The US alone harbors 62 million+ podcast listeners, and this figure is based on a weekly basis. In 2020, there are over 29 million podcast episodes uploaded as well as 700,000 active podcasts – spanning over 100 languages.
You get the idea, right? Failing to tap into this gold mine of new audiences and dynamic audio content is a total waste.
Podcasting is definitely a solid move in strengthening your dominance. However; it’s not as straightforward as it seems. Recording your audio is one thing, but to get things moving in the first place; you’ve got to get everything in line with a decent podcast hosting platform. A hosting platform is the place where you host your podcast episodes, so it’s good to find a great one right off the bat.
As you should be aware by now, podcasts are superb at establishing a great, intimate rapport with your audience. It’s also a great way to lead back to your website + gaining profitable, shareable traction for your site.
If you need some pointers on that, here are some ways to accelerate the success of your website.
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Why Do You Need A ?
A podcast hosting platform is necessary to provide the file hosting and RSS feed for your channel. In layman terms, this is your podcast’s home. All of your episodes are neatly categorized here and then distributed to the intended podcast directories – Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, etc.
These hosting platforms act as an all-in-one way to upload your files and also to closely monitor your impressions, audience insights, social interaction and much more.
What Are Some Good to Start A Podcast?
We’re glad you asked. Here are some pointers on what you’re going to want to look out for before we dive into each option.
Depending on the capacity you’d need, the plans usually offered by these sites are divided into the size of your organization – free, small teams or full-on businesses. You would also need to narrow them down based on load memory, data insights, technical support, integration features, ease of upload and many more.
While there are tons of hosting platforms to choose from, for first-timers, especially those looking for the easiest ways to start a podcast, it can be particularly confusing when you are attempting to narrow down what you need.
The best part about hunting for podcast hosting platforms is that no two are alike. Some hosting sites might even come ready with its own features to start and power-up a WordPress blog and others might come with their own social media integration options.
You can check out how all of this comes together through HUSTLR’s own podcast channel. We’re right here on iTunes.
In the meantime, let’s get your podcast off the ground. Here’s a handpicked list of the best podcast hosting services to check out –categorized by nifty features we think you’ll like.
Unlimited storage capacity
Bandwidth of 250GB/month
No ad intrusions
Podcast platform migration features
Buzzsprout is a fantastic podcast host to start off with, especially if you want to launch a new podcast. The best part? You can start your podcast for free; using it for the very first time guarantees no upfront fees or billings. Plus, their free podcast hosting service is valid for a whopping 90 days and allows audio uploads of up to two hours.
Buzzsprout’s podcast hosting service is divided into three separate plans; varying from $12-24/month. Becoming a subscriber of Buzzsprout (and this is for every paid plan) also comes with its own set of perks. Some features you’d be able to access are unlimited storage for audio files, 20k-40k episode plays monthly and 250GB of bandwidth. They also let you embed your very own podcast media player straight to your WordPress website – thanks to their WordPress integration.
Pay no mind to complicated analytics. Buzzsprout offers a straightforward and easy to use dashboard that holds podcast listener data, number of impressions, location demographics –and other forms of an algorithm.
We talk about social media scheduling with tools like Iconosquare and Buffer. But did you know this could be done with podcasts as well?
Buzzsprout makes it easy to pre-schedule your podcast too! All you need to do is upload the audio files, amend the titles and captions and consequently schedule it to air over a number of podcast directories. This is a great addition to just a podcast hosting service to make running your podcast that much easier.
Paid unlimited bandwidth
Podcast websites builder
iTunes and Play Store tech support
Podcast promotion and distribution
PodBean is a state-of-the-art podcast hosting service for individuals and enterprises alike. Their podcast hosting platform is pretty thorough, which makes sense if you’d need a heavier set hosting services for your channel!
PodBean goes all the way back to 2006 –making them one of the OGs in the game. Even though they do offer features that are best for large businesses and teams; PodBean is a great alternative for those interested in the easiest ways to start podcasting for free.
Their free plan allows you to upload 5 hours of free content each month, spanning up to 100GB. As with most free plans, basic features are available –but we suggest to get their $9/month plan if you want something more comprehensive.
Or maybe you’re dead serious about growing your podcast to new heights. In that case, you should check out their $29/month Unlimited Plus Plan. Nevertheless, all of their paid plans offer unlimited audio hosting!
Another nifty tool to PodBean is their ability to get your podcast monetized –fast. Some of the easiest ways to start a podcast platform that is profitable would be through run sponsored ads into your episodes.
This is what PodBean does exceptionally. Not forgetting, their Unlimited Plus Plan also allows for a Patron program to gain revenue from loyal listeners.
Powerful and easy to use analytics features
Chat options while podcasting live
Distribution to Sonos, SoundCloud, Amazon Alexa podcast directories
Embedded podcast player through podcast websites
Host. Connect. Interact. That’s basically the mantra of Spreaker’s revolutionary podcast hosting platform.
Spreaker aims to be a breath of fresh air in the world of podcast hosting. Their take on the scene is to drive engagement more than anything else; providing options to rake in the more modern and loyal listeners to your channel. This is also one of the podcast hosting platforms that provides a free plan to get started.
To do this, Spreaker’s primary attraction would be their chat feature. Spreaker allows you to live-chat while your podcast is playing –replying to listeners in real time.
Their arsenal of podcast migration tools also allows you to record and upload your audio files using apps available on mobile, desktop and web! Going Pro with your Spreaker account is an option to consider too, especially if you want more detailed insights such as geolocation and demographic data.
Spreaker’s most popular pricing plan is the Broadcaster ($18/month) although their free plan also comes with its own set of attractive tools. Given the fact, all of their pro plans come with Spreaker’s dashboard for insights –so you’re always in tune with analytics on your listeners and the performance of your podcast content.
Pro Tip: Use the promo code “RECORD” for first-time subscribers and you will immediately get a free month of Spreaker podcast hosting!
Best long-tail podcast platform
Professional CDN options
100% free migration
Free WordPress website with a plan
If you’re looking for a free plan for your podcast hosting service, Blubrry isn’t the one for you. On the other hand, if you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of a podcast hosting service, Blubrry is one of the best out there.
This hosting platform has been the talk of the town for some time, particularly for their seamless and easy-to-use integration with WordPress sites. Did we also mention that they let you create your own managed site?
This is made possible with their own plugin tool called Powerpress. It’s a powerful option that allows your podcasts to be worked from multiple RSS feeds – and to stream directly from WordPress even. Minus the Blubrry dashboard.
Basically, this means that you are able to upload your podcast from WordPress itself. Rather than tackle tons of interfaces and dashboards, users can just work straight from one that they’re used to.
Pretty cool right? Blubrry’s emphasis on user accessibility with easy to use interfaces is probably the driving factor that has led them to tremendous success in the podcasting space.
Unfortunately for some, Blubrry does not have free plans much like other podcast hosting services. Plus, since their tools come heavily meshed with WordPress plugins –it wouldn’t make sense for you to use Blubrry if your site is hosted elsewhere (Wix/Squarespace, etc).
However, on the off chance that you do indeed have a site hosted on WordPress (or have intentions to create one!) –Hustlr recommends Blubrry for a podcast host a thousand times over. Even their most affordable monthly fee of $12 per month comes with an array of attractive, straightforward and easy to use features that will most likely boost your podcasting game to no end.
Huge listener audience (>175 million)
Embedded podcast players
Interactive + social abilities
It wouldn’t matter if you’re a clueless newbie of an expert podcaster – SoundCloud should definitely ring some bells. The best part is, it’s free to get started hosting your podcast on SoundCloud!
Swedish-founded company SoundCloud has been an absolute monster in the music industry since 2007. Although they started music sharing, SoundCloud is just only starting to get their footing in podcast hosting services as well.
Much like PodBean as well, SoundCloud intends on doubling down as a podcast directory besides also being a podcast hosting platform.
It would only make sense that SoundCloud would emphasis heavily on their social sharing features when it comes to growing a podcast channel. This is made possible through their embeddable players and easy-to-use RSS feed to share to platforms like iTunes, Stitcher and many more.
We suggest doubling down on the SoundCloud hosting service if interactivity is more important to you amongs anything else. Here, you get to connect instantly to your podcast’s listeners, via likes, shares, and the comment section. This makes SoundCloud one of the few podcast hosting services that can help you get you social media engagements besides your own platform.
10,000 downloads per month on entry level plan
Strong podcasting promotional tools
Beautiful websites with podcast player
Transistor has got to be one of the best podcast hosting out there as of 2020. High-quality podcast streaming, unlimited bandwidth and multiple users per account – Transistor does it all with ease.
Don’t believe us? Their star-studded client list of Cards Against Humanity, Laravel, and Ionic prove just that.
Transistor prides itself on being the ‘all-in-one’ podcast hosting solution for users and those interested in the easiest ways to get started with hosting. Transistor’s paid plans offer unlimited hosting, powerful data analytics, podcast distribution, a gorgeous website with a podcast player and just that much more. Needless to say, we think this is one of the best podcast platforms you can get.
Although you could definitely jump to their paid plans (starting at $19 per month) –Hustlr recommends you try out their 14-day free trial period before anything. You could get used to exactly how the podcast hosting works, and still, get your team members on board with training too! Depending on bandwidth and size of audiences, Transistor allows anywhere from 10 000 downloads to 150,000 downloads a month.
Transistor simplifies everything related to podcasting –from seamless distribution to painless podcast hosting migration. They’re easily one of the best podcast hosting out there; so you definitely want to check them out if you get the chance.
Video and podcast host
Compatible with most podcast hosting directories
One-click multiple destination platform
HTML5 audio and media player
Best podcast hosting for unlimited hours of audio
Libsyn has been around the podcasting scene since 2004 and broke new ground by achieving close to 7.2 billion downloads worldwide in 2017. They’ve got strong stats of close to 40,000 hosted podcasts and 60 million members as of right now –so you can bet that they know what they’re doing.
Libsyn provides a surprisingly comprehensive set of podcasting features and added tools for those that are new to podcasts. They literally brand themselves to be the pioneer of “podcast publishing systems” ever since launching in 2004. That makes sense; considering they’ve got everything you could ask for in a podcast hosting service.
Libsyn has its own app, strong RSS feed generations, single-click publishing, full-length analytics reports. You name it! The bonus is that it comes really cheap compared to other hosting platforms. Pro plans start from only $5 per month; which is a hell of a deal if you ask us.
If you want to get a podcast host without breaking the bank, you can’t go wrong with just $5 per month.
Google Analytics & Facebook Pixel
Secure RSS player
Download & Share options with Recast
Simplecast does exactly what it says –simplifying the world of hosting a podcast. It’s essentially the revamped version of all podcast hosting platforms, catering to savvier, younger and hungrier audiences that are always on the hunt for more engagement!
Simplecast has powered podcasts from some of the most notable brands in the world. That’s right, you’re looking at the very same platform that hosts podcasts from Nike, Facebook, TechCrunch, Harper’s Bazaar and a few others.
Excited yet? You could join in the fun for only $15 per month, but we suggest signing up for their free trial first to get a feel of the platform. All of Simplecast’s paid plans come equipped with one-click publishing, powerful tech support, and one hell of a data analytics dashboard. Simplecast narrows down data such as what times your audiences are most active, popular device types, top countries, and loads more.
Definitely not here to fool around – Simplecast is quite literally on it’s way to becoming one of the best podcast hosting platforms. Only time will tell if they manage to dethrone podcast hosting giants like Libsyn and Buzzsprout.
Unlimited free hosting
Episode building and editing
Transcribed + shareable audios
Anchor believes that pricey podcast hosting fees should never be the reason you don’t have a podcast. With that in their tunnel vision – Anchor has completely disrupted the podcasting industry by offering 100% podcast hosting platforms and full access into all of their features without spending a cent. They want to set your podcast free from hosting costs, and they’ve managed to pull it off.
You read us right. FREE lifetime podcast hosting complete with one-click publishing options, unlimited storage capacity, opportunities to co-host with friends and even monetization alternatives to bring in revenue for your podcast.
Plus, we know we’re not supposed to be biased -but all of HUSTLR’s podcasts are hosted on Anchor.
Anchor even gives their subscribers the option to edit audio right from their episode builder (this is one of our favorite features of any podcast hosting yet!). Here, you get to add transitions, mesh together background tracks and experiment with sound effects in your podcast, going far beyond just the essentials of a podcast hosting service.
Anchor was built by founders and podcast enthusiasts alike; with a single goal of democratizing podcast hosting. At $0 per month, Anchor is simply the best podcast hosting service for the price. They’ve experienced crazy growth; as well as devoted following of enthusiasts looking for the easiest ways to get into podcasting.
However good for beginners they may be, Anchor is still pretty new to the game. With barely 5 years in the making, we’re still monitoring how this generous platform is going to stay afloat + still make enough money to sustain themselves.
The good news is – they were recently acquired by Spotify. This speaks volumes on Anchor’s competence to scale to become the best podcast hosting for everyone, and we can’t wait to see how they further disrupt the podcasting landscape with this newfound partner.
Needless to say, if you are limited in budget in any sense, Anchor is the best podcast hosting choice, period.
You're all caught up.
But pay close attention, there’s much to still learn!
You might be wondering why we recommend paid podcasting platforms; when there are easily free ones out there like Anchor.
This might be true –but you need to pay close attention to what your podcast needs from your hosting provider. No two podcasts are the same, be it in terms of how many hours of audio uploading, the help they need, or if there’s any specific WordPress plugin that you need to integrate with.
HUSTLR uses Anchor as a host for the sole reason that we’re big on interactivity, accessibility and straightforward analytics. It’s also the best podcast hosting for free, saving us up to hundreds of dollars per month. They also integrate well with our choice of WordPress plugin and we don’t have to worry about how many hours of audio we upload.
Your podcast, on the other hand, might require a different approach. Paid podcast plans exist for a reason, and that’s to accommodate your growing list of needs when it comes to very diversified podcasting space. This includes a customized website, more in-depth analytics, the right WordPress plugin, a stronger RSS feed or even better tech support. Not to mention, prices can vary from free to hundreds of dollars per month.
Not all paid plans are better for podcasts either, we’ve encountered plenty of great features only available on free plan. Simply put, podcasts need the right platform for them to shine.
Choosing the right option means enabling your podcast to grow without barriers; a huge make or break factor to the longevity of your podcast, especially in its first 90 days.
See the difference?
We know you like free stuff! But then again when it comes to choosing a platform to start a podcast, we don’t want you to compromise.
That being said, you should definitely try out one or two options above before settling on the one you know is going to do the trick.
It doesn’t have to be confusing. Just messing around with the idea of how to start a podcast is a step in the right direction!
Also, your podcast platform is not the only thing you need to invest in to get started with podcasting. You’ll also need an adequate podcast setup with the right equipment – check out our full guide on the best podcast equipment if you want to learn more.
We’ve also got a complete guide on podcasting for beginners, which you should definitely check out if you want to know the exact steps to get your podcast started.
Take some notes down from HUSTLR’s very own podcast on iTunes or Spotify; in case you might need a clearer direction of content, audio lengths and how to promote your channel.
Sometimes, we talk about how to make you money. Otherwise, we talk to people who made lots of it. Most of the time – we just focus on shaping your entrepreneurial-based and financially free mindset!