Choosing the Right Podcast Hosting Site

How to get your podcast onto the big podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify and more.

One of the questions I get asked the most, is “how do I get my podcast onto Apple Podcasts?” To do this, you need to sign up to a podcast host. There are many great companies out there, so how do you choose the right podcast hosting site?

I originally started my podcast in 2017. At the time, there were no free podcast hosting sites. I was on a tight budget, so after some research, I went with Podbean. Even though there are now “free” hosting options, I’ve stuck with Podbean for a few reasons which I’ll outline below. However, choosing the right podcast hosting site will depend on your needs.

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What is the difference between a Podcast Player and a Podcast Hosting Site?

One of the slightly confusing things when someone starts a podcast is getting it onto the big podcast players such as Apple Podcasts. Apple Podcasts is a podcast platform where you can listen and subscribe to different podcasts. However, you need a podcast hosting site to be able to upload your podcast to Apple. 

A “podcast player” is an app or site where you can subscribe and listen to podcasts. Examples include (but are not limited to):

Choosing the right podcast hosting site

A “podcast hosting site” is a site that hosts your podcast. You upload your teaser or first episode to your chosen host, and a specific RSS feed for your podcast is created (more on this below). It’s the RSS feed that you then use to submit to the podcast players above. Podcast Hosting Sites include (but are not limited to):

What does a Podcast Hosting Site do?

If you want your podcast to be on all of the big podcast players such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, etc. then you need to sign up for a Podcast Hosting. To be listed on the players, you need to have an RSS feed (Rich Site Summary). This is basically a URL specific to your podcast. You need to sign up with a podcast hosting site as they generate the RSS feed for you. It’s the RSS feed that gets submitted to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc. 

Once you choose your podcast hosting site, you’ll enter all of the information in there for your podcast (name, description, artwork, tags, etc.) and you’ll upload either a teaser or your first episode. Your podcast hosting site will create the RSS feed for you. Most hosts automatically upload your podcast to the major podcast players using your RSS feed. It might take a few days, even weeks for your podcast to show up on the players. Apple Podcasts can take up to 1-week to approve your podcast and iHeartRadio can take up to 6-weeks! Keep that in mind if you are planning a specific launch date. 

You might need to manually submit your RSS feed to certain podcast players. The RSS feed only needs to be submitted to each player once. Once your podcast is listed on a player, following episodes will be added automatically.

Choosing the right podcast hosting site

What Podcast Hosting Site should I use?

Different podcast hosts offer different perks for example: unlimited uploading; a page that you can use to promote your podcast (if you don’t want to create your own website); podcast statistics; live podcasting; advertising, crowdfunding and more. Before signing up, think about what perks are important to you. 

To help, I’ve created a listed some of the most popular podcast hosting sites below and outlined the various perks of each. This table does not include all Podcast Hosting Sites as there are many more out there!!  So please do your own research above and beyond what I’ve outlined below.

Click the + sign on the right of each box to open the information on the podcast hosting site. 

Podbean

Pricing: Multiple levels including: $0 for 5 hours of storage and 100GB of bandwidth OR paid plans: $9USD/mth, $29USD/mth and $99 USD/mth. All paid plans have Unlimited Storage/Bandwidth.

Podcast Player: Yes, has it’s own podcast player app available for iPhone and Android.

Distribution: You can distribute to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Pandora and TuneIn from the Podbean dashboard.

Podcast Webpage: Yes, your podcast will have it’s own Podbean webpage (so you don’t need a website). Pro-templates are available on all paid plans and you can add your own domain name.

Ads Market Place: Available on all paid plans.

Multiple Podcast Channels on One Subscription: You can only host one podcast per account unless you upgrade to the $99USD/mth plan where you can host unlimited podcasts.

Statistics: Basic stats on the free plan. Comprehensive statistics on all paid plans.

Live Podcasting: Yes

Supports Video Podcasts: Only on $29 and $99USD/mth plans.

Customer Support: The have a help centre where you can submit a ticket. The $99USD/mth plan comes with live chat support.

Other: $29 and $99USD/mth plans come with a Patron program to help you crowdfund your podcast as well as PodAds where you can insert your own ads.

As I’ve mentioned before, I currently use Podbean. I signed up with them because at the time, they were affordable (there were no free options like Anchor) and offered unlimited storage and bandwidth which was important to me. I love their dashboard and find their platform easy to use. They recently updated their statistics and have started offering free webinars on how to launch a podcast and how to monetize your podcast. Even though there are now free hosting options available, I’m quite happy with Podbean and have no plans to move. I’m also a little skeptical when things, such as podcast hosting and services, are “free”.

Visit Podbean for more information.

Spreaker

Pricing: Multiple levels including: $0 for 5 hour audio storage, $6USD/mth for 100 hours; $18USD/mth for 500 hours; $45USD/mth for 1500 hours and; $120USD/month

Podcast Player: Yes, has it’s own podcast player app available for iPhone and Android.

Distribution: You can distribute to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podcast Addict, Podchaser and JioSaavn from the Spreaker dashboard.

Podcast Webpage: Yes, your podcast will have it’s own page but it’s not very customizable.

Advertising: Shared Ad Revenue available on all paid plans.

Multiple Podcast Channels on One subscription: Yes! Even the free version offers multiple podcast channels.

Statistics: Basic stats on the free and $6USD/mth plan. More advanced stats on other paid plans.

Live Podcasting: Yes, however there are limitations on the amount of time depending on what plan you have.

Supports Video Podcasts: Doesn’t say.

Customer Support: Has a help centre and support email address.

Other: Spreaker offers a web and mobile studio app where you can edit your podcast.

I use Spreaker at my place of work and I have to say I find their platform very intuitive and easy to use. I work at a radio station so having the option of hosting multiple podcasts on our account is a massive pro. They also make it very easy to distribute to the big podcast players.

Visit Spreaker for more information.

Anchor

Pricing: Free

Podcast Player: Yes, has it’s own podcast player app available for iPhone and Android.

Distribution: You can distribute to Spotify (Spotify owns Anchor), Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Radio Public and Pocket Casts from your Anchor dashboard.

Podcast Webpage: Yes, your podcast will have it’s own page but it’s not very customizable. You can change the main colour of your profile but that’s about it.

Advertising: Offers Anchor Sponsorships (in the US only). Find our more at anchor.fm/sponsorships

Multiple Podcast Channels on One Subscription: Anchor is free, so you can host as many podcasts as you want without paying anything.

Statistics: Yes. You can track stats from all of the podcast players, listener demographics and you can even see at what point in an episode that your listeners drop off.

Live Podcasting: Doesn’t say.

Supports Video Podcasts: Doesn’t say.

Customer Support: They have a help section with lots of FAQ’s. You can also submit a request or access the support chat.

Other: You can do basic editing through both the web and mobile app. You can also add sounds and music (available from Anchor’s library). Anchor also has a voice message feature that you can set up so that your listeners can send you voice messages. They also offer a listener support options where listeners can donate to your podcast.

I’ve played around with Anchor and find their platform very easy to use. However, one thing to be cautious about is their “one-click distribution”. When they automatically distribute to Apple Podcasts, they use their own Apple ID. Usually when you distribute to Apple, you would log into Apple’s Podcast Connect, using your own Apple ID. This way you can see all podcasts that you run and their statistics. If this is important to you, then you might want to opt out of Anchor’s “one-click distribution”. As I mentioned above, I’m a little skeptical when things such as podcast hosting are free. However, I know plenty of podcasters who use Anchor and are really happy with them. 

Visit Anchor for more information.

Blubrry

Pricing: Multiple levels including: $12USD/mth for 100MB of storage; $20USD/mth for 250MB; $40USD/mth for 500MB and; $80USD/mth for 1000MB. Unlimited bandwidth on all plans. 

Podcast Player: No

Distribution: It doesn’t say what platforms you can distribute to from the Blubrry dashboard but they do have a blog post with instructions on how to submit to each podcast player.

Podcast Webpage: Blubrry comes with a a free WordPress Site. Blubrry is known for it’s integration with WordPress.

Advertising: Yes but you have to apply and it will likely depend on how many downloads you have. Click here for more info.

Multiple Podcast Channels on One Subscription: No

Statistics: Statistics available for all plans but you can get advanced stats for an additional $5USD/mth.

Live Podcasting: Doesn’t say.

Supports Video Podcasts: Yes, on all plans except for the $12USD/mth plan.

Customer Support: Email and phone support. Email is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Other: Because of it’s WordPress integration, you can actually publish to Blubrry right from your WordPress site. This is a big advantage if you are a WordPress user as it saves you from having to go through the steps of publishing twice (once on your host, then again on your WordPress site).

Visit Blubrry for more information.

Libsyn

Pricing: Multiple levels including: $5USD/mth for 50MB of storage; $15USD/mth for 250MB; $20USD/mth for 400MB and; $40USD/mth for 800MB.

Podcast Player: No

Distribution: It doesn’t say what platforms you can distribute to from the Libsyn dashboard but they do have a blog post that walks you through submitting to different podcast players. They also offer “OnPublish” where you can customize what platforms you publish each episode to.

Podcast Webpage: Yes, your podcast will have it’s own page. You can add your own domain name at an additional $2USD/mth.

Advertising: Shared Ad Revenue available if you have a specific amount of downloads.

Multiple Podcast Channels on One Subscription: No. You can register a new podcast show under your login details but you pay per show. So you will set up a payment subscription for each show on your account.

Statistics: Basic stats on the $5USD/mth are an additional $2USD/mth. They come with all other paid plans. You’ll get more advanced stats with the $20 and $40USD/mth plans.

Live Podcasting: Doesn’t say.

Supports Video Podcasts: Yes.

Customer Support: Support staff available Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Other: The $20 and $40USD/mth plans allow you to create an app specifically for your podcast at an additional $10USD/mth. There are plans available if you need more storage than the plans outlined above.

Visit Libysn for more information.

Buzzsprout

Pricing: Multiple levels including: Free for 2hrs/mth (episodes hosted for 90 days); $12USD/mth for 3hrs/mth; $18USD/mth for 6hrs/mth; $24USD/mth for 12hrs/mth. Unlimited storage on all paid plans. 250GB of bandwidth/mth.

Podcast Player: No

Distribution: You can distribute to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio and TuneIn from your Buzzsprout dashboard.

Podcast Webpage: Yes, your podcast will have it’s website. Also has a WordPress Plugin if you also have a WordPress website.

Advertising: They have an Affiliate Market Place that you can sign up for.

Multiple Podcast Channels on One Subscription: No. You can register a new podcast show under your login details but you pay per show. So you will set up a payment subscription for each show on your account.

Statistics: Advanced stats on all plans.

Live Podcasting: Doesn’t say.

Supports Video Podcasts: Doesn’t say.

Customer Support: They have a whole page on how awesome their customer support is!

Other: You can add “Magic Mastering” where they optimize your audio files, for an additional monthly fee. Buzzsprout offer a transcription service for a small fee. You can also create video soundbites to promote your show on social media using their platform.

Visit Buzzsprout for more information.

Pod-O-Matic

Pricing: Multiple levels including: Free for 15GB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage; $9.99USD/mth for 100GM of bandwidth and 2GB of storage; $14.99USD/mth for 200GB of bandwidth and 2.5GB of storage; $24.99USD/mth for 500GB of bandwidth and 5GB of storage. 

Podcast Player: Yes

Distribution: It doesn’t say what platforms you can distribute to from the Pod-O-Matic dashboard but they do have help articles with instructions on how to submit to each podcast player.

Podcast Webpage: Available for paid accounts. Your podcast will have it’s own website with customizable interfaces.

Advertising: Available on paid accounts. Click here for more info.

Multiple Podcast Channels on One Subscription: No

Statistics: Basic stats on the free account. Pro stats on all paid plans.

Live Podcasting: Doesn’t say.

Supports Video Podcasts: Doesn’t say.

Customer Support: They have a whole FAQ section but you get more customer support with paid accounts.

Other: Pod-O-Matic have a web and mobile app that you can use to record and edit your podcast. Paid accounts also offer integration with Patreon to help you crowdfund your podcast.

Visit Pod-O-Matic for more information.

Again, the hosts that I have listed above are just a handful of what’s out there. More and more great podcast hosting platforms are cropping up. You might even find a local one that you would like to support, or one that is specifically for indie podcasters that you’d prefer to give your money to.

Speaking to other podcasters to see what they use is a great way to get some more insight. Join podcasting groups on Facebook and reach out to other podcasters. Take advantage of hosts that offer free accounts and give them a try to see if you like working with their platform. Don’t worry too much if you make the wrong choice in the beginning as many of the hosting sites offer help if you want to migrate your existing podcast to their services. I’d highly recommend that you do your research and find the best fit for you and your podcast!

Found a good host? Ready to continue your podcast journey then check out my blog post on how to keep your podcast consistent.

If the process of finding a good podcast hosting site and launching your podcast seems too overwhelming for you then click here to sign up for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how I can help you launch your podcast!

I’ve created an easy to use How to launch a Podcast checklist that you can go through when you are launching. Click here to sign up for my mailing list to receive your free download.

Choosing the Right Podcast Hosting Site | Debbie Roche