As podcasting surges in popularity, so have podcast hosting service providers. While this is great news for those that want to break into the industry, it does make everyone wonder:
What is the best podcast hosting platform?
With so many choices, it makes it difficult for everyone to determine which of these podcast hosting platforms they should stick with.
In this post, we’re comparing the best podcast hosting platforms so you can figure out exactly which one is best for your needs.
Ready? Let’s get started.
The best podcast hosting services compared
Note: RSS.com is our top recommendation for podcast hosting. Click here to start your free trial.
Here are all the podcast hosting platforms you should consider:
RSS.com is one of the best podcast hosting platforms out today thanks to its features and ease of use. The platform is good for beginners and long-time podcasters.
Here’s a summary of what RSS.com has to offer:
- Easy to use. You can be up and running in five minutes
- Unlimited episodes, downloads, storage and bandwidth for just $8.25/month (paid annually)
- Sponsorship and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) options
- Free podcasting website
- Auto and guided submission to major podcast directories
- Embeddable podcast player
- Special discounts for educators, students and nonprofit organizations.
- Episode scheduling
- Translation tools
- 24/7 customer support
- Cross-platform, real-time analytics
With RSS.com, you’re able to add a unique cover, episode, and chapter art. This allows you to express your creativity, promote your show, and stand out from similar podcasts.
You can also share episodes on your social media channels and embed them on websites using the RSS.com custom player.
This podcast hosting platform will also distribute your episodes to the top podcast directories which include the likes of Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Amazon.
The great thing about this feature is that it lets you share your content with everyone—regardless of their preferred listening platform—from one central location. Basically, you upload all your episodes on RSS.com and it will take care of everything else.
A good podcast hosting site should have an analytics feature so that you can monitor your progress. RSS.com has exactly that. The cross-platform analytics tool tells you your audience’s download trend as well as your listening peak times. It even tells you where your audience is listening from which certainly helps especially for those that plan on launching promotional campaigns.
It will also tell you which platforms your audience is using as well as what devices they use to access your content.
Perhaps the best part about RSS.com is that it helps you monetize your podcast. You can work with its partners to get sponsors for your show. And if you have a lot of listeners, you can even choose to have dynamically inserted ads. That means ads will be added to your episode automatically so you can focus on other things.
But what if you already have a podcast? Can you still use RSS.com?
Not only can you move your podcast to RSS.com, but it will give you a six-month membership with unlimited features for free. It will assist you with the move and promises that there won’t be any downtime as far as the release of episodes is concerned.
RSS.com is not one of those free podcast hosting platforms but it’s certainly inexpensive considering what you’re getting.
Pricing: Student and NGO ($4.99/month), All-In-One Podcasting ($8.25/month billed annually), Pro and Enterprise (Custom Pricing)
Transistor is great for podcasters that plan on releasing more than one show. This podcast hosting platform will let you create more than one podcast regardless of which plan you pay for.
This platform will broadcast your episodes to all the major podcast streaming platforms. In addition, you can use Transistor’s custom player to embed episodes to a website which is ideal for those who have podcast websites.
Transistor also comes with an analytics tool that tells you the average downloads per episode, monthly listens, total listens per episode, most popular listening apps, and the devices used to access your content. The analytics tool will also let you know where your listeners are from.
There are other interesting features like the ability to create private podcasts. Transistor also comes with live customer support. There’s also a built-in podcast website. Depending on the plan you choose, you can add anywhere between 2 to 10 team members.
If you’re looking for dynamic ad insertion for pre-roll and post-roll, you’ll be happy to know that Transistor offers it.
One thing to note is that there is a cap on the number of downloads per month. The Starter plan gives you 20,000 downloads per month while the highest plan lets users download 250,000 times per month.
Pricing: Starter ($19/month), Professional ($49/month), Business ($99/month)
Captivate is a podcast hosting platform that was made by podcasters for podcasters. That’s the reason why it’s set up in such a way that anyone can pick it up and start a podcast straight away. You can even try it out for 7 days at no cost to see if it’s the right platform for you.
This platform gives you a website where you can store and host all of your episodes. It will also come with sponsor kits, private feeds, and other marketing tools to help you grow your podcast business.
You’ll be happy to hear that if your podcast is being hosted elsewhere, you can migrate your show to Captivate in seconds. It offers unlimited storage so you can create as many podcast shows as you need to. But keep in mind that this platform has a cap on downloads. If you need to increase your downloads per month, that’s when you upgrade to a higher plan.
Captivate lets you share your podcast on all the major listening apps with just one click. Get published on Amazon Music, TuneIn Radio, Player FM, Stitcher, and Spotify among other listening platforms.
It comes with an analytics tool that gives you a closer look at your podcast’s success.
Pricing: Personal ($17/month), Professional ($44/month), Business ($90/month)
Buzzsprout is another solid podcast hosting service with fantastic publishing and reporting features.
It shares your podcast episodes with prominent directories that include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Alexa, Castro, PocketCasts, and Podchaser. And it provides data on how many users downloaded your content, what apps they use to listen, and where these users are listening from.
This podcast hosting solution also has a feature called Magic Mastering. Buzzsprout describes it as an Instagram filter for your audio files. What it does is it applies a filter to your files so that they’re optimized for listeners, making you sound more professional to your audience.
But the optimization doesn’t stop there. This podcast hosting platform will also take care of optimizing the files themselves. Meaning you don’t have to worry about technical aspects like bitrates, file types, and ID3 tags. All you need to do is upload your episodes and then set a time and date for publishing.
There’s also the Dynamic Content feature that enables you to add or remove pre-roll and post-roll content. That means you can insert any message to all your episodes. This way, your listeners can hear any announcement you could have regardless of what specific episode they’re listening to.
Buzzsprout even lets you transcribe your episodes within the platform for accessibility and SEO.
Pricing: 2 Hours/Month (Free), 3 Hours/Month ($12/month), 6 Hours/Month ($18/month), 12 Hours/Month ($24/month)
Spreaker hosts several podcasting solutions that’ll make it easier for anyone to break into the business.
Part of what makes Spreaker great is the Spreaker app. Through the app, you can start recording podcast episodes wherever you are. Not only that, but you also have access to voice mixing tools, music, and sound effects. The app has Skype integration so you can have guests pop in and join the conversation.
This podcast hosting platform is by iHeart Podcast by it also distributes your content to Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and more.
Another advantage of using Spreaker is its advertising integration. It makes it possible to start a podcast from scratch and start earning right away. Ads are inserted dynamically, meaning you don’t have to worry about doing it manually.
And Spreaker doesn’t care about your audience size either. You can have insert ads even if you’re still building your audience. The ads themselves are relevant to your podcast niche.
In terms of Podcast analytics, you’ll have access to podcast listener statistics, episode popularity, follower statistics, podcast source, geolocation data, and device statistics.
Pricing: Free Speech (Free), On-Air Talent ($8/month), Broadcaster ($20/month), Anchorman ($50/month), Publisher ($120/month)
PodBean is not just about distributing podcasts. As a podcast hosting provider, it puts a heavy emphasis on its users’ ability to monetize their content.
This platform gives users the power to create and publish podcasts from within. It enables you to use your phone to start recording episodes. You can even broadcast live.
You can also connect your social media accounts to promote your content once they go live. Like other podcast hosting platforms, PodBean distributes your content to all the major podcast listening apps with just a few clicks.
This platform comes with unlimited audio and video hosting, so you’re not limited to publishing a certain number of episodes per month. Your subscription will also come with a professional podcast website with several themes to choose from. And yes, you can use your domain for branding purposes.
There is a scheduled publishing feature that lets you set when you want your episodes to be made publicly available. And there’s a cover art generator that allows you to generate artwork for your podcast.
PodBean offers several ways to monetize your content. This platform has a marketplace that matches you with potential advertisers. You can also create and sell premium content. Then there’s the Patron for Podcasters feature that lets users set up recurring monthly donations. You have the option of giving rewards to your patrons.
Pricing: Basic (Free), Unlimited Audio ($9/month), Unlimited Plus ($29/month), Business ($99/month)
Simplecast is one of the best podcast hosting platforms out there. Its list of clients includes the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Showtime, TechCrunch, Shopify, Medium, Target, and Kickstarter.
As a podcast host, Simplecast makes it a point to streamline the publishing and distribution of content to all the podcast streaming platforms. For instance, you can use episode templates to make uploading faster and more efficient.
The company is also proud of its analytics tool that Simplecast calls Audience. This tool can tell you where your audience is listening from — not only the country but also their current location like their home, work, or while on commute.
You’ll also know what parts of your podcast are getting shared the most. Simplecast is IAB-certified which means your podcast data is audited and approved by the IAB Tech Lab.
Switching from one podcast hosting service to Simplecast is also made easier thanks to its seamless importing process. The Simplecast Show Migrator works as soon as you choose a show and confirm its ownership. And should you run into issues, you can rely on the support team that’s available seven days a week.
Simplecast’s podcast player is embeddable. So whether you’re running a WordPress website or have a blog on Medium, you’ll have no trouble adding your podcasts for your audience to enjoy.
Pricing: Basic ($15/month), Essential ($35/month), Growth ($85/month)
Fusebox is a podcast hosting solution with several embeddable players suited for different situations. With this platform, you’ll be able to embed podcast episodes on different websites.
So if you’re making podcasts a part of your online course or as additional content for site membership, this could be the podcast hosting service you’re looking for.
Let’s pay closer attention to the available podcast players.
The Sticky Player is a floating bar that can appear at the top or bottom part of a website. That way, users can start streaming your show as soon as they land on your page. It works on all sorts of content management systems. You can make customized call-to-action buttons. And you can change the player’s colors to match your branding.
The Archive Player lets you showcase your podcast in its entirety. Unlike the Sticky Player, this gives users a full-page view of your podcast which makes it way more immersive. When users share your podcast link with others, it will automatically open in full-page view as well.
The Track Player is ideal for sharing one podcast episode. This is great when you want to include a specific episode in a blog post, for example.
Pricing: Free, Fusebox Pro ($19/month)
Castos is possibly the best podcast hosting service for WordPress users. With it, you can do both public podcasts for sharing your content with the world or do private podcasts as a way of offering exclusive content as part of your membership site.
This podcast hosting platform lets you create as many podcasts as you want regardless of the plan you select. This will leave you room to experiment with different formats and start other shows should the opportunity come.
The Castos WordPress plugin will let you control your podcast show from within your site. Just log into your account and you’ll be able to upload new episodes, create multiple feeds, look at the analytics data, and customize your player.
What’s also interesting about Castos is that it has an automated YouTube republishing and transcription feature. That means you’ll be able to expand your reach minus the effort as episodes get uploaded to YouTube automatically.
And when you upload your content, it does not only go live on your website but on the website that Castos gives you as well. This gives you another place for people to discover your podcast show.
Pricing: Starter ($19/month), Growth ($49/month), Pro ($99/month)
Blubrry is a podcast hosting service that lets you embed podcasts on your website. Every membership comes with a free managed WordPress website for users who might need one.
It distributes your podcast to different streaming services like Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart, Stitcher, and Pandora. It also comes with a free migration tool that you can use to switch from other podcast hosting sites to Blubrry. You’ll also get a podcast RSS feed.
It’s also great that for those that need customer support, you can send an email 7 days a week, schedule a video conference, or schedule a phone call with a member of the support team. There’s even a knowledge base where you can browse topics related to using Blubrry.
The player that Blubrry has is simple — not intimidating at all to use. It gives users quick access to important functions like displaying show notes, the download button, a subscribe button, and a share button.
There are no contracts and users can cancel at any time. And should you need it, you can subscribe to Blubrry Pro Production. It lets you edit and upload podcast episodes at an even better quality to sound even more professional.
Pricing: Standard Plan ($12/month), Advanced Plan ($20/month), Pro Hosting ($100/month)
Podcastics is one of those podcast hosting companies that manages to strike the right balance between podcast management and analytics. And it even does a great job with monetization.
Importing from another podcast hosting service is easy. Podcastics claim that you can import content from Apple Podcasts or any other source with an RSS feed in just two clicks. Once everything is migrated, you can start managing your episodes. You’ll even have the option to grant access to other team members.
Podcastics will not limit your uploads so feel free to add as many as you want. And to make sure that you stay on track of your target metrics, you can use the analytics feature to see how many hits your podcast received.
This platform uses powerful Amazon servers so you can be sure that your files will always be safe. And because Podcastics uses a worldwide content delivery network (CDN), your show will be available to everyone no matter what country they’re from with no latency.
Your podcast will be distributed to all major podcast streaming platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, and Podcast Addict. Podcastics also comes with a free website you can use to promote your content.
You can earn money through donations (Patreon, PayPal, or Tipeee). The Podcastics Affiliate Program also lets you earn 20% cashback for life on sponsored purchases.
Pricing: Premium ($4/month), Pro ($8/month), Max ($39/month)
What kind of features do you look for in a podcast hosting site?
First, you look at the price. This is especially true for those that are just starting. Expensive podcast hosting plans will typically include features that you don’t need at the moment. So it’s okay to settle for something that suits your budget.
You also want to look at the distribution network. Make sure that they work with streaming platforms that your audience uses.
The look of the player is just as important since it’s the main thing users will interact with to play your episodes. If branding is important to you, then you might want to find a platform that supports player customization.
And one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a podcast hosting site is its analytics tool. Find a platform that offers all the data you’ll need to make smarter decisions about your podcast business.
The best podcast hosting site will offer ways for you to monetize your content. Platforms that have automatic ad integration will make it easier for you to earn money through podcasting.
It will all depend on your needs as a podcaster. You’ll want to find a platform that offers wide distribution, monetization options, and great analytics.
Technically, you don’t. But distributing podcast episodes manually is not recommended as it is a time-consuming process. Also, there are aspects to it that less techy users might struggle with like generating RSS feeds.
Yes. They can earn money through advertising, sponsorships or direct donations from the community. They can also help you to promote digital products such as ebooks and online courses.
There are plenty of platforms that can host your podcast. But the best one depends on your individual needs.
The reality is that you can’t go wrong with any of these. However, it’s worth thinking about the features that matter to you. And it’s important to consider which features you may need in future, so you can avoid having to migrate to a new podcast host in the future.
However, if you’re unsure, I’d recommend sticking with our top-recommended podcast host – RSS.com. It’s packed with features and it’s affordable, especially considering what you’re getting.
Alternatively, if you need free podcast hosting, Buzzsprout is a solid option. Just remember that any free podcast host will be fairly limited in terms of functionality & other restrictions.
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