Currently, over 700,000 active podcasts are available to listeners with more than 29 million episodes – only a year ago at WWDC 2018, these numbers were a lot lower at 55,000 and 18.5 million, respectively.
It’s evident that podcasts are rising in popularity – but is your business poised and ready to take advantage of this opportunity?
Young people, i.e. 18 to 44-year-olds, make up 67% of the global audience, and it’s also no surprise that most podcast listeners are wealthier and more educated.
Why is that?
Well, according to social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk, “Audio and voice are by far the most natural interface for humans to interact.”
Simply put, podcasts inform, educate and entertain, and that too on demand. And due to the different shows, you can find plenty of options to help you learn something new while being entertained.
For example, if you are an entrepreneur, there are several podcasts out there about small business finance, affordable marketing and even advice on taxation that applies to you.
As such, podcasts tackle different topics in-depth, something you cannot get from a news story, a magazine, a TV show, or even a radio program. These also offer unprecedented convenience because you can listen to them whenever you want; save up episodes for when you are going on a long journey and pause the podcast halfway through to pick up again later.
So, if you are thinking about starting a podcast for your business, you aren’t alone. After all, it is a more personal and, therefore, a more effective method of reaching out to new potential customers.
Once you have recorded the first episode of your podcast, you will have to publish it on the web for listeners. But you can’t upload it just anywhere – these can only be published on special platforms.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best podcast hosting services for 2020; one of which is right for you!
Before we dive in, let’s first answer a very important question – ‘Why do I need a podcast host?’
What Is Podcast Hosting And Who Needs It?
A podcast hosting platform provides you everything you need to host the audio file and create an RSS feed for your podcast channel.
In other words, it’s a home for your podcast.
It will neatly arrange all the episodes of your podcast and even distribute these to directories such as Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, etc.
A hosting platform will not only upload and store your audio files but also carefully monitor impressions, social interaction and audience insights.
The RSS feed is a list of links to play an episode – it also includes details like title, description, and an image for your show.
You want listeners to find your podcast on directories such as iTunes and Google Play, but you can’t store your audio on their servers. That’s why you need an RSS feed; these directories use your RSS link to display content to your listeners who are using their platforms to tune in.
So why can’t I host my podcast on my own website?
Well, because your web server isn’t configured to handle audio files and all the download requests you will get (hopefully).
Yes, you could purchase an excellent web hosting plan that is powerful enough to store the files, but that would cost you a lot more than just using a hosting platform.
With that being said, you aren’t just buying space to store your audio files because a host does a lot more than that. You can get analytics, podcast support, WordPress integration, and many other tools to help you build a powerful podcast that attracts plenty of listeners.
How Can I Find The Best Podcast Hosting?
Podcast hosting services offer different plans for different needs.
You can even get FREE hosting that would be perfect if you are just testing the waters and starting on your journey to audio stardom.
But money is just one part of the equation; you need to know your requirements for load memory, data insights, ease of upload, technical support, etc. if you are to get the most from your provider.
So whether you are just starting on your first gig or looking for ways to grow an existing one, the decision to select a host will be critical to your success.
What To Look For In Podcast Hosting Services
Start by exploring all the podcast hosting services that fall within your budget.
It is understandable that you are struggling with the right variables, so make sure you evaluate your potential host against all your needs as well as the following qualities:
1- Audio Quality
If you want your listeners to be attuned to your message and understand all that you are telling them, make sure they can hear it loud and clear.
The quality of your audio can make or break your chances of having a successful show; listeners will not stick around if they can barely hear you over static and background noise.
You will have to do a lot of work behind the scenes to keep the quality up to the mark. However, know that your selected hosting service also has a role to play.
Listen to other podcasts that use the same hosting service to check if they are loud, clear, and legible. Most hosting servers will gladly give you a list of podcasts they host – so tune in to several of them and make sure that’s exactly how you want to sound to your listeners.
2- Cost Of Service
As we mentioned earlier, the cost is a huge factor when choosing a podcast host and the good news is that these services aren’t expensive.
But if you are an entrepreneur who’s strapped for cash, even a few dollars can seem like a lot – especially when it’s spent on a podcast that won’t be making any money for a while at least.
There are a few free services out there, as well as many affordable hosting options. Remember, your choice of hosting isn’t written in stone, and you can always migrate to a bigger, better host later.
3- RSS Feed
We already know by now that a huge part of promoting your podcast is submitting it to directories.
The whole point of a podcast is to grow your audience and the only way to do it right is to make sure that as many people as possible listen to it.
Your host should provide you with a simple RSS link once you have uploaded the audio. Then you only have to submit this link to small and big directories to present your episodes to a broader audience.
4- Embeddable Media Player
you already have a website and want your visitors to listen to your podcasts, you’ll have to embed a media player to give it that functionality.
Usually, the hosting service provides this in the form of an HTML code that you drop into a web page where it will be displayed.
Otherwise, you can also select a service that lets you build a website with them for similar functionality.
5- Flexible Storage and Bandwidth
Some hosts offer unlimited storage and bandwidth, while others have scalable plans that automatically expand or contract depending on what’s published and the traffic.
This is important because you don’t want to be stuck with a podcast host that keeps your listeners from accessing an episode just because you’ve already reached your bandwidth limit for the month.
6- Availability Of Analytics Tools
If you are to grow your podcast to millions of listeners from around the world, then you have first to know who they are and why they like listening to you.
A good podcast host will let you in on some quality information about them and will display this data in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-follow format.
What is the Best Podcast Hosting?
Here is a comparison of the best podcast hosting providers that we think would be a good fit for your podcast.
The Beginner-Friendly Podcasting Platform
This is one of the most well-known and widely used platforms in the podcasting industry. It is a reliable hosting platform with a minimal learning curve to facilitate new podcasters to do the best they can.
All their paid plans include unlimited storage, a podcast migration tool, and no advertising at all.
Buzzsprout also offers fairly accurate and advanced analytics so you can understand your listeners a little better. But it’s great for beginners because, you don’t have to worry about technicalities such as bitrates ID3 tags, file types, etc. – just uploaded your audio and the platform will take care of the rest.
Pricing: Free for the first 90 days. Plans for up to $24 a month based on the length.
Differentiators: A no-frills, yet powerful platform with a generous free plan and 128k Stereo Optimization capabilities.
Chosen Platform For More Than 300,000 Podcasters For Over 10 Years
If you want next-level potential from your hosting platform and you are willing to pay for it, then Podbean might be it for you.
It not only hosts your audio but also offers advanced monetization capabilities to help you make money from your podcast right off the bat. There is also a website builder that can help you create a full-feature podcast site complete with your branding.
Podbean is also a podcast directory where you can categorize, organize, and present your episodes for direct consumption – as such, this cloud hosting capability can lead to good exposure for your episodes.
Podbean offers some powerful options for building your influence as a podcaster, such as advertising, premium podcasts and even crowdfunding options that can entice more listeners to become loyal followers.
Basic Plan is free and gives you 5 hours’ worth of storage space. The paid plans start at $9 and go on to $99 per month.
The Right Platform For Podcasters Who Want Quick Audience Growth
Hyper-focused on growing the number of listeners for their podcasters, Captivate.fm is a powerful hosting platform that has all the features you could want.
Generate leads with CTAs that are built into the media player, deliver unlimited podcasts and RSS feeds, and even move your older podcasts from other hosts to Captivate.fm for free.
All plans come with an attractive, yet customizable podcast player, advanced analytics and useful marketing tools.
This hosting platform can automatically generate links to Overcast, Pocket Casts, and other similar directors to make it easier than ever for podcasters to get more listeners and subscribers.
Three plans at $19, $49, and $99 based on the number of podcast downloads allowed each month.
4. Podcast Websites
The Leading Podcast Host For Website Builders
If you want your podcast hosted on your website, complete with a responsive design, stellar security, daily backups, and built-in analytics, then this is the hosting platform for you.
As a WordPress based service, it offers mobile-friendly themes for the website, and you can also custom-build landing pages for marketing your podcast to subscribers and listeners.
This hosting platform has on-hand digital marketing experts to help you promote your podcast. Get strategy advice from real podcasters and learn more from video tutorials available with their academy.
$97 if paid monthly, $77 if paid annually.
The Right Hosting Platform For Passionate Content & Media Creators
The name is pronounced like the fruit, blueberry.
Blubrry is more than just a podcast hosting platform; they like to call themselves a comprehensive digital media interface because of the extent of the services they offer.
Their publishing interface is a bit lackluster, but other features more than make up for it.
They offer incredible value to the marketing-led podcaster, with the most accurate data and statistics on listeners with easy-to-read reports. The platform also has detailed geographic data of the audience to make marketing a lot easier.
It can integrate with WordPress sites using the PowerPress Plugin and seamlessly incorporate your podcast into your website. The world-class CDN and FTP upload options are pretty nifty too.
$12-$80/month based on available storage. For unlimited storage capabilities, contact them.
A Hosting Platform That Brings Podcasts To Advertisers
While other hosting services are geared towards helping the podcaster start, this platform makes it possible for them to aim higher
Shows become more profitable for podcasters as well as advertisers thanks to the technical support, production know-how, and ad sales expertise delivered by audioBoom.
They do offer standard hosting services, but their main appeal is the ability to oversee an entire network of multiple high-traffic podcasts with ease.
Additionally, the platform offers some lucrative opportunities for monetization and advertisement; perhaps that’s why some of the biggest names in the podcasting industry are hosted here.
They are more geared towards large podcast networks and media conglomerates looking for ways to claim their share in the industry. AudioBoom has a massive distribution network that is augmented by recording studios in London, Mumbai, LA, and New York.
Beginners can take advantage of the $10 a month plan. They can create a bespoke plan for pro podcasters according to their needs. To learn more, get in touch.
Allows You To Start Your Podcast In 10 Minutes Flat!
Spreaker offers everything that a podcast hosting platform should, plus a little extra.
It gives you ‘unlimited daily sessions’ so you can live stream from your account as many times a day as you want to. This kind of functionality is virtually unheard of with free podcasting services.
However, the length of each of your live sessions is determined by the plan you are on. So that podcasting for free on this service can go live for only 15 minutes at a time.
Apart from the ‘live’ feature, it also focuses on marketing solutions for budding and expert podcasters, with Programmatic Monetization and Advanced Statistics made available with the paid plans
You can chat with your listeners as your podcast is live-streamed. All podcasts can be automatically published to YouTube, Sonos, and SoundCloud. It also distributes your content via Spotify and iHeartRadio.
The ‘Free Speech’ is free forever. Paid plans start at $6 and go up to $45 per month.
8. Smart Podcast Player (now fusebox)
The Podcast Hosting Service For Serious Podcasters
This hosting service was created to fulfill the personal podcasting needs of a famous podcaster.
Pat Flynn of ‘Smart Passive Income’ spent years moving his hit podcast from host to host, unable to find something that delivered on all counts – without charging him excessive amounts of money. And that’s when he decided to create the Smart Podcast Player with all the benefits that podcasters should get.
For starters, this platform makes it possible to capture email addresses from listeners as they are tuned in to your podcast.
It will not only host files but also send them out over podcast networks and showcase on a WordPress website that’s been built for your brand.
It is the only bespoke web-based player that makes it easy for your listeners to binge listen to your podcasts.
Two plans – $8.09 and $12 per month.
A Hosting Service That Offers Ways To Repurpose & Monetize Content
This is a podcasting plugin that can give any WordPress website the capability to host podcasts. So if you already have a site, Castos might be what you’ve been looking for.
Simply install their plugin on your site, then upload your audio file and add the description.
The podcast will go live on your website as soon as you hit enter, and your audience will be able to hear it using a customizable media player.
That’s all it takes to start podcasting with Castos.
You can configure Castos to publish your content on YouTube. It also makes good SEO sense for you, because this service can create automated transcriptions for each episode so you can take your website to the top of the SERPs.
There is a free 14-day trial period. Paid plans start from $19 and go up to $49 per month.
Hosting That Delivers Industry-Leading Functionality For Leading Brands
Some of the biggest companies use Simplecast to host their podcasts, including Facebook, HBO, Target, Harper’s Bazaar, Nike, and Kickstarter, to name a few
They state clearly on their website that: “From your first listener to your first million, Simplecast provides powerful tools needed to manage, distribute, share and grow your podcast.”
That claim holds true because all industry-leading features are available starting at just $15 per month. They live up to their name as well, as the platform is quite simple and easy to use.
With Simplecast, you get one-click publishing, an entire range of web players to select from, a responsive website for your podcast, and advanced data and analytics to help you understand your demographic.
Their Recast™ tool allows you to schedule episodes and also gives you the ability to share clips and soundbites from your audio on social media platforms.
Their list of clients makes it evident that this is an enterprise-standard tool that delivers superior functionality for better podcasting. You can even have multiple collaborators, creating numerous shows all via one very powerful Simplecast account.
There is a 14-day trial, and pricing begins at $15/month
Your Quintessential Podcast Hosting Service
This is perhaps the easiest tool to get started with as Podomatic lets you record and upload audio without any hi-tech hiccups.
It will access your computer’s mic and camera, and you can start recording right away without having to invest in expensive equipment or tools – and all features can be accessed via a single, easy-to-use dashboard.
If you want a website but don’t want to venture into WordPress, there’s nothing to worry about. With Podomatic, you can use Weebly’s drag and drop site-building interface to bring your website to life.
You can even set up donations for your cause and advertise your podcast on Podomatic.
The ‘Basic Plan’ is free forever, but it only offers 15GB of bandwidth per month. The ‘Pro Plan’ is $8.32 per month and comes with all the bells and whistles, including 100GB bandwidth per month.
Quality Podcast Hosting And Analytics
This platform is home to some quality shows, so you can be sure that your podcast would be in good company here – for example, Cards Against Humanity, Drift, and Honeybadger are just some of their famous clients.
Transistor.fm has a reputation for providing podcasters with absolutely everything they need to grow their audience.
You can host an unlimited number of shows, have multiple user accounts, distribute your podcasts far and wide, and access their advanced analytics’ to help boost your chances of success.
Transistor.fm lets you integrate the leading email client MailChimp into your podcast website. You can also put up your podcasts on YouTube and Spotify at the click of a button.
Three plans – $19, $49, and $99 per month based on the number of downloads available.
Podcast Hosting, Distribution, & Monetization Platform Starting At Only $5
Libsyn, short for Liberated Syndication, is quite possibly the largest podcast hosting platform, and also a pioneer in the hosting and publishing of podcasts.
In fact, it is the official podcast launch partner for several popular media companies such as Radio.com, Spotify and Pandora, to name a few – no wonder it is known as the godfather of all hosting platforms in many circles.
Now, the trouble is that Libsyn isn’t the easiest to use and has a sharp learning curve for new podcasters.
On the other hand, it also offers some of the best audience insights in the industry such as IAB v2.0 certified podcast statistics and delivery reporting that is trusted across the advertising industry.
Most podcasters are attracted to this platform because they are a trusted name in the industry and make up for their troublesome user interface with stellar customer service.
Libsyn is also unique because it offers comprehensive media hosting, not just for your audio, but also video, text, PDF files, etc. You can create a webpage for your audio show and an Apple Podcasts and iTunes compatible RSS feed, while also utilizing their single-click multi-destination capabilities with the OnPublish tool
If you believe that your podcast is only suitable for certain types of audiences, Libsyn can publish your content to specified directories. This allows you to target a highly segmented market, thereby increasing your chances of success.
This hosting service has six bespoke plans starting at $5 for a 50MB plan, going all the way to $150 for 3000MB.
14. Wix.Com Podcast Player
Nothing Like Other Traditional Podcast Hosting Platforms
The Wix Podcast Player has its fair share of fans as it is perhaps the most stylish way to make your podcast show up on your website. All you need is the URL to your RSS feed and you can showcase your episodes using the Wix Player, no matter where your hosting is.
Just enter the RSS links and the Wix Player will populate the playlist with your podcast episodes, accompanying descriptions, images, etc.
Each episode opens on its own page with absolutely zero input or programming needed from you.
This handy little tool lets you connect your website to any of the major hosts as long as you have the RSS links, giving you the ability to stream all your podcasts in one place.
15. SoundCloud Podcasting
Podcast Host With Millions Of Listeners Already Lined Up!
This service is a tycoon from the music streaming industry, but very few know that it can double up as a podcast hosting service as well.
Like PodBean, SoundCloud also offers direct consumption through its platform and provides listeners access to your show using the app.
While they are successfully broadening their audio art horizons, the truth is that they are new to the podcast industry and are having a tough time making a name for themselves. Perhaps that’s why they have priced their services affordably to entice new podcasters to their platform.
When you use SoundCloud as a podcasting platform, you are getting access to its 175 million unique monthly listeners, embedded players as well as timed comments that make interacting with your listeners a lot easier.
Build A Professional And Polished Podcast Show With, Auphonic’s Help
Most listeners can’t stand bad audio quality and they have plenty of options to turn to if your podcast isn’t up to the mark.
1Auphonic is not just a podcast host but an audio editor that comes in handy at the post-production stage as well.
Simply upload your audio to the web-based interface and Auphonic will work its magic; it can identify the music, separate the voices and clean up unwanted background noises.
A one-hour file would take you several hours to clean up, but Auphonic can return your file in 10 minutes or even less. No wonder it’s a favorite for many podcasters, broadcasters and even radio shows.
And the best part is that if you only use it for 2 hours’ worth of audio every month, you don’t have to pay a thing.
Having a professional audio engineer to fix your recorded files can cost a lot of money and while it’s well worth the investment for pro-podcasters, not everyone can afford these services.
Auphonic delivers reasonably reliable services for novice podcasters who want to ensure quality without paying huge sums of money. The service is pretty good at removing unnecessary sounds and even verbal slips from recorded audio.
Free for 2 hours of processed audio per month. Paid plans start at $11 for 9 hours of audio.
17. Squarespace Podcasting
Simple, Efficient Podcasting Built Into Your Blog
We know that Squarespace is a reliable website builder, but many budding media artists are now also using the site to create, host and manage their podcasts.
The platform provides a built-in RSS feed generator that lets you publish your shows to Apple Podcasts (aka iTunes) and other subscription services.
Your Squarespace website can assist listeners in finding older and archived episodes, and display information about each of the shows. Start by adding the blog feature to your website and then add audio blocks to a blog post – simply publish a new post for each episode!
If you already have a website or blog hosted at Squarespace, it’s a smooth transition into starting a podcast.
The Personal starter plan is $12 per month for a personal website; that should be enough for your podcasting ambitions. The free ‘trial’ website also hosts podcasts, but it won’t let you submit to Apple Podcasts.
Take Your Podcast To The Next Level With Impressive Features From Fireside
This hosting platform was founded by a professional podcaster Dan Benjamin, who saw the need for creating a powerful yet straightforward host for those who value functionality above all else.
Fireside is a no-frills podcasting platform that gives you a website, an RSS feed as well as the opportunity to reach out to some of the biggest directories with a simple click.
If you already have a website, then adding a podcast with Fireside is virtually free of cost.
A single plan that hosts one podcast and unlimited episodes, along with unlimited downloads and storage.
A Podcast Host That’s Powered By Radio Show Expertise
With 8,500 radio shows created every week by 10,000 podcasters and over 24 million listeners, BlogTalkRadio is one of the biggest podcast hosts out there.
In fact, the service merged with Spreaker over a year ago to become a podcasting giant that serves some of the biggest names in the radio industry such as: The Motley Fool, SB Nation, BizTalk Radio, eWN Radio Network, Reality TV RHAP Ups, Hardwood Paroxysm Basketball Network as well as the Shaw Media Podcast Network.
If you want your podcast to be more like a radio-style call-in show, then this hosting service is what you need. Your audience can call a dedicated number and become a part of the conversation on your show.
Same as Spreaker, i.e., the ‘Free Speech’ is free forever. Paid plans start at $6 and go up to $45 per month.
Extra: Professional Podcast Editing Services
Online Editing Services That Help Podcasters Publish Well-Edited Content
It’s only natural to have fillers like ‘uhms’ and ‘aahs’ in your podcast, especially when you are just learning the art of podcasting. The trouble is that these sounds may be distracting for the listeners and might also put off advertisers.
Everyone out there is looking for podcasts that deliver their message loud and clear without any distractions.
Castup is professional editing software, much like Auphonic – delivering sharp, legible and interruption-free audio back to you.
The great thing about Castup is that it doesn’t just edit and clean up audio, but also adds music, intro and outro, and merges double-ended recordings as per your directions.
The pay-as-you-go plan starts at 75¢ per minute. The Podcaster Package is $120 per month and edits 4 hours of audio per month. Additional credit can be bought for 40¢ per minute.
Which Podcast Hosting Service Is Right For My Business?
Now that we have reviewed the best podcast hosting services available online, it’s time to pick the right one for you.
Your podcast and its audience should grow over time, so even if you pick the wrong host, it’s okay – you can always move on to a different one later on. Some podcasters think it’s easier to purchase a bigger service and then grow into it, instead of migrating at a later point.
Both of these strategies are fine as long as you are comfortable with what you are doing.
That said, here are some of our top favorites:
The Best Hosting Service For Quick and Simple Podcasting – Buzzsprout
If you want your first podcast to be quick and hassle-free, go with Buzzsprout. The service is clean and quite intuitive; you’ll be able to set up and broadcast in a matter of minutes.
You can even get a nicely designed website for your podcast as part of the hosting service while the player is nifty enough for listeners to use it easily. It also allows you to create interesting sound bites from bigger audio files and use them to entice listeners from YouTube or other social media platforms.
The Podcast Host With The Most Reliable Growth Tools – Captivate
This podcasting platform is all about the analytics; it’s great for businesses because of its growth-oriented approach to hosting shows.
You can add Calls-to-Action (CTA) buttons right into the player to display just when you are persuading listeners to take some action.
Add ‘Listen’ and ‘Subscribe’ links to the player and create an overall great-looking podcast that can help you achieve your business goals.
The Podcast Host With Plenty Of Player Options – Transistor.fm
What if you already have a stock of 50 episodes, and you want new listeners to access these older episodes as well?
Well, Transistor.fm has a multi-episode player that can help you out – it can publish your content directly to YouTube, and all of this comes with stellar customer support to help you make the most of such features.
Let’s explore podcasts hosts to figure out which options would be right for your needs.
Is There Free Podcast Hosting I Can Use?
In short, yes there is!
The best free podcasting hosting platforms are:
These have already been discussed in detail above.
Buzzsprout offers 2 hours of free audio upload while SoundCloud provides 3 hours.
Podomatic measures media files by storage and the free plan gives you 500MB per month.
When signing up for Libsyn or Blubrry, you can also use a promotional code to get free hosting for the month.
Podcast Distribution On Directories
Congratulations on selecting a hosting platform for your first podcast; the next step is to increase your audience by attracting more listeners.
To do this, you need to obtain the RSS from the hosting platform – this is the link that will connect your listeners to your podcast. You can then submit the link to any of the below directories:
Google Play is used by more than 1 billion people the world over. The company also offers Google Podcasts, a separate service that provides ways to access different podcasts. To upload your podcast here, follow these steps:
1. Create a Google account
2. Go to Google Play Music and then Podcasts
3. Type the complete URL of your RSS link
5. Click the Publish button to complete the approval process
Widely known as the most commonly used app for podcasts, iTunes hosts more than 550,000 shows on its platforms, and more than 50 billion podcasts have been downloaded to date. Here is how you can upload your podcast on iTunes:
1.Create an active ID from your Apple account
2. Log in to the iTunes Connect service
3. On your dashboard, click the top-left button and type the RSS link in the box
4. Wait for the podcast details to be uploaded from the host – watch the preview to check if everything looks fine
5. Press the Submit button for approval
If you want to become part of the fastest-growing podcast platforms with more than 190 million active users, Spotify might be the place for you. It requires a USD 9.99 monthly fee, after which subscribers can download podcasts in high-quality audio.
Earlier, podcasters had to use their host to upload shows that were then pushed to Spotify via the RSS feeds.
Now, the company offers a new service called Spotify for Podcasters that allows users to upload their videos directly to the service; a simple login is required which can be done through Facebook as well. Just enter the RSS feed link to complete the process.
If your podcast is related to current events and news, then Stitcher might be an appropriate service for you due to its unique focus on news and informational content. Uploading your podcast here is relatively simple:
1. Go to the Stitcher content provider section and type in your details
2. Log in to the service and add a new show
3. Enter the RSS link for your podcast and press the Submit button
4. Your podcast will get approved shortly
TuneIn has more than 75 million users and hosts over 120,000 live podcasts. It offers access to a variety of content, including news, music, and sports. To upload your podcast here, follow these steps:
1. Complete the contact form on the main page and provide the details of your podcast
2. Agree to the service terms and conditions
3. Press the Submit button
4. Your podcast will be approved
The Best Podcast Equipment For Recording
Once you are ready to start recording your show’s episodes, you might want to buy some equipment that will help create a quality show.
All you really need is a mic and a computer, and sometimes even a smartphone would do – but having better options only makes your podcast better.
Here are our top picks for podcast gear:
A USB mic like this one makes it easier to record quality audio.
Blue Yeti is a highly-rated condenser microphone that is perfect for one-person shows. If you are planning to host an interview podcast, look into dynamic mics like the Audio-Technica ATR2100.
2. Webcam For Streaming
If you are just getting into video podcasting, you’ll need a good webcam to record the video and help you look professional for your audience.
The Logitech C920 gives you crystal clear video that rivals that of camcorders and expensive DSLRs.
3. Headphones For Podcasting
Again, the equipment you choose must help you ensure the quality of the show. A good pair of headphones like theAudio-Technica Ath-M50x will help you listen for distortion, feedback and other issues so you can fix them ASAP.
4. Mixer For Podcasting
A USB mixer like the Mackie Profx8v2 can help you manage the input, output and levels to create crisp and quality sound. Besides playing with the reverb, delays and echoes can be a lot of fun.
Podcast Recording Software For Windows And Mac
By now, you have selected a podcast host, know where you want to publish the show and have the necessary equipment to get started right away.
Here are some quality software can help you quickly record the show, edit and then launch it like a professional podcaster.
The free podcasting software from Anchor lets you record an unlimited number of episodesThe drag-and-drop interface is easy to use and gives you the ability to arrange segments of your episodes in an order that makes more sense – so your podcast doesn’t have to go out as it was recorded.
With Zencastr, you can record entire podcasts with multiple contributors and deliver studio-quality audio all through a web browser.
You can even have your guests located in another country and still do a great session with them – simply send them a link to your Zencastr and the software will have the audio track ready by the end of the interview.
3. Avid Pro Tools
This is a full-fledged Digital Audio Workstation that can give audio engineers unrestricted power over a recording. Some live bands also count on Pro Tools to clean up their music and sound.
This one’s a reliable option for podcasters who use Mac; GarageBand is free and still delivers all the functionality of a powerful Digital Audio Workstation.
5. Adobe Audition
This is a subscription-based recording software that allows you to record audio, and use its Digital Audio Workstation capabilities to mix and edit your recordings.
Note: you should know the basics of audio editing before using Adobe Audition because it does present a rather steep learning curve.
Free Podcast Recording Software
Some of our favorite FREE podcast recording software include:
3. Pro Tools First
How to Enhance Results and Convert Listeners into Customers
Every podcast has one primary goal – growth, both in terms of quantity and quality.
Your listeners ultimately decide whether your show is a success or not – and this is why it’s essential to amass a bigger listener base because it means a more successful podcast.
It is also important to consider that not every podcast will become a hit – to prosper here, you’ll have to build a solid ground upon which your podcast can stand.
Thankfully it’s not all that difficult to do since podcasts are the easiest way to get your content straight to where the audiences are. Here’s how:
Right from the beginning, get your previous appearances to pay off, use your email list to power your podcasts and maybe even run some Facebook ads to bring in listeners.
Did you put forth some controversial opinions on an episode? Try to get people to listen to that show. Or you could get a celebrity on an episode and gain momentum with their fans pushing you to a bigger audience.
Engaged via Different Channels
The next step is to promote your content through different channels; why not frequent live events, talk to people, create quality content and use it to make episodes?
Link your podcasts in your email so your contact list and anyone you are in touch with automatically know what you are up to. Remember, the more people listen to your podcast, the higher it will rank in the charts.
Work Hard on Episode 1
Put your best effort into that first episode; you need to create something fascinating, engaging and exciting to keep your first-time listeners coming back for more.
Hit them with your best shot and then continue with the same energy with later episodes
Sponsor Your Podcast
Ideally, you should be your own sponsor; use your podcast to promote your products, services, ideas, etc. instead of other people’s stuff.
A good idea is to promote older episodes continuously – this increases your rankings because people will refer to the media that you have previously recorded and actively engage with your show.
Create Exceptional Content
Come up with unique content, something that would immediately make your listeners take notice of your message.
Encourage your audience to listen to your episodes and refer back to your website for more information. Provide high-quality content through videos, transcriptions, PDFs and infographics.
Let Listeners Call-in
It’s a good idea to interact with your listeners via a chatbot or have them call in during a live feed. They would undoubtedly feel valued when you let them chip in their ideas and opinions to your podcast.
Link to Other Content
Did you previously write a blog post about the issue you are discussing on this podcast? Then link to it in the description of your podcast.
Did you do an episode about something similar? Guide your audiences to it so they may get a broader view of the subject at hand.
Remember, you have to promote all the other content that you have produced – this way, you’ll be able to build authority in the industry and your audience will recognize you for your command over a subject.
Update Your Email List
Some podcast hosting apps and platforms will let you collect email addresses from your listeners.
Use these to let people know that you have uploaded a new episode to drive more traffic to your site – in turn, this can lead to more downloads, better rankings and increased exposure.
Focus on Quality
Give your listeners the best audio quality and production value possible.
Since good audio is rewarded and appreciated by the listeners, you need to make sure that your show is easy for people to listen to. Include an introduction bumper and an outro; also add a call to action. Use a good quality microphone and the difference will be exceptional.
Look for Ways to Grab Attention
Every episode should have a picture in its description; all podcasting hosts give you this ability, so why not use it?
Pictures are easy to share on social media and a visual platform is a powerful engagement building channel. Also, try to use widgets that can help you pop up on social media streams. Lastly, let people easily share your posts through conveniently placed sharing buttons.
Know Your Topic Inside Out
Find out the hottest issue in your field and build podcasts around it, gaining traction from a trending topic. Notice all the newsworthy topics, address these and give your views on them – in short, don’t shy away from being provocative.
Being controversial is a way to get people’s attention which is why sensational content will get tweets and comments, and it may even go viral.
Update your Content
Edit an old episode and re-upload it for your newest listeners – this will give you a chance to add further information about the topic and update your audience with new content.
Syndicate Your Podcast
Use different ways to syndicate your episodes – for instance, talk about it on Facebook, Google+ and even Tweet about it.
Invite Famous Guests
The ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ is a podcast by Joe Rogan that has amassed millions of listeners who tune in to hear him interview famous guests from all walks of life
You could do the same by inviting guests from a certain niche and give your audience some unprecedented insights into their lives.
Turn Listeners into Customers
Engage with your listeners, make them feel valued, give them incentive to subscribe to your podcast feed and they will come back to buy from you.
This is when you can lead them to your website where they can learn more about the solutions that you offer.
Frequently asked Questions Podcast Hosting
Top podcast apps
An increasing number of podcasts are managed through the various podcast apps available for android and iOS. Some of the top podcast apps are:
- Apple podcasts
What are podcast directories?
Podcast directories are a centralized location used to distribute the podcast to people and platforms across the internet. Here you can upload your podcast episode by episode and list your show to ensure that your listeners hear you.
These directories can either be desktop sites, mobile apps, or even a combination of both.
Where can I host a podcast?
Podcasts can be hosted on dedicated podcast hosting platforms. Each has unique features so make sure you select a host that’s perfect for your particular podcasting needs.
Some of the best podcast hosting sites include:
Where can I host a podcast for free ?
Most podcast hosting websites are completely free, or they offer an open plan that lets you upgrade to the premium version once the podcast takes off.
Some of the best free podcast hosting platforms are:
Do I need podcast hosting?
Yes, podcast hosting can help you get heard by more people.
These platforms store and host your audio files and generate an RSS feed that is sent to the podcast directories. You can also create HTML embed codes that allow you to add your podcast episodes to your website.
What are the most popular podcast platforms?
After creating your podcasts, you need to look for platforms that help you increase your podcast’s reach and distribute it to more places and people.
Some of the most popular podcast platforms include:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- Google Play Music
Can I use the wix podcast player as hosting ?
No, you cannot use the Wix podcast player for hosting your podcasts. The chances are that if your podcast is hosted on an external hosting platform, and then it is connected to the Wix player through an RSS feed. All you need to do is sign in to your hosting Website, get the RSS feed link, and then enter it into the Wix Player settings.
How much does podcast hosting cost?
Your podcast hosting platform’s pricing plans depend on the hosting company you choose, the number of episodes you make, and the number of downloads you can achieve. Expect to pay $5/month to $50/month on average.
Can I use SoundCloud podcast hosting to host my podcast?
Yes, you can host your podcast on SoundCloud by making an account with an active email address. Enter the podcast name as your Display Name and activate your account through the confirmation email sent to you. Set up your profile, choose a category for your podcast, select the language, and start posting.
Can’t I Host my Podcast on my Website?
Yes, you can host your podcast on your Website, but it might not be a good idea. That’s because the podcast files you will upload on your website are bound to be quite substantial in size, especially if you aim for a high-quality podcast.
Soon you’ll run out of space, and that can be detrimental for your channel.
Additionally, your site may not be optimized to handle much traffic, and it may crash if the podcast is getting high traffic and downloads.
Where do people listen to podcasts?
About 64% of the people listen to podcasts at home, 24% listen to them while commuting, 20% of them do it while traveling via private transport such as a car or bike. 18% listen to podcasts when they are out doing chores or simply walking, while 16% listen to exercising. Moreover, 16% of them get the opportunity to listen to podcasts while at work.
Where Should I Publish My Podcast?
You can publish your podcasts on directories that increase your chances of getting noticed by a wider audience base.
The most popular of all is Apple Podcasts, but several other sites can also help you find more listeners. Leading podcast directories include:
- Google Podcasts
- iHeart Radio
Does Hosting Handle Podcast Distribution?
No, hosting platforms do not directly take charge of podcast distribution, but they can help you with the entire process. You’ll find that the leading hosting platforms have a podcast distribution page that offers direct links to the most popular directories that let you publish your podcast with a single click.
What is a Podcast Distribution Service ?
Podcast Distribution services allow you to get your podcast out there so that people can find you, listen to your show, and subscribe to it. There are some popular podcast distribution services where you can submit your podcasts and gain a bigger audience base as many people have subscribed to these platforms.
Can you make money from podcasting ?
Yes, you can make money from podcasting using monetization strategies. A leading tactic for podcasters is to find sponsors for their channels once they’ve developed an impressive audience base.
You could also offer online courses on topics that you command. Coaching, consultancy services, and crowdfunding are a few more ways of earning money through podcasts.
How often should you publish a podcast ?
Podcasters usually release their episodes weekly, biweekly, or even once a month. However, some ambitious ones go so far as to publish daily or multiple times a week. Although there’s no perfect timing to publish an episode, the best strategy is to be frequent and stick to a regular schedule so that people know when they will be able to listen to a new episode.
Is starting a podcast worth it ?
Yes, starting a podcast is a fulfilling and profitable endeavor. There has been a dramatic growth in the podcasting industry because it is the perfect medium for entertainment and education.
However, you’ll have to differentiate your podcast because everybody wants to capitalize on this trend due to the low entry costs, ease of production, and less competition than blogging or vlogging on YouTube.
Can I automate podcast tasks?
Yes, you can automate your podcast tasks to save time and get things done more efficiently. Zapier and Auphonic are two automation tools that can be connected easily without any coding. These platforms automate podcast promotion tactics by publishing the episodes on social media or uploading them to a Dropbox folder.
How to upload podcasts to spotify
Spotify has partnered with several podcast hosting companies, so follow the specific steps for submitting to Spotify through your hosting company. But in case you have a different host, submit your podcast to Spotify by making an account on there and entering your RSS feed link and other important details about your podcast.
What is liberated syndication?
Liberated syndication or Libsyn is a podcast service provider that offers hosting, distribution, and monetization services for podcasters. They also provide a range of distribution and hosting tools, including RSS link creation, bandwidth, analytics tracking, storage, and many more.
This podcast service is highly popular among podcasters as it allows them to measure their audience, deliver high-quality audio episodes, and monetize via premium subscription services.
And there you have it – my list of the best podcast hosting platforms.
When selecting the right platform, the first step is to take an in-depth look at its features. In short, a good platform should allow you to upload as much content as you plan to on a monthly basis, be compliant to industry standards, give you a bird’s eye view of analytics – most importantly, it should offer enough storage space and bandwidth.
Decide early the features and functionalities you want: Will you need a website? Email marketing? Transcriptions? Show notes?
Another consideration to keep in mind is that your hosting company should deliver your podcast to the largest directories and podcast networks with ease.
So pick the best option as per your requirements and don’t forget to comment below to let us know what you decide!
A great resource – very thorough!
Thank you Ian! Best, Eduard