October 23, 2020

The Seven Best Platforms To Host A Podcast

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If you are interested in hosting a podcast, then it would be prudent to use the best possible platform to distribute the show. I'll go through some of the best hosting platforms for podcasts (both paid and free options) available in 2021.


How Do You Find The Best Platforms  To Host A Podcast?


Over the past few years, podcasting has exploded in popularity. Various creators have capitalized on the benefits that come with podcasting in order to increase revenue, diversify content distribution, and grow audiences.


If you are in search of a hosting platform for your podcast to get it running, keep reading.


AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: We reference companies in this article because of their relevance and often due to partnerships. As you click on links to those partner sites, our company may be remunerated. This support helps our site so we can keep bringing you the best answers for small business.


Will Launching A Podcast Be Worthwhile In 2021?


Why is podcast hosting worth considering in the first place? I'll share the best hosting platforms for podcasts so that you’ll have a better idea of the best podcast hosting sites.


Buzzsprout: Limited Free Plan / $12 a month


Buzzsprout is the best hosting platform for a podcast, and with good reason. The platform is user-friendly, and you can get started for free.


The hosting plans that you can pay for are budget-friendly. There are a slew of different features that come with each affordable package.


Buzzsprout has been hosting platforms for people for over a decade now. In that time, they have put together plans that accommodate just about everybody’s budgets and needs.


The free hosting plan will be ideal for beginners interested in testing out the waters without committing to anything.


With regards to hosting platforms for podcasts, Buzzsprout offers a variety of features that can help you launch your podcast and grow it over time effortlessly. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use this platform.


Buzzsprout Features


  • Magic mastering for audio quality
  • Auto episode optimization
  • Advanced analytics
  • A monthly bandwidth limit of 250 GB (which permits as much as 40,000 individual downloads).
  • Unlimited storage

BuzzSprout

Limited Free Plan / $12 a month

Pros

  • User-friendly, no technical knowledge is required 
  • Easily embed podcast player on websites
  • Outstanding audio quality
  • Plans are very affordable

Cons

  • Only 120 minutes of content each month on free plan  
  • An upgrade to a paid plan will be necessary

Conclusion:

Without question, Buzzsprout comes highly recommended, particularly for podcasters on a budget (or beginners). The free plan is quite robust and their premium plans are inexpensive. You’ll be able to access all sorts of features that can help you launch a podcast as well as scale it up.


Although Buzzsprout does offer customers a complimentary hosting plan, it won’t be long before users upgrade to a paid plan, as the features are well worth the monthly cost. Paid plans also come with promotional and production tools.


Simplecast: $15 a month


Simplecast does not offer a free plan and that is the only thing that prevented them from reaching the number one spot on this particular list.


Mind you, a free 14-day trial is available. Nevertheless, brands all over the world use Simplecast to host podcasts. If your budget allocates podcast hosting, you would be well suited to use Simplecast.


You are encouraged to start with the free trial. If you’re content with the way the platform works, you can pick between a few different premium plans.


Although Simplecast charges more than their counterparts, they certainly don’t disappoint, as far as functionality and robust features go.


Simplecast Features


  • A podcast player that can be embedded (this will come in handy if you will be writing blog articles in conjunction with the podcast)
  • You can share your podcast on social media using ReCast
  • Strong analytics
  • There is a mini-website that can be customized to accommodate your podcast.
  • Multiple platform distribution support
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage

Simplecast

$15 a month

Pros

  • Add team members with individual access levels
  • Shows can be imported easily from other platforms
  • SEO can be boosted via the audio transcript feature
  • Platform is rich with features

Cons

  • No embedd features to generate revenue  
  • Upgrade needed to get extra features

Conclusion:

One of (if not) the best hosting platforms for podcasts today is Simplecast. They deliver incredible value, and their monthly costs are relatively low. You get no shortage of features to choose from, and their customer support is top-notch.


If there are any issues with the podcast, get in touch with their support staff. You won’t be waiting long before they resolve your issue.


You can sign-up with Simplecast by clicking here. The process is very easy.


Anchor: Free Plan Available


Anchor is 100% free and there aren’t any strings attached. There are some limitations to be mindful of, though and you cannot embed the podcast player.


Monetization of the podcast will be fairly limited, as well. But you can use Anchor to create your podcast, post it, and distribute it. Just because this hosting platform is free doesn’t mean that the features it provides are subpar.


Anchor Features


  • User-friendly tools for podcast creation
  • Analytics dashboard
  • Distributing your podcast can be done with one click

Anchor

Free Plan Available

Pros

  • Completely free to use
  • Monetization opportunities with sponsorships and ads
  • No bandwidth, channel, or storage restrictions
  • User-friendly guest feature available

Cons

  • Cannot embed podcast player on websites
  • Does not integrate very well with certain websites

Conclusion:

If you are in search of a completely free hosting platform, consider using Anchor. With that said, the platform won’t allow you to regulate specific creation processes of a podcast – it is a heavily automated platform.


Since you can’t embed the podcast player, you might not use this platform for very long, but you can start using this podcast hosting platform for free right away.


For hobbyists and beginners, Anchor will be a tremendous platform. It helps you learn all of the bells and whistles that come with podcasting, and you don’t have to shell out the big bucks for it.


PodBean:  Limited Free Plan / $9 a month


PodBean is beloved by beginners and pros alike. They have a free plan that allows you to host a podcast, and the bandwidth limit for it is 100 GB (with five hours worth of content each month).


Analytics are included with the complementary plan. You can also use a website hosted on PodBean that is dedicated exclusively to your podcast. If you decide to upgrade to a premium plan, you get some better features.


PodBean Features


  • Website themes and a builder
  • Android and iOS app
  • Auto social sharing (includes YouTube uploads)
  • A free podcast website.
  • Embeddable players
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage

PodBean

Limited Free Plan / $9 a month

Pros

  • Many monetization options 
  • Video podcasting with premium plan
  • Enhanced customizations
  • Free hosting plan

Cons

  • Some reviews have claimed slow customer support
  • An upgrade to a paid plan will be necessary

Conclusion:

PodBean doesn’t come with very many faults, and the premium plan is less than $10 a month.


Whether you are using their free plan (which comes with slight limitations) or one of the paid plans (which are very affordable), you will receive value.


For more information about the plans offered by PodBean, click here.


Podiant:  $12.99 a month with Free Trial


Podiant is a new podcast hosting platform that has quickly grown in popularity. The developer of Podiant is an experienced web developer and podcaster who wanted to create a basic platform that was user-friendly.


Podiant is a fast and lightweight option, and its pricing options are also quite affordable.


Podiant’s Features


  • Includes a production assistant
  • The analytics dashboard is simple to use
  • The website is customizable
  • Storage is unlimited


Podiant

$12.99 a month with Free Trial

Pros

  • User-friendly dashboard
  • Podcast directory is customizable
  • Guest scheduling feature included
  • Auto social sharing

Cons

  • The feature set is limited compared to other paid plans

Conclusion:

This is a wonderful platform for anybody looking to upload podcasts as fast as possible and who don’t need a slew of features.


Minimalists will appreciate this hosting platform.


Podomatic: Free Plan Available


Podomatic has been hosting podcasts since 2005. The platform has helped a lot of podcasters accomplish their dreams over the last 15 years.


The free plan offered by Podomatic provides 15 GB worth of bandwidth and 500 MB worth of storage each month. You also get basic analytics. The free plan doesn’t come with an expiration date.


By upgrading to one of Podomatic’s paid plans, you’ll get a lot more features to use.


Podomatic features


  • A podcast website powered by Weebly
  • A podcast that can be used on Android and iOS devices
  • You can embed the podcast player on your site

Podomatic

Free Plan Available

Pros

  • Revenue generated via Advertisecast and Patreon
  • Play podcasts directly from social networks

Cons

  • Bandwidth and storage are limited 
  • No standout features

Conclusion:

Those in search of a simple hosting platform with a user interface that is beginner-friendly should look into Podomatic.


Regular podcasters producing a significant amount of content would be better off using Simplecast, Buzzsprout, or other full-featured solutions.


SoundCloud: Limited Free Plan / $12 a month


SoundCloud is renowned for being a song streaming service, but you can also host podcasts on it. SoundCloud can be leveraged to distribute the podcast to a bigger audience, potentially increasing your exposure in the process.


The free plan offered by SoundCloud gives you three hours’ worth of content each month, as well as basic reporting.


By upgrading to a pro plan ($6 a month) or the unlimited pro plan ($12 a month), you’ll get a lot more robust features, allowing you to produce content and promote it quite effectively.


SoundCloud Features


  • Embedded controls can be customized
  • Advanced analytics
  • Scheduled releases
  • Upload time is unlimited


SoundCloud

Limited Free Plan / $12 a month

Pros

  • Social reach provides budding podcasters with a bit of a boost
  • Can pin as many as five different podcasts on your profile

Cons

  • Free plan is quite limited 
  • Interface is quite poor, according to a lot of podcasters 

Conclusion:

Although SoundCloud happens to be a mainstay of the music streaming industry, it is far from a perfect podcast hosting platform. That is not to say that you shouldn’t try it out, though.


Consider the Following Six Factors When Choosing a Hosting Platform


There are a slew of platforms available, all claiming to be perhaps the best hosting platform for a podcast. Trying to pick just one can be a task that is quite daunting.


Consider the following suggestions that can help you filter through your options based on what your needs are:


Storage capacity - Will you need a significant amount of storage or very little of it? If you are producing episodes often, then choosing an option with minimal storage will be fine.


Bandwidth - If you have podcasts that get downloaded quite frequently, then the platform you use should offer generous bandwidth.


Integrations -  Quality hosting platforms integrate easily with other websites and tools. This feature allows you to promote, grow, and manage your podcast easily.


Analytics - Analytics happen to play a key role when it comes to marketing to an audience and understanding them better. Don’t make any compromises on this particular feature.


Monetization Support - The podcast platform you invest in should give you a significant amount of versatility if generating revenue is an aspect of your goals.


Budget - Is there a limit on how much you are willing to spend on a platform? Your budget must be considered when shopping around for a platform. There is no shortage of options out there that are budget-friendly, each of which can still give you features that you require.


Keeping your podcasting objectives in mind and gauging the importance levels of each of them, these are the winners for each category.


Best Overall Hosting


Simplecast - This platform is the go-to option if you are open to investing in a quality platform, and are serious about this venture. 


The Best Fully-featured And Budget-friendly Option


Buzzsprout - Those on tight budgets should first check out the free plan offered by Anchor. For more features, Buzzsprout is worth looking into as the platform is very budget-friendly.


Their cheapest plan is $12 a month, and comes with indefinite episode access, advanced audience analytics, and the option to work with team members, among other features. Based on the price point, you will get your money’s worth with Buzzsprout.


The Best Free Podcast Host


Anchor - Many premium hosting platforms provide some free options to help you get started, though the features are limited. Anchor is a robust platform that you can begin using immediately for free.


Spotify owns the tool, which gives them the ability to host podcasts for free without any up-selling involved. With that said, you need to be mindful that there are limitations with the free plan.


If you wish to generate revenue with your podcast, then you will need to upgrade to a premium plan at some point.


However, you cannot embed the podcast player. Also, monetization options will be limited. In such cases, you would be better suited to go with Simplecast or Buzzsprout, which have affordable hosting options


2021’s Best Hosting Platforms for Podcasts


Podcasting is a great way for you to deliver a message to an audience. This strong channel helps you connect with new audiences, as well as develop better relationships with existing ones. Podcasting also has the potential to generate revenue based on the platform you are using.


This list of podcast hosting sites can help you narrow down your choices and to pick a platform that accommodates your needs.

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