5 podcast hosting platforms to start your show
Between designing, recording, and editing your podcast, you already have a lot on your mind when starting a podcast. A podcast hosting platform can take a lot of that stress out by handling the hosting, uploading, and embedding of files for you, among other features.
Whether your podcast is old, new, or nothing more than an idea, here are five hosting platforms that will make you want to start recording those new episodes.
Buzzsprout is first on the list, and for good reason. Getting started is easy, and you can use the service completely free for the first 90 days, although you’re limited to just two hours of downloaded content each month.
You’ll also find plenty of handy features to play with. Buzzsprout lists your podcast in a large number of directories, from Apple podcasts and Spotify to some perhaps less well-known directories such as Pocket Casts and Podchaser. It takes the time and stress of having to find these alternatives out of your hands.
Even with a free account, Buzzsprout offers advanced podcast stats like total downloads over time, and where and what people are listening to your podcast from. If you choose to upgrade to a paid plan, your episodes will be hosted indefinitely and there are several additional features as well.
Magic Mastering is one of the unique features of Buzzsprout, a process that smoothes and optimizes audio files to make them as professional as possible, regardless of your gear. This is just the tip of the iceberg, with other features like automatic episode optimization, dynamic content, and transcripts available as well.
Brought to you by the same minds who created Spotify is Anchor. Anchor is a free, unlimited hosting service that allows you to download and create any number of podcast episodes while giving you full rights to the content. This makes it perfect if you are just starting out. It also offers one-step distribution to all of the major listening apps.
Strong analytics functionality in Anchor, with data showing you everything you could possibly want to know about your listeners. The data Anchor provides includes average listening time, start and end times, and even your audience’s age, gender, and location.
As Spotify owns Anchor, the service supports the use of full tracks from Spotify in your episodes. This, along with support for monetization, referrals, intuitive editing tools, and an easy-to-use cover maker, make Anchor a very interesting option.
If you are planning to switch, Anchor even includes the ability to import your episodes quickly and easily through your RSS feed, making the switch much easier.
Maybe you’ve heard of Podbean before. The service has been around for over 10 years, so it wouldn’t be surprising if you did. Hosting starts for free, with fairly limited functionality as a result. You will only be able to download five hours of audio in total and with lower bandwidth than the paid options, but you will be able to use the service indefinitely if you never exceed that limit.
Podbean makes it easy to distribute your podcast by automatically listing your podcast among most distributors. It also gives you the data you need to be successful in the form of full podcast stats, although if you’re using the free version of Podbean you’ll only get basic stats.
It includes monetization support, with premium sales, a patron program, and an advertising marketplace, all featured for paid accounts. Podbean also supports live audio streaming. This allows you to expand your podcast and engage with your listeners through real-time calls and comments.
If you’re just getting started, Podbean also supports your own podcast site with RSS feeds, iTunes support, and beautiful podcast themes, even if you use its free service.
Transistor is a little different from other podcast hosting platforms you’ve seen so far. Although it supports a 14-day free trial, Transistor does not otherwise support any form of free plan.
As you are no doubt more and more used to it, Transistor allows you to easily submit your episodes to a wide range of podcast directories with just one click. It also supports submitting your podcast to both Listen Notes and The Podcast Index, two search engines designed to find and comment on podcasts.
Transistor analyzes are also interesting. Average downloads per episode, along with monthly viewer trends and the most popular episodes, are all shown. Transistor’s estimated subscribers analysis, which estimates your podcast’s growth based on current trends, is remarkable.
In addition, Transistor supports private podcasts. Private podcasts each have a unique, protected RSS feed that you can then give to each subscriber. This allows you to decide exactly who can access your podcast content, ideal if you want to distribute something only to your close friends and family, or maybe if you want to use it for your business.
Spreaker follows a similar layout to Transistor with different levels of paid options available to you. Spreaker, like many others, offers one-click distribution, although you’ll find that its catalog of partners is significantly larger than many alternatives.
His analyzes, too, are quite diverse. Podcast download, listener, like, follower, source, geolocation, and device stats are all available for you. However, some are only available at certain Spreaker service levels.
Spreaker’s biggest distinguishing factor, however, is the way it’s designed to work with your business. Not only a complete solution for audio publishing, Spreaker also offers an ad campaign management tool that offers programmatic ads to help you better move your product in national and international markets.
When paired with Spreaker’s easy podcast editing software and live podcast recording, Spreaker stands out for those of you hoping to use your podcast to boost your business.
Podcast hosting isn’t the whole story
Whether you’re new to podcasting or are a seasoned veteran with a fleet of podcasting companies under your belt, podcast hosting services can help you streamline the worst of the experience for you.
Hosting your show is only part of the battle though, and there is so much more to learn and think about.
Anyone can create a podcast, but you need to have the right tools. Here are the best apps and software for podcasters.
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