According to Statista, nearly 75 million people in the United States listened to podcasts in 2015, and that number will likely reach 164 million in 2024.
That’s nearly 50% of the U.S. population to put things in perspective.
Many companies have been trying to take advantage of this ever-growing industry by offering hosting services for aspiring podcasters.
And it’s hard to accurately determine which podcast hosting company is right for you when there seem to be hundreds of them out there.
That being said, you should have a much better idea of which podcast hosting company is right for you after you finish reading the article.
What is the best podcast hosting?
All you have to do to get started is to upload your audio, and the platform will take care of the rest.
With Buzzsprout, you have the option of publishing your post immediately, or you can also schedule a specific day and time you want to make your podcast available.
The company also offers a transcription service where you can get your podcast transcribed at 25 cents a minute.
When you transcribe your podcast, it makes it easy for Google to discover you. You will also allow those who are hearing impaired to enjoy your podcast.
- Publish your podcast by uploading your audio file.
- Detailed statistics.
- You can schedule your podcast.
- Automatically puts your podcast on all the major apps.
- Prompt customer service.
- Easy to use.
- They create the RSS feed for you.
- Their in-depth analytics show total downloads over time, apps people are using to access your podcast, and where they are listening.
- You can either upload immediately or schedule your podcast to be uploaded at any time and the date you want.
- A 250 GB a month bandwidth limit that limits the number of people who can listen to your podcast.
- A 12-hour limit on your uploads even with the most expensive plan.
Buzzsprout has four plans.
You can upload up to 2 hours per month with the free plan they have. If you are willing to pay $12 a month, you can upload up to 3 hours of audios every month.
$18 a month will let you host 6 hours of audio content, and $24 a month will give you a limit of 12 hours.
All of their paid plans include podcast statistics, podcast websites, custom embed players, podcast directories, and 250 GB bandwidth per month.
The platform has been around for over ten years, and it boasts of having over 400,000+ podcasters, and 7+ billion episodes downloaded.
Podbean is easy to use, and the platform allows you to distribute your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more.
You will also have an in-depth insight into your audience’s behavior with the statistics it provides.
It comes with a lot of different ways to monetize your podcasts, such as Podbean’s built-in dynamic advertising system, Patron program, or Premium Podcast service.
- Detailed statistics.
- No limit on downloads.
- Chat option on the website.
- Schedule your podcast.
- Statistics show how many and where your downloads come from, listener retention, and what times and days most people listen to your podcast.
- You gain access to a lot of different ways to monetize.
- Easy to distribute your podcasts.
- Quick response to their customers.
- It doesn’t put limits on the number of downloads per month.
- You can schedule the release of your podcasts in advance.
- Their analytics and reporting can be a little confusing.
- Not too much control over changing the look and feel of your podcasts.
- It can be glitchy at times, although it’s a non-issue for the most part.
PodBean offers two plans, including business and enterprise plans.
The business plan costs $99 a month. The enterprise plan requires you to contact their team directly for a price quote.
Both plans mostly share the same features, such as unlimited storage space, bandwidth, the number of downloads, and more.
The enterprise plan also includes advanced features, such as premium bandwidth, better security, 24/7 support, the white label podcast app, and custom features.
You can try Podbean for free for 90 days, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
Podiant is a cloud-hosted podcasting platform that was founded in 2016.
Mark Steadman initially developed the platform with minimal features, so it would only have the most necessary elements for hosting podcasts.
Over time, Podiant grew into the platform with features that rival their competitors.
- Limitless hosting.
- Statistic dashboard.
- You can host bios and blogs on their platform, and use your domain name.
- Provides standards-compliant feeds that work with most major apps, such as Apple Podcasts, iTunes, and Spotify.
Spreaker is a podcast platform launched in 2010. The platform allows you to create, distribute, measure, monetize, and listen to live audio shows.
They’ve got thousands of podcasters hosting shows as well as millions of active monthly users.
- Recording apps available on both desktop and mobile.
- The ability to migrate content using an RSS feed importer
- The platform allows you to connect to external tools and mixers.
- Access to audio storage space for hosting shows.
- Automatic episodes sharing.
- One-click to distribute to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
- You are given detailed analytics of plays, sources, and geolocation.
- It’s convenient to upload your show to many platforms.
- You can embed your audio into your site.
- A lot of useful features, such as advanced analytics, are only available with the more expensive plan.
- The upload times can be long at times.
- The podcast monetization tool isn’t available for free users.
There are four plans available from Spreaker.
Free speech plan costs you nothing and allows you to host multiple podcasts.
On-Air Talent is $7 a month, and it includes customizable RSS feeds and programmatic monetization.
The broadcaster is their most popular plan, and it comes with limited-access podcasts and advanced statistics. The limited access feature gives you the option to make your episode available to a selected group of people. It can be a useful feature when you’re trying to create content for your exclusive members.
The anchorman costs $45 a month. It comes with full statistics and customizable player colors. It’s a good plan for those who are trying to stand out from the competition.
Transistor was officially launched in 2018, and it serves hosting and analytics for thousands of customers.
The company hopes to make podcasting less confusing for newcomers with their easy-to-use technology.
- Live chat, and guide for new customers.
- You can host multiple podcasts under one account
- You can assign members for your podcast.
- The platform comes with the analytics page.
- You can embed audio posts on your website.
- They provide a website for your podcast if you don’t want to use your website.
- You can efficiently distribute your shows to apps, such as Apple Podcast and Spotify.
- If you have employees, you can assign them as admins or members to help you out.
- Statistics page shows average downloads per episode, the number of subscribers, and listener trends to view download history over time. You can also see which apps your listeners are using to access your podcast.
- You can host multiple podcasts under one account with the price of one account.
- A good support team that responds fast.
- The starter plan limits monthly downloads to 10,000 per month, which is not ideal if you are a prominent podcaster.
You get the choice of three plans with Transistor.
Starter plan will cost you $19 a month, and it allows you to create unlimited podcasts, access live customer support and view advanced analytics. Monthly downloads are limited to 10,000 a month.
The professional plan is $49 a month. It comes with 50,000 downloads a month and extra features, such as private podcasting with 500 subscriber limit per episode.
The business plan will cost you $99 a month. You get 150,000 download limits per month and access to 3 private podcasts with 1000 private subscribers per episode.
They offer a 14-day free trial.
Simplecast provides a reliable hosting infrastructure to ensure your listeners have access to your podcast at all times.
Using the platform, you can quickly get your podcast into Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
- An audio analytics platform.
- You can allow your team member to edit your podcast.
- Embeddable on your WordPress or Squarespace.
- There’s no limit on episodes uploads or length.
- You can manage multiple podcasts from one account.
- You can use your current domain name for RSS feed URL.
- All plans offer direct publishing to all platforms, such as Spotify.
- Simplecast sites are optimized for search engines and Google Podcasts.
Simplecast offers three plans.
The basic plan costs $15 a month, and it comes with features, such as unlimited storage and uploads, 20,000 downloads per month, and customizable show websites with a custom domain.
The essential plan costs $35 a month, and it includes 50,000 downloads per month, unique listener reports, web player analytics, and technology analytics.
The growth plan costs $85 a month, and it comes with more in-depth insights, such as technology analytics, network (ISP) analytics, and detailed device analytics.
Castos offers unlimited storage or bandwidth regardless of which plan you choose.
You can publish as much content as you want for a fixed monthly price, which is suitable for those who plan to post frequently.
With Castos, you can transcribe your podcast with the click of a button at a small fee.
You also only need one account to host multiple shows.
Additionally, the platform auto publishes your podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Sticher, Google play.
If you want to migrate to Castos from another platform, the company offers free imports for all of your podcasts.
- Youtube republishing
- Customizable podcast transcriptions
- Create a private podcast
The starter plan comes with unlimited podcasts and episodes, and a personalized Podcast website. You will pay $19 a month for this plan.
The growth plan costs $49 a month. It includes extra features, such as video republishing to youtube, and headliner audiogram integration.
Pro plans cost $99 a month. It includes all the features from the first two plans, and also comes with advanced analytics and video podcast hosting.
You have full access to the platform with their 14-day free trial, and they don’t require your credit card information.
So, give it a shot!
Libsyn started in 2004, and it is home to more than 60,000 podcasts.
The platform boasts 111 million monthly downloads. On top of that, more than 28% of Apple Podcast downloads are from Libsyn podcasters.
It’s also an official podcast launch partner for some of the most well-known media companies, such as Spotify and Pandora.
- IAB v2.0 certified podcast statistics
- Custom episode publishing and optimization
- Custom podcast branding
- Monetization tools
- IAB standards mean it’s focused on consistent filters and measurement practice. As a result, advertisers will see your podcast as more valuable.
- Integrates with your WordPress site seamlessly, and 100% compliant RSS feed with all major podcast apps. You can also host your videos and PDFs on top of audio files on the platform.
- You can use a custom domain, but it also gives you a mini-site where you can host your podcast.
- It doesn’t offer a free plan
Libsyn offers several different plans.
Classic 50 is the most basic plan, and it costs $5 a month. You can upload up to 50 Mb of content every month. If you want to access basic statistics, it will cost an extra $2 a month.
Classic 250 costs $15 a month, and it comes with a 250 Mb storage limit. You gain access to basic statistics for free with this plan.
Advanced 400 costs $20 a month, and it comes with a 400 Mb limit. You also gain access to downloadable stats reporting, advanced IAB v2.0 Stats, and an additional 200 Mb.
Advanced 800 costs $40 a month with a monthly storage limit of 800 Mb, and it comes with every feature available in the cheaper plans.
Libsyn also offers two higher-priced plans for users that need more storage limits.
The company doesn’t offer any free plan or trial, but you can get started at just $5 a month.
What equipment do I need for podcasting?
The audio quality is critical to the success of your podcast.
The quality of your content doesn’t matter if people struggle to hear what you’re saying.
So, the best investment you can make for your podcast business is to buy a good microphone.
But, you don’t necessarily have to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on purchasing the most expensive microphone.
Some microphones are under $100 with qualities that match the highest-quality microphones.
You can attach your microphone to arms and clamp them on your desk, which will make it easy to move your mic in and out.
You want a longer USB cable that attaches to your microphone, so there’s less restriction to move your microphone around.
A shock mount is another piece of equipment you want to purchase. It attaches to your microphone, which then connects to your stand.
The shock mount has a bunch of rubber band that absorbs vibration and sounds you don’t want to get into your microphone.
Pop filtres are screens you put right in front of your microphone.
They absorb B and P sounds, so there is no distortion in the audio.
How does podcasting work?
When you start publishing episodes, you want to get your podcast on apps, such as Apple Podcast, iTunes, and Spotify.
These apps are equivalent to google search.
People are always actively looking for new podcasts, so you will attract new listeners by publishing your show on these apps.
People can also discover your podcast through the recommendation of the people you interview.
The importance of subscribers
Your listeners can access your podcasts either directly from your website or Podcasting apps.
When people start subscribing to your show, that’s when your channel will start to grow at a rapid rate.
People who subscribe to your show will get an automatic notification on their phone when you publish a new episode.
This lets your listeners tune in on your new episode and share it with their family and friends.
You can essentially view your podcast show as an on-demand radio.
Advantages of podcasting for your business
Podcasting is a great way to build a relationship with your audience and potential customers.
There is often a limit to how much connection you can build with your audience from blogging since you are limited by written words alone.
Podcasting is a much more intimate experience for your listeners since they get to hear your voice.
There’s also a higher chance your audience will consume more of your Podcasting content as opposed to blogs since they can listen to your show while they are working out or cooking.
Additionally, podcasting allows you to form a great friendship with people you interview.
As your podcast grows, you are going to interview a lot of accomplished people in your field.
As a result, you will form a lifelong friendship with some of your guests.
Podcasting is also a great way to build more authority in your space.
As you interview a lot of big names in your industry, your listeners will naturally associate you with the people that you interview.
When you become an authority in your niche, it will open up a lot of opportunities.
What holds people back from podcasting
You may feel scared to start your podcasting show because you aren’t sure if you’ll be any good.
Maybe, you believe you are not a great speaker, and you’re afraid you’ll embarrass yourself.
It’s perfectly natural to have this type of fear when you engage in a new activity that requires you to put yourself out there.
But, you probably realize deep down that you need to overcome these mental hurdles to get to that next level of growth.
So, don’t let your fear prevent you from leveling up.
Sound of your voice
If you’ve never recorded your voice, then you probably won’t like the sound of your voice regardless of how amazing your voice sounds.
It’s entirely natural for you to be a little repelled by your voice since the voice you hear in the recorded audio is not the voice you are used to hearing.
Nonetheless, you’ll get used to your voice very quickly, and it soon won’t even cross your mind.
Even if you believe you have a legitimately unappealing voice, you shouldn’t be worried about others judging your voice.
They’d have to be incredibly shallow to judge you based on how you sound, and you don’t want to associate with that type of people anyway.
All of your focus should be on providing an incredible amount of value to your audience.
This will allow you to naturally attract the right type of people to your podcast as a result.
Fear of nobody listening
Indeed, you can never predict how successful your podcast is going to be.
But if you don’t get started, you have a zero chance of succeeding.
So, what’s your choice?
Questions to answer before you start Podcasting
Why are you starting a podcast?
This is an important question you need to answer before you get started with your podcast.
You will face challenges along the way, and you will have days where you don’t feel like pressing that record button.
And when you are very clear of your why’s, it’ll help you get through those tough times.
Who is your podcast for?
It is essential to identify your ideal listener because you will get a better sense of what type of content you should create.
You want to identify your listener’s demographic, age group, gender, hobbies, struggles, and what gets him or her excited.
Identifying these will help you come up with the right type of content for your audience.
But more importantly, you’ll be able to serve your audience better.
What values do you provide with your podcasts?
How is your podcast different than hundreds and thousands of podcasts out there?
How are your listeners going to change after they finish your podcast?
Are they going to be more educated? More motivated?
You want to get a clear sense of what value you plan to bring for your audience.
Doing this will make it easy for you to publish a value-filled podcast rather than just blabbering on with no clear direction.
How to title your podcast
The first question you want to ask is if your title describes the content of your show.
This is not a requirement by any means. There are many popular podcasting shows with titles that do not quite match the contents of the show.
You may also consider naming your podcast after your real name if you have a strong personal brand, or if you plan on creating a strong brand with your podcast.
Once people start to recognize your name, they’ll check out your content just because your name is attached to it.
Try to stay away from making your podcast title too long. Otherwise, it’s not going to stick in people’s minds easily.
I advise you not to over-think and get stuck in this process for too long.
Description of your podcast
A good description is essential because people will decide whether they’ll listen to your podcast based on the description of your episode.
So, you need to convey to your potential listeners that they will get what they want from listening to your podcast.
It’s important not to make a mistake of stuffing your description with keywords.
Many podcasters often spam their description with keywords that are relevant to their target audience.
This is not an optimal way to write your podcast description since you are sacrificing readability for your audience.
It’s important not to forget that it’s another human being who’ll be reading your description.
So, you want to make your description flow naturally for readers.
Show type for podcast
What type of show are you going to run on your podcast?
Are you going to be the only person talking the entire time, or is your podcast going to rely on inviting new guests every episode?
Each style has its advantages.
If you base your podcast show around interviewing others, then you’ll have a chance to form a great relationship with the guests you interview.
Your audience will benefit from guests as your guests will provide new insight and knowledge in an area where you may not be an expert.
That being said, interviewing another person is a skill in and of itself, but you’ll get better as you gain more experience.
Solo shows can also be great as you won’t have to rely on new guests to keep your show going.
You’ll have extra pressure to step up your game and become an effective communicator quickly since the success of your show will entirely depend on you.
How long should my podcasts be?
It’s okay to have a general idea of how long you want your episodes to be.
But, let’s say you decide to limit your show to 20 minutes for each episode.
What would you do if you are in the middle of a discussion when you hit the 20-minute mark? You wouldn’t just cut off your guest and end the show because of some arbitrary time limit you set.
So, it’s better to focus on quality over quantity. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to how long your podcast needs to be.
If your episode needs to be 45 minutes to provide maximum value for your audience, then that’s how long it should be.
If you can accomplish that in 20 minutes, then that’s fine too.
How frequently should I publish my podcast?
If you look at other successful podcasters, you’ll see a wide range when it comes to how frequently they post.
Some go to the extreme measure and post everyday.
Some podcasters only publish a few times a week, and they still have a very successful show.
So, when you’re trying to decide how often you’ll publish, you need to consider if it’s going to be sustainable.
If you have a regular day job, and you plan to publish new episodes every day, is that going to be sustainable?
You want to think about these beforehand because you certainly don’t want to push yourself to the limit and stop podcasting entirely because you burn yourself out.
Should I co-host for my podcast?
Co-hosting your show can be a great way to start your podcast.
If you plan to co-host your show, you’re likely going to do it with someone you’re already close with, and you guys will have great vibes together.
You’ll also get a synergistic effect when you co-host with someone that has different strengths and weaknesses than you do.
One of you might be great at cracking jokes while the other is good at reciting facts.
Co-hosting also has its drawbacks, however.
The biggest problem you may face is coordinating a schedule with your co-host.
If one of you keeps showing up late or not take things as seriously as the other person, then you guys may start to resent each other.
So, you must set a specific schedule to record your episodes, and do your best not to deviate from that schedule.
What days should I publish my podcast?
It comes down to your schedule and preferences.
If you only have the time to record and publish your content during the weekends, then you’ll be posting your episode on the weekends.
But, if you have a little more flexibility in your schedule, you may try posting on Tuesday or Thursday.
For whatever reason, more people tend to listen to podcasts on those days than the other days of the week.