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All You (Don’t) Need to Know About Podcast Hosting Sites

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All You (Don’t) Need to Know About Podcast Hosting Sites

Podcast hosting sites have made it easier than ever for creators to record, upload, and distribute their media online. With the right podcast hosting site, you can record your podcast and get it to your audience in just a couple of clicks. We'll explain podcast hosting, why it's important, and review top features of the best podcast hosting sites. 

What Is Podcast Hosting?

Podcast hosting sites provide a place for you to upload podcast content so your audience can listen, share, and subscribe. A podcast host will keep your media files safe and online so you don’t need to worry about spending the time, money, and other resources to store them online yourself. 

Podcast Hosting For The Non-Computer Savvy

Technology has simplified technical aspects of podcasting, like podcast hosting. Today, anyone can record a podcast and get it live online! You don’t have to have much technical knowledge to get your podcast off the ground. 

You could think of a great idea for a podcast episode during breakfast and have it recorded and online by lunchtime! Once you’ve recorded your podcast, upload your audio and video files to a podcast host. They’ll provide everything you need to start distributing your show right away.

How Do I Host a Podcast?

Hosting a podcast isn’t hard: once you’ve recorded and edited your episode, add your media files to the podcast hosting platform. Each platform will have its own process for uploading audio and video based on how its software works. The process usually involves just a couple of clicks. When selecting a podcast host, read about how their upload process works so you know what to expect. 

What’s the Difference Between Podcast Hosting and Podcast Distribution?

Podcast hosting sites store your podcast episodes online, examples of which are detailed later on in the article.  

A podcast distributor is where your listeners will go to access your show and subscribe to your content. Some of the main distributors podcasters use include Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio. You can distribute your show by providing podcast distributors (aka podcast directories) with the RSS link. 

What Are the Benefits of Podcast Hosts and Why Do You Need One?

Technically, you can host and distribute a podcast online using your own website, but this will cost you more time, money, and other resources. Podcast hosting sites simplify and streamline different processes, so you don't have to be especially tech-savvy or spend a lot of time on back-end operations for your show. Learn more about this and other benefits of using a hosting service for your podcast: 

Robust Analytics

Analytics provide key insights about your show you can use to better reach listeners and create content they want to hear. They give you valuable info on listeners to help maximize your profits if you ever opt for monetization through ad placement. 

Some advanced analytics info your host should provide: data on the number of episode downloads, apps and platforms your listeners are using to access your podcast, the location of your listeners, total time listened to your episodes, and more. 

Faster Speed

A podcast that takes too long to download or stream will turn off any listener pretty quickly. (nobody likes buffering!) Podcast hosts ensure your audience receives your content at the best speeds possible.  

Podcast Hosting Sites Can Handle Data Transfers

Podcast hosting companies have sites designed specifically for podcasts and transferring podcast data. The latency for transferring your show will reduce when you use a podcast host, which means your listeners will have a smoother experience and won’t have trouble downloading or streaming your audio. 

No Compromise in Quality

You won’t have to worry about compressing your audio and losing quality if you opt for a podcast host over hosting your content on your own site. Just make sure to choose a hosting plan that fits your needs based on the size of your audio and video files. 

Repurpose Your Content

If a podcast host offers transcription services, you can repose your content for wider use online. Use transcripts as blog content, for posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and in ad campaigns to promote your podcast. 

Features You Should Look For in a Podcast Hosting Site

You can find many great podcast hosting services available online, but you'll want to make sure the host has features that match up with the unique needs of your show. Not to mention, you don’t want to overpay for options you're not going to use! When looking for a platform to host podcast episodes for your show, consider these important features: 

Storage and Bandwidth 

Pay attention to storage and bandwidth limits. They will determine how much you can upload to your host and how many people can access your show’s media files at the same time. If you have long podcast episodes or if you put out content frequently, opt for a host that can provide a lot of storage. Check the bandwidth limitations to make sure your audience can download and stream your content comfortably without having to worry about buffering or slow downloads. 

Analytics Capabilities

Podcast hosts are essential for a successful podcast. They provide analytics that help you make smart decisions about your show’s content and the directories you choose to list it in. Review the analytics capabilities of any podcast host and make sure they provide insights.

User Friendliness 

You can’t use your host platform’s features effectively on an overly complicated dashboard.Opt for a user-friendly dashboard instead. You can check out the free trial to see how the platform operates before signing up. 

Transcription Services

Transcription services are a game-changer. They open your show to the hearing impaired and provide useful SEO content. A potential subscriber who has difficulty hearing will be more likely to follow your show if they have a written copy of your content to follow along with. If you publish your show with a written transcript, you’ll rank better on search engines for keywords related to your content. 

Price and Cost

Shop around for affordable podcast hosting so you understand what you’re getting in your hosting plan and avoid overpaying for services you don’t use. 

Learn more about choosing a podcast hosting platform and the features they offer here

What is the best podcast hosting site?

Every podcaster out there has an opinion about the best podcast hosting site. Truthfully, the best hosting service for your podcast will depend on factors like how much storage you need, the price, and whether they have the features you need. 

That said, some podcast hosting sites lead the industry because of the quality and comprehensiveness of their hosting services. We've reviewed some of the top podcast hosting sites to help you determine the best for you and your show. Here are our picks for the best podcast hosting site: 

Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout makes podcasting simple, but it doesn’t limit you creatively with what you can do with your content and advertising. This platform is constantly updated with new features and capabilities to help you keep your podcast fresh. 

Features podcasters will love: The Buzzsprout dashboard is probably the easiest to use out of any podcast hosting company. They offer transcription services, affiliate marketing integration, and a text editor for your show notes. 

This site is best for: Buzzsprout is for podcasters of all levels: newbies will love how easy it is to use, and advanced podcasters will appreciate the publishing workflow and integrations. 

Price: Buzzsprout offers a very limited free plan and also has plans for $12/mo, $18/mo, and $24/mo. 

Castos

Castos provides different ways to reach different audiences. This platform can host public podcasts anyone can listen to and private, monetized podcasts. Their plans provide large amounts of both storage and bandwidth. 

Features podcasters will love: Castos provides a customizable player that you can embed on your website. They also have a two-week free trial period and offer discounts if you pay for a full year upfront. 

This site is best for: Anyone with a WordPress site will love Castos because the hosting platform integrates so easily via their Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin. 

Price: The pricing for this host is tiered and there are plans available for $19/mo, $49/mo, and $99/mo. 

Podbean

Podbean not only acts as a podcast host, they also give you tools for promoting your show online. You can create professional podcasts in minutes without any advanced programming knowledge with Podbean’s easy-to-use tools. 

Features podcasters will love: Podbean has a great app for iOs and Android, the ability to schedule when your podcasts publish, and mobile podcast publishing to make it easy for you to publish your show. 

This site is best for: Podbean’s plans and pricing are great for new podcasters who don’t want to spend too much of their budget on hosting. 

Price: Podcast has plans available for $9/mo, $29/mo, and $99/mo. 

Learn more about podcast hosting sites and their features.  

Are Hosted Podcast Services Safe?

When choosing a medium for your podcast hosting, use good judgment. Don't go with a service just because it's free or cheap. 

Remember if your host platform goes out of business and disappears overnight, so will your show. Keep your show safe and secure by doing some research before choosing the hosting site. Podcast hosting sites like Buzzsprout, Castos, and Spreaker have built names for themselves in the industry so you don't have to worry about them disappearing and taking your show with them. 

Avoid podcast hosting sites that say they have unlimited storage or are free forever to use. These offers sound too good to be true because they are- this business model isn't actually sustainable. Hosting sites with these types of offers either come with a catch or go out of business quickly.

Do Podcast Hosting Platforms Handle Distribution?

A podcast hosting platform will not distribute your podcast for you. They provide the tools needed for you to do it yourself. The process for distributing a podcast has evolved since the early days of online podcasting and is now simple and automated so anyone can do it without being a computer whiz. 

How You Can Share Your Podcast Episodes Publicly

Podcast hosting sites will give you an RSS link once you've committed and uploaded your show on their platform. Use this link to share your podcast episodes publicly with your audience. The technology has advanced to the point where uploading new information about your podcast happens automatically through your RSS feed. You won’t need to go into each podcast directory individually to update episode information. 

Podcast Hosting FAQ

Use our FAQ section if you still have more questions about hosting a podcast and podcast hosting services. 

What Podcast Platforms Should I Publish My Podcast On?

Publish your podcast episodes on every podcast directory you can. Podcast listeners will never find your podcast if it isn’t listed in their podcast player of choice. We suggest submitting your RSS feed link to every listening platform that will take it. 

How to Submit Your Podcast to Spotify

After you’ve signed up for a Spotify account, simply put the link to your RSS feed in when asked for it. You’ll verify yourself as the owner of the podcast via email. Once you do, Spotify will list your show.

How to Submit Your Podcast to Stitcher.

After you create a Stitcher Creator account, upload your RSS link. Then complete the authorization sent via email to get your podcast listed on Stitcher. 

How To Upload Your Podcast And Episodes To Your Site

Uploading your podcast to your site will depend entirely on your website provider. Some hosting platforms have integrations with platforms like WordPress websites to make uploading your podcast easier. 

How much do podcast hosts make?

How much a podcast host can earn varies greatly, and many podcasters don’t make any money from their program. Using monetization on a platform like YouTube, creators can make a six-figure salary if well-established with good sponsors. 

What are podcast directories?

“Podcast directory” is just another term for a listening app where your audience can listen and subscribe to your show. Some of the most popular podcast directories are Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. 

How does your podcast get into podcast directories?

Once you’ve chosen a podcast host, use the RSS feed link provided by your podcast hosting platform to get your podcast listed in directories. Then new episodes and episode information will update automatically every time you upload content.

What is the best cheap podcast hosting site?

You can find many affordable options for podcast hosting services if on a tight budget. To find the one that's best for the needs of your show, use the free trial option available on most major podcast hosting sites. 

Can you have a podcast on multiple hosting sites?

Uploading your podcast on multiple hosts can take a lot of time and work and isn't necessary. It can also dilute the traffic to your main feed and mess up your analytics. We suggest using one hosting site and sticking with it. Then use the RSS feed from your podcast host to share your show. 

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