Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top picks? The best podcasting hosting sites for most people is Buzzsprout.
There’s a podcast for practically anything these days and the topics covered are as diverse as the creators themselves and their locations throughout the world. Numerous podcasting hosting sites have been aiding these creators through the provision of podcast hosting platforms that give them an outlet or channel through which they can show their content off to the world.
But here’s the big question: how do you know which podcast hosting services work best for you and shows off your content to the widest possible audience?
What Exactly Are Podcasting Hosting Sites?
Podcasts are an episodic series of digitally recorded audio files that can be played on or downloaded onto a personal device (desktop and / or mobile) for listening. These are so-called because the original podcasts were meant to be played on the iPod, Apple's proprietary portable media player; in fact, the term is a portmanteau of the words iPod and broadcast.
Since then, the term has been used to refer to both live and recorded broadcasts aired through various streaming media channels. Podcasts, particularly serialised ones, feature one or more anchors engaged in discussions, conducting interviews, or presenting relevant information regarding a broad spectrum of topics ranging from science, health and wellness, education, entertainment news, current events, and even gastronomy.
Many podcasters even have an information site linked to their main broadcasting site where listeners can browse through guest profiles, online references, transcripts, and other resources.
Our Handpicked List of the Best Podcast Hosting Platforms:
Given the sheer number of podcast hosting services currently available online, we found ourselves challenged when it came to choosing the best of the best.
Our honours list includes the following:
- Buzzsprout – Users' choice
- Spreaker – Best all-in-one platform
- Podbean – Best in ease of use
- Blubrry – Best for WordPress
- Castos – Best for Growth
- Podiant – Now acquired by Castos
How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Platform:
As with any technical, developmental, or creative service offered for online use, podcasting hosting sites are not equal to each other in most ways. Indeed, some may excel when it comes to functionality, but others will offer more stable broadcasting services that will work beautifully even on slower connections in countries where wireless networks aren’t so technologically advanced.
In which case, be sure to check if the podcast hosting services tick most, if not all of the boxes, when it comes to answering the following questions:
How Much Storage or Bandwidth Do Podcasting Hosting Sites Allow?
This is critical: the amount of storage space and broadcast bandwidth a podcasting hosting site provides users is the primary factor affecting a podcast. Knowing just how much you can use enables you to determine how many episodes you can post in a week, how much of your archives you can let your audience access, and even how many people can listen live or download episodes at any given time.
The podcast hosting services' storage allowance determines how many files your account may host, along with the average size per file. Bandwidth, on the other hand, affects how much content can be uploaded to or downloaded from the host, essentially influencing how big an audience you can reach out to. Both are vital to know for those who are set to podcast for the long term.
What Do the Podcast Hosting Services Offer in Terms of Analytics?
Analytics is a fundamental tool in any podcaster's arsenal as these will help them understand their core audience. Pretty much like ratings in traditional broadcast media, these tell you how far a reach you have, which audience clusters are listening, and what topics are trending. When presented and used correctly, analytics help direct podcasters' thinking towards creating more engaging content.
Be sure, however, that your podcasting hosting sites give you analytics that is, ideally, certified by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) or – at the very least – IAB-compliant.
Can You Create A Site to Boost Audience Engagement?
While having a website to support or complement your podcast isn't mandatory to have, it does help improve audience engagement and can even encourage more listeners to follow your show. In which case, you will need the best podcasting hosting platform that can be integrated with your site.
This is actually not too big an issue as many podcasting hosting sites already offer compatibility features for integration with user domains and RSS feeds. Podcasters who have WordPress-built sites actually have an edge over others. The CMS builder already has a plugin that makes it compatible with a number of podcast hosting services.
How Easy is it to Use and Does it Come with Tech Support?
Be sure to go over the features offered by paid and best free podcast hosting sites as some of these may be too complex to be used by those whose technical capabilities are at their most basic.
Pro-tip: check the web for easy-to-follow tutorials regarding the platforms you're considering, particularly those which present video walkthroughs via YouTube to give you a working idea as to how easy it actually is to use and how quickly you may be able to learn how to use it.
Also, it helps to know how quickly the podcasting hosting sites technical team can come to your aid in case you run into issues whilst using the software or app.
Can You Link it to a Streaming Media Player?
This is easy enough to answer since virtually all podcasting hosting sites provide a media player that users can embed into the backend of their websites, allowing site visitors to listen in or download.
In which case, choosing the best place to host podcast based on its media player depends on whether or not its aesthetic works with one's website, how easily it can be shared to or deployed on social media, and how easily listeners can subscribe to your podcast.
Our Top Five Podcast Hosting Services:
Based on the criteria presented above, here are our tried and tested picks for the best podcast hosting platforms:
Buzzsprout is one of the older podcasting hosting services currently available, seeing how it's been around since 2009. But it's also the one with the highest level of user satisfaction because it's one of the easiest platforms to use; small wonder it's the podcast hosting service of choice of over 100,000 content creators and anchors
It's also one of the few podcasting hosting sites that offer a free podcast website plan – but this comes with a heavy caveat: you can only upload two hours of content and these can only be hosted online for 90 days.
We recommend that those who are into podcasting for the long term get a paid Buzzsprout plan as this is a more practical choice. You may even scale up and upgrade the plan depending on how much content you have to upload within a month.
We also like how the Buzzsprout podcast hosting services' user community is also one of the most active and diverse podcasting communities on social media, so even new users can get help from old hands as well as the platform's professional customer care and technical service teams.
- Lists user podcast in top online directories;
- Allows users to monitor podcast stats in real time;
- Proprietary Magic Mastering technology for optimising audio uploads;
- Transcription for optimised accessibility; and
- Individual podcast episodes are broken down into chapters for easier listener browsing and playback.
- Best place to host podcast for accessibility for audio-impaired users;
- Online community bolsters peer support for users;
- Reasonable monthly cost
- Free podcast hosting is riddled with ads;
- You can only upload two hours of content for hosting within a 90-day period;
- Magic Mastering only available for paid accounts
Pricing: Free plan; Paid plans range between $12 and $24 monthly.
Bonus: Get a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Spreaker is a unified best podcast hosting platform that offers features for creation, hosting, distribution, and even the monetisation of one's podcast. So long as you're able to produce high-quality content, it's a platform that offers a great deal of potential when it comes to growing your reach and audience.
The CMS-driven interface allows for real-time content publication and streaming, and enables users to stream their work through the most popular platforms, including Spotify and the podcast platforms for both Google and Apple.
- Multiple podcast hosting;
- Customisable RSS feeds;
- Customisable monetisation feature; and
- Advanced analytics.
- Best place to host podcast for free;
- Paid plans are fairly priced;
- Easy to use interface
- Technical support is iffy at best as you have to email them to get help;
- Not the best podcast hosting platform for money-back guarantee and refunds.
Pricing: Free plan; Paid plans range between $8 and $50 monthly
If you’re just starting out when it comes to podcasting, Podbean may be the best podcast hosting platform for you. One of the easiest podcast hosting services to use, this platform is also one of the most pro-active when it comes to boosting audience engagement.
- Allows distribution via multiple online channels;
- Dynamic advertising feature allows users to monetise their work;
- Live audio streaming; and
- Native app for both Android and iOS for recording, editing, and broadcasting on the fly.
- Free plan available;
- Allows for content creation and broadcasting on mobile;
- Best place to host podcasts and earn through the monetisation.
- Limited site design options;
- Limited SEO functionality;
- Not the best place to host podcasts for monetisation
Pricing: Free plan; Paid plans range between $9 and $99 monthly
Highly compatible with WordPress, Blubrry is one of the best podcast hosting platforms that WordPress users can certainly optimise to their advantage.
The podcasting hosting sites is structured in such a way that WordPress-using podcasters can upload podcasts directly from their CMS dashboards, allowing for smooth and seamless uploading and an equally problem-free broadcast.
- No-fault hosting for additional storage;
- Advanced analytics across all plans;
- Best place to host podcasts for WordPress via PowerPress
- Unlimited bandwidth regardless of plan;
- Free migration from a different hosting platform;
- Excellent technical support
- Not the best place to host podcast for beginners;
- No free plan;
- Can get quite expensive
Pricing: Paid plans range between $12 and $20 monthly
If you’re the sort of podcaster whose motto is go big or go home, Castos is the best place to host podcast. The platform was specifically created for podcasters who have long term growth in mind; in which case, it allows for maximised ease of use and actually offers an advantage for podcasters who have WordPress sites.
- Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin for WordPress for episode management;
- Republish feature for posting podcasts on YouTube;
- Automatic transcription for improved accessibility and SEO;
- Page creation feature for individual episodes; and
- Unified dash for analytics.
- Analytics can be done using a single dashboard;
- Best place to host podcast for episode management;
- Allows for maximised audience growth
- No free trial;
- Needs a WordPress account to work;
- Also requires better than average knowledge of the WordPress backend.
Pricing: Paid plans range between approximately $16 and $83 monthly
Conclusion and Recommendation:
There you have it. From our honours list, we have judged Buzzsprout to be the best podcast hosting platform.
As stated earlier in this article, you would do well to read through individual podcasting hosting sites. This way, you'll know as much as you can about what they can offer before you commit to one. Also, we must reiterate that it helps a great deal to watch any walkthroughs and multimedia tutorials related to the best podcast hosting platforms you’re considering in order to get a feel for the product.
Are podcasting hosting sites popular?
Yes, extremely. There are now more than two million podcasts being aired online throughout the world, with nearly 50 million episodes being listened to or downloaded for later enjoyment at any given time. This is quite a jump from a report published by Fast Company back in April 2018 wherein it was stated that there were 525,000 active podcasts that aired a total of 18.5 million episodes. Indeed, media analytics giant Nielsen estimates that there are 60 million households tuned into one podcast or another in the United States alone.
When did podcast hosting services start?
While web-based broadcasts had already been around for a few years, the term first entered public usage in 2004 when British journalist Bill Hammersley used it to collectively refer to the practise of streaming audio recordings and live broadcasting online in an article for The Guardian.
That's all for now:
If you've read all the way through this best podcast hosting platforms list, we are thankful. We hope you can now answer the question of what is the best podcast hosting sites for you! We have a large collection of articles, guides, and comparison reviews of eCommerce solutions, web hosting providers, website builders, and more!
Not only the best tea/coffee maker on the team Sophie keeps the many marketing projects flowing ensuring completion on time. Skilled across multiple marketing skill areas Sophie is our all rounder and a great asset to the team. Sophie is a website building trainer and tech writer who takes pride in helping small businesses and startups build their websites and launch their eCommerce platforms. Sophie is also the practical joker of the team and always wears a smile on her face. In her spare time she likes to spend her time with family. She loves going on holidays and spending time with friends.