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Megaphone Podcast Host: Review & Walkthrough

Megaphone Podcast Host: Review & Walkthrough

Megaphone markets itself as the world’s leading podcast advertising and publishing platform. Taken over by Spotify in 2018, the platform is aimed at professional-grade and big-scale podcasters who already have 20,000 plays per episode to their name. If you’re an independent podcaster looking for a podcast hosting platform, Megaphone isn’t for you. However, if you fit the eligibility criteria and are in the market for a new hosting service, you may just have found the perfect solution. This article walks you through Megaphone’s strengths, weaknesses, and key features. Let’s dive in. 

TL:DR 

  • Megaphone is a podcast hosting platform aimed at publishers and networks that also works with advertisers 
  • Megaphone is exclusive to podcasters with an established audience, ideally multiple shows, and at least 20,000 plays per episode 
  • Pricing is only available on inquiry 
  • Megaphone allows its members to monetize using the Spotify Audience Network to sell advertising slots in their content 

How we’re reviewing Megaphone 

Choosing a podcast hosting platform isn’t easy. And when you’re a big network or prolific publisher, it’s an even bigger decision. We’ve identified seven key factors through which to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a podcast hosting platform: 

Pricing 

When choosing a hosting platform, we look at how much value for money a service is offering. Even with a business budget, it’s critical that the platform you choose offers high-powered features that deliver key outcomes and functionality without breaking the bank. 

Analytics 

When it comes to growing your podcasting business, actionable and in-depth analytics are key. We look at what kind of data a platform provides its users, as well as how accessible and easy-to-use they are. 

Media Player 

An embeddable media player is a must for sharing your content on social media and brand websites. We look not only at whether this is an available feature, but at how customizable and usable the media player itself actually is.  

File Hosting 

We don’t believe podcasters should have to compromise on audio quality. That’s why we look for platforms that are compatible with lossless file formats. In addition, we highlight whether a platform allows for video podcasting. 

Distribution 

Distributing your podcast should be effortless. If a hosting platform does its job, you shouldn’t even have to think about it. We look at which platforms you’re able to publish to and how straightforward the process is. Ideally, distribution should be taken care of. 

Monetization 

When operating a podcast as a business, the ability to monetize all aspects of your content from a single platform (as well as manage all your income streams) is essential. When looking at a podcast hosting platform, we assess the revenue opportunities it opens up to you, how easy it is to manage your podcast’s monetization, and any relevant eligibility criteria. 

Useability and Additional Features 

Lastly, a podcast hosting platform should be inherently easy to use. Workflows should be intuitive, straightforward and actively improve your experience using the platform. We also value any additional and unique features that have clearly been designed with podcasters in mind. 

Megaphone: Quick Takeaways 

Quick summary: Megaphone is a hosting platform that is pitched at high-level podcast publishers and networks, not at independent creators. Its principal focus is gearing content towards monetization via advertising. Megaphone acts as a conduit, connecting advertisers with key audiences. 

Price:  Available only on inquiry. 

Megaphone USPs:

  • Cutting-edge features. Owned by Spotify, Megaphone is constantly adding features and functionality that enhance the podcast experience. 
  • Aimed at big podcasters. Megaphone understands and caters to the specific needs of big-player podcast publishers and networks. 
  • Dynamic ad-insertion with flexible ad-points. Retain the final say over where ads will play in your content whilst still selling all your empty inventory and monetizing your back catalog.

What is Megaphone? 

Megaphone was acquired by Spotify in November 2020. It prides itself on having the ‘smartest tools to publish, monetize and measure your podcast business’ and is aimed at professional and branded podcasts. 

How much does Megaphone cost? 

To find out how much Megaphone’s services cost, you have to get in touch. 

On their website, they advertise an ‘Enterprise Plan’ that is aimed at publishers and networks with large teams and multiple shows averaging more than 20,000 downloads per episode. This plan includes: 

Core functionality: 

  • Support 
  • Publishing and distribution 
  • Reporting dashboard & tools 
  • Unlimited users and podcasts

Audience growth: 

  • Cross promo marketplace (coming soon) 
  • Promo insertion 
  • Embeddable player 
  • Episode importing 

Monetization:

  • Campaign creation 
  • Dynamic ad insertion 
  • Geotargeting 
  • Targeting back catalog 
  • Mobile device targeting 

Advanced Publishing and Analytics:

  • API access
  • Metrics export service
  • Cloned and ad free fees
  • Podtrac support
  • Custom metadata

Ad operations:

  • Demographic and intent based targeting (coming soon) 
  • Inventory forecasting (coming soon) 
  • Ad copy management 
  • 3rd party tracking URLS
  • Ad agency management 
  • Competitive separation (coming soon) 
  • Advertising tags
  • Frequency capping and pacing 
  • Billing reconciliation 

Analytics - metrics:

  • Actionable insights into audience engagement and listening habits 
  • Track downloads and ad delivery by country, region, state, city and app 
  • Metrics export services to power your own BI solution 
  • Publishing APIs that integrate with your internal tool set 

What’s the catch with Megaphone? 

It’s difficult to say what the catch is with Megaphone. At first glance, it appears to be a very powerful hosting platform. However, with relatively little information about its features or pricing available online, it’s difficult to understand exactly what a podcaster should expect when using the platform. 

Perhaps the biggest factor to be aware of is its niche target audience: enterprise podcast publishers and networks. If you’re an individual creator, Megaphone isn’t the podcast hosting platform for you. 

Advantages of Megaphone 

Easy distribution 

Megaphone makes it quick and easy to publish your content on all mainstream podcast apps. One less thing to worry about in your creation flow. 

Easy to use 

Megaphone is designed with a sleek interface that prioritizes the user experience. Their streamlined content management system works with intuitive publishing workflows that help you keep everything in sync and under control. 

Cutting Edge Monetization 

Megaphone’s high-power monetization features allow you to monetize your content and back catalog with dynamic ad insertion and targeting. 

Analytics for deep insights 

Gain deep and actionable insights into how your podcast is performing that can actively inform your strategic decision making. 

Supports scaling-up

Megaphone is aimed at ambitious podcasts that are operating as a business. They support you through your podcasting journey as you scale in size and needs. 

Embeddable player 

Megaphone provides its users with an embeddable media player to use for sharing on socials and other websites. You can choose between a single-episode and playlist players, customize it to be vertical or horizontal, add a subscribe button, and even push listeners to Apple or Google apps (depending on their device) using Megalink. 

Customer support 

Megaphone prides itself on quick and effective customer service, offering live chat support that promises to answer any problems in minutes. 

New service 

Megaphone is a relatively new service that is continually rolling out features (and, they’re just getting started). This means that Megaphone is adapting to the needs of their users and the market, proactively trying to enhance and innovate their platform. 

Collaborative workspace with team members 

Since Megaphone is aimed at bigger podcasts, they understand that you’re likely to be more than a one-man-band. You can add team members with different access permissions to your account so that you can work collaboratively on your show. You can also create networks, which is a way of organizing groups of shows and creating specific user environments. 

Disadvantages of Megaphone

Not open to all creators 

Megaphone is currently still a highly exclusive platform. In order to sign up, you need to get in touch with the service via email. And they’re explicitly open to applications from large networks and publishers that already have established multiple shows and more than 20,000 downloads per episode. 

One-track monetization 

Megaphone currently only allows users to monetize via the Spotify Audience Network. This is fantastic if you’re only looking to create revenue via advertising. However, if you’re looking to open up diverse revenue streams, via podcast subscriptions as well, for example, you’ll have to do this using additional software. 

Does not support lossless file formats 

Megaphone requires uploaded audio to be in MP3 format, so if you prefer to work with lossless file formats you may want to look elsewhere. 

No video podcasts 

Megaphone does not currently support video podcasts, which may be a major let down for some podcasters. 

Lack of transparency 

Given that Megaphone is currently only available via inquiry, and has fairly inaccessible eligibility requirements, the platform and its features are quite elusive. For creators who like to try before they buy, this might be a reason to look elsewhere. 

Key features of Megaphone  

AdLocator  

Megaphone gives its creators precise control over when, where and in what order ads and promos appear in your content. Since no episode is exactly the same, Megaphone has a flexible insertion point setup wherein podcasters are able to choose exactly at which timestamp an ad would play. 

You can add up to fifteen ad points via the AdLocator in your Megaphone dashboard and you can also bulk edit ‘expected ad locations’ in your draft content to make it easier for producers when they come to mark the correct number of insertion points. 

Streamlined ad-management 

Keeping track of all your ad campaigns, sales performance and invoices can be a headache. Megaphone streamlines the entire process using sleekly designed visualized inventory tracks that give you a broad and digestible overview of everything you need to know. 

In your dashboard, you have access to real-time available slots in your content for host-read ads or impression based sales as well as the ability to carry out bulk inputs for streamlined order entries rather than manual inputting. 

Megaphone is Best for Prolific Publishers and Big Networks 

Megaphone has a very clear target audience and that is not independent or small podcasters. Megaphone’s platform is designed for big-player networks and publishers that have an established audience-base and consistent output. 

Megaphone’s unique power and focus lies in the advertising and monetization potential of its members. And Megaphone’s ability to connect podcasters and aligned brands to create serious revenue opportunities should not be overlooked by podcasters interested in scaling and growing their business. 

First look at Megaphone Dashboard 

When you first log in to Megaphone, you’ll arrive at your Dashboard. Here you’ll be able to instantly access all the important elements of your podcast. 

The Top Reporting Bar shows you quick and key stats about your podcast’s performance, such as yearly and monthly downloads. 

You’ll also see two graphs that show your top performing podcasts and episodes based on unique listeners. 

You can access instant customer support using the live-chat widget in the bottom right of your dashboard. 

How to get started with Megaphone (desktop)

Step 1: Log in to your megaphone account 

Step 2: In your Podcast Library click ‘Podcasts’ on the left hand side of your screen 

Step 3: Click the purple ‘Create Podcast’ button 

Step 4: Fill out all your podcast’s information including its title, subtitle, summary, type, category and more. 

Step 5: Click save. 

Step 6: To upload an episode, navigate back to the ‘Podcasts’ page and click onto the relevant podcast. 

Step 7: Click ‘Create episode’ and fill in all the details. Choose when you want to publish this episode. You can either save it as a draft, schedule to publish, or publish now. 

Step 8: Upload your recording and cover image. Remember Megaphone is only compatible with MP3 files. 

Step 9: If you’ve pre-uploaded an episode and saved it as a draft on Megaphone, you can also use this. Do so by navigating to your ‘drafts’ tab. 

Step 10: Click save. Once your file has finished processing, you will see your episode appear in your podcast episode’s tab.

How to migrate your podcast to Megaphone 

Megaphone has dedicated articles that walk you through how to migrate and redirect from other major hosting platforms including Podomatic, Anchor, Spreaker, Simplecast and more. 

There are two stages to migrating your podcast: importing your existing content and redirecting your RSS feed. 

Step 1: In your dashboard, go to the ‘Podcasts’ tab on the left 

Step 2: Click ‘import’ 

Step 3: Copy and paste your RSS feed into the box 

Step 4: Wait whilst your existing content transfers over and is processed 

Step 5: Carry out a 301 redirect. Megaphone recommends contacting their support team via Live Chat for this step so that you can carry out the redirect process with their assistance. 

Importing a podcast on Megaphone podcast hosting platform.
(Image source: Megaphone)

How to distribute your podcast using Megaphone 

Step 1: Once you’ve created your show on Megaphone or redirected a pre-existing one, you will need to manually submit to the listening platforms that you want your content to be published to. 

Step 2: You can do this by following each platform’s specific submission process and using your Megaphone RSS feed. 

Step 3:Megaphone has specific instructions for most mainstream platforms on their help page. 

How to monetize your podcast using Megaphone 

Opt in to the Spotify Audience Network 

Megaphone members get the option to sign on to the Spotify Audience Network to make extra revenue. The Spotify Audience Network is a high-powered advertising marketplace which connects advertisers with audiences via podcasts hosted by Anchor and Megaphone. 

From a podcaster’s perspective, all you need to know is that the Spotify Audience Network fills any unsold inventory (i.e. space on your podcast) to interested brands. This is a great way to support your income and monetize your content without too much input from you. 

Submissions to join the Spotify Audience Network are reviewed on a rolling basis, so you can’t expect to hear back immediately. You’ll find the option to submit an application in your Megaphone dashboard in the ‘Spotify Audience Network’ tab. 

Dynamic Ad Insertion 

Megaphone has an automated multiple frequency capping option to avoid ad fatigue where a listener is bombarded with the same advertisement too many times. 

They target ads with highly focussed precision, using metrics such as demographic, geography and purchase intent to ensure that the right ads are being listened to by the right listeners. 

Don’t worry, though, you still maintain ultimate control over your podcast. You’re able to exclude certain types of advertising from running on your content. All you need to do is navigate to your podcast’s tab in the Megaphone dashboard. Head to podcast settings, then Spotify Audience Network Settings. From here, you can select which categories of ads you want to exclude. 

You can also set minimum price floors to ensure that only ads sold at a certain CPM threshold run in your content. 

Megaphone Podcast Analytics 

From your dashboard, head to the ‘reporting dashboard’. Here you’ll find sections such as Podcast Performance, Episode Performance, and Geolocation Performance. 

You can toggle the time range for all the data displayed and compare across your shows. 

Under Performance you’ll find information about total downloads of your podcast and episodes. 

Audience Geolocation tells you about your listeners’ locations. You can get detailed insights about their specific countries, regions and even the cities they’re tuning in from. 

Through Audience Applications, you’ll be able to see what listening apps your audience uses. 

Note, you can also get a quick look at how a specific episode is performing in the ‘Overview Tab’. You can see total downloads, a preview of your episode, and a performance report spanning the last month.  

Final thoughts on Megaphone 

Megaphone is pitching itself at the cutting edge of the podcasting industry. And with Spotify behind it, its trajectory is definitely promising. Megaphone’s focussed targeting of publishers and podcast networks mean that the entire platform is designed to cater for podcasting powerhouses with serious horsepower. The Spotify Audience Network is one of Megaphone’s biggest selling points, helping podcasts with a big audience-base capitalize on their value. As it seems that Megaphone is only just getting started, we anticipate even more innovative features as the platform grows. 

FAQs about Megaphone 

Who owns Megaphone podcast? 

Megaphone is owned by Spotify. 

Is Megaphone an ad server? 

Megaphone is a podcast hosting service that has an integrated advertising service that connects brands with podcast creators, networks and publishers. 

What does Megaphone do for Spotify? 

Spotify acquired Megaphone with the aim of reaching big podcast publishers and networks and helping them to build out their monetization streams.

Want to read more on podcast hosting platforms? Check out our other reviews:

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