What Is Podcast Hosting?
Podcast hosting sites provide a place for you to upload podcast content so your audience can listen, share, and subscribe. A podcast host will keep your media files safe and online so you don’t need to worry about spending the time, money, and other resources to store them online yourself.
Podcast Hosting For The Non-Computer Savvy
Technology has simplified technical aspects of podcasting, like podcast hosting. Today, anyone can record a podcast and get it live online! You don’t have to have much technical knowledge to get your podcast off the ground.
You could think of a great idea for a podcast episode during breakfast and have it recorded and online by lunchtime! Once you’ve recorded your podcast, upload your audio and video files to a podcast host. They’ll provide everything you need to start distributing your show right away.
How Do I Host a Podcast?
Hosting a podcast isn’t hard: once you’ve recorded and edited your episode, add your media files to the podcast hosting platform. Each platform will have its own process for uploading audio and video based on how its software works. The process usually involves just a couple of clicks. When selecting a podcast host, read about how their upload process works so you know what to expect.
What’s the Difference Between Podcast Hosting and Podcast Distribution?
Podcast hosting sites store your podcast episodes online, examples of which are detailed later on in the article.
A podcast distributor is where your listeners will go to access your show and subscribe to your content. Some of the main distributors podcasters use include Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio. You can distribute your show by providing podcast distributors (aka podcast directories) with the RSS link.
What Are the Benefits of Podcast Hosts and Why Do You Need a Podcast Hosting Service?
Technically, you can host and distribute a podcast online using your own website, but this will cost you more time, money, and other resources. Podcast hosting sites simplify and streamline different processes, so you don't have to be especially tech-savvy or spend a lot of time on back-end operations for your show. Learn more about this and other benefits of using a hosting service for your podcast:
Analytics provide key insights about your show you can use to better reach listeners and create content they want to hear. They give you valuable info on listeners to help maximize your profits if you ever opt for monetization through ad placement.
Some advanced analytics info your host should provide: data on the number of episode downloads, apps and platforms your listeners are using to access your podcast, the location of your listeners, total time listened to your episodes, and more.
A podcast that takes too long to download or stream will turn off any listener pretty quickly. (nobody likes buffering!) Podcast hosts ensure your audience receives your content at the best speeds possible.
Podcast Hosting Sites Can Handle Data Transfers
Podcast hosting companies have sites designed specifically for podcasts and transferring podcast data. The latency for transferring your show will reduce when you use a podcast host, which means your listeners will have a smoother experience and won’t have trouble downloading or streaming your audio.
No Compromise in Quality
You won’t have to worry about compressing your audio and losing quality if you opt for a podcast host over hosting your content on your own site. Just make sure to choose a hosting plan that fits your needs based on the size of your audio and video files.
Repurpose Your Content
If a podcast host offers transcription services, you can repose your content for wider use online. Use transcripts as blog content, for posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and in ad campaigns to promote your podcast.
Features You Should Look For in a Podcast Hosting Site
You can find many great podcast hosting services available online, but you'll want to make sure the host has features that match up with the unique needs of your show. Not to mention, you don’t want to overpay for options you're not going to use! When looking for a platform to host podcast episodes for your show, consider these important features:
Storage and Bandwidth
Pay attention to storage and bandwidth limits. They will determine how much you can upload to your host and how many people can access your show’s media files at the same time. If you have long podcast episodes or if you put out content frequently, opt for a host that can provide a lot of storage. Check the bandwidth limitations to make sure your audience can download and stream your content comfortably without having to worry about buffering or slow downloads.
Podcast hosts are essential for a successful podcast. They provide analytics that help you make smart decisions about your show’s content and the directories you choose to list it in. Review the analytics capabilities of any podcast host and make sure they provide insights.
You can’t use your host platform’s features effectively on an overly complicated dashboard.Opt for a user-friendly dashboard instead. You can check out the free trial to see how the platform operates before signing up.
Transcription services are a game-changer. They open your show to the hearing impaired and provide useful SEO content. A potential subscriber who has difficulty hearing will be more likely to follow your show if they have a written copy of your content to follow along with. If you publish your show with a written transcript, you’ll rank better on search engines for keywords related to your content.
Price and Cost
Shop around for affordable podcast hosting so you understand what you’re getting in your hosting plan and avoid overpaying for services you don’t use.
Learn more about choosing a podcast hosting platform and the features they offer here.
What is the best podcast hosting site?
Every podcaster out there has an opinion about the best podcast hosting site. Truthfully, the best hosting service for your podcast will depend on factors like how much storage you need, the price, and whether they have the features you need.
That said, some podcast hosting sites lead the industry because of the quality and comprehensiveness of their hosting services. We've reviewed some of the top podcast hosting sites to help you determine the best for you and your show. Here are our picks for the best podcast hosting site:
1. Buzzsprout (free & paid)
Buzzsprout makes podcasting simple, but it doesn’t limit you creatively with what you can do with your content and advertising. This platform is constantly updated with new features and capabilities to help you keep your podcast fresh.
2. Castos (paid)
Castos provides different ways to reach different audiences. This platform can host public podcasts anyone can listen to and private, monetized podcasts. Their plans provide large amounts of both storage and bandwidth.
Features podcasters will love: Castos provides a customizable player that you can embed on your website. They also have a two-week free trial period and offer discounts if you pay for a full year upfront.
This site is best for: Anyone with a WordPress site will love Castos because the hosting platform integrates so easily via their Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin.
Price: The pricing for this host is tiered and there are plans available for $19/mo, $49/mo, and $99/mo. If you’re a big organization you can also sign up for Castos Premium starting at $499.
3. Podbean (free & paid)
Podbean not only acts as a podcast host, they also give you tools for promoting your show online. You can create professional podcasts in minutes without any advanced programming knowledge with Podbean’s easy-to-use tools.
Features podcasters will love: Podbean has a great app for iOS and Android, the ability to schedule when your podcasts publish, and mobile podcast publishing to make it easy for you to publish your show.
This site is best for: Podbean’s plans and pricing are great for new podcasters who don’t want to spend too much of their budget on hosting.
Price: Podcast has a free plan and paid plans available for $9/mo, $29/mo, and $99/mo.
4. Anchor (free)
Not only is Anchor free, but Anchor is an all-around hosting platform that offers you features for creating, hosting, distributing, and monetizing podcasts. It’s owned by Spotify and aims to be accessible to podcasters of all levels.
Features podcasters will love: Besides unlimited hosting, Anchor offers seamless podcast creation from beginning to end. With Anchor’s Riverside integration, you can now record video podcasts in top-quality and then easily distribute your podcast to Spotify and other directories without the hassle of downloading and re-uploading your show. Anchor also offers easy monetization tools and great features for audience engagement including Q&A polls.
This site is best for: Anchor is free and easy to use making it one of the best podcast hosting platforms for beginners. It’s also best for someone looking for an all-around seamless podcasting experience.
Price: Anchor is completely free
With unlimited hosting and the ability to easily host multiple shows, Transistor.fm is an efficient podcast hosting service for podcast management. The platform allows you to easily publish to various directories and offers tools for private podcasts and audience analytics.
Features podcasters will love: Transistor’s embeddable media player allows you to place your podcast beyond the traditional podcast directories. You can embed a mutli-episode, single episode or latest episode player on any existing website.
This site is best for: Transistor is the best podcast platform for podcasters wanting to manage multiple shows in one place.
Price: 14 day free trial, or you can sign up for one of the plans starting at $19, $49 or $99.
Simplecast is an audio podcast hosting site focusing more on distribution and management. It offers unlimited hosting, customizable podcast websites and detailed podcast analytics.
Features podcasters will love: Simplecast is suitable for podcast teams as it allows you to control the permissions of your team members. It also has an impressive customizable media player that picks up audience analytics to give you insightful feedback.
This site is best for: If you’re looking for detailed podcasting analytics, Simplecast is the right hosting site for you.
Price: Plans go for $15, $35 or $85.
AudioBoom is a podcast hosting platform ideal for tapping into podcast advertising. It offers unlimited uploads, private podcasting and impressive monetization tools.
Features podcasters will love: The AudioBoom showcase tools make ad insertion simple and effortless. All you need to do is select where you’d like an ad to appear and then AudioBoom inserts an appropriate ad for you. They also have Lirical: a host read system for larger podcasts to connect with sponsors' live reads.
This site is best for: Audioboom is ideal for podcasters looking to monetize their show through advertising.
Price: Plans start at $9.99 per month
Learn more about podcast hosting platforms and their features.
Are Hosted Podcast Services Safe?
When choosing a medium for your podcast hosting, use good judgment. Don't go with a service just because it's free or cheap.
Remember if your host platform goes out of business and disappears overnight, so will your show. Keep your show safe and secure by doing some research before choosing the hosting site. Podcast hosting sites like Buzzsprout, Castos, and Spreaker have built names for themselves in the industry so you don't have to worry about them disappearing and taking your show with them.
Avoid podcast hosting sites that say they have unlimited storage or are free forever to use. These offers sound too good to be true because they are- this business model isn't actually sustainable. Hosting sites with these types of offers either come with a catch or go out of business quickly.
Do Podcast Hosting Platforms Handle Distribution?
A podcast hosting platform will not distribute your podcast for you. They provide the tools needed for you to do it yourself. The process for distributing a podcast has evolved since the early days of online podcasting and is now simple and automated so anyone can do it without being a computer whiz.
How You Can Share Your Podcast Episodes Publicly
Podcast hosting sites will give you an RSS link once you've committed and uploaded your show on their platform. Use this link to share your podcast episodes publicly with your audience. The technology has advanced to the point where uploading new information about your podcast happens automatically through your RSS feed. You won’t need to go into each podcast directory individually to update episode information.
Podcast Hosting FAQ
Use our FAQ section if you still have more questions about hosting a podcast and podcast hosting services.
What Podcast Platforms Should I Publish My Podcast On?
Publish your podcast episodes on every podcast directory you can. Podcast listeners will never find your podcast if it isn’t listed in their podcast player of choice. We suggest submitting your RSS feed link to every listening platform that will take it.
How to Submit Your Podcast to Spotify
After you’ve signed up for a Spotify account, simply put the link to your RSS feed in when asked for it. You’ll verify yourself as the owner of the podcast via email. Once you do, Spotify will list your show. You can also directly submit a video podcast to Spotify through Anchor with Riverside.
How to Submit Your Podcast to Stitcher.
After you create a Stitcher Creator account, upload your RSS link. Then complete the authorization sent via email to get your podcast listed on Stitcher.
How To Upload Your Podcast And Episodes To Your Site
Uploading your podcast to your site will depend entirely on your website provider. Some hosting platforms have integrations with platforms like WordPress websites to make uploading your podcast easier.
Where can I upload my podcast for free?
Free podcast hosting sites include:
- Buzzsprout (free plan)
- Podbean (free plan)
- Spreaker (free plan)
- Podomatic (free plan)
- Acast (free plan)
- Soundcloud (free plan)
For more about free podcast hosting sites, check out our blog on free podcast hosting.
How much do podcast hosts make?
How much a podcast host can earn varies greatly, and many podcasters don’t make any money from their program. Using monetization on a platform like YouTube, creators can make a six-figure salary if well-established with good sponsors.
What are podcast directories?
“Podcast directory” is just another term for a listening app where your audience can listen and subscribe to your show. Some of the most popular podcast directories are Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.
How does your podcast get into podcast directories?
Once you’ve chosen a podcast host, use the RSS feed link provided by your podcast hosting platform to get your podcast listed in directories. Then new episodes and episode information will update automatically every time you upload content.
What is the best cheap podcast hosting site?
You can find many affordable options for podcast hosting services if on a tight budget. To find the one that's best for the needs of your show, use the free trial option available on most major podcast hosting sites.
Can you have a podcast on multiple hosting sites?
Uploading your podcast on multiple hosts can take a lot of time and work and isn't necessary. It can also dilute the traffic to your main feed and mess up your analytics. We suggest using one hosting site and sticking with it. Then use the RSS feed from your podcast host to share your show.