Blog

Fireside Podcast Host: Review & Walkthrough

Fireside Podcast Host: Review & Walkthrough

Fireside.fm seems like a good choice of podcast host, especially considering it is designed by people who are very familiar with the industry themselves. On the surface, it appears to offer pretty much everything a podcaster might look for - but does it really? This in-depth guide and review of Fireside.fm outlines everything there is to know about the platform. We deep dive into its features so that you can work out if it’s really the right choice for you. 

TL:DR 

  • Fireside.fm launched in 2016. It’s ‘by podcasters, for podcasters. 
  • Fireside.fm costs a minimum of $9/month making it a great affordable option. 
  • Fireside.fm’s monetization features are limited especially because you can’t manage ads from the platform. 
  • Fireside.fm is best for podcasters who are just starting out. 

How we’re reviewing Fireside.fm 

When it comes to podcast hosts, we pride ourselves in knowing what to look out for. We’ve come up with seven factors that we think make a big difference in the quality of service you receive from your podcast hosting platform: 

Pricing 

Budget is always an important consideration. It’s not necessarily just about how much a service costs, but the relative value for money that they provide. We look at how a service structures its pricing and which features are available at which tiers. 

Analytics 

Podcast analytics are a must-have. Since most podcast hosts offer some level of analytics and insights, we look at how in-depth this data is, how easy the information is to act on, and how it’s laid out. 

Media Player 

We look for podcast hosts that offer all their users an embeddable media player of some description. This allows podcasters to share their content beyond the mainstream listening platforms, especially in terms of driving traffic to their podcast websites. We especially like it when those media players are customizable and brandable so that podcasters have the freedom to make them their own. 

File Hosting 

When weighing up different podcast hosts it’s important to look at details surrounding file hosting. You should check what kinds of file formats are supported (ideally you’re looking for lossless file comaptability), as well as any file size upload limits or monthly bandwidth allowances. 

Distribution 

Podcast distribution is exactly what your podcast host is for. Podcast hosts should make it easy and quick to publish your show to the main listening services. Although it’s an extra, we also like it when platforms take the stress out of submitting your show

Monetization 

For professional and amateur podcasters alike, the ability to monetize their podcast is invaluable. Being able to manage sponsorships, subscriptions, or advertising partnerships directly from your podcast host seriously streamlines what could otherwise be very labor intensive workflows. 

Useability and Additional Features 

At a base level, podcast hosting platforms should be easy to use. We look for services that don’t have a steep learning curve or clunky features. Instead, we think podcast hosts should actively enhance the entire podcasting experience. 

Fireside.fm: Quick Takeaways 

Quick summary:. Fireside.fm is a podcast hosting and analytics service designed by and for podcasters. 

Price: Fireside.fm starts at $9/month 

Fireside.fm USPs:

  • ‘Lightning fast file hosting’. Fireside.fm prides itself on being able to deliver your content to your listeners fast
  • Bespoke, feature-rich podcast website with responsive design. Add episode, guest and host pages. 
  • Built-in security. Every Fireside.fm website has a free https certificate which ensures your podcast is totally secure. 

What is Fireside.fm? 

Created by podcasters for podcasters, Fireside.fm has been offering a podcast hosting and analytics service since 2016. It claims to offer creators all the features they might need to take their podcast to the next level including a website, in-depth stats and analytics, streamlined migration, submission, and distribution. 

How much does Fireside.fm cost? 

Fireside has three pricing plans: 

Starter - $9/month 

  • One podcast 
  • 5 episodes/month
  • Customizable website
  • Instant Spotify integration
  • Apple podcasts distribution 
  • Basic download stats
  • Third-party tracking support

Standard - $19/month 

  • Unlimited podcasts (1 included and $8 for each additional) 
  • Unlimited episodes
  • Unlimited storage
  • Customizable website
  • Instant Spotify integration 
  • Apple podcasts distribution 
  • Use your own domain 
  • Professional download stats
  • Up to 5 collaborators 
  • Third-party tracking support 
  • Social media integration
  • Up to 1TB transfer/mo
  • Guests bios
  • Search engine option 
  • Contact form 
  • Integrated blog
  • Custom pages 
  • Image file hosting 
  • Affiliate support
  • Exportable stats
  • Recording notes 

Professional - $49/month 

Everything in Standard plus:

  • Unlimited podcasts (2 included and $8/mo for each addition)
  • Advanced download metrics
  • Up to 10 collaborators
  • Collaborator role assignment 
  • Exclusive website themes
  • Shareable metrics
  • Priority support
  • Increased Mp3 file size
  • Hidden fireside branding 
  • Click tracking 
  • Up to 5TB transfer/month 
  • Customizable favicon 
  • Bulk episode editing 
  • Episode renumbering 
  • Advanced theme customization 

Advantages of Fireside.fm 

Simple and clean interface 

Fireside.fm is designed by podcasters, which means they know a thing or two about what creators are actually looking for. The interface is slick and easy to use, specifically fine-tuned for a podcasting workflow. 

Affordable 

Though the Starter plan does come with its drawbacks, at only $9/month this is a good budget podcast host to get you started. 

Embeddable Media Player

Fireside.fm’s embeddable podcast player allows users to share their podcast wherever they want. You can even choose between the dark or light theme. 

Collaborators 

If you’re on the Standard plan you can add collaborators to your account. This is an essential feature if you have a podcasting team who needs to work in tandem on your show. 

Sponsor Feature & Patreon Integration

Though Fireside.fm doesn’t have a full suite of podcast monetization features, it does have a sponsorship management tool as well as a Patreon integration. You can add sponsors, create campaigns and automate mentions within your episodes. And you can also connect your Patreon account to publish specific episodes to your various Patreon membership tiers. 

Easy distribution 

You can distribute your podcast directly to major platforms with Fireside.fm. They’ve created specific instructions for each listening service for submission, and every time you publish a new episode, distribution is automated. 

Disadvantages of Fireside.fm 

Upload limit on Basic Subscription 

If you only have the budget for the $9/month Basic Subscription, you may be frustrated by the 5 episode upload limit. This is likely to alienate podcasters who are just starting out on their growth trajectory and limit their ability to scale their show. 

Need to pay for more than one podcast 

Additionally, the fact that creators need to pay if they want to add more than one podcast may represent a serious deterrent for big podcasters or shows that exist within a network. 

Only supports MP3 files 

Fireside.fm only supports MP3 audio formats. For podcasters who are sticklers for audio quality, this may be a deal breaker. 

No monetization 

Fireside.fm does not offer any native monetization features meaning podcasters that want to start making money out of their show will need to turn to a third-party platform. This is also frustrating because it necessitates using specific services for different kinds of monetization such as advertising versus paid subscriptions. 

Limited stats and analytics 

Although Fireside.fm gives its users download data, that’s all. So if you’re looking for granular insights about every aspect of how your podcast is performing, you might want to look elsewhere. 

Key features of fireside  

Customizable website 

All pricing tiers come with a customizable podcast website that is packed with rich features. This means you can make your site your own by adding your own images, designing custom pages, creating host and guest pages, and more. You’re also able to customize your domain if you’re on the Standard subscription. 

Built-in security 

With Fireside.fm, every podcast enjoys a free https certificate - whether you’re using a subdomain or custom domain. This means that you can rest assured that your site is as secure as possible. 

Seamless podcast migration 

Fireside.fm makes your life as easy as possible with 1-click migration. Instead of having to manually transfer your data over, you can simply leave Fireside to do the work for you. All your episodes, show descriptions, files, and key data will be moved over automatically. 

Sponsor integration and management 

The Sponsors Feature allows you to add new sponsors, create new campaigns, and assign sponsors to specific episodes. All you need to do is head to ‘Sponsors’ on the left hand panel in your dashboard, create sponsors or campaigns and assign them to your episodes accordingly. 

Patreon Integration 

Once you’ve connected your Patreon account to Fireside.fm ,you’ll be able to publish episodes specifically to your Patrons, or to certain tiers of Patreon subscribers. 

Fireside.fm is best for hobbyist podcasters

Firesidefm is a great option for podcasters who are only just starting out or who are on a tight budget. For $9/month, you can get a good idea of Fireside.fm’s full features without committing to the standard plan. If you’re not looking to seriously monetize your content and are not too fussed about a wide breadth of functionality, Fireside.fm is a fair choice. 

First look at Fireside.fm 

If you’re not sure about committing to Fireside.fm, you can try their 14-day free trial. 

Once you’ve confirmed your email, you’ll end up in your dashboard. Under ‘My Podcasts’ you’ll see the option to either create or import a Podcast. If you follow the steps in the following section, you’ll end up at your new podcast’s dashboard. 

Fireside.fm dashboard

From your dashboard, you can manage your podcast including your blog, sponsors, guests, collaborators, and more. 

How to Get Started with Fireside.fm 

Step 1: To get started, click on the ‘+’ button. This will take you to the below screen. Click ‘Create a New Podcast’

creating a podcast on Fireside.fm

Step 2: Give your new podcast a title 

Adding a podcast title on Fireside.fm

Step 3: The next step is where you customize your Podcast’s URL prefix. If you’re on the free trial, Fireside.fm generates this automatically for you. 

Adding a podcast URL on Fireside.fm

Step 4: Next, add your podcast cover art. 

Adding podcast cover art on Fireside.fm

Step 5: Next, fill out your podcast’s details. 

Step 6: Finally, enter your podcast’s metadata including your own details. 

Adding podcast details on Fireside.fm

Step 7: Once you’ve entered all this information, you’ve successfully created your new podcast. Click through to your podcast dashboard. 

Competing creating a podcast on Fireside.fm

How to add a new episode on Fireside.fm 

Step 1: From your podcast dashboard, hit the blue button in the top right-hand corner that says ‘New Episode’

Step 2: You’ll be taken to the ‘episodes’ page where you can fill out your new episode’ details including its visibility, publication date, title, summary, description, and who features. 

Step 3: Upload your podcast recording in MP3 format. 

Step 4: You can also choose to schedule it for automatic upload to your social media platforms. 

Step 5: When you’re happy, click ‘create episode’

Step 6: Once created, your new episode will be listed under ‘Episodes’ on the left-hand tab of your dashboard. 

How to Migrate your Podcast to Fireside.fm

Migrating your podcast over to Fireside.fm is easy and simple, as long as you’re hosting with Libsyn, Freedpress, soundCloud, Squarespace, or any other Apple Podcasts-compatible RSS feed. You’re able to migrate over an unlimited number of episodes. 

All you need to do is enter your podcast RSS feed URL and let Fireside.fm do the rest. 

Importing a podcast to Fireside.fm

How to Distribute your Podcast using Fireside.fm 

Distribution with your Fireside.fm account is easy. Depending on which service you’re trying to publish to you’ll be able to either enjoy ‘one click submission’ or follow Fireside’s detailed instructions. 

Distributing a podcast on Fireside.fm

How to Monetize Your Podcast using Fireside.fm 

To use Fireside.fm’s Sponsors feature, head to ‘Sponsors’ from your dashboard. 

From here, you can add new sponsor profiles, create new sponsored campaigns and manage all of your sponsors.

To assign a sponsor to a particular episode simply head to ‘Episodes’ on the left hand side of your screen, and select the episode you want. You can also add a specific time code for the sponsor mention if you want. 

Finally, if your sponsor requests data or insights about your show’s performance you can head to the list of your sponsors and click ‘Actions’ > ‘Share’. This will generate a page that you can share with your sponsors that lists all relevant stats. 

Fireside.fm Podcast Analytics 

Fireside.fm prides itself in being built by and for podcasters, which means their features are designed with insider knowledge of what every podcaster is actually looking for. 

Fireside offers its users accurate download stats and analytics which are tracked in real-time. Its integration with Spotify means you can keep tabs on your content’s performance through Spotify directly through your dashboard. 

That being said, although accurate and useful to an extent, the lack of range of data insights is a little lacklustre. This is especially the case when compared to similar platforms which offer their creators far better analytics and a comprehensive overview of their show’s performance.  

Fireside.fm Alternatives 

Captivate.fm vs Fireside.fm 

Fireside.fm and Captivate.fm appear to be very similar, so it’s unsurprising if you find yourself caught between the two. 

Perhaps the biggest difference is that with Captivate.fm you get an unlimited allowance of podcasts, hosting, and team members with every one of their subscription plans. By contrast, Fireside.fm limits you to one podcast unless you’re willing to pay to add extra. 

Both platforms offer limited and lacklustre monetization features. But Captivate.fm definitely wins out in terms of podcast analytics and additional features. That being said, Captivate.fm pitches itself at a far higher price point starting at $17/month. 

Blubrry vs Fireside.fm 

Blubrry and Fireside.fm are both available starting at around $10/month, which makes it a question of which platform you prefer. If you’re a WordPress user, there’s no question that Blubrry is the logical choice. 

However, if you’re a dedicated podcaster with substantial uploads each month, you may find yourself frustrated by Blubrry’s monthly storage caps. Additionally, neither platform really offers competitive monetization features. 

Sounder.fm vs Fireside.fm 

Sounder.fm offers its platform for free up to 5k streams. Its focus on growth and discovery, as well as its in-depth understanding of Audio SEO are likely to attract budding podcasters looking for big-scale growth. Given that Sounder.fm starts at $10.39/month, we’d say this is probably the option that most podcasters would choose. 

Final thoughts on Fireside.fm 

Fireside.fm is a solid podcasting host, doing everything that you need it to. That being said, it doesn’t really exceed expectations or surprize you with additional features. Though the interface is simple and straightforward, it doesn’t really feel ‘stand out’ when compared with some other competitor platforms. Additionally, the lack of integrated monetization functionality is likely to be a huge let down for more serious creators. That being said, since Fireside.fm starts at only $9/month, it’s a great option for podcasters seeking a budget podcast host. 

FAQs about Fireside.fm

What is Fireside podcast? 

Fireside.fm is a podcast hosting platform that starts at $9/month. Though it doesn’t have many monetization features, each subscription comes with a custom podcast website, embeddable media player, and unlimited hosting. 

Is Fireside podcast worth it? 

Choosing a podcast host is a subjective decision that is influenced by your particular needs. Depending on what you’re looking for; Fireside.fm might be a great fit or not quite live up to expectations. For us, Fireside.fm is best for podcasters who are right at the start of their podcasting journey. More serious or professional creators would be better to spend their money elsewhere. 

Can you monetize with Fireside.fm? 

Yes and no. Fireside.fm has a sponsorship feature which allows you to manage sponsors and create specific campaigns. However, if you’re looking to advertise or create podcast subscriptions Fireside.fm may be disappointing. 

Want to read more on podcast hosting platforms? Check out our other reviews:

Subscribe to our newsletter

Highly curated content, case studies, Riverside updates, and more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related articles

10

min read

Top Podcast Companies in Podcast Production & Software (2022)

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

13

min read

10 Best Transcription Services for Accurate Digital Transcribing

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

12

min read

The 7 Best Reliable Video SaaS Solutions in 2022

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.