Are you a business owner, consultant, or coach looking to promote your products/expertise using a podcast? Maybe you want to use podcasting as a communication platform within your company.
The only problem is that it’s difficult to decide which podcast hosting platform you can use to reach as many of your target audiences as possible.
But do not worry!
You have come to the right place.
In this post, we are going to review 21+ podcast hosting platforms and highlight the unique features and specializations of each platform.
I’ll also show you the key differences in:
- Marketing and monetization
- Value and pricing
- Storage space and bandwidth
- Ease of use
By the time you are done reading, you will know 100% which podcast hosting platform is best for you.
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If you are looking for an easy-to-use podcasting tool, Buzzsprout might be the right platform for you. Its main selling proposition is its simplicity. Its UI/UX is really good and all the features are accessible within 3 clicks.
Its unique features include a magic mastering filter. This filter helps you edit and process audio files without the need for third-party tools. You just need to input the audio file, Buzzsprout will edit the audio to match the industry standards (without any loss in the audio quality). If you are not an editor, this feature will be really helpful for you. You can refer to my Buzzsprout review post to know in detail.
Note: To get this feature, you need to pay an additional charge. On the lowest plan, you need to spend $6/mo. The pricing increases on the higher plans.
- Provides integration with tools like Otter.ai and Temi, to transcribe your episodes. With Google Search indexing podcasts, transcriptions have become a must for more visibility.
- Comes with 1-click podcast distribution to major platforms like Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Overcast, Apple Podcasts, etc.
- Has released a brand new podcast website helping you get more traffic for your podcasts. This helps in improving the podcast’s SEO.
- For monetization, it has an affiliate marketplace, show support links (helps you to collect donations), sponsors, and ads. Its affiliate marketplace as of now has only 2 brands to promote, but you can promote your own custom brands as well.
- All its premium plans support unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth. So, you don’t have to worry about the traffic load, as Buzzsprout handles all this for you. Note that it doesn’t support unlimited content uploading.
- Magic Mastering feature optimizes audio uploads to meet industry standards, eliminating the need for third-party tools.
- All its premium plans support unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth. So, you don’t have to worry about the traffic load, as Buzzsprout handles all this for you. Note that it doesn’t support unlimited content uploading.
- Has its own affiliate marketplace for monetization. You can integrate custom brands as well.
- Lacks mobile apps. But, most of your listeners would be using Apple or Google Podcasts. This is not a major con though.
- Unlike Spreaker and Podbean, Buzzsprout lacks a mobile app for podcasters. If you need a handy mobile app to edit your podcasts, this will disappoint you.
- The affiliate marketplace has only 2 built-in brands to promote. To promote any other brands, you need to put the effort into searching and collaborating with them.
Captivate is a feature-rich podcast platform that allows you to create unlimited podcasts in a single account. It also supports unlimited storage and unlimited uploads on all its plans, unlike tools like Spreaker which have limitations depending on the plan. But it doesn’t support unlimited downloads. Based on the pricing plans, the number of downloads varies.
On the lowest plan, it supports 12,000 downloads per month. If you need unlimited downloads you can consider going with tools like Buzzsprout.
The best thing with Captivate is that it comes with Growth Labs which gives all the resources to learn podcast marketing, SEO, how to get sponsors, how to get more listeners, etc. It also gives you access to its community where you can connect with like-minded people. The Growth Labs is free to all Captivate users.
You also save time and money by using Captivate’s editing plug-ins instead of purchasing third-party editing software.
The distribution process of Captivate is user-friendly as the platform includes a copy and paste feature for links to the podcast distribution platforms.
The pricing plans vary depending on the number of podcast downloads.
Captivate’s paid plans start at $17 per month. It is a bit more expensive than other platforms, but the benefits outweigh the costs.
– Up to 12,000 downloads per month,
– Unlimited podcast shows,
– Unlimited uploads and storage,
– A comprehensive list of podcast distribution platforms that integrate easily with Captivate.
- Has Growth Labs to help you master podcasting
- Support unlimited podcasts and upload on all its plans.
- Supports private podcasting to sell premium content. You can sell unlimited premium podcasts.
- Has dedicated WordPress plugin to publish on your own website.
- Lacks a free plan, unlike Buzzsprout and Podbean.
- Lacks ad marketplace for monetization. To promote the ads you need to search on your own.
Spreaker is a tough contender to Buzzsprout. It is also very easy to use, but it needs some technical knowledge for using its ad campaign manager. You need to find the sponsors on your own and set up the campaigns.
If you are a big brand and you want to host multiple shows on the same account, Spreaker allows you to do that. This will save you money since you will not have to pay for multiple accounts.
Similar to Buzzsprout, Spreaker also comes with episode transcription (for this it integrates with Descript, Temi, and YouTube Studio), the ability to create audiograms to share on social media channels, 1-click distributions, etc.
When it comes to monetization, Spreaker mainly has programmatic advertising. It finds fresh and relevant ads for you. To make your job easier, it has a dedicated ad campaign manager which you can use to set up, manage, and track all the ad campaigns in one place. Also, it has integration with Patreon for selling products and merchandise.
Spreaker offers a mobile app for both listeners and podcasters. For podcasters, it has a dedicated studio app to record, edit, and publish the episodes on the go. If you travel more and you need mobile apps to manage your podcasts on the go, Spreaker would be the best deal. To know more about these apps, you can refer to Spreaker review.
This podcast hosting platform offers a 5-hour trial period, after which you’ll need to sign up for Pro Plans that start at $8 per month.
- Has a mobile app for podcasters. The Studio apps help podcasters to record, edit and publish episodes on the go.
- Offers various monetization strategies like programmatic advertising and premium podcasts to make money with your podcasts.
- Has a dedicated ad campaign manager to run and track the ads. But it is available only on its highest plan.
- It provides unlimited storage only on its highest pricing plan.
- It restricts advanced analytics to higher plans. On the lower plan, it just gives downloads and listeners’ stats.
Transistor is one of the most trusted podcast hosting platforms. One of the outstanding features of this podcast hosting platform is the ability to host an unlimited number of shows with the same rate plan.
This is especially useful for those who:
– Want to experiment with different show formats and arrangements.
– Want to find out how different products sell to different audiences.
– Want to grow their listener base by producing more shows.
There’s also a two-host option for the same shows, meaning you can pay for one account and add another person as a host. This gives you more flexibility in how you run your show.
Transistor also offers a unique feature known as private hosting, which allows you to narrow down your content and audience for specific purposes:
– Communicating messages within a company or institution.
– Giving your supporters access to exclusive podcasts
– Conduct corporate training sessions
– Give your customers access to your advanced products and services.
Transistor is really a platform focused on brands and entrepreneurs who want to optimize their costs, which translates into good value for money.
To try out the tool, it provides a 14 days trial. The premium pricing starts at $19 per month. Transistor pricing is quite high compared to tools like Spreaker and Buzzsprout.
Podbean is one of the best tools for advanced podcasters.
Similar to Spreaker, Podbean comes with a mobile app for both podcasters and listeners. Also, the app supports in-app purchases helping in increased sales. This is one of the biggest strengths of Podbean.
The other features of Podbean include – unlimited storage & bandwidth, custom domain integration, social media auto-sharing, integration with Alexa, built-in live streaming, etc.
Let’s discuss the monetization strategies that Podbean offers.
Podbean has an ad marketplace, premium podcasts, and integration with Patron programs. The ad marketplace helps you monetize your podcasts through podcast sponsorship on the Podbean marketplace. This way you can earn money with advertisements and promotions.
You can create unlimited premium podcast channels. Podbean doesn’t impose any cost for storage or downloads. Only some percentage of your sales is taken as fees.
Podbean offers a free trial period of up to 5 hours when you sign up. After that, you will be charged a minimum upload plan of $9 per month, payable annually. If you opt for the monthly plan, you’ll have to pay $14 per month. I think that’s a small price to pay for so much value.
- Provides various free plugins (like adding transcripts, adding SEO meta tags, integrating with Google Analytics, etc.) to increase the functionality of the tool.
- Its mobile app supports in-app purchases. Great to increase the sales.
- Has an affiliate ad marketplace for you to find and promote the sponsors.
- It supports premium podcasts. You can sell unlimited premium memberships and earn money.
- Its Pro app, live chat, and custom branding features are available only on its highest plan which costs $99/mo.
- The free plan is very limited and doesn’t support video podcasts, custom design, custom domain, multiple podcast channels, etc.
If you want to start creating and uploading shows but have a zero budget for it, Anchor is the place for you.
Anchor is a widely known free podcast hosting platform that also has a mobile app, similar to Podbean or Spreaker. This means that you can create and upload your shows from both your mobile and desktop, all for free. Great, right?
You can use Anchor to distribute your shows on some of the most popular podcast distribution platforms like Google Podcast, Amazon Music, and Spotify.
However, you’ll be at a slight disadvantage if you want to monetize your shows. That’s because Anchor requires you to insert too many paid ads into your podcast episodes, which can be unpleasant for your listeners.
Anchor, therefore, may not be the right place for you if you want to take podcasting seriously.
- Mobile app allows you to upload episodes on your phone.
- Most of the desktop features are limited.
- There is no website integration feature.
- Too much advertising can drive listeners away.
With Castos you can turn your shows into articles and posts. That’s possible because Castos provides automated transcription services, maximizing the value of your content.
Castos has a quick and easy sign-up process. All you need is your email address and password.
Castos offers an unlimited free trial period of 14 days. After that, you get unlimited upload and download for about $15 per month. You also get:
– Easy integration with WordPress for your transcriptions
– Automated transcription
– Distribution on Spotify and Amazon Music
Blubrry is an all-in-one podcasting tool that comes with almost all the features built inside it. It has a PowerPress plugin, which allows you to easily integrate and launch your podcast if you have a WordPress website.
Along with this, it provides a free landing page to promote your podcasts and attract leads.
Similar to tools like Podbean, it supports private podcasts. You can even create premium memberships and restrict access to paid members.
Blubrry offers a 14-day free trial with up to 400 MB of storage per month.
Although Blubrry is easy to use, it may not be suitable for your content if you want to host multiple shows, as storage is limited.
Simplecast has a more complex and detailed sign-up process. While this ensures more specific content, it may not be suitable for beginners who need guidance on how to set up their podcasts.
You can also add customizable images to your podcasts to make them more appealing to your audience.
Simplecast offers a customizable website that lets you market and distribute your shows without having to use third-party software.
Simplecast offers a 14-days free trial, after which you can upgrade to a paid program with unlimited uploads per month for just $15. This makes it more beneficial if you plan to produce a large amount of content or co-host your show.
If you are looking for a modern and advanced podcast hosting platform with up-to-date features, you should skip Libsyn.
Libsyn is one of the oldest podcast hosting platforms and is mostly recommended only by its long-time users who have made it popular over the years.
Libsyn does not have a free trial period. Instead, it offers a surprisingly affordable entry-level package for $5 or $7 per month. The downside of this package is that it:
– Offers very little storage space of 162 Mb
– You get only 3 hours of upload per month
Libsyn’s $15 per month plan offers 6 hours of upload and 324 Mb of storage per month.
If neither of these is an issue, Libsyn does offer some unique features. It provides a geographic heat map that gives insight into audio concentration and your podcast popularity worldwide. Libsyn offers customized episode publishing and a plugin that seamlessly publishes to your WordPress website if you have one.
If you are not so entrenched in the tech world and are looking for an easy way to create and market your content, Acast is the place for you.
You can easily export your podcast from other hosting platforms as well as host an unlimited number of shows within the site.
Acast’s paid plans start at $14.99 to $29.99 if you pay annually, and you also get a 14-days free trial in return.
On the higher tier plans, you also get transcription services, which are helpful if you want to turn some of your shows into blog posts.
Backtracks allows you to record your shows and have them broadcast at a later time. This helps you:
– Perform bulk recordings if you have a tight schedule.
– Specify exactly when you want your shows to be published.
– Allot more time to work on other shows you may have.
Backtracks is one of the podcast hosting platforms that edge towards the expensive side as their cheapest plan starts at $99 to $299 per month.
Backtracks’ high prices might be impractical if you are just starting your business.
bCast offers you up to 2 hours of transcription per month for the starter package and increases up to 10 hours if you pay for a higher package. This allows you to maximize your content by turning it into posts.
However, bCast does not have a free trial period. This can hinder people who want to explore the quality of the service before making any commitments.
RSS.com has a simple sign-up process. All you need to do is enter your email address and you are ready to go.
If you are an NGO and want to monetize your content to raise funds, RSS.com offers an NGO plan that is subsidized starting at $5 per month with several benefits like,
– Unlimited episodes
– Unlimited upload hours
– Free website
– Podcast scheduling
If you are completely in the dark about how podcast hosting platforms work, Fireside is one of the places to start.
Fireside, interestingly enough, offers a video showcasing the best features on its home page. This helps you quickly figure out if it’s the right platform for you. If it’s not, then you save the time that you could have spent signing up.
Fireside offers a 14-days trial period when you sign up for their paid plans, which start at $9 for hosting a single show with 100 MB of storage.
You can request for your subscription money to be refunded if you decide to cancel before the 14-days trial period expires.
The higher tier costs $49 per month and allows you to host up to two podcast shows with 200 MB of storage. This can be limiting if you want to experiment with more shows than that.
Megaphone (for large companies)
Megaphone, formerly known as Panoply Media, was acquired by Spotify in 2020 for $235 million.
The best thing about Megaphone is that it allows you to join their advertising marketplace once you sign up.
This feature will help you as a podcaster to create networks for advertising if you already have a large audience or when you create podcasts at the enterprises and corporate level.
– Conduct seminars, courses/training for the company
– Communicate with specific employees through private podcasts
– Strategically market your products
This is not a beginner-friendly podcast hosting platform. The entry-level package for Megaphone starts at shows that average more than 20,000 downloads per episode per month. Also, Megaphone does not have a trial period, and you have to send a request for a quote to get the pricing details.
Podigee allows you to create new podcasts or transfer existing podcasts from another host without losing any ratings.
Even better, the transfer process is automated and only takes a day or two.
Pedigree has been praised for its validity as a feed by various podcast distribution platforms such as Apple Podcast, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Google Podcast.
You can sign up for their 14-days free trial to get a feel of how your shows are received on podcast distribution platforms. Podigee also offers analytics that let you monitor the reception of your content and your listenership.
PodOmatic is undoubtedly one of the most affordable podcast hosting platforms.
You will get a customizable website that lets you personalize your podcast page and the option to monetize your podcast through paid advertising and funding from patrons.
If you just want to get started without worrying about costs or monthly fees, definitely check out PodOmatic.
With the basic package, you can set up accounts for free and still get up to 15 GB of bandwidth per month and 500 MB of storage for two months. That should be adequate as you consider staying on the platform or trying out other platforms.
The Pro plan starts at a low fee of $2.99, for which you get 100 GB of bandwidth per month and 2 GB of storage.
Podserve.fm prides itself on doing all the work for you, so you get the most bang for your buck. All you need is to record your podcast and upload it.
The transcription services offered on Podserve.fm are of high quality. If you want, you can also publish your podcasts as posts. Podserve.fm is worth considering.
Podserve.fm offers a 14-days trial period, after which you can sign up for the paid subscription for $19 per month. This offers you:
– Unlimited storage space
– Unlimited number of podcast shows
– Transcription services
– Free advertising for your podcast on PodParadise
Resonate is a podcast recording platform that is also a hosting platform.
This is very important because it allows you to edit, produce and upload your shows to the same platform at the same time.
However, the pricing for Resonate can be a bit high, as monthly plans start at $25.
With this, you get:
– Unlimited number of shows
– Unlimited number of episodes
– Unlimited bandwidth
All of this can come in handy if you plan to produce multiple shows in a month.
Like some of the platforms already mentioned on this list, Podserve also requires you to provide your credit card information, to access their 14 days free trial.
SquadCast main selling point is the production of high-quality videos and audio. This is because SquadCast has built-in edit software to help you produce the best quality video and audio.
Squadcast is the ideal platform for YouTubers who are also looking for a podcasting solution.
Squadcast is also designed as an end-to-end incident management software that helps you promote Site Reliability Engineering (SRE).
For $10/month, you can get 2 hours of uploads to Squadcast. For $150/month, you get 25 hours of uploads. What’s more, if you want to try everything the platform has to offer, you can try it for free for 7 days.
The 7-days free trial of SquadCast gives you full access to:
– All paid features and tiers
– Unlimited recording time
– Customer support.
This gives you an overview of the platform’s full service and the benefits of each payment plan, so that you can decide which one is the best for your podcasting needs.
Ustudio is a platform that’s specifically geared towards businesses and meeting their needs.
One of the unique features of Ustudio is that it allows you to host private podcasts. This can be a valuable tool for communicating with a specific group of people such as employees or a particular niche of customers/listeners.
However, the signup process with Ustudio can be a bit tedious, especially if you do not have a business or work in one.
ZenCast offers a free 2-months trial period to any podcaster you refer to the platform and throws in a free month for you. This can be a great option if you have a lot of friends who want to venture into the world of podcasting.
If you are confident in your marketing abilities, you can save a lot of money with ZenCast’s offers.
Audioboom is listener-focused rather than download-focused. With as few as 10,000 downloads per month, you have access to advertising sponsorships and brand partnerships that can easily be monetized as your podcasts gain popularity.
Audioboom does not have a free trial period. However, if you cancel your subscription within the first month of your standard plan, you will receive a full refund.
With the standard $9.99 per month subscription, you can upload unlimited episodes and reach up to 10,000 listeners per month. The higher tier for $19.99 per month equates to 25,000 listeners per month.
Fusebox is one of the few podcast hosting platforms that lets you display your podcast transcripts on your WordPress website.
Fusebox also offers a free trial package that allows you to get up to three free shows on the same account, which is very rare with most free plans. The free trial also gives you access to their transcription service.
The Pro plan starts at $15.83, with annual payments giving you two months free. Fusebox is a good option for podcasters who are budget conscious.
How do you choose a good podcast hosting platform? The answer lies in your needs as a podcaster.
My top 3 recommendations are Buzzsprout, Captivate, and Spreaker.
Choose Buzzsprout if you –
- Are a beginner and you need a simple tool to get started.
- Need podcast editing features right inside the tool
- Don’t need mobile apps
- Need transcription service integrations right inside of the tool
- Need various monetization strategies
Choose Captivate if you –
- Need dedicated mobile apps
- Want to make money with private podcasts
- Need an ability to create your own podcast network
- Need a Custom domain feature
Choose Spreaker if you –
- Need mobile apps
- Need built-in programmatic ad monetization
- Need a dedicated ad manager
These vary depending on your requirements, but I hope this information has given you enough insight to choose the ideal podcast hosting platform for you.