Thinking of starting your own podcast? Great!
The number of podcast listeners in the US is steadily growing and expected to hit 164 million by 2023. If you are looking for an effective channel to reach your audience, a podcast is worth the investment.
65% of people are more willing to buy a product if they heard about it on a podcast.
The first step in starting a podcast is figuring out which is the best podcast hosting service to use.
There are so many podcast hosting sites these days, and it can be a challenge to decide which one offers the best features based on what you need. The good news is, you can still start a successful podcast.
In this post, I’ll round up all the best podcast hosting sites along with the features they offer as well as their podcast hosting cost/ pricing plans.
I will also be talking about free podcast hosting platforms that you can use in case you are trying out podcasting as a means to grow your audience or bring traffic to your website.
Ready? Let’s begin!
Disclaimer: If you buy something using the links in this article, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Know that I only promote stuff that I use and trust for the sake of my readers and the reputation of this site.
Table of Contents
What is Podcast Hosting?
As a podcaster, you will be needing space to store all the podcast episodes for your show in the form of audio files. You will not have so much space for audio storage on your own website, which is why you need a podcast hosting platform.
Why Do You Need Podcast Hosting?
First, let’s address the all-important question – do you really need to use a hosting service? Can’t you just store all your podcast episodes on your website?
The answer is simple. Yes, you can store podcast files on your website, but keep in mind that these are big files. Storing them on your site will make your site slower.
Besides, a hosting service offers many features such as podcast hosting, analytics, marketing tools, customer support, RSS feed generation, and more.
Now, what is an RSS feed and why is it important to you as a podcaster?
Here’s a video that explains why you need a podcast host to set up your RSS feed:
Now let’s take a look at some of the best podcast hosting platforms you can use for your business.
What Are The Best Podcast Hosting Sites?
Before you choose a hosting service for your podcast, you must take the time to consider all the options you have in front of you.
There are so many different podcast hosting sites to choose from. Each offers different features and functionalities, so how do you know which are the best podcast hosting sites?
In this section, we are going to review the top podcast hosting services so that you can see which one suits your business the best compared to other podcast hosts.
The first best podcast hosting service on this list is Audioboom.
What is Audioboom?
Audioboom is a platform for podcasters and advertisers to host, distribute, and monetize podcasts. They match podcasters with advertisers to create podcast ads.
Audioboom is one of the best podcast hosting services that help in dynamic ad insertion as well as the creation of host-read ads during the show in addition to podcast hosting.
- Unlimited episodes per month
- Distribution via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more
- Advanced analytics with breakdowns by app, device, and geographic region
- Embeddable Podcast Player for website and social media integration
Audioboom has two main pricing plans, one for individual podcasters, and the other for established podcast networks with over 10,000 plays per episode.
Their plans are pretty affordable, starting as low as $9.99 per month:
bCast is the best podcast hosting service for fast-growing B2B companies to host their show episodes.
bCast helps businesses build relationships with their listeners while growing their social engagement, website traffic, and revenue.
Its simplicity and list of features make it an excellent addition to this ‘best podcast hosting sites’ list.
- Unlimited episodes and hours of storage
- Insert audio CTAs in every episode to promote your webinar, download your eBook, or promote other offers
- This popular podcast hosting platform has Auto Optin that allows your listeners to subscribe to your email list easily
- Transcription of episodes to boost SEO on your website
- Distribution of podcasts to Apple, Google, Spotify, and others
- And much more
bCast offers “Starter”, “Growth”, and “Legendary” plans that range between $15 – $75 per month. The plans are based on the number of podcasts and downloads per month.
They also offer free trials for every plan.
Blubrry is a podcast hosting service that is very popular with podcasters who have a WordPress site because of its WordPress plugin called Powerpress.
With the plugin, you can upload episodes of your show right from your WordPress website dashboard
Blubrry is one of the podcast hosting companies that offer many features on its podcasting platform.
- Podcast hosting to help you publish and distribute your podcast to all major platforms like Spotify and podcast players
- Free migration and tech support
- Professional Statistics incl. with website hosting
- Free WordPress website and WordPress integration
- Podcast analytics
- Podcast statistics
- Powerpress plugin
Blubrry has small, medium, large, and extra-large podcast hosting plans ranging from $12 to $80 per month depending on the monthly storage.
What is Buzzsprout?
Buzzsprout is one of the best podcast hosting companies for niche podcasters. Buzzsprout helps you easily create and publish episodes, understand your listeners with advanced analytics, and get your podcast in all of the top podcast directories like Apple and Google.
Buzzsprout even offers a $20 Amazon gift card with any new paid account.
- Unlimited audio file storage (hours of storage)
- Advanced podcast statistics to study your show audience
- Podcast episode transcription for SEO and accessibility
- Add a podcast player to your website with a little code
- Create chapter markers inside Buzzsprout
- Custom podcast site, and more
This podcast hosting service has 4 pricing plans including a free one. The paid plans range from $12 – $24 per month.
All paid plans include advanced stats, unlimited storage, unlimited team members, and free import of podcasts.
Captivate is regarded as a growth-oriented podcast host and is meant for independent podcasters. It has a simple and easy-to-use interface and offers flexible podcasting.
- Host an unlimited number of podcasts on any paid plan
- Hours of storage per month – unlimited
- Distribute your podcast in Apple, Google, and more.
- Advanced, IAB certified analytics
- Private podcasting
- Podcast player
- Podcast site
- Podcast marketing
This podcast hosting service has three pricing plans – Personal, Professional, and Business, depending on the downloads per month.
Captivate also offered free trials on all its paid plans.
Castos is a podcast hosting company that makes podcasting easy and accessible to all. Apart from podcasting, Castos has a WordPress plugin called seriously simple podcasting WordPress plugin that makes podcasting a breeze.
Castos also has a podcast editing service that helps you polish your final podcast product before publishing.
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited podcasts & episodes
- Free one-click migrations
- Unique RSS for each podcast show
- Automated transcripts with pay-as-you-go pricing
- YouTube republishing
- Personalized podcast webpage
- Podcast player
Castos has Starter, Growth, and Pro plans that range between $190 – $990 per year.
Fusebox is another podcast host company that offers many podcasting tools to grow your podcast.
Fusebox offers three customizable podcast players for your website. It also has many practical features such as multi-platform support and social sharing.
- Sticky player to turn your website into a podcast player
- Archive player lets you display all episodes of your podcast for your listeners
- Transcript plugin for WordPress
- Multi-platform player
This podcast hosting services has a different plan for each user. Fusebox Free is for beginner podcasters, while Fusebox Pro is for more established podcasters.
Transistor is a podcast hosting service that helps podcasters upload their podcast and distribute it to popular platforms such as Apple, Google, and Spotify.
- Podcast hosting
- Podcast Analytics
- Podcast distribution
- Private podcasting
- Unlimited podcasts
Transistor has Starter, Professional, and Business plans that start at $19 per month.
Podbean’s podcast hosting services with a simple interface. Podbean has all the features for starting, promoting, and monetizing podcasts.
- Easy Publishing with an intuitive interface
- Unlimited hosting with no limits on downloads, episodes, or recording time.
- Free Professional Podcast Websites. You can choose a podcast website for free with your account. Choose from a variety of professional themes that you can customize to fit your needs.
- Own Domain Integration- Use your own branded domain for your podcast websites.
- Scheduled Publishing – Convenient publishing on your timetable. Upload your audio and schedule episodes to post at designated times.
- Mobile Podcast Publishing – Publish episodes right from your phone.
Podbean has some of the best podcast hosting plans available.
They have a basic free version, an Unlimited Audio plan (with unlimited podcast hosting), an Unlimited Plus plan, and a Business plan.
All paid podcasting plans have unlimited storage.
What is Libsyn?
Libsyn is a podcast hosting service that offers hosting, distribution, and monetization of podcasts.
With IAB-certified detailed podcast stats, it is simple to study your audience with Libsyn. Libsyn even offers custom Android apps for your podcast show.
- Libsyn offers Powerful analytics to gain valuable audience insights
- Custom Episode Publishing And Optimization Unique To Your Podcast
- Monetization tools
Libsyn offers four pricing plans: Classic 50, Classic 250, Advanced 400, and Advanced 800 depending on monthly storage.
Spreaker is a podcast hosting website that allows you to store and publish your episodes to share with your listeners. Spreaker helps you host, create, distribute, and monetize your podcasts.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Podcast distribution
- Podcast monetization
- Podcast Analytics
- Podcast Statistics
- Enterprise podcasting
- Podcast app
Spreaker has four pricing plans: Free Speech, On-Air Talent, Broadcaster, and Anchorman. Spreaker’s paid plans range between $6 to $45 per month.
What are some of the best free podcast hosting platforms?
Buzzsprout has a dedicated free plan for those podcast hosts who are starting out with their first podcast.
With this plan you can upload 2 hours of content each month, and the episodes are hosted for 90 days.
Podbean offers podcast hosts a basic free podcast hosting plan. It gives you 5 hours of total storage space for audio and has all the basic podcast stats.
Spreaker is a free podcast website that allows you to upload and publish podcast files to share with your audience.
Spreaker has a free version that offers a wide range of features, making it one of the best hosting platforms with a free plan.
Blubrry is a popular podcast hosting platform that hosts audio files. Although it doesn’t have a dedicated free version, it does offer your first month free on the podcast hosting site in case you just want to try out different podcast hosts to find out what’s right for you and your business.
Vurbl is a creator-first podcast platform just like YouTube is for video. (Although you could also publish your video podcasts on YouTube).
Through Vurbly, users can host a podcast, build an audience, and earn revenue from ads.
Vurbl is a user-generated content platform that is free to use.
- 20 million curated audio in 40+ categories
- YouTube of audio content
- Real-time programmatic audio advertising for specific demographics
- Know when someone listens to an ad
- Listeners or Vurbl creators can splice up audio to share on social media or highlight on the platform
What Makes A Good Podcast Hosting Service?
Okay, so now that you’ve seen all the different podcast hosts available, you must be asking yourself “How do I choose a podcast host?“.
We’ve already seen why people prefer podcast hosting services to host their podcast episodes instead of hosting them on their website.
But what makes a good podcast hosting site? How do you decide on the best podcast hosting site for your show when you want to start a podcast?
Here is a buying guide with all the features you need to understand before you choose the best podcast hosting for when you start a podcast.
1. Audio Storage Capacity
Every podcast host has different limits on the hours of audio you can upload and share with your listeners. This mostly depends on the different plans that they offer.
The best podcast hosting sites offer unlimited storage for all your audio files. If, however, the podcast hosting services that you prefer do not offer unlimited storage, you need to plan your podcast episodes accordingly so that they do not go over your storage allowance.
2. Podcast Analytics
You need to understand your audience if you want to create content that connects with them. Podcast analytics is a very useful feature that helps you understand what your audience wants and what type of content your listeners typically engage with.
Although each podcast hosting service offers different types of analytics, you can choose the best one depending on what audience analytics you would like to see.
3. Ease of Use
A good podcast hosting service makes uploading and sharing your podcast episodes a breeze.
From RSS link generation to listing your podcast on podcast directories, your podcast hosting platform should take care of all the tasks involved with little hassle.
Your podcasting service should also offer easy publishing to Apple or Google podcast or whichever platform your listeners tune in to.
Podcast hosting should also help you easily add cover art and podcast descriptions so that listeners can see what your show is about.
How To Upload a Podcast Using iTunes, Google Play, & Spotify
Uploading a Podcast Using iTunes (Apple Podcasts)
iTunes doesn’t actually host your podcasts. You need to submit your podcast to be listed on Apple Podcasts (iTunes).
1. Apple needs you to fulfill certain requirements before they accept your podcast submission.
- You need to have a Podcasts connect account
- You also need to have an RSS feed with the required tags, one completed podcast episode, and cover art for your podcast.
2. Once you’ve done the necessary steps above, you can test your podcast before submission to make sure that you meet all Apple’s required guidelines.
3. Check your podcast submission status on your new podcast page, detail page, and dashboard.
4. Use Podcast Analytics to check the performance of your podcast once it has been successfully submitted.
Here’s a helpful video showing how you can submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts. The video shows how to do this using Buzzsprout, but you can do it using any hosting company:
Uploading a Podcast Using Google Podcasts
Google has a different process of submission compared to other directories. This is because there is no manual process of submission for Google Podcasts. Google crawls the web looking for podcasts, and if a podcast meets all of their requirements, it gets automatically submitted to Google.
1. Check if your podcast has already been submitted to Google Podcasts.
2. Enter your podcast’s RSS podcast feed URL in GooglePodcast Preview.
3. If your podcast has not been listed on Google Podcasts yet, you will get a message telling you so. But if your podcast is listed, you will then receive the podcast URL so you can access it through Google Podcasts.
4. You can manually submit your podcast URL to be crawled by Google. Just go to Publish and enter your podcast URL if you have hosted your podcast on WordPress or any other platform instead of a podcast hosting site.
5. Hit Publish. Google then crawls the URL and when it finds it, your podcast will be included in Google Podcasts.
Uploading a Podcast Using Spotify
You need to set up a few things in your podcast before you can list it in Spotify. You need to have a published podcast episode, a podcast title, description, artwork or cover art, categories, an artist, and other details filled out.
1. Once you have your episode published and your podcast settings filled out, go to podcasters.spotify.com and click on the “Get Started” button.
2. Go to “Add Your Podcast” and click “Get Started”.
3. Enter your RSS podcast feed URL and Spotify will display all the details of your podcast on the right side of your screen.
4. Spotify will then try to verify that you are the owner of this podcast by using the email address associated with your podcast. It will send a code to this email address.
5. You will be asked to fill out some more details about your podcast such as your country, podcast hosting services, category of the podcast, etc. Fill out these details and click”Next”.
6. Make sure all that you filled out is correct and hit the “Submit” button.
7. Your podcast is now listed on Spotify.
So, How Do I Choose From The Best Podcast Hosting Sites?
We’ve seen the best podcast hosting services available today. We’ve also seen the best free hosting platforms.
So, what is the best podcast hosting platform for your business?
I recommend Buzzsprout!
With excellent features, pricing plans, and even a free podcast host plan, Buzzsprout has everything you need for your podcast – no matter whether you are a beginner or an expert.