simple Syndication.”
That’s where hosting sites come into play. A hosting site is a place where you can upload your audio files, and the site creates a library of your content and uploads it to an RSS feed. That RSS feed is planted within all the different podcast directory sites (either by the hosting site or by yourself), and your content spreads out around the world from there.
Libsyn is one of the oldest and most tried-and-true hosting sites out there. A large chunk of popular podcasts are hosted here, mostly because of their wonderful distribution infrastructure and abilities for scaling once your podcast gets a bigger audience.
Once you upload your podcast, Libsyn will give you the ability to upload your podcast to over twenty different podcast platforms such as iTunes, Podcast Addict, and PocketCasts. They also offer tools to monetize your podcast by allowing businesses to splice their commercials and ads into your podcast, with no work needed on your end. Also, most of their features are available at all price points, making it great for budget-conscious podcasters.
Price: $5 a month for 50mb per month upload size, $15 for 250mb, $20+ for higher allotments
Buzzsprout is one of the more user-friendly options in this list, and has helped a lot of people out there get their podcast off the ground. It caters to beginners and longtime podcasters alike. With advanced analytics to show you who’s listening around the world and how they are listening, it’s one of the top choices for any level of podcaster.
They have probably one of the easiest distribution features. Just simply upload your podcast episode, and Buzzsprout does all of the work to get your audio onto just about every single major platform. They also measure their size requirements to hours, not megabites, due to their own optimization process.
Price: Free for 2 hours of content per month (Podcasts are deleted after 90 days), $12 for 3 hours per month, $18+ for 6 hours and up.
Simplecast, like the name suggests, is an extremely easy-to-use podcast hosting and management site. It does two things extremely well: hosting your audio files (no matter the size), and incredible analytics to measure your podcast’s success. The website is sleek and modern, easy to maneuver, and one of the cheapest options for unlimited storage.
Price: $15/mo for unlimited storage, $35+/mo for added features such as team member access and more analytic tools
Megaphone is one of the more enterprise-centric sites on this list. You can tell right from the first page of their site, which is half dedicated to advertisers and half for publishers. If you are looking to monetize your podcast, Megaphone has the framework and team dedication to get your podcast to start making money once you solidify your audience. It’s trusted by huge names in the podcasting game such as Gimlet, Vox Media, and the Wall Street Journal.
If you’re just hosting a podcast with your buddies this might not be the best choice. But, if you are starting a podcast for your company and you already have a large audience, this is one of the best ones to choose.
Price: Custom Quote
If you want to both host your podcast and a website for it as well, PodcastGIANT is an admirable choice. They offer fast and unlimited podcast hosting, along with a custom website that hosts your podcast for your audience to find. They automatically optimize your content for SEO so you don’t have to worry about becoming a search engine expert overnight to get your podcast seen.
Price: $37 per month for unlimited uploads
Just like PodcastGIANT, Fireside is focused on hosting your podcast alongside creating a beautiful website for it. They’ve got analytic tools, website building features, and a distribution network that gets your podcast on every major streaming app. They’ve also got a pretty competitive price for unlimited storage and downloads, so it’s a fine price for someone looking to build a brand. If you already have episodes hosted elsewhere, they’ve got a one click importer that grabs your episodes from another site without losing any subscribers.
Price: $19 per month for unlimited uploads and storage
SoundCloud is a unique hosting site, since it is both a hosting site and a distribution/streaming service. You may know SoundCloud from underground rappers and mixtape releases, but it’s also a great alternative for someone who just wants their podcast in one place. Their comment system allows people to comment on specific timestamps, giving you detailed feedback on what your audience connected to. SoundCloud does not distribute to other sites such as Spotify and iTunes, so be aware if you decide to host your audio files here. It is free, though, so many people choose it for its ease of use and availability.
Price: Free for 3 hours of content a month, $10.80 a month for unlimited storage
So, which podcast hosting service is the right one for you?
Now that you know all of the options available to you, how do you decide which one is right for you? Well, we came up with a “Podcast Hosting Selector” for you. This will help you narrow down your choices based on things you should consider before starting your podcast.
If You Are On A Tight Budget, and Only Releasing Monthly Episodes: Libsyn
Libsyn offers a plan for $5 a month with a 50mb upload limit. It’s the perfect size if you only want to release one or two episodes per month.
If You’re Just Having Fun, and Don’t Want to Spend Any Money: SoundCloud
SoundCloud is the perfect platform for people that just want to record a podcast with their buddies, and host it somewhere where they don’t have to worry about payments or monetization.
If You Are Serious About Podcasting, But Have a Limited Budget: Simplecast and BuzzSprout
With a $15/mo price plan for unlimited storage for Simplecast and a $12/mo for 3 hours of content on Buzzsprout, Simplecast and Buzzsprout are best sites for people who really want their podcast to be ready for growth and audience retention.
If You Want Both a Podcast and a Slick Website: Fireside and PodcastGIANT
Both Fireside and PodcastGIANT offer simple avenues for you to create a killer website to host your podcast on. If that’s something that’s important to you, it’s a good idea to stick to the sites that have the infrastructure to support it.
If You Are Working With an Enterprise Company and Want Immediate Reach: Megaphone
Megaphone is essentially the Cadillac of the hosting sites. Their prices are quote-based, and they work with some of the biggest clients out there in the podcasting world. If you are starting a podcast for a big company or even a medium-sized one, Megaphone is the perfect site to get an immediate audience and access to advertisers as quickly as possible.
Cover image by maicasaa.
Looking for more advice on podcasts and editing audio? Check these out.