Podcast Hosts: The Best of the Best - Starting Your Own Podcast

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When starting your own podcast, one of the most important things to consider is where it will live. I have spent the last couple of months getting to know as many podcast hosting sites as I could. It took some time to get a feel for what sets them apart from each other. There are so many different pricing models, feature sets, and plans that it becomes very complicated to sort through it.

So, now I am going to share what I have learned. This sharing part has been a process of its own. I thought of just announcing my top pick, or making a top-five list, or rating them by categories. But, you see it is a little more complicated than that. Choosing the right hosting site for your podcast is going to come down to two main variables: price and features.

One of the major considerations I will cover will be the price. Most podcasters I talk to start out with little to no budget. Any money they might have set aside for the project usually goes towards buying a decent microphone. The need for a more complex setup, especially multiple microphones for multiple hosts, can end up costing a lot more than planned. So, the price might end up becoming the most critical determining factor. Back in July, I wrote about some hosts that offer free plans. But, even if you have set aside a decent budget, there is no need to spend more than you need for features you aren't going to use. 

I have been writing about features in my last several posts. We have covered space issues like bandwidth, upload,  and storage limits. I also spent a post writing about analytics and the different depth of statistics offered by different hosts.  Finally, I reviewed the various options for monetization or making money with your podcast.

Now, it is time to sort through some of the most popular hosting sites to see how they compare through the lens of price and features. These are not in any rating order. This list is just designed to let you see, at a glance, the pricing, and features of some of the options.

The first listing is an example. It is there to offer links to more information on that particular category of information.

I have added a category not covered in the posts on features. Back in an earlier post, I wrote about hosting vs. syndication. So, for this list, I have added a section on Syndication Help. This covers how much assistance the host offers in getting your podcast syndicated on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, etc.

Sample

www.sample.com
Price: 
Monthly Upload Limit: Read more.
Storage Limit: Read more.
Bandwidth Limit: Read more.
Analytics Features: Read more.
Monetization Options: Read more.
Syndication Help: Read more.
Other Notes:

Anchor

 

www.anchor.fm
Price: Free
Monthly Upload Limit: Unlimited
Storage Limit: Unlimited
Bandwidth Limit: Unlimited
Analytics Features: Total plays, all-time, plays per episode, overall podcast plays (per day, week, and month), episode downloads (per day, week, and month), how people listen (website, iTunes, Google Play, etc.) (per day, week, and month).
Monetization Options: Built-in listener support option
Syndication Help: Anchor does all the heavy lifting for syndication. Once you launch your podcast, they will work to get it syndicated on every possible platform. Since moving my podcast to Anchor, it has been listed on Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Castbox, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Stitcher, and iTunes.


buzzspout

www.buzzsprout.com
Price: Free or $12/$18/$24
Free Plan Monthly Upload Limit: 2 hours
Free Plan Limitations: Content deleted after 90 days
Monthly Upload Limit:  3/6/12 hours    
Storage Limit: Unlimited
Bandwidth Limit: 250GB
Analytics Features:  Total listeners, plays per episode, plays over time, most popular episodes, how people listen.
Monetization Options: None
Syndication: Provides assistance for registering with Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, Alexa.
Notes: Features free podcast website, will optimize most audio file types, 128k Stereo Optimization available for $6/month.

blubrry

 

www.blubrry.com
Price: $12/$20/$40/$80
Monthly Upload Limit: None
Storage Limit: 100MB/250MB/500MB/1000MB
Bandwidth Limit: Unlimited
Analytics Features: Total & Unique Downloads, Platforms, Client Apps (top 10), Distribution, Traffic Sources (top 10), Certified on demand, World Demographics (top 10). Professional analytics available for $5/month.
Monetization Options: Podcast advertising platform built-in.
Syndication: Optimized for syndication on all major platforms.
Notes: Comes with free PowerPress Wordpress site.

PodBean

www.podbean.com
Price: $5/$14/$39/$129 or $3/$9/$29/$99 when purchased yearly.
Monthly Upload Limit: 100MB/Unlimited
Storage Limit: NA
Bandwidth Limit: 100MB per month/Unlimited
Analytics Features: Basic stats for $5 plan. Other plans include advanced stats: trends, geo-location, platform, etc.
Monetization Options: Podbean Podcast Advertising Marketplace + Crowdfunding.
Syndication: Support for iTunes and Google Podcasts
Notes: Comes with a custom website. Unlimited Plus and Business plans support video podcasting and multiple podcasts.


Libsyn

www.libsyn.com
Price: $5/$15/$20/$40/$75
Monthly Upload Limit: 50MB/250MB/400MB/800/MB/1500MB
Storage Limit: NA
Bandwidth Limit: Unlimited
Analytics Features: Basic stats for $5 plan (add advanced for $2/month. Other plans include advanced stats: total downloads, unique downloads, social stats, date ranges, per-episode, geo-location, platform
Monetization Options: Available on LibsynPRO platform. More info at: https://www.libsyn.com/libsyn-pro/
Syndication: OnPublish – Multiple Destination Publishing.

This is not an exhaustive list of providers. My only hope is that this will help you make an informed decision when choosing a podcast host. If I missed anything on any of the providers or you have a favorite you would like me to look at, please let me know in the comments or drop me a line at provoiceguy@gmail.com.

In the meantime, check out my podcast here.

If you are looking for a professional intro for your podcast, I can help. Check out my professionally voiced and produced podcast intros starting at $10.

If you want to check out some of the equipment I used in my own studio or write about on this blog, you can read more here.

Will Rice