Argh… from a pandemic, to lockdowns, to riots, to bush fires, to locust swarms, to a global recession and a nail-biting election. Let podcasting be your well-deserved escape this year.
Do you feel that? The desire to start your own podcast tugging on your heart?
There’s something pulling you to finally do what you’ve always wanted. You can feel the ideas bubbling inside. You sense them straining to escape. There’s never been a better time to start.
Approximately 104 million Americans listen to podcasts regularly. This is according to 2020 podcast statistics from Edison Research and Triton Digital. Good gracious! Yep, that’s what we said too. And there’s more where that came from.
Check out these eye-popping podcasting statistics here. Don’t worry; the report is absolutely free.
Ready to take the plunge? If you’ve never podcasted before, you’re probably wondering where you’ll host your podcast episodes. You’ll love our collection of the best podcast hosting sites 2021:
Best Podcast Hosting Sites 2021
Buzzsprout was established in 2009 to make podcasting simple. To date, the host has helped hundreds of thousands of podcasters, including small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals, to get started. Buzzsprout comes with one of the best-designed dashboards in the industry. As a result, you can spend more time creating podcast content than fiddling around with settings and uploads.
Some of Buzzsprout’s standout features include quick publication, advanced statistics, podcast directories, transcribed episodes, and plenty of customization options. The company has great customer support, competitive pricing, and is constantly adding new features to keep up with the constantly evolving podcast landscape.
Buzzsprout is a no-frills host that’s perfect for newbies. It gives you a simple way to host, promote, and track podcasts.
- Perfect for beginners because of its simple interface
- Easy to use
- Excellent customer support
- Fair pricing with a 90-day free plan
- Comes with awesome features such as visual soundbites and audio transcription
- Basic monetization features
- Free website with limited customization options
PodBean is a podcast hosting platform that offers innovative, easy to use services for podcasters. It has been around for over 10 tears now. With more than 300,000 users around the world, it is one of the leading hosting providers in the podcast industry.
PodBean comes with a rich set of features, including unlimited podcasting, flat rates, comprehensive stats, custom branding, sharing tools, audience engagement, and others. The signup process is super simple, and it comes with the option of a free trial. PodBean also comes with a mobile app for both Android and iOS.
Overall, PodBean provides more value than you’re actually paying for. It’s no surprise that more than 300000 podcasters use the platform. PodBean is perfect for both beginners and experienced podcasters.
- Free plan available
- Flat rates with all plans
- Mobile app
- Free website builder
- Listeners can only post comments when using the app
- Limited security features
- Users need an account to subscribe
- Lack of a money-back guarantee
Spreaker is an all-in-one podcast hosting provider that was founded in 2010. The tool allows you to create and distribute podcasts to your audience, among other things.
Some of Spreaker’s core features include a listening platform similar to SoundCloud, a clean UI, and one-click podcast distribution. The host also comes with Spreaker Studio to help users record their podcasts. Other features include insightful analytics, social media sharing, embedded players, flexible monetization options, and excellent customer service.
In summary, Spreaker has all the bells and whistles you need to create, host, and manage your podcasts. It’s perfect for podcasting veterans and newbies alike.
- Clean and easy to use user interface
- Easy transfers from other podcast hosts
- Digestible analytics
- Free option
- Limited customer service
- Getting a refund is hard
With over 750,000 podcasts in its directory, Blubrry is a podcast hosting site made by podcasters for podcasters. The company came into the scene in 2005 and was among the first to receive the IAB certification, which implies compliance with the official Podcast Measurement Guidelines.
Blubrry comes with a host of attractive features that include WordPress hosting through PowerPress, flexible payment plans, accurate podcast statistics, free phone support, and a modern podcast player. PowerPress is a WordPress plugin that allows users to upload podcasts directly from WordPress without having to log in to Blubrry.
Blubrry is particularly popular with podcasters with a WordPress site. The PowerPress plugin allows for smooth, seamless uploads that leave users with time to create quality podcast content.
- Perfect for WordPress users
- Free phone support
- Scheduled video support
- State-of-the-art analytics
- No free option
- Complicated for first-time users
Established in 2004, Libsyn is one of the best podcast hosting sites in the market today. The company hosts over 67000 podcasts across the globe and delivers over 110 million downloads to podcasters every month.
Some of the popular Libsyn features include OnPublish (a podcast publication tool), custom mobile apps, simplified monetization, and convenient payment plans. The company has also partnered with popular media companies, including RADIO.COM, Spotify, and Pandora.
Libsyn is perfect for both veteran and newbie podcasters who want to monetize their work easily and quickly. The company’s list of customers includes government agencies, professional media companies, celebrities, and all sorts of podcast networks.
- Proven track-record
- Flexible payment plans
- Easy to use
- Simplified monetization
- Users can host multiple shows
- Excellent customer support
- Dated website
- No free trials
- Users pay extra for advanced stats
Rather, it’s a streaming audio platform. SoundCloud hosts both music and podcasts, so you can expect it to be a bit thin on features compared to a dedicated tool.
Some of the core features of SoundCloud include the embedding functionality that works across website hosts, RSS feed, saving and sharing of podcasts, and unique podcast plans. The tool is also easily accessible to the average podcast listener, so you’re likely to grow your audience faster.
While the tool was originally meant for musicians, it has come a long way and is a go-to option for rising podcasters. It gives everyone a fair playing field, whether they’re a seasoned podcaster or a beginner.
- Geared towards audience interaction and podcast sharing
- Podcast app compatibility
- Free podcast hosting option
- Easy to use
- Made for musicians
- Thin on podcasting features
Transistor is a podcasting host that was launched in 2018. The company is relatively new compared to the competition, but it’s rightfully earned its place on our list. With more than 9000 shows covering just about every genre, Transistor is used by podcasting professionals, hobbyists, small businesses, and large enterprises.
Transistor allows you to create unlimited podcasts and is the perfect tool for collaborating. You can easily add members to your podcasts and allow them to edit, view analytics, and complete other tasks. It also features advanced analytics that can help with decision making so you can reach an even bigger audience. Transistor also allows you to distribute podcasts through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify Podcasts.
Transistor is definitely one of our favorite top podcast hosting sites for 2020. The company is focused on brands and professional podcasters, so it might not be ideal for beginners and hobbyists.
- Host unlimited shows
- Add team members
- Detailed analytics
- Easy to transfer podcasts to and from other podcast hosts
- Expensive and billed based on downloads
- Not ideal for hobbyists and beginners
Captivate is one of the newer podcast hosts on our list. But it’s a solid solution whose creators, from Rebel Base Media, are some of the pioneers of podcasting. And Captivate, without a doubt, deserves its place among the best podcast hosting platforms.
The host comes with a clean and easy to use interface that’s a delight even for newbies. Captivate also comes with a podcast player and customizable podcast websites that make it a breeze for your audience to enjoy your podcast episodes. All subscription tiers come with solid stats, so you won’t need an upgrade to access better analytics.
Captivate is an excellent choice for both seasoned and novice podcasters alike. You might find it a bit pricey if you’re just starting out, but the features are well worth the cost.
- Host multiple podcasts for one price
- Excellent marketing tools
- Handy embed player
- Multiple publishing workflows
- Unlimited audio storage
- Individual episode analytics
Simplecast is a podcast host that gives users access to top publishing, distribution, and sharing tools. The company was started in 2013, long before podcasts became a thing. Today, Simplecast is one of the most popular podcast hosting sites.
The simple process for uploading and storing your files makes it easy for users to get new episodes out. You can upload any file size, but the host alters all MP3 files that ate larger than 128kbps. With a subscription, you can create a customizable website and access statistics through an impressive user interface. The statistics are displayed according to the guidelines of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Simplecast is a safe bet for most podcasters. It allows you to store, distribute, and promote your podcast episodes without throwing in too many bells and whistles.
- Easy to use
- Excellent customer support
- Easy sharing
- Poor uptimes
- Poor RSS feed
Castos is a podcast hosting and analytics tool that allows users to manage audio and video files. As a podcaster, you get access to increased data on your audience. You can use it as a WordPress plugin or as an add-on on your existing website. There’s also the option of using it as stand-alone software.
Castos provides very detailed analytics of your audience. You get stats such as the location of your listeners, device type, playback duration, and listener/viewing stats. The user interface makes it easy to monitor these stats. One of the most significant selling points of Castos is the free unlimited storage feature.
Overall, Castos is easy to use and does easy work of syncing up with your WordPress site. It’s hands down the best podcast platform for WordPress users on our list. The host comes with a wide range of customization and analytics options that meet the need of many podcasters.
- Multiple payment plans
- Unlimited storage
- Easy WordPress integration
- Excellent analytics features
- Made for WordPress users.
What is podcast hosting, and why should I use it?
Podcast hosting is basically the middle man between you and your audience. It’s where you store your podcast files. Some of the reasons for storing podcasts with a host include:
- Audio files often require a lot of storage space and bandwidth. You’ll incur hefty hosting fees if you host them yourself.
- Podcast hosts have high end hosting equipment that allows you to host your podcasts without dealing with technical hitches. As a result, your audience will have a better user experience.
- It’s easier to distribute your podcast through a host since they already have a large audience.
What are the criteria for choosing the best podcast hosting provider?
The top considerations for choosing a podcast host include:
Go for a host with reasonable hosting fees. Note that you might save money by paying annually as opposed to monthly.
Free Trials and Plans
Providers with a free trial or plan are preferable since you can set up an account for a test drive. You want to make sure the host works for your needs.
What kind of analytics do you need for your podcasts? Get a provider that meets these needs.
Look into bandwidth options, server reliability, and uptime guarantees. You also want to look at the upgrade options if you need some scalability.
Blog or website
Do you need a WordPress site or to align every episode with a blog post? Find a host with WordPress integration.
How To Start A Podcast
Starting a podcast is fairly easy. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to launch your podcast.
Choose a Topic and a Name
You want a podcast that’s focused on a particular topic or niche. Narrow down the topic to something you’re able to speak about for many episodes. When picking a name, go for one that’s broader than your topic since you might want to expand what you talk about later.
Choose a Show and Episode Format
Choose a coherent episode style to suit your topic. You can be a solo host or go with a co-host. It’s much easier if you have a co-host. Conducting one-on-one interviews is a great way to go. Alternatively, you can tell interactive stories to keep your audience captivated.
Create Your Podcast Identity
It’s now time to come up with a description of our podcast, design your logo and cover art. You should also select your intro and outro music at the point.
Get Podcasting Equipment
Get a good microphone, laptops, headphones, audio recording software, mixer, and webcam.
Plan Your Monetization Strategy
Do you want to make money with sponsorships, or do you want to funnel your traffic to your blog? Set your goals before you begin.
Choose a Host
Pick a podcast host that gives you the features you need.
Record Your First Podcast
Put your best foot forward when recording your first episode. Introduce your audience to your show and tell them what it’s all about and what they can expect going forward. You want to create engaging content that you release in quick succession.
Spread the Word
Start sharing your podcast.
What is the best Podcast Hosting Site?
Your choice will depend on your specific needs. However, many podcasters will find Buzzsprout satisfactory for most needs.
Do you need a podcast host?
Yes, you do. The tools a podcast host offers are invaluable in the podcast creation process. You also need a way to get your episodes into people’s ears.
What is the most popular podcast hosting platform?
The most popular podcast host on our list is PodBean.
How much does podcast hosting cost?
You can expect to spend anywhere from $5 per month to $50 per month on podcast hosting.
How do I get my podcast on all platforms?
Here’s how to go about it:
- Go to Simplecast and set up your podcast.
- Publish an episode of your podcast.
- Submit the RSS feed URL of your show to the podcast directories. This is a one-time process where most people start by submitting their feed to Apple Podcasts via Apple’s Podcast Connect website.
- Get listed and approved in the directories. People will be able to find and listen to your podcast from anywhere in the world.
- Finally, add Listen and Subscribe Badges on your new Simplecast website and any web embed players.
What’s the difference between a podcast host and a directory?
A podcast host is where you upload the files of your episodes after you’ve edited them. In short, they are online storage platforms for your podcast audio files. When your audience is listening to your podcast, it is streamed from the host’s server. Examples of podcast hosts include Podbean and Buzzsprout.
A directory is where your audience goes to listen to podcasts and find new podcasts that suit them. Examples of directories include Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, and others.
What equipment do you need to start a podcast?
To start a podcast, you need a good microphone, call recording software, audio recording software, headphones, and pop filters and windscreens for your microphone.
What should I look for in a podcast host?
Some of the considerations you should make include storage capabilities, website integrations, audience analytics, monetization support, and content repurposing services.
Is there FREE podcast hosting?
Yes. In fact, you should probably start off with a free host if you’re a newbie. But you need to be wary. Most free services meet their costs by leveraging on your data. Essentially, your data is the product. Also, a free podcast host is more likely to shut down than a paid alternative.
Why Can’t I Upload My Podcasts to My Website?
Compared to anything else you upload to your website. The MP3 files of your podcast episodes can be massive. For example, a picture may be 300kb while an audio file might easily be 100 times that. Consequently, your website will experience lag when multiple people start downloading and streaming your podcasts simultaneously.
If this happens, there’s a chance your web host will kick you off, especially if you’re on a shared hosting plan. This is because your website’s traffic will affect the user experience of other customers.
Choosing a podcast hosting service(s) can be challenging. After all, podcast hosting platforms are not built the same. Our list helps narrow down the options for you. Happy podcasting!