Looking for the best podcast hosting platforms? Whether you are planning to launch a new podcast or switch things up with your current service provider, you’re in for a good knowledge treat.
Podcasts are slowly becoming more and more popular over the years, and so it makes for a great platform to build or grow your audience base.
In the U.S. alone, up to 144 million people listened to a podcast in 2018. Imagine taking a chunk of that number.
But before shooting for the stars, I bet you need to hear what your best options are that can help you bring you closer to your goals.
In this article, we are going to look at the best podcast hosting platforms that you should consider.
Best Podcast Hosting Platforms Pricing Table
Here’s a quick summary of the pricing of each podcast hosting platform mentioned here and the corresponding special offers, if applicable:
|Podcast Hosting Service||Pricing||Special Offer|
|Buzzsprout||From $24/mo (with free plan)||Free $20 Amazon gift card|
|Captivate||From $19/mo||7-day free trial|
|Podiant||From $12.99/mo||14-day free trial|
|Transistor||From $19/mo||14-day free trial (2 mos free for annual subscriptions)|
|Simplecast||From $15/mo||14-day free trial (50% off first 2 mos)|
|Podbean||From $9/mo (with free plan)||30-day free trial|
|Fusebox||$8/mo (with free plan)||Sign up|
|Castos||From $19/mo||14-day free trial (2 mos free for annual subscriptions)|
|Blubrry||From $12/mo||30-day free trial|
|Anchor||Free (with paid plans)||Sign up|
|SoundCloud||Free (with paid plans)||Sign up|
|RedCircle||Free (with paid plans)||Sign up|
What Is a Podcast and How Does It Work?
A podcast is a sequence of digital audio files that users can listen to and/or download to a personal device.
Podcast hosting platforms are different from podcast platforms or directories.
Podcast hosting platforms, as the word may suggest, host and often distribute podcast shows and episodes. The ones that we often listen to — Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, you name it — are podcast directories that make our consumption so much easier and more manageable.
But before diving into the best podcast hosting platforms (and more) for 2020, let’s break down some criteria when choosing the right podcast hosting platform for you and your business.
How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Platforms
Knowing what you need for a podcast hosting platform is mandatory to make sure you will settle on the one that fits the bill.
Let’s unpack some touchstones.
How often do you plan to publish an episode per month? And how long will each episode be?
If you are planning to do weekly 10-minute episodes, then a free version might suffice. But if you are thinking of daily or hour-long episodes, then you might want to consider at least a basic plan.
Even if you are starting from scratch, think of the platform’s ability to scale with you.
Twelve months from now, is the podcast hosting service going to handle your episodes well in terms of storage, bandwidth, and uptime without killing you with insane subscription fees?
3. Pricing and Discounts
Does the podcast hosting service have monthly and annual subscription options?
Add some brownie points if the podcast hosting platform offers a free trial so you can get a feel with it first before diving into it.
4. Basics and Extra Features
We’re talking analytics, advertisement, sponsorship support, and website hosting, among many other features.
Extra features don’t mean trivial. They are extra because you can thrive with your podcast venture without them, but they are definitely a big boon to you if you think about it.
10 Best Podcast Hosting Platforms 2021
Before you get too excited buying your new microphone and recording your audio, let’s do a deep dive into the 10 best podcast hosting platforms first.
After this bunch, stick around because I will give you a breakdown of the 3 best FREE podcast hosting platforms that you should try as well.
Buzzsprout is a freemium podcast hosting service that has pretty much everything you need.
The analytics dashboard gives you an estimate of how much streams you get within the first 90 days for each episode and shows you where your listeners come from.
The podcast player support allows you to get a code and embed it on your website, whether you wish to highlight one episode or an entire playlist.
Other remarkable features of Buzzsprout are the chapter marker that allows you to record specific timestamps for an easy glance of your listeners, as well as the scheduling support for batch uploads.
You can even avail of the 128k stereo optimization for improved quality.
Though Buzzsprout has a free option, it can only store your audio files for 90 days, which is something you should think over.
Captivate is one of the newest podcast hosting services on the market developed by Rebel Base Media.
Though a newcomer, Captivate does come with a unique value proposition — a laser focus on helping podcast channels grow their listenership.
Of course, it comes with all the essential functionalities of a podcast hosting platform such as analytics, podcast player, and import tool.
Its salient feature, however, is the automatic podcast website and built-in calls-to-action that come with every user’s subscription.
Another feature that I love is an easy way to build your email list. If someone listens to your podcast player, it’s possible to prompt the listener to subscribe to your mailing list.
On top of those is a marketing tool that auto-generates links to podcast platforms like Overcast and Pocket Casts, so listeners can easily subscribe.
Podiant is packed with all the tools you need to host, upload, and publish podcast episodes.
On top of the basic podcast functionalities, Podiant allows you to create a blog and embed content from social media sites like Instagram and Twitter as well as YouTube.
This is particularly useful for amplifying the reach of your podcasts and eventually growing your subscriber base.
The nice thing about Podiant is its wide range of themes that you can use for your own podcast, as well as the templating engine that enables you to alter the code of your podcast website.
In addition, the integration support through Zapier, Dropbox, and other tools is quite practical to streamline your workflow.
The biggest downside about Podiant, however, is its analytics. The quality of data you get from Podiant varies on your subscription plan, which is a real big bummer.
Transistor is an all-in-one podcast hosting service that hosts many popular podcasts, including BaseCamp, VH1, and Laravel.
From hosting to distribution to podcast directories, Transistor provides a seamless podcast experience for its clientele. All you do is create — and they’ll take care of the rest.
Transistor can show you detailed analytics of your podcasts, so you can keep your head in the game.
Some data include average downloads per episode, number of subscribers, popular podcast apps, and trends.
Transistor also supports all the basic stuff like embed player, multiple users per account, and website hosting.
I highly recommend Transistor if you are starting from scratch and you have a vision to really grow eventually.
Why? Just because they are able to adapt to individuals or businesses that scale up at a reasonable price.
If you are already using other podcast hosting platforms, Transistor provides an easy way to import your podcasts.
Start a 14-day FREE trial with Transistor. Or get 2 months FREE if you subscribe to an annual plan.
Between the podcast hosting platforms on this list, Simplecast has the most robust clientele with recognizable brands like Facebook, Nike, HBO, and Shopify in its portfolio.
Simplecast is a full-suite podcast hosting platform that hosts, manages, and distributes your podcasts.
One thing that stands out with Simplecast is its promise to help you grow your channel, and so promotion is a huge part of its value proposition.
Besides a sleek and good-looking web player, a podcast website, and other standard features, Simplecast has a so-called Recast tool that provides a way to schedule and automate the distribution of podcasts via social media channels.
Simplecast also has analytics tools that allow you to see things on a granular level, such as the ability to compare stats of two episodes, see unique streams and downloads, and more.
Each plan includes multiple users per account and unlimited storage and uploads.
Start a 14-day FREE trial with Simplecast. Or get 50% off your first 2 months for annual subscriptions.
Podbean is one of the best podcast hosting platforms out there that you can take advantage of for its generous free storage allowance.
It gives you 5 GB monthly storage and 100 GB monthly bandwidth, which is likely more than enough for someone who’s looking to start a podcast.
Podbean even gives you a free podcast website and includes basic analytics. This is what makes Podbean a standout.
If you are looking to generate income off your podcast, Podbean has an advertising marketplace wherein podcasters can submit their content for monetization.
Other than that, Podbean has pretty much everything you need in a podcast hosting service.
Fusebox was developed by Pat Flynn, founder of the Smart Passive Income blog and one of the top business podcasts in the world of the same name.
Pat has been in the business and podcasting for decades, and so he knows exactly what a podcast show host like him needs.
The end result? A straightforward podcast hosting platform with fewer bells and whistles and more of everything you need.
And that’s what I love most about Fusebox — simplicity.
One amazing Fusebox feature that I truly like is the email capture, which is something you can only find in a select number of podcast hosting services.
On top of that, the transcript plugin that allows you to automatically add transcripts of your podcasts to your website for SEO and readability purposes.
If you are a WordPress user, you can simply download the plugin to port your podcasts from Fusebox to your website.
Libsyn is another all-in-one podcast hosting service that does pretty much everything for you apart from hosting your podcast.
Part of the reason why people like using Libsyn is its monetization scheme. If you don’t want to go through the hoops of dealing with advertisers and the whole back and forth, Libsyn offers monetization options for people like you.
Libsyn is actually one of the first podcast hosting service providers that started in 2004. It may be seasoned, it does come with a few drawbacks.
My biggest gripe about Libsyn is its super limited storage and bandwidth for each plan and the lack of domain for your podcast. Though you can argue that the plans are really cheap.
It’s perfect for small-time podcasts or those who are just starting out, so they can move slowly up the ladder in sync with the paid plans.
Castos is the best podcast hosting platform if you are looking for easy and seamless integration with your WordPress blog.
Using its Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin on WordPress, you can manage your feed and publish new episodes right from your CMS.
Castos also comes with some amazing features on top of the basic ones, like unlimited storage and bandwidth.
The automatic transcription, in particular, returns a transcript of your podcast in a matter minutes after you upload an episode.
Additionally, you can republish your podcast directly on YouTube if you want to spread your reach.
But this is where I have to break it to you — they come at a price.
The video podcast hosting and advanced analytics are only available on its most expensive plan at $99 per month. And the transcript generator charges you on a per-use basis.
Nevertheless, Castos is a great podcast hosting platform for WordPress users.
Get a 14-day FREE trial with Castos. Or get 2 months free on annual subscriptions.
Blubrry is an all-in-one podcast hosting solution with flexible plans for any type of podcasters, from hosting service to WordPress podcast websites.
Blubrry has a monetization option in case you are interested in making money off your podcasts.
If you own a WordPress website, Blubrry’s PowerPress plugin makes it super easy to manage your podcast right off your WordPress CMS.
Distribution to podcast directories is also a breeze as its being automated once you hit publish.
The more advanced analytics, however, the one that allows you to see where your listeners come from, trends, and report export, is only available on the more expensive plans.
+3 Best Free Podcast Hosting Sites
Looking for more podcast hosting services?
Check out three of the best podcast hosting sites that you can do with even without swiping your credit card:
Anchor is one of the most popular and probably the best free podcast hosting platform there is.
Everything you want for a podcast hosting site — hosting, distribution, and monetization — all in one place, for free. And that’s exactly why Anchor is so widely known.
Anchor allows you to record high-quality audio on your phone literally anywhere and upload it for the world to listen to. Its mobile app is so easy to use as well for editing.
Another popular service, but more as a music-streaming platform, is SoundCloud.
You can go about using SoundCloud for anything without any hiccups, whether it’s embedding your podcast to your WordPress website.
Though it’s not as powerful and beginner-friendly as the aforementioned options, SoundCloud is a great way to kickstart your podcasting journey with zero risks.
SoundCloud is free for up to 3 hours. You can upgrade to paid plans starting at $6 per month if you want more storage, bandwidth, advanced stats, and more options.
Distribution and monetization are only available with paid users.
RedCircle is a freemium podcast hosting site launched in February 2019. Its free plan alone is enough to suffice your needs.
Though tapered towards “semi-pro” podcasters, there’s no reason for you to be taken aback as a beginner just because you are a beginner.
One unique RedCircle feature is the ability to cross-promote your content within the platform by reaching out to other podcasts and promote each other’s podcasts.
So why is it free? Revenue-sharing. Your podcasts are monetized, and the platform takes a percentage of your commission. Sounds good.
That’s it for our list of the best podcast hosting platforms for 2021.
I hope you got something from this list.
Have you chosen the podcast hosting service that’s right up your alley?
Do you have any podcast-related questions?
Let us know in the comments.