Best Podcast Hosting Platforms
So you just got the bug? You finally heard an episode of Serial and you’ve decided this is what you want to do? You’ve come to the conclusion that podcasting is the right gig for you. You’ve even done your research, identified your audience, scripted your content, rehearsed, and packaged materials that’ll last you months.
All that’s left is to put it out there. But then you realize you need a podcast hosting site to host your podcast episodes. Pretty much the same way you need a web host for a website.
I’ve put together the 15 best podcast hosting free and paid sites. We’ll take you through the features, how much it’ll cost you, and every other thing you need to know before you decide the best place to host your podcast. Before we get into each podcasting hosting site individually, let’s look at the question that you probably just want to know:
What are the 3 Best Free Podcast Hosting Sites?
- Buzzsprout – Gives you 2hrs upload monthly and each upload lasts for 90days before it is taken off. 250gb of bandwidth (20k-40k episode downloads depending on your episode length).
- PodBean – 5 hours total of storage and 100gb of bandwidth.
- Podomatic – 500mb storage (about 6 hours) and 15GB bandwidth per month for free.
Take a look at those 3 free podcast hosts and see if those fit your needs. Let’s get into more detail about podcast hosts and what to look for when researching podcast hosts.
What is a Podcast Hosting Site?
A podcast host is where you upload and store your mp3 files after you’ve edited your podcast episodes. They will create an RSS feed that you will share with Apple Podcast, Spotify, and other podcast directories. So picking a podcast hosting site is important, because it’s sharing your podcast with directories, which shares the podcasts with listeners.
Don’t know where to begin? Not to worry, there are a great number of amazing podcast hosting sites out there. Whether you’re starting a new podcast, looking for a more affordable alternative, or just looking for a better host with more features, we’ve got you covered.
Still confused? If you wanted to be a singer, you’d need a record label (or at least a music producer) to help you record, edit, launch, distribute and monetize that song. Now take that scenario onto the Internet. The job of the record label is like the job of a Podcast hosting site.
The sites and brick-and-mortar stores (are they around anymore?) that sell songs and CD’s are the podcast directories like Apple Podcasts. Directories are more like search assistants, connecting the user to podcasts wherever it is on the Internet. So the podcast hosting sites are the storerooms where these podcasts are stored and/or streamed from. Depending on the features, some hosts are more expensive than others. And believe it or not, some are entirely free.
Why do you need Podcast Hosting?
Are you wondering why you can’t host your podcast yourself on your own website? The simple answer is that your website is not built to do that. The amount of storage required to host a podcast coupled with thousands of users streaming from your website can lead to major bandwidth issues if your web host is not good. It is very possible to start with your website, but you do have plans to grow, yeah? And when that growth comes, your website won’t be able to handle the bandwidth to be streamed. Your own website for your podcast is still important, but it’s not where you want to store the mp3 files for the episodes.
Why You should not host it on Your own Website
I don’t know how popular your website is or what it was designed to do, but my best bet is that it wasn’t designed for commercial podcasting. I know how much you want to get your content out there. You’re also probably worried about the cost of a host. Well, it’s always better to start on a good foundation. There are some hosting platforms that are totally free or have free plans, like the 3 mentioned above. I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t host your podcast on your website by telling you what a typical host does.
- A host has the storage capacity and bandwidth to accommodate as many subscribers as you may have.
- A podcast hosting site also already has the distribution structure to directories.
- If the podcast host has it’s own list of podcast shows, that’s an extra promotional channel for your podcast.
- They provide added services that help you reach your audience quicker.
- A host will create an RSS feed link for directories and people to subscribe to.
As an aside, it’s still a good idea to have your own podcast website. I write more about why you want to have your own podcast website as part of the How to Start a Podcast guide. There are a number of advantages and purposes for your own website:
- Options for monetization. Check out this monetization article.
- Having an all-in-one list of your podcast episodes by embedding a podcast host’s podcast player.
- Flexible marketing options.
- Analytics to measure traffic and your progress.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
How much does Podcast Hosting Cost?
The cost of a podcast hosting site can range from free to $100+ per month. It depends on the services and features you want to have access to. Some podcast hosting platforms even have a Free plan. But I often advise that you read the small prints on such free hosts. Also watch out, because when you’re not paying for a product or service, you’re most likely the product. Data may have been monetized or there’s going to be some copyright infringement. Oftentimes, these clauses are the fine print.
Top hosting Criteria to consider
These are the top criteria to research when you’re looking into different platforms. Not all will be seen on the sites themselves. Check out forums, reviews, and elsewhere on the Internet:
- Reliability: The credibility of a podcast hosting platform is often determined by the credibility of the podcasters it is hosting. Look out for platforms with big-name podcasters that have been around for a long time. A look at the reviews will also give you a good idea. You need a host that will do what it says it will.
- Bandwidth: How much bandwidth is the hosting site offering? Unlimited bandwidth is always better if your desire is to reach millions around the world.
- Upload Time: This gives you an idea of how seamless and fast the server is. You don’t want a podcast hosting site that takes forever to upload, do you?
- Host Site’s Focus: The subject of your podcast is another factor. Look at the genre and issues covered by the host. Do they only cover specific topics or does it run the gamut? Does your podcast fit? Is their audience demographic crossover with your target audience?
Got everything so far? Great! Let’s get into 15 of the best podcast hosting options.
What are the 15 Best Podcast Hosting Sites?
Buzzsprout is arguably one of the best-reviewed podcast hosting sites out there. It is a great platform for beginners who’re looking to launch their career in podcasting. Buzzsprout is also a haven of very accomplished podcasters. The interface is simple and easy to navigate. Buzzsprout has been around for many years, gaining lots of experience over the years. This has also led to lots of improvements and updates, including features that can help you get your content out there.
The platform is reliable, as the reviews point out. This is one platform you’ll want to give a try.
Pricing: Buzzsprout has a free plan that costs nothing and has no credit card requirements.
- Free/month: The free plan allows only 2 hrs upload monthly and each upload only lasts for 90days before it is taken off. Also no ads are allowed on the free plan.
- $12/month: This comes with 3 hours of audio upload per month. The allocated bandwidth is unlimited. Adding extra content will attract $4 per hour.
- $18/month: This plan offers the podcaster 6 hours of audio. More content can be added at $3 per hour.
- $24/month: The podcaster gets up to 12 hours of audio upload monthly. More content can be added at $2 per hour.
Sign up for Buzzsprout here.
If there is one thing PodBean is known for, it is its affordability. The platform is also popular for its user-friendly interface. Launched in 2006, PodBean currently hosts about 250,000 podcasts. The platform is fast gaining ground in the podcast market as podcasters continue to appreciate it’s clear features and plans. Even podcasters who do it as a hobby are being encouraged to become professional due to the crowdfunding option on the platform.
This site is one of the most popular podcast platforms out there. It is seamless and easy to use.
Pricing: Like most other big podcast Hosting platforms, PodBean has a free package.
Other pricing packages are;
- Free: This is the basic product that comes with 5 hours of storage and 100gigabyte bandwidth monthly. Only basic player themes are available on this package and monetization is not allowed.
- Unlimited Audio, $9/month: This package comes with unlimited bandwidth and audio. Monetization is possible using two ad websites. You’ll have access to basic player customization and can map the site to your domain name.
- Unlimited Plus, $29/month: This package not only allows you to join their podcast network, you can also monetize using all four ad networks. It has all the features of the unlimited audio package, plus full player custom design options.
- Business, $99/month: This is a much more commercial platform for enterprises. There’s access for multiple admin, premium bandwidth and the white-label podcasting application.
Check out PodBean on their site.
After several years in the podcast industry, two industry veterans Podcast Websites and Rebel Base Media came together to launch a podcast Hosting service. The result? Captivate.fm. The service is relatively new compared to several others, but the expertise of the founders quickly rubbed off on the platform, making it one of the best places to host podcasts. This is a great platform for beginners, with well-programmed tooltips on functions like publishing, bitrate, and advanced statistics.
Captivate also has a super intuitive dashboard and reliable statistics. It is a great solution for both beginners and experienced podcasters. With dedicated plugins, players can be integrated into their own WordPress site or a complimentary website provided by Captivate.
Pricing: Captivate.fm has no free offers. They offer 3 different paid plans with a 7-day free trial.
- Podcaster Plan, $19/month: This package gives the podcaster 10,000 downloads every month.
- Audio Influencer, $49/month: The Audio Influencer package offers 50,000 downloads every month.
- Podcast Brand, $99/month: You’ll get 100,000 audio downloads per month.
All plans come with a 7-day free trial. Check them out on their website.
Simplecast is one of the biggest podcast hosting platforms on the market, and they’re quietly doing amazing things that are worth recognition. For starters, they have a smooth and seamless embeddable player feature. The good thing is brands who know their game are hosted by them. Shopify, Facebook, and Medium are customers. Simplecast also has a very detailed analytics feature that gives players all the data they want about who’s visiting their podcast. Their newly-updated look has also been receiving some good feedback.
Pricing: Simplecast offers a 14-day free trial on all their plans. Its products are as follows;
- Basic, $15/month: Offers unlimited storage and uploads, allows one additional team member, secure site, RSS feed, and so much more. It also offers embedding for web-players and unlimited distribution, amongst other things.
- Essential, $35/month: . This has settings for adding additional team members, a custom site page, two web players (Show and Mini), an episode comparison tool, analytics, and listener reports.
- Growth, $85/month: This package has a combination of everything you find in basic and essential, including full recast analytics, API Publishing, and location analytics.
Check out Simplecast.
The Transistor.fm is a great, new podcast hosting site. Although relatively new, they offer a lot of value on their platform by allowing you to host multiple podcasts on one plan. It is a brand-focused hosting platform that hosts a number of experienced podcasters. Their private podcasting feature also means you can host multiple shows (public and private) using the same account at no extra cost to you. Private shows do allow you to create a membership, as mentioned in the podcast monetization article.
This platform also compares favorably with other hosting sites out there. The platform gives you the opportunity to have and manage multiple team members, as well as accurate podcast stats.
This podcast Hosting site has three paid plans:
- Starter, $19/month: The starter plan contains great features, including the ability to create unlimited podcasts, advanced analytics, built-in website, live customer support, and up to 10,000 monthly downloads.
- Professional, $49/month: This has everything that comes with the starter plan, but its monthly downloads are up to 50,000. While the starter plan can have two additional users per podcast, this product allows five additional users. It also includes some advanced features such as enhanced private podcasting and 500 private subscribers per podcast.
- Business, $99/month: The plan contains all the features of the starter and professional plans, and more. It allows for 1,000 private subscribers, 3 private podcasts, 10 additional users per podcast, and 150,000 monthly downloads.
Check out Transistor here.
Podserve.fm makes my list of best podcast Hosting sites for one major reason, it’s outstanding promotional value. In fact, the platform promotes your show to its audience. As far as other features go, it is a decent option for those looking to establish themselves as professional/enterprise podcasters. It actually lists your podcasts in major directories. As time goes on, you’ll be able to get analytics on geography, downloads and popular days.
The website provides just four simple steps to get your podcasts out there; record your episode, create your podcast, and choose the network you’d want it to on (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc), upload your episode, and Podserve will do the rest.
Pricing: Podserve has only one plan at $19 per month. But this also comes with a 14-day free trial. This plan includes unlimited podcasts, unlimited storage, free promotion, great customer support, download analytics, access to multiple platforms, and no credit card info is required for the 14-day free trial. One other thing people love about Podserve is that they don’t impose a yearly payment plan. The plan is monthly, so you can opt-out whenever you choose.
Check out Podserve here.
Ever heard of Craig Hewitt? He’s the guy behind the podcast Rogue Startups. After about 4 years as a successful podcaster, he decided to establish Castos. Since 2017, Castos has witnessed a steady rise in influence and impact. On Castos, podcasting with WordPress is a breeze. From unlimited storage and bandwidth, to unlimited podcasts, Castos has features that will make podcasting easy.
Its interactive interface is another. You can navigate easily. It also has deep analytics and a WordPress plugin that gives you access to the WordPress dashboard where you can post your podcast. There’s also the ability to share your podcasts on YouTube. And what if you’re moving from another platform to Castos, this hosting site will migrate your episodes at no cost.
Pricing: Castos has three different packages.
- Starter, $19/month: Access to Unlimited Podcasts & Episodes, easy import of your previous content from other platforms, a personalized Podcast Website, private podcasting, and more.
- Growth, $49/month: It includes everything the starter plan has plus Headliner Audiogram Integration and Video Republishing to YouTube.
- Pro, $99/month: This is great for professional podcasters. It allows video hosting as well. The pro plan includes all the features of both the starter and growth packs, as well as video podcast hosting and video analytics.
Check out Castos on their site.
From a small town hosting service in 2004, Libsyn has grown to become an all-encompassing platform for podcast hosting and monetization. If there is one thing Libsyn is known for, it’s great attention to analytics. Stats like social media, downloads, and geography are easily accessible on Libsyn. With a revenue-sharing policy ranging between 70% and 80%, Libsyn is often regarded as the home of the big names with names like Joe Rogan and Marc Maron. Players are also customizable and podcasts can be distributed on multiple directories.
Libsyn offers your podcast a one-page mini-site for access to all your podcast episodes. The key difference with Libsyn is their plans are based on how much storage you use and not how many downloads you have monthly. They also have a list of endorsed advertisers that you can work with if you hit about 5,000 downloads per episode in a month.
Pricing: Libsyn has 5 main hosting plans.
- Libsyn Classic 50, $5/month: 50mb of audio storage, podcast page, RSS Feed, network app listing, HTML5 Player and basic stats at $2 per month.
- Libsyn Classic 250, $15/month: Includes all the features stated above except that storage is 250mb and basic stats are included at no cost.
- Libsyn Advanced 400, $20/month: Storage at 400mb, custom app or extra 200mb at $10 monthly, and advanced statistics.
- Libsyn Advanced 800, $40/month: Gives you 800mb of storage.
- Libsyn Classic 1500, $75/month: 1500mb of storage.
Find out more about Libsyn on their website.
Blubrry has been in the industry for many years. And if this review was done just three years ago, this would’ve been my top choice. Don’t get me wrong. Blubrry still has a great interface, advanced statistics, easy integration for WordPress, and No-Fault hosting won many hearts a few years ago. No-Fault Hosting allows for an extra 25% overage in storage if you happen to go over in a month.
When you host on Blubrry, you’re also hosting on a world-wide content delivery network, allowing your podcast to have good connection speeds worldwide. Other platforms have just overtaken them though. Most of the features on this hosting platform are optimized for all kinds of podcast directories. Plus, its unique interface for WordPress websites is seamless and easy to use.
Pricing: Plans start at only $12 per month for 100mb monthly audio storage to over $120 monthly for the professional plan that gives you unlimited storage, bandwidth, video and commercial podcasts:
- Small, $12/month: 100mb of storage and unlimited bandwidth. No Fault Hosting overage.
- Medium, $20/month: 250mb of storage and unlimited bandwidth. No Fault Hosting overage.
- Large, $40/month: 500mb of storage and unlimited bandwidth. No Fault Hosting overage.
- Extra Large, $80/month: 1,000mb of storage and unlimited bandwidth. No Fault Hosting overage.
Check out Blubrry’s site.
If you already have a website on Squarespace, this is for you. The good thing about Squarespace is that it is also a website builder. So if you require services that include website building along with podcast hosting, this is a 2-in-1 solution. Squarespace doesn’t have a dedicated podcast hosting service like the others, but they have Audio Blocks that allow you to upload episode files. The RSS feed that Squarespace generates can then be submitted to directories like Apple Podcasts and that allows audiences to find you if you use Squarespace.
They may not be the biggest podcast hosting platform out there because they do not specialize in podcasting, but they’ve made quite a decent effort in podcast hosting. The major advantage is that you’ll get a complete blogging solution with no extra charge for the podcast hosting.
Pricing: Although you can get free trial offers on Squarespace, an upgrade to a paid service would require the following charges:
Prices begin from $12 to $40 every month, depending on the plan. This gives you access to features such as unlimited storage and bandwidth, free custom domain, SEO features, premium blocks and integrations, professional Google Email, Customer Accounts, and fully integrated E-commerce, among others.
Learn more about podcasting on Squarespace here.
Audioboom is another great platform for players and perhaps one of the most popular podcast platforms. They give you access to not just host, but also distribute and monetize your podcast. There are different categories for podcasters, from newbies to professionals.
Features range from hosting, analytics, and customized page to monetize, having other members on your show, distribution and embedding make Audioboom a good place to start.
Pricing: Prices will increase as you move up the ladder and unlock other features. Growth on the platform is also primarily based on performance. Plans start at $9.99/month for unlimited episodes and 10,000 plays monthly. Once you surpass 10k downloads monthly, access to targeted ad networks and sponsorships are unlocked.
Check out Audioboom here.
Spreaker has been providing podcast hosting services since 2010. They’ve done a good job of establishing themselves as a reliable platform. Their Live Podcasting option is a unique selling point one that allows the podcaster to interact with listeners live on air using a chatbox. Their desktop and mobile versions are very well designed and offer the same features for recording, live streaming, and statistics.
Pricing: Spreaker offers a free plan if you want to test it out.
- Free Speech: 5 hours of audio storage and multiple podcasts hosting.
- On-Air Talent, $6/monthly: for multiple podcasts hosting, monetization, and customizable RSS feeds.
- Broadcaster, $20/monthly: Multiple podcasts hosting, monetization, customizable RSS feeds, advanced statistics, and much more.
- Anchorman, $50/monthly: Everything the Broadcaster plan offers plus full statistics and customizable player colors.
Check out Spreaker on their site.
Anchor is a popular podcast host for the fact that it offers amazing free service. Although you can manage your podcasts using your desktop computer, the platform was designed for mobile podcasting. With constant updates, they’ve been able to provide a built-in ad platform and easy editing features for your audio files.
Pricing: Well, I wasn’t kidding when I said it was an entirely free platform. In fact, they can hook you up with sponsors and donors who may pay you for your gigs.
Learn more on Anchor’s site.
14. Podcast Websites
This is another all-in-one platform that offers everything from web building and hosting to podcast hosting and domain name creation. With video learning and a large base of email service providers, there’s a lot of value you can derive from this platform.
Pricing: For the all-round service, Podcast Websites offers one plan. They both provide an “All-in-one, everything you need to successfully launch your podcast, brand and website.” They have a 7-day money-back guarantee if you don’t like it. They also offer personal one-on-one strategy calls as part of both their plans. The only visible difference between the two plans is unlimited and unmetered podcast hosting. THe
- $77/month paid Annually OR $97/month paid Monthly
Learn more about Podcast Websites here.
This comes last on the list, but that doesn’t exactly take anything away from Podomatic. They’ve been around since 2005 and have carved a niche for themselves as one of the first movers in podcast hosting. The platform also gives podcasters the opportunity to earn revenues through advertising and crowdfunding.
Pricing: They do have a Free plan that you can sign up with.
- Basic, Free: 500mb of storage and 15gb of bandwidth.
- Pro, $9.99/month: 2gb of storage and 100gb of bandwidth.
- Pro Plus, $14.99/month: 2.5gb of storage and 200gb of bandwidth.
- Pro Platinum, $24.99/month: 5gb of storage and 500gb of bandwidth.
Check out Podomatic here.
This list of 15 top best podcast hosting platforms was compiled after research of many, many hosting sites. Depending on your needs and budget, these 15 podcast host sites should be able to fulfill your needs.
If you need a refresher on how a podcast host differs from a podcast directory and/or podcast website, do check out this post on how they work together and their differences.
- The 15 Best Podcast Hosting Sites in 2020 (Free & Paid)
1. Buzzsprout – Free and Paid
2. PodBean – Free and Paid
3. Captivate- Paid
4. Simplecast – Paid
5. Transistor – Paid
6. Podserve – Paid
7. Castos – Paid
8. Libsyn – Paid
9. Blubrry – Paid
10. Squarespace – Paid
11. Audioboom – Paid
12. Spreaker – Free and Paid
13. Anchor – Free
14. Podcast Websites – Paid
15. Podomatic – Free and Paid
- The Top 3 Best Free Podcast Hosting Platforms in 2020
Buzzsprout – Gives you 2hrs upload monthly and each upload lasts for 90days before it is taken off. 250gb of bandwidth (20k-40k episode downloads depending on your episode length).
Podbean – 5 hours total of storage and 100gb of bandwidth.
Podomatic– 500mb storage (about 6 hours) and 15GB bandwidth per month for free.