24 Aug, 2020

10 of the Best Podcast Hosting Sites in 2020 (With Free Options)

Before you can start a podcast, you need to identify the best podcast hosting site for you.

This can be a frustrating and time-consuming task. There are many different podcast hosting platforms out there, and new services are entering the market all the time.

This is a crucial decision.

A poor-quality podcast hosting service can hamper your progress. But a high-quality podcast hosting service can do wonders for your podcast by helping you manage your files, promote your episodes, and grow your audience.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide.

First, we’ll answer the question, “what is a podcast host?” and briefly explain why you need one. Then, we’ll run through 10 of the best podcast hosting sites to consider. 

Let’s begin.

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What is a Podcast Host?

A podcast hosting platform is a special service that stores podcast media files and delivers them to listeners. Podcast hosting services typically provide features such as website hosting, podcast analytics, and embeddable media players.

Think of podcast hosting platforms like a home-base for your podcast.

Now, you may be wondering, “couldn’t I just host podcast files on my website?” Well, you could – but it’s best not to.

Why?

Typically, podcast episodes are large files. So, hosting and delivering them from your website’s server will make your website slower for users. Plus, your site could crash if you have too many listeners streaming or downloading at the same time.

This is why you need a podcast hosting platform.

The best podcast hosting services are specialists when it comes to large media files. They also provide tools designed specifically to help podcasters.

Now comes the big question: What are the best podcast hosting sites?

What are the Best Podcast Hosting Sites?

Here are 10 of the best podcast hosting sites on the market in 2020.

  1. PodBean
  2. BuzzSprout
  3. Captivate
  4. Blubrry
  5. Transistor
  6. Castos
  7. Libsyn
  8. Simplecast
  9. AudioBoom
  10. SoundCloud

Now, let’s take a closer look at 10 of the best podcast hosting sites to help you decide which one is right for you.

1. PodBean

A great all-round podcast hosting platform.

PodBean is one of the best free podcast hosting platforms available.

This top podcast site also allows you to submit your podcast episodes to directories such as Apple Podcasts (previously iTunes), Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

PodBean also makes it easy to earn money from your podcast. For example, you can use the marketplace to connect with advertisers and play ads in your episodes. PodBead also offers a sales model that allows podcasters to sell bonus episodes or subscriptions.

You can use PodBean to upload podcasts for free. The free plan provides 500 MB of storage, which works out to be around 5 hours of audio files. 

Premium plans start at $14 per month and provide unlimited storage and bandwidth for audio podcast files only. Enterprise plans start at $129 per month and include a more robust set of features.

2. BuzzSprout

A fantastic podcast hosting service for beginners.

BuzzSprout is one of the best podcast hosting sites, and it makes it easy to manage your podcast files.

It’s intuitive and straightforward analytics dashboard provides invaluable insights to help you improve your podcast and marketing strategy. For example, you can discover which apps people use to listen to your podcast and which countries your listeners are in.

One standout feature is the option to add episode chapter markers that help listeners see details about your episodes at a glance.

Plus, this podcast hosting service makes it simple to publish your episodes to podcast channels such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Alexa.

BuzzSprout even provides a podcast transcription service.

You can use this free podcast hosting site to upload two hours of content per month, and your files are hosted for 90 days before they’re deleted. Unfortunately, the free plan displays advertisements on your website and podcast player.

Paid plans start from $12 and come with unlimited storage. Also, on paid plans, your files are hosted indefinitely, which allows you to build a library of episodes.

3. Captivate

One of the best podcast hosting sites to grow your audience.

Captivate is a podcast hosting service focused on helping you grow your audience

After signing up, Captivate will automatically create a website for you that you can customize. The website and podcast audio player also contain readymade call-to-action links. These calls-to-actions encourage listeners to share or subscribe to your podcast or even to sign up to your mailing list.

The podcast hosting platform also allows you to automatically generate links to streaming podcast players like Overcast and Pocket Casts that you can use to promote your episodes.

What’s more, the company works closely with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to provide ads that you can use to monetize your podcast.

All plans come with unlimited storage, additional team members, a podcast player, and analytics.

Pricing is based on the number of downloads per month. It starts at $19 for up to 12,000 downloads and then jumps to $49 for up to 60,000 downloads.

If you’re interested in this podcast hosting service, consider signing up for the free 7-day free trial.

4. Blubrry

A top podcast site for analytics-lovers and WordPress users.

Blubrry is another popular podcast site that makes it easy to share your episodes on big-name podcast distributors, like Google Podcast and Apple Podcast.

Blubrry provides three core offerings: A podcast hosting service, podcast statistics, and their PowerPress plug-in.

The PowerPress plug-in makes it easy to manage your podcast directly from a WordPress website. This plug-in alone makes Blubrry one of the best podcast hosting websites on the market. 

Blubrry also provides handy social media features to help you promote your podcast to new listeners.

All plans come with unlimited bandwidth and podcast statistics – and the statistics provided are comprehensive and insightful.

Pricing is based on the amount of storage you need. It costs $12 per month for 100 MB, $20 per month for 250 MB, $40 for 500 MB, and $80 for 1,000 MB. 

If you need more storage, contact Blubrry directly to discuss their “Professional” plan for commercial podcasters.

5. Transistor

One of the best podcast sites with incredible built-in podcast analytics.

Transistor is one of the most popular podcast platforms on the market. 

It provides plenty of tools to help podcasters grow their audiences. These include the ability to distribute your podcast to big-name platforms and generate a branded website using a custom domain name.

This podcast hosting platform also integrates seamlessly with marketing services such as MailChimp, ConvertKit, and Drip.

Transistor makes it simple to hone your strategy with advanced analytics. The dashboard displays many stats, such as the average downloads per episode, number of subscribers, and total downloads over time.

Additionally, the podcast hosting site allows you to host unlimited shows and manage multiple users on a single account.

All plans provide unlimited uploads. Pricing is mostly based on the number of users and downloads per month. It costs $19 for 2 users and 10,000 downloads, $49 for 5 users and 50,000 downloads, and $99 for 10 users and 150,000 downloads.

6. Castos

One of the best podcast hosting sites for WordPress users.

Castos provides a feature-packed podcast hosting plug-in for WordPress websites. 

This podcast hosting service automatically publishes your episodes on all major distribution channels, such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Over. Plus, it offers video podcast hosting, and you can use the service to republish your episodes to Youtube.

Another standout feature is automatic transcription. When you upload your podcast episode, Castos will create a transcription in your dashboard within minutes. Then you can download the PDF version or simply copy and paste it to your website.

Castos offers discounts for nonprofits and religious organizations, and they even provide a podcast editing service.

All plans come with unlimited podcasts, uploads, and downloads. Pricing starts at $19 per month. To access the YouTube republishing feature, you’ll need to upgrade to the Growth plan at $49 per month. To gain access to video file hosting and advanced analytics, you’ll need to sign up for the Pro plan, which costs $99 per month.

7. Libsyn

A top podcast site for monetization and branding.

Libsyn is one of the most popular podcast platforms for monetizing your episodes, with features like double opt-in advertising and premium paywalls.

The podcast hosting service also focuses heavily on helping you promote your brand and podcast across multiple distribution platforms and apps.

What’s more, Libsyn provides a speedy and experienced customer service team to help you get the most from the podcast hosting platform.

This podcast hosting platform even offers a service that allows you to create a customized podcast app for iOS or Android devices.

All plans come with unlimited bandwidth. Pricing depends mostly on the amount of monthly storage you need. For just $5 per month, you can get 50MB of storage. Plans then go up to $15, $20, and $40 per month as your storage needs increase.

8. Simplecast

One of the best podcast services in the industry, powering top brands.

Simplecast is a popular podcast hosting platform that powers plenty of big-name brands, such as Nike, Kickstarter, Facebook, and Shopify.

Simplecast provides all of the key features you’d expect from an industry-leading podcast hosting platform and some additional tools such as Recast™. 

Recast™ allows you to create, schedule, and share snippets of your episodes on social media channels to promote your podcast.

Another standout feature is the ability to add multiple team members to one account, making collaborating easy.

All plans come with unlimited storage. Simplecast costs $15 for 20,000 downloads per month, $35 for 50,000 downloads per month, and $85 for 120,000 downloads per month.

9. AudioBoom

A low-cost podcast hosting platform for independent podcasters.

AudioBoom is a podcast hosting site that provides a suite of quality tools. 

The service allows you to distribute your episodes to platforms such as Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

It also provides embeddable players for your website and social media accounts. One standout feature is the ability to collaborate with a co-host or to invite others to help run your podcast. 

Once your podcast grows to more than 10,000 plays per episode, AudioBoom will help you monetize your content with dynamic ads and sponsorship opportunities.

The analytics tools provide useful details about your audience, such as the apps and devices they’re using to listen.

Plans start at $9.99 per month and include unlimited uploads and up to 10,000 plays per month. If you already receive more than 10,000 plays per episode, you’ll need to reach out to AudioBoom to receive a custom price quote.

10. SoundCloud

A top podcast hosting platform with a huge base of listeners.

SoundCloud isn’t just a podcast hosting service. It’s also a popular streaming platform used by more than 175 million unique listeners each month. It’s so popular that 12 hours of content is uploaded to the platform every minute.

SoundCloud’s embeddable audio player allows you to share and display your podcast episodes on your website and social media.

One unique feature is the timed-comments. This allows listeners to attach their comments to specific parts of the audio clip.

This free podcast hosting site allows you to upload three hours of audio, access statistics, and use the embeddable audio player. However, most of the features are only available on the paid plan, which starts at $12 per month.

Summary: The Best Podcast Hosting Sites

If you’re looking for the best hosting sites for podcasts, look no further. Here are 10 of the best podcast hosting sites to consider:

  1. PodBean: Great all-rounder
  2. BuzzSprout: Brilliant for beginners.
  3. Captivate: Geared for audience growth.
  4. Blubrry: Quality analytics and WordPress integrations.
  5. Transistor: Comprehensive podcast analytics.
  6. Castos: Optimized for WordPress.
  7. Libsyn: Designed for monetization and branding.
  8. Simplecast: Industry leader serving big-name brands.
  9. AudioBoom: Low-cost for independent podcasters.
  10. SoundCloud: A large base of listeners.

Are you starting a new podcast? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Thomas J Law: Thomas is a B2B content writer specializing in SaaS, ecommerce, and digital marketing. To learn more about how Thomas can help you achieve your goals, visit his website at tomjlaw.com.