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Transistor.fm Podcast Host: Review & Walkthrough

Transistor.fm Podcast Host: Review & Walkthrough

Transistor.fm offers podcast hosting for creatives, brands, and professionals. It’s a streamlined hosting, distribution and management tool that aims to make podcasters’ lives easier. Beyond this core functionality, however, Transistor.fm doesn’t offer much else. So is it actually worth it? This review and walkthrough looks in-depth at everything Transistor.fm has to offer, how it works, and evaluates it in comparison to its competitors. We walk you through the main workflows and features so you can decide whether it’s what you’re looking for in a podcast hosting platform. 

TL:DR 

  • Transistor.fm is a podcast host, distribution and management platform. 
  • Its key features are its streamlined distribution, customizable media player and website, and the ability to have multiple podcasts on one account. 
  • Transistor.fm doesn’t charge you per show, so you can have as many shows as you want on your account. 

How we’re reviewing Transistor.fm  

We’ve created a framework consisting of seven factors we believe are integral to helping podcasters choose their podcast hosting platform: 

Pricing 

Whether big or small, budget is always a consideration when it comes to choosing a podcast hosting platform. We look not only at how much a platform costs, but what you’re actually getting for your money. We evaluate pricing structures, plans, and whether a platform is offering true value for money. 

Analytics 

Being able to understand your podcast’s performance intimately is critical. We look at what kinds of data insights and analytics a platform offers as well as how accessible they are. 

Media Player 

We value podcast hosting platforms that offer a customizable embeddable media player that allows you to share your show wherever you want. 

File Hosting 

Compatible file formats are explicitly related to audio quality. We look for podcast hosting platforms that accept lossless audio files, so that podcasters don’t need to compromise on their recording. 

We also look at whether you’re able to video podcast with a platform. Although this isn’t a must for all podcasters, for those who have ventured into video podcasting, this can be a dealbreaker. 

Distribution 

We believe, at the very least, that a hosting platform should make distributing your podcast easy. We look for automated distribution to the major listening platforms. 

Monetization 

The ability to monetize your podcast directly from your podcast hosting platform can save you a lot of time. For podcast hosts that call themselves a ‘management’ tool, we look for the ability to oversee revenue streams and create new opportunities for monetization. 

Useability and Additional Features 

Finally, we look holistically at how usable a platform actually is. This includes how intuitive the interface is and whether workflows are logical and beginner-friendly. We also value additional features that are designed to actively enhance your experience using the platform. 

Transistor.fm: Quick Takeaways 

Quick summary: Transistor.fm is a podcast hosting and distribution platform. It offers unlimited storage and the ability to manage multiple podcasts from one account. 

Price: Transistor has three pricing plans starting at $19/month (on a monthly plan). We look more in-depth at these later. 

Transistor USPs:

  • Streamlined distribution. Publish your podcast to major listening platforms in one-click. 
  • Unlimited storage. No matter your subscription level, you’ll get unlimited storage. 
  • Multiple podcasts for free. You can have more than one podcast associated with your account for no extra charge. 

What is Transistor.fm? 

Transistor.fm was founded in 2017 and was co-founded by Jon Buda and Justin Jackson. It is a podcast publishing and management platform. You can distribute to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, and more in one-click, view insights into your podcast’s performance, and manage your media player and podcast site. 

How much does Transistor.fm cost? 

STARTER - Monthly $19/month, Yearly $190/year 

  • Create unlimited podcasts
  • Live customer support
  • Advanced analytics
  • Built-in podcast website
  • 2 additional team members
  • Up to 50 private podcast subscribers
  • Maximum 15,000 downloads per month 

PROFESSIONAL - Monthly $49/month, Yearly $490/year

Same as STARTER plus: 

  • Up to 5 additional team members 
  • Dynamic ads (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll) 
  • Dynamic Show notes 
  • Up to 500 private podcast subscribers
  • Maximum of 75,000 downloads per month 

BUSINESS - Monthly $99/month, Yearly $990/year 

Same as STARTER plus: 

  • Up to 10 team members
  • Ability to remove branding from your media player 
  • Dynamic ads (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll) 
  • Dynamic show notes 
  • Maximum 3,000 private podcast subscribers
  • Up to 200,000 downloads per month

Advantages of Transistor.fm 

Podcast website 

Transistor.fm automatically generates a podcast website for your show. Just this year, they’ve released new designs and a new builder that is intuitive and easy to use.  

No charge for additional podcasts

You can create, import and host as many podcasts as you want for one monthly price. For every podcast you create, you’ll get access to a unique RSS feed, advanced analytics, a custom webpage, and you’ll be able to invite new team members to manage that specific podcast show. 

Embeddable Transistor.fm podcast player 

Transistor.fm gives all podcasters an embeddable media player, allowing you to share your content beyond the mainstream listening platforms. You can choose between a single-episode player, most-recent episode player, and multi-episode player. 

Detailed podcast analytics 

Detailed stats around your monthly listens, total listens per episode, average downloads per episode, most popular listening applications, and which devices your listeners are using. 

Easy submission to major platforms

One-click submit to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other major podcast listening platforms. Before it was a completely manual process that involved navigating to specific help documents and application documents. 

Private podcasts 

Private podcasts allow you to create private content that isn’t accessible without a unique link. This allows you to make the most of podcast subscriptions on listening platforms such as Apple and access exclusive episodes you’ve recorded just for them. 

Easy to use 

Transistor.fm’s interface is well-designed, intuitive, and contemporary. For podcasters who value an easy-to-use platform, this will definitely be a plus. 

Dynamic Audio Insertion 

Although currently still in Beta, Transistor’s DAI allows you to dynamically insert audio into your podcasts at pre-, mid, and post-roll slots selected by you. 

Team permissions 

Depending on your subscription, you’ll be able to add a certain number of team members. You can set specific access levels to ensure that everyone’s permissions match their role in your team. 

There are three types of user: Owner, Admins and Members. 

The owner controls the billing and subscription settings and is able to add new shows to the account. 

Admins are able to edit show settings, manage episodes, view analytics, and manage team members. You can have more than one. 

Members can edit and add episodes, and view analytics. They cannot delete episodes or manage other team members. 

Note: Team members aren’t added to your overall account but per podcast. 

Disadvantages of Transistor.fm

No additional features beyond basic functionality 

Although Transistor does what it does well, it doesn’t offer much beyond that. There are no further features that work to enhance the podcaster’s experience in a unique way. 

Podcast subscriptions aren’t straightforward

Though Transistor.fm includes the option to create private podcasts, the workflow for listeners looking to subscribe to your show is a little complex. They can’t simply click subscribe on their listening platform. You, as the podcaster, need to either manually add subscribers individually or in bulk by doing a CSV upload. 

Transistor.fm will then send them an email which will show them how to add a private feed to their listening app. 

Automatically converts files to MP3

Even if you upload a WAV file to Transistor, it’ll be automatically converted to MP3. 

Download limits 

Although Transistor.fm offers unlimited storage, it does constrain you with a maximum number of downloads. For the STARTER plan, this leaves you with a maximum of 15,000 downloads a month. For podcasters on the up or with big ambitions, this might be a problem. 

Doesn’t support video podcasting 

Unfortunately, Transistor.fm does not support video podcasting. This means that if you’re currently producing video podcasts, you won’t be able to host your content with Transistor. 

Expensive 

Compared to other similar platforms, Transistor’s base plan is expensive at $19/month. In addition, there is a big jump between the basic STARTER plan and PROFESSIONAL plans. 

Ad insertion not available to everyone 

Though Transistor offers dynamic insertion, it’s currently only available in Beta for Professional and Business subscribers. 

Key features of Transistor.fm  

Podcast Website 

With Transistor.fm, every show you create comes with an automatically generated website. You’re able to customize the design to suit your show, and can play around with: a homepage, episode-specific landing pages, an about page, and a subscribe page

Private Podcasts

Subscribers can subscribe to your podcast wherever they tune into your content, recieve their exclusive episodes to their phones and download them for offline listening. 

This isn’t just for podcasters who have a subscription available for listeners. This feature works well for other settings too. Use private podcasts as a means of communicating securely with employees, onboarding new members of your team, sharing educational course content with a cohort of students, or, if you’re an author, sharing exclusive audio with a purchase of your book. 

When you create a private podcast, Transistor.fm creates a unique, protected RSS feed for each subscriber. This means that you’re able to limit who has access to the content. 

Dynamic Audio Insertion (DAI) 

The Dynamic Audio insertion tool automatically inserts pre, mid and post-roll content into your podcast. The audio that is inserted can be campaign ads or other audio such as announcements.  You’re able to choose exactly where the mid-roll segment is, so you can ensure it doesn’t fall at an awkward moment. 

This is a great way to leverage your back catalog and convert old episodes into evergreen content. 

Transistor.fm is best for podcasters with a big team and multiple shows 

Transistor.fm is a great platform. It’s easy to use, sleek, and designed with podcasters in mind. Its core functionality (distribution, analytics and management) work well and streamline the process. Podcasters seeking additional features or the ability to create, live stream, or monetize from their podcast hosting platform will probably want to look elsewhere. However, if you’re working on more than one show, Transistor is a perfect option. The ability to add multiple team members and have any number of shows associated with your single account for one fixed price is invaluable. 

First look at Transistor.fm 

When you first create your Transistor.fm account, you’ll arrive at the welcome page. You’ll see three options: ‘Create a New Podcast’, ‘Import and Existing Podcast’, or ‘Create a Private Podcast’. 

Along the top bar you’ll see ‘My shows’ and another button inviting you to ‘add your first show’. 

Creating a new podcast on Transistor

How to get started with Transistor.fm

Step 1: Click ‘Add New Show’ at the top of your dashboard. 

Step 2: Fill out all your new show’s information including its title, description, the author, and owner. Upload the podcast artwork too. 

Step 3: When you’re finished, click the green ‘create my show’ button. 

Adding a new podcast show on Transistor

Step 4: Next, you’ll be invited to upload your episode. If you’ve finished recording and are ready to publish, click ‘add your first episode’ 

Adding an episode after recording on Transistor

Step 5: Fill out your episode’s details including its title, an episode summary, show notes, and upload its cover art. 

Step 6: Choose whether to ‘publish now’ or to ‘schedule publish date’ 

How to migrate your podcast to Transistor.fm 

If it’s your first time logging in: 

Step 1: Log in 

Step 2: Search for your podcast in the ‘Import an Existing Podcast’ search bar or Enter your RSS Feed directly 

Step 3: Once you’ve done that, you’ll be invited to validate your ownership of the podcast. Transistor will send a verification email to the address associated with the RSS feed.

Step 4: Once you’ve verified your email, the import will start automatically.  

If you’ve logged in before: 

Step 1: Log in to your Transistor.fm account 

Step 2: Click ‘add show’ then ‘import an existing show’ 

Step 3: Copy and paste your show’s RSS feed 

Step 4: Sit back and wait. Transistor will email you when the migration process is finished. 

Step 5: Make sure to forward your old feed. You should find instructions about how to do this on your provider’s website. Transistor.fm also has specific instructions over on its website. 

How to distribute your podcast using Transistor.fm 

Step 1: From your dashboard, click ‘my shows’ in the top bar. 

Step 2: Click on the show you want to distribute. 

My Shows tab on Transistor

Step 3: On the left, click ‘distribution’ 

Step 4: Make sure you’ve completed the ‘distribution checklist’ 

The distribution tab on Transistor

Step 5: Once you’ve completed the checklist, your distribution page will display options to submit your show to popular directories. 

Step 6: All you need to do is click the green button that says ‘submit’ and Transistor will take care of the rest. 

Transistor.fm analytics 

On the Analytics page of your podcast you’ll find :

  • Average downloads per episode
  • Monthly listens 
Transistor Analytics listener trends
  • Number of subscribers 
  • Listener trends and breakdowns per episode 
Transistor podcast episode breakdown analytics
  • Episode comparisons 
Transistor podcast episode comparisons
  • Listening apps, devices and operating system 
Podcast listening devices analytics on Transistor
  • Geographic location of listeners 
Geographic location of podcast listeners Transistor analytics
(Images from Transistor)

Transistor Alternatives

Transistor.fm vs Anchor 

Anchor is a one-stop-shop for podcasting which is completely free. From this perspective, Anchor and Transistor are pitching themselves at completely different levels. 

With Anchor, you can create, edit, publish, analyze, monetize and manage your podcast from a single platform. Transistor.fm, on the other hand, is solely for managing and distributing your podcast. In many ways, there’s no real comparison here. The choice between Anchor and Transistor.fm will be one of personal preference (and perhaps of budget too). 

Transistor.fm vs Podbean

Podbean and Transistor are both podcast hosting platforms. Similar to Transistor.fm, Podbean doesn’t include any creation features, but does offer a customizable podcast website and in-depth analytics. 

Two key differences are that you can livestream and monetize with Podbean. Live Streaming creates the opportunity to engage with your audience in a more intimate and live setting. And being able to monetize directly from your podcast host makes things a lot easier. 

Transistor.fm vs Buzzsprout

Transistor.fm offers unlimited podcasts and storage for one fixed price. Meanwhile, with Buzzsprout you pay per podcast and still face upload limits. If you’re a podcaster with multiple shows on the go, Transistor.fm is definitely the more economical choice. 

Transistor.fm vs Soundcloud

The biggest difference between Transistor.fm and Soundcloud is their target audiences. Transistor.fm was designed for podcasters. Whereas Soundcloud was aimed at a much broader cross-section of audio creators. 

If you’re a podcaster, chances are you’ll have a better experience with Transistor.fm. Just one example is migrating your podcast. Whereas Transistor.fm has completely streamlined the process, with Soundcloud you have to manually upload each episode again. 

Final thoughts on Transistor.fm 

Transistor.fm is sleek and easy to use. It streamlines both the submission and distribution process so that you don’t have to do more manual inputting than you need to. In addition, the customizable website and media player are extremely stylish and help you build out your podcast brand. Though Transistor.fm falls short on offering additional features beyond its core functionality, its true value lies in its compatibility with multiple podcasts on one account and the ability to include team members. Whereas other platforms charge you per podcast, Transistor.fm allows you to work on more than one show whilst still paying one subscription. If you’re a professional podcaster who loves creating, Transistor.fm may be a great option. 

FAQs about Transistor.fm 

What is Transistor.fm? 

Transistor.fm is a podcast hosting, distribution and management platform. 

Is Transistor a good podcast host? 

It depends what you’re looking for. If you’re on the market for an all-in-one solution, Transistor isn’t the one for you. However, if you’re looking for a streamlined distribution solution that caters to podcasters working on multiple shows, Transistor.fm could fit the bill.

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