Okay, so you have your podcast idea – you know your topic, and are probably excited about sharing it with listeners. You have probably looked into the best headphones, the best mics, and the best mixingsoftware, too.
You may have your hands full with just those on their own. Now all you need is the best podcast hosting platform.
Just like those previous decisions, there is a lot to consider when looking for the perfect fit — this is a method for your medium, after all.
It needs to fit the voice of the podcast but also be functional (and provide many more options), so we have compiled a list of the best podcast hosting platforms to give you an idea of what each can offer and what you may need to get off the ground.
Wix Podcast Player
How We Reviewed – best podcast hosting
In order to provide the easiest comparison between different podcast hosting platforms, we critiqued them all based on the same parameters: features, pros & cons, price, user experience, support, integration, and reliability.
Using these criteria should simplify all the details you need in order to understand which platforms you should put your focus on — or maybe even give you the one you will decide on.
In deciding how to compare the best podcast hosting platforms, we took time to dig into what each platform offers and what it costs to get the features you want.
It is hard to create an all-inclusive platform that fills the needs of every podcaster, so we expect that there will not be a “one size fits all” platform. However, we do expect this list to be fairly comprehensive.
Overall Price Range
With most sites offering different levels of payment, the price range varies from $5/month to $100/month, with lots of options in between. Of course, the higher priced levels offer more in terms of storage, features, share options, and better quality overall.
While you may want to start out on the basic level to save money while you get your feet under you, it is likely that you will end up somewhere in the mid-range of levels unless your podcast has specific and unique needs not otherwise met.
That jump from basic to well-rounded is part of the reason we emphasize finding the best podcast hosting platform that allows for growth.
Jumping between levels on one platform is much simpler than switching to a different platform altogether that may offer a more complete service.
For the purposes of this article, we have kept the price range on the low to mid range — from free to around $50, with a few outliers.
5 best podcast hosting
Wix Podcast Player
Image via wix.com
While Wix may not be at the top of anyone’s list in terms of popularity, it is definitely one of the simplest podcast hosts to use. It is basically a plug-and-chug platform that only requires your RSS feed URL.
It auto-fills your library, creates an info page for each episode, and keeps a consistent design (complete with logos and info) throughout it all.
The overall design is customizable so you can match it to your website as closely as possible — however, most of the work is done by Wix without you needing to oversee it.
This would be a good option for absolute beginners or those looking to add a podcast feature to their website without having the podcast as the main feature of the site.
As we said above, this would be a great option for those wanting to add a podcast feature to a website, but not for featuring a podcast. It is super simple to run and is best suited for those who are not strictly in the podcast business.
For example, this would be good for a website about history that also offered a few podcasts to listen to about history — instead of having a website centered around your podcast.
Some users have reported issues with Wix’s design and formatting translating to their website, as well as occasional glitches. From what we have seen, user support is not widespread as Wix tends to operate more like an app that a full-blown hosting platform.
There have been a few issues with integration though if you are using a popular website host, there should not be many issues.
Wix has to be fairly generalized to work as a website app or add-on so some of the more niche website hosts may have some integration issues.
Overall, we would say the reliability of Wix stands somewhere in the middle depending on what you are using it for.
The more complex your needs are for it, the less reliable it is. However, if your needs are simple, they will match well with Wix’s simple design and functioning.
- Super simple set up
- Not a lot needed in terms of ongoing work
- Instant page and feed creation
- Free basic plan
- Not a lot of customizable options
- Only 500 MB of storage on basic plan
- Not fully intuitive for featuring a podcast
- No analytics
While SoundCloud may be more familiar as a music platform, it is following on the path that sites like Spotify and Google Play have forged by diving into podcasting, too.
It integrates its music platform to allow podcasts the same benefits musicians receive like connecting to your listeners and social media via embedded players as well as having an analytics tool if you are going to be working with advertisers as well.
Overall, user experience has been positive for SoundCloud. While it is not as simple as Wix, it is definitely not a complex tool to use and many artists and podcasters have had a lot of luck with it.
Supper for SoundCloud is fair for how many users it has. Because it is more than a simple app or add-on, the support backing it is a little more comprehensive.
SoundCloud really excels in this area. It focuses on being able to be embedded and playable on different apps and on different sites — which makes it easy to share and easy to use.
Overall, reliability is good — though there have been whisperings of SoundCloud having some legal trouble that may or may not factor into this in the future.
- Well known
- Different plan levels including a free option
- Podcasting is under the same subscription as music — which could save you some cash every month if you are into both
- The analytics are not as complete as you may need for lots of advertisers
- Upload limitations on some plans
Libsyn Podcast Hosting
This is one of those hosting platforms you probably have heard of if you have been in the podcasting game for long. It came out right alongside podcasts themselves and has grown and adapted as much as they have.
This may be one of the more comprehensive options available in terms of analytics especially, which is a focus of theirs. They have a variety of plans that offer different storage options (500MB to 1500MB) as well as some other perks.
This has been a favorite podcast hosting platform since the beginning. Because it focuses solely on podcasts, it offers more in terms of what podcasters find they need — advanced analytics being one of them.
It is built for those wanting to dive into the world of podcasting — no passersby or casual fans here.
This host is well supported and comes from a longstanding positive relationship with its users. Rest assured, there are no surprises or underdeveloped features here.
While the YouTube integration is a great plus to have, Libsyn does not stop there. They offer embedded links on other media platforms as well to make your podcast as integrated as possible.
This aspect of Libsyn is a glowing one. Users love this platform, and it works well for them to provide reliable service and affordable prices. There should not be any fear about getting into this hosting service.
- Advanced analytics
- Custom mobile app
- YouTube publishing
- Primary host used by Spotify
- No free version
- Not super customizable
- Not great for beginners
Podbean is a newer addition to the podcast hosting group. It focuses more on the discoverability and monetization of your podcast than the previous options have, so if you are new to the block, this may be a good one to look into.
Even if you are not new, though, it offers plenty of shareable, playable, and integrable options that have users turning their gaze from the big dogs like Libsyn.
There is a free plan as well as other paid tiers to work with — and plenty of new and upcoming perks to go along with them.
Overall, the user experience has been positive which is part of the reason it is holding traction against the longstanding favorites.
It offers new features that podcasters have not seen before and are finding they really need like crowdfunding and the Sponsorship Marketplace.
Support is well placed and dispersed for the size of the host as well as the available options. It seems that Podbean may be close behind Libsyn in terms of comprehensive support.
One of the well-loved features of Podbean rests in this category: it is designed to work on whatever device you are using. It even offers things like website building to more fully integrate.
Once again, this host seems to be pulling up to the heavy hitters. It has a lot of new podcasters’ attention not only because of the new features but also because they can back up their claims.
- Free version
- Works with Alexa
- Adds your podcast to their directory — which means a wider audience
- Crowdfunding options
- Sponsorship Marketplace connects podcasters to advertisers
- Simple to use
- Not focused on non-monetization focused podcasts
- Need higher tiered plans for analytics and customizations
Spreaker is an option for those who are new to podcasting as well as those who are well into their professional career of podcasting. It has made its way onto this list of the best podcast hosting platforms in part because of that variability.
It offers plans that range from free for casual or new podcasters to over $1,000 for businesses and professionals — with lots of options in between.
One unique key feature that Spreaker boasts is an unlimited live sessions feature — meaning that you can get on and go live with listeners as often as you want throughout the day.
While the time you can stay live will change based on your plan, this is still a pretty cool feature some will find sets their podcast apart from others.
Spreaker is well-loved, especially by its higher-paying users. This hosting platform can do it all (for a price) and really caters to the business and professional side of podcasting (making it a good fit to round out our best podcast hosting platforms list).
It boasts a professional, well-designed, well-thought-out, and feature-packed service and it delivers.
As this is a podcast-focused hosting platform, it does a good job of giving its users all of its attention in terms of support. It caters to the professional podcasters, and because of that, everyone on the service benefits from tailored service.
Spreaker has hit the nail on the head here, too. Having the ability to edit and upload on different devices (and edit offline, too, no less) makes it great in terms of device integration, and it offers playable and sharable options that make medium integration seamless, too.
As you might expect after reading the last few sections, Spreaker has done well here, too. They have to in order to keep their higher end clients interested (and we all benefit from it).
- iHeartRadio distribution
- Chat with livestream
- Device integration
- On the go editing
- Adds your podcast to their directory
- Embedded players
- Ad revenue
- Featured podcasts
- Not focused on non-monetization focused podcasts
- Low recording storage on free plans
Image via Pixabay
We hit briefly on this above, but the podcast hosting site will give you what you (as an individual podcaster) need in terms of function, style, and performance options.
Every podcast is different, so it is important to have at least a general idea of what you want and need from a hosting site as you dig into this list.
We have put together a list of questions to consider to help you get to the bottom line of what it is your podcast needs. Knowing the answers to these questions will narrow your search list and make finding the perfect fit a little less hectic.
What Are the Best Podcast Hosting Platforms?
In the list we give further on, we have provided hosting options that offer variety to users — meaning that no matter what you need, it will be covered in the list (that is the idea at least).
However, one thing we wanted to put out up front for podcasters to look for (because the best podcast hosting sites will have this) is room for growth. That is the key phrase to keep in mind.
You probably do not know exactly where this podcast will take you, but preparing for a few different directions can save some stress later on if you come to need new features that simply are not offered.
How Much Storage Do You Need?
This will depend on how often you post episodes and how long each episode is. The more frequent and the longer the episode, the more storage you will need to keep an updated library for your listeners.
Podcasters will often try to keep to the same schedule throughout their career; however, if your podcast takes off you may find yourself able to do twice the workload without suffering financial stress or loss.
Like we said before, room for growth is important, so even if you have it all planned out, give yourself some wiggle room — just in case.
Are You Planning to Have Advertisers?
Advertisers are a great way to bring in an income through podcasting, but your hosting site needs to be able to give them what they need: analytics. Not only do you need to know this, but they do as well.
Even if you do not plan on having ads, this is still a good feature to have and you never know where your podcast will take you — so prepare for it to go this direction.
What Is Your Budget?
Most hosting platforms offer different bundle options to help fit your needs, so there are often price range options within each podcast hosting site.
You are not likely to everything you need for free, though, so plan on spending as little as $5 to as much as $100 a month on hosting.
It is also good to keep in mind that sites that do not offer bundle options cannot give you any more than they are offering for a flat rate — so if you need more storage or more features you will likely have to look elsewhere to fit the growth of your podcast.
Where Do You Want Your Podcast Available?
Most podcasters are shooting for the Google Play, iTunes, and Spotify combo, but there are a plethora of players out there — and you probably want your podcast to be compatible with all or most of them.
Typically, just hitting one or two of those top three will be enough to put you on the map; however, being able to pair with most players can really help you reach a wider audience, so do not ignore the reach the best podcasting hosting platforms can give you.
The Verdict – best podcast hosting
Image via Pixabay
While this may not be a comprehensive list of all the options out there, some of the best podcast hosting platforms have made it to this list.
There should be a little something for everyone in here — from newbies and casual podcasters to professionals and businesses looking to further their brand.
While finding a podcast hosting server only takes a quick Google search, if you are looking for the best podcast hosting platform and more importantly, the best podcast hosting platform for you.
This article will hopefully steer you in a helpful direction so you can skip the trial-and-error phase and jump straight into sharing what you love with listeners that love it, too.
Featured Image via Pixabay