To tap into the 100 million+ podcast listeners in the U.S., all podcasters have to start by choosing their podcast hosting provider of choice.
And choosing the best option can be a time-consuming and frustrating task. There are a ton of options out there with similar features. How do you pick the best one?
I want to make your choice easier by providing information on the best podcast hosting to help you find the perfect fit for your new podcast. There are free options, enterprise options, and everything in between – it all depends on what you want to create.
These reviews are based on price, reliability, technical support, monthly upload volume, iTunes compliance, storage, monetization, ease of use, marketing features, integrations with apps, and more.
And if you’re looking to start a blog first, you can check out my other guide to choose the best web hosting.
Let’s get started.
Please note, a few of the links below may be affiliate links. However, I have vetted each tool on this list and believe these are the tools that are most effective for launching and running a new podcast.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WHAT IS PODCAST HOSTING?
Podcast hosting provides the file hosting and RSS feed for your podcast. Hosting companies upload your audio files, tell the hosting platform your show’s details, and generate your feed. When a user subscribes to your podcast, the podcast host sends the audio files and media to the platforms directly.
In the end, podcast hosting is a simple setup. It’s made up of a web server to allow file downloads, the .mp3 files themselves, and an RSS feed describing your audio file. The best providers do much more than that.
They provide advanced analytics reports on your listeners, marketing tools to grow your audience, social sharing options, 24/7 support, and more.
Additionally, podcast hosts sites may also include features like streaming compliance, help starting a WordPress blog (sometimes with a free website and your own domain), file storage, and unlimited bandwidth to ensure your podcast files are secure and can freely migrate between the hosting platforms.
It’s crucial to understand the importance of a good podcast host when starting a brand new podcast.
WHAT IS THE BEST PODCAST HOSTING?
It’s excited to start a new podcast. You get to create your own podcast episodes you’re interested in producing, buy shiny new equipment, record audio, and share your podcast with the world. But don’t forget you have to start by choosing podcast hosting! Different podcasters will require different hosting services, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
This guide will provide you with the best options to save you time so you just have to focus on recording great podcasts.
Here are my top picks for the best podcast hosting in 2019.
PODCAST HOSTING POWERING OVER 225,000 PODCASTERS WORLDWIDE ($0-99/MONTH)
PodBean is my #1 podcast hosting recommendation, with unlimited hosting services, distribution and promotion on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon Alexa, and all the major apps, and 24/7 support. PodBean has been in the podcasting hosting space since the beginning, starting back in 2006.
You can get started for free. On this tier you can upload up to 5 hours of content per month, but are only allowed 100GB of bandwidth per month. Their free plan gives you some basic stats, but you need to upgrade to their $9/month plan to get more detailed analytics.
I recommend podcasters serious about running their own professional show get their $29/month PodBean Unlimited Plus Plan. This plan is much better than the free option – first, you get unlimited audio hosting and video storage.
Second, you can dynamically add your own sponsored ad campaigns into your episodes to monetize faster. This plan also allows for a Patron program to accept recurring revenue from listener support.
Finally, you also get a mobile app, analytics reports, and automatic posting to Facebook and Twitter. Overall, PodBean is my #1 choice and their Unlimited Plus Plan is the best way to get started on your podcasting journey.
Get one month free on paid plans with my link below.
FREE AND UNLIMITED PODCAST HOSTING FOR BEGINNERS ($0-24/MONTH)
Buzzsprout is a host that has been in business since 2009 and has no upfront costs or billing. They also offer podcast hosting free as a great option for those just starting out. Their free plan only allows you to upload two hours of content and hosts your files for 90 days.
If you upgrade to one of their three paid plans ranging from $12-24 per month, your files are hosted indefinitely, you get unlimited storage, and 250GB of bandwidth per month. This bandwidth covers approximately 20,000 to 40,000 episode plays per month.
Buzzsprout allows you to embed a podcast player right on your website – and you can feature just one episode or a whole playlist of episodes:
They offer an easy-to-use analytics dashboard with an algorithm that estimates how many listeners each episode receives within the first 90 days. You can also view which countries your listeners are tuning in from, helping you understand your audience better. With Buzzsprout, you can also upgrade to 128k stereo optimization.
They make it super easy to upload and schedule your podcast – you just upload your audio, change the episode title and description, and schedule your podcast to all of the major directories:
Another benefit is that you can easily add episode chapter markers if you choose so that your listeners can better understand quick details about your episodes at a glance. These aren’t required (and don’t appear on every podcast app), but are a nice feature nonetheless:
Ultimately, with their month-to-month pricing and an easy-to-use dashboard, Buzzsproutis my #2 podcast hosting site for 2019.
I recommend their $24/month plan, as you get up to upload 12 hours of content each month, and save money on any additional hours you upload.
Plus, as an added bonus when you sign up for a Buzzsprout paid plan at the link below, you get a free $20 Amazon gift card.
BEST PROFESSIONAL PODCAST HOSTING AND ANALYTICS ($19-99/MONTH)
Transistor.fm is a high-quality, professional service that hosts some popular podcasts including Drift, Honeybadger, and Cards Against Humanity.
They are known to provide their podcasters with absolutely everything you need to grow your podcast audience, including hosting unlimited shows, managing multiple users per account, generating branded websites with a domain name, distributing your podcast, and viewing advanced analytics.
Their Starter Plan is $19/month and provides unlimited podcasts and episodes, up to 2 users, and 10,000 downloads per month. Next, their Professional Plan is $49/month and also unlimited with up to five team members and 50,000 downloads per month. Finally, their Business Plan is $99/month with up to 10 team members and 150,000 downloads per month.
Transistor truly allows you to scale your podcast as your audience grows, and you won’t have any problems building your audience.
If you’re already using another hosting platform like Libsyn, Simplecast, or Anchor, you can easily import your existing feed into Transistor, making migration seamless.
If you’re a serious podcaster that wants to grow your audience without limits, I recommend going with the Transistor Professional Plan and you can start with their 14-day free trial.
BEST WORDPRESS PODCAST HOSTING ($19/MONTH)
Castos is a full featured podcasting plugin for WordPress.
If you already have a WordPress site, here’s how it works:
- You go to the Castos website and start your 14-day trial
- Install their WordPress plugin
- Next, when you’re ready to host your episodes, you add them into the new Podcast section inside of WordPress:
Upload your audio file, type in your description, and the podcast will go live on your site with a customizable media player:
That’s it. When you’re ready to add your podcast to directories, you go into your feed settings, grab your URL, and add it to any publisher you’d like.
Their plans range from $19 to $49 per month. With the higher tier plans, you have the ability to republish to YouTube and get full podcast video hosting.
Another great feature is automatic transcription – when you upload your audio file, it returns a transcription back to your Castos dashboard within a few minutes. You can either copy and paste this transcription into WordPress, or download the PDF version and add it to your site.
If you already have a WordPress site, Castos is a great choice.
Get started with a free 14-day trial and save with 2-months free on annual plans.
MADE BY PODCASTERS FOR PODCASTERS
Smart Podcast Player is a genius invention created by famous podcaster Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. After years of podcasting, he was looking for the best possible podcast player for your website that your visitors will love.
Who better to create the perfect podcasting product than a prolific podcaster himself?
Smart Podcast Player has a lot of great features that most podcast hosts don’t have, including email capture (the only podcast player to offer this) and other top notch features:
And if you’re interested in how the player works, it’s very simple. You install the Smart Podcast Player WordPress plugin and dd your RSS feed. Next, you enter your subscription URLs to push your show to the major directories. Finally, you customize the colors of your podcast player, and then simply add the player to your posts and pages.
Overall, if you have a WordPress site and want to both host your files, send them to the major podcast networks, and display them with your own designs inside of your WordPress pages and posts, Smart Podcast Player is your #1 choice.
BEST STORAGE AND MONETIZATION (ONE MONTH FREE)
Spreaker is a mobile-focused site with their Speaker Studio tool available for both desktop and mobile devices.
Their free basic plan is pretty limited, with just 5 hours of storage and a single session allowance of 15 minutes. You will need to upgrade to one of the three plans ($5.50 – $41.25) to get more storage and unlimited streaming. Their paid plans have great features like the ability to embed widgets on your site, schedule episodes, and even order your own mobile app.
Their On-Air Talent, Broadcaster, and Anchorman plans have great features. All plans give podcasters private episode sharing, show intro insertions for ads, and ad revenue sharing for monetization.
Additionally, Spreaker paid plans have excellent storage capacity. Their most popular plan is the Broadcaster Plan at $16.50/month and with that you get 500 hours of audio and 3 hours per live podcast. Joe Rogan length status achieved.
As an added bonus, sign up with my link below – you’ll get one month free on any one of their paid plans.
BEST PODCAST HOSTING FOR WEBSITE BUILDERS ($67/MONTH WITH MY DISCOUNT)
This podcast hosting features a simple podcasting workflow that allows podcasters access to full responsive website hosting and security, daily backups, built-in statistics, and 24/7 support.
As a Podcast Websites member, you also receive digital marketing support to help promote your podcast, ads, and podcasting advice from real, experienced podcasters. Their academy features video tutorials, media, and a helpful community forum to discuss strategies with other podcasters too.
Additionally, you can use Builder – a drag and drop website builder with themes unique to podcasters. These themes are mobile-friendly and you can also add landing pages when you need to market your podcast.Try Podcast Websites
WHAT IS THE BEST FREE PODCAST HOSTING?
There are low cost and even free options you can pick from if your budget is tight. Many of the free plans come with limited functionality, but if you’re just starting out, free hosting services a great way to test out their features.
You might not be able to host hours of content on your podcast server, but a free trial or free plan can get your feet wet in how podcast hosts work.
Here are my picks for the best free podcast hosting in 2019.
Libsyn is one of the most popular hosts focused on helping everyone from novices to podcasting pros looking to quickly monetize their work. They are also one of the original podcast hosts, launching in 2004.
With over 35,000 hosted podcasts, 62 million+ audience members, and 4.6 billion podcast downloads in 2016, they are a prominent player in the space. Like other podcast hosts, they give their users between 50 and 1500MB of monthly storage, provide analytics reports, RSS link generation, premium content, and their own app.
Yes, they aren’t 100% free as their plans start at $5, but for that value, I had to add them to the list.
Pricing: $5 – $75 per month
SoundCloud is the world’s largest music and audio hosting site and introduced podcast hosting in 2015. They boast 175 million unique monthly visitors and an amazing 12 hours of content uploaded every minute on their site.
Using their hosting services, you get access to all of their embedded players, Twitter cards, and timed comments that podcasters can respond to. With a free account, you can upload 3 hours of content per month and get basic reporting.
Purchasing their more advanced SoundCloud Pro Unlimited account gives you unlimited upload time, scheduled releases, embed controls, and the ability to pin 5 podcasts to your profile.
Price: Free to $16 per month ($12 when paid annually)
Podomatic allows creators to record, upload, and promote your new audio content, all in one dashboard. One of their strengths is the ability to promote your podcast advertising and crowdsourcing with the help of Patreon and Advertisecast.
Plus, Podomatic has social sharing options and your podcast can be played directly in Facebook and Twitter feeds. They are partnered with Weebly to help you create a website and have a free podcast app for iOS and Android.
In addition to their free plan, they have four pro plans ranging from $9.99 to $24.99 per month.
Pricing: Free to $60+ per month
Simplecast gives their podcasters a ton of great features: unlimited plays, no upload caps, and industry-leading analytics.
They allow you to share clips of your podcast on social media with their Recast™ tool. You can also collaborate with multiple podcast managers by inviting users to your Simplecast account. They offer a 14-day trial and simple pricing.
Pricing: $12 per month
BEST WP PODCAST HOSTING RUNNER-UP ($12-80/MONTH)
Blubrry is a powerful podcast hosting service that offers not only hosting, but managed WordPress hosting with PowerPress, the #1 WordPress plugin for podcasters. With over 75,000+ active installs, this plugin is consistently maintained, free to use, and offers SEO options, and MP3 tagging.
The Blubrry website says, “Blubrry believes we should provide you great tools and not interfere,” highlighting their creator-first approach. They offer a podcasting manual, which gives you a ton of detailed information on using their services, as well as tips and advice to succeed with your new podcast.
Their lowest cost option is $12/month and offers 100MB of storage. If you want unlimited hosting services, you can upgrade to their professional plan.
In addition to their professional plan with custom pricing, they have 4 paid plans ranging from from $12 to $80 which offer anywhere from the 100MB to 1,000MB/month of storage space.
Blubrry is quickly becoming on of the top rated choices because of their customer-first approach.
HOW DO I CHOOSE FROM THE BEST PODCAST HOSTING SITES IN 2019?
12 million people listened to a podcast for the first time within the last year. To tap into this growing market and pick the best option, you have to consider some different questions.
- What is the right amount of storage?
- How much audio storage and content will you be uploading per month?
- Do you need a new WordPress site or align each episode with a blog post?
- Can you work with video podcasts, or any kind of video format?
- What kinds of analytics would you like to view?
- Is it easy to dynamically add advertisements and sponsorships throughout your podcast episodes?
- Finally, how much do you want to spend on hosting services?
These are just a few of the questions you’ll have to answer when choosing from the best. Consider these questions before finalizing your podcast episode’s cadence and length.
For example, if you’re running a weekly one-hour podcast, you’ll need less storage than if you’re running a half hour show five days a week. However, don’t let prices limit your show’s options. It’s just good to know your options before getting started.
Here are some tips to choose the best podcast website:
1. KNOW HOW MANY HOURS OF MONTHLY AUDIO HOSTING YOU NEED PER MONTH.
Many podcast hosts only give you two hours of upload time per month, while others provide unlimited uploads.
2. LOOK INTO SERVER RELIABILITY, BANDWIDTH OPTIONS, AND UPTIME GUARANTEES.
Look into upgrade options if scalability is important. With premium plans, you can get access to unlimited storage, upload times, and monthly downloads.
3. RESEARCH SIGNUP PRICES VS. RENEWAL PRICES, AS THEY MAY BE DIFFERENT.
You can also save money by paying annually vs. monthly, so do your homework.
Dive into a free trial to test the product’s ease of use.
4. MAKE SURE THE HOST HAS A LOT OF BASIC FEATURES.
You need things like storage with no-fault overage, ads, monetization, media validation, FTP uploads, ID3 tagging and iTunes optimization.
With all of these in mind, my recommendation for new podcasters is to get started with BuzzSprout and claim a free $20 gift card.
WHAT ARE PODCAST PLATFORMS?
Podcast platforms, also known as podcast directories, are services like iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play that take your podcast files and RSS feed and push them to their front end systems. This easily allows your audience to find your show with a podcast app, their computer, iPhone, or Android device.
You simply upload your audio with your podcast host, and when the podcast platform detects something new in your feed, it downloads the file and displays the new episode to its users.
WHAT PODCAST PLATFORMS SHOULD I PUBLISH MY PODCAST ON?
So after you’ve chosen a podcast host, how do you actually release your podcast? It’s simple. Once everything is uploaded to your podcast host, you’re ready to choose where you want your audience to find you.
These directories ensure you get in front of the most listeners and your feeds are updated automatically after each episode. Here’s a quick list of some of the top podcast platforms.
1. HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR PODCAST TO ITUNES
Here’s how to get your podcast on iTunes:
1. First, make sure you have an active Apple ID in order to submit your podcast.
2. Sign into iTunes Connect.
3. Click on the top left area of the podcast dashboard and enter your RSS feed into the text box.
4. All of your podcast’s information will load from your podcast host and show you a feed preview. Make sure that all of your text and artwork looks ready to go.
5. Click submit and wait for approval.
2. HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR PODCAST TO GOOGLE PLAY
Here’s how to submit your podcast to Google Play:
1. First, make sure you have an active Google account and go to Podcasts in Google Play Music.
2. Click the Publish button, login to your Google account, and accept their terms of service.
3. Next, enter the URL for your RSS feed.
4. Click submit and check your inbox for a verification email, proving you own the podcast.
5. Click publish and wait for approval.
3. HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR PODCAST TO TUNEIN
Here’s how to submit your podcast to TuneIn:
1. Fill out the TuneIn contact form and add all of your podcast information.
2. Accept their terms and condition.
3. Click submit and wait for approval.
4. HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR PODCAST TO SPOTIFY
Spotify is quickly becoming one of the largest podcast sites, boasting an impressive 191 million active listeners and 87 million paid subscribers. Their premium plan is $9.99/month and allows users to download music, listen ad-free, play any song with unlimited skips, and feature higher quality podcast audio.
In the past, you could not easily get your podcast on Spotify within their website itself – you had to use your host and push your podcast to Spotify that way. However, that has changed.
They just released their beta program Spotify for Podcasters where you can learn how to upload your podcast to Spotify and get started right away. All you have to do is login to your Spotify account (through Spotify or Facebook), submit your RSS feed and Spotify does the rest.
If you’d like to go the old fashioned route, this article will help you get your podcast on Spotify as your hosting provider.
WHAT IS THE BEST PODCAST EQUIPMENT?
If you’re ready to start recording your episodes, you need to purchase some podcast equipment. In its simplest form, all you need to start a podcast is a computer and a microphone. But that’s kind of like saying all you need to start an ecommerce business is a website – there are tons of different options.
However, I’ve narrowed it down to the most essential podcast gear to get started with items that I personally own.
Here are my top picks for the best podcast equipment.
1. BLUE YETI: BEST PODCAST MICROPHONE
Don’t use your computer’s built-in microphone. Start with a USB microphone instead – they’re affordable and super easy to use. Just plugin your microphone into your laptop, switch your audio input settings, and record.
The only consideration for microphones is whether you choose a dynamic or condenser mic. Typically a condenser mic is best for one man shows and dynamic mics are good for recording a group.
- A fantastic and highly-rated condenser podcast microphone is the Blue Yeti
- A great dynamic mic is the Audio-Technica ATR2100
2. MACBOOK AIR: BEST LAPTOP FOR PODCASTING
You don’t need the latest and greatest laptop to start a podcast, most computers will do just fine. Make sure that your computer was built at least in the last 3 years. It will also need to be able to handle your audio software.
I use a Macbook Air and it’s currently listed at a discount on Amazon.
3. LOGITECH C920S: BEST WEBCAM FOR STREAMING
If you’re getting into podcasting, you need a good webcam. Your webcam can be used to record video podcasts and upload them to YouTube. More importantly, your webcam will be used to look professional in meetings.
I must say, one thing that podcasters are really great at is looking good on video – every single one I’ve met on Skype or Zoom had a microphone with a boom arm, crystal clear video, and a nicely-designed background in their room or office.
For audio podcasters, video may not be important for your episodes themselves, but more for the meetings you’ll have with interviewees, influencers, and potential sponsors.
And you don’t have to shell out hundreds or thousands for an expensive camcorder or DLSR camera. You just need a good webcam for streaming in at least 1080p.
1080p and even 4k webcams are very powerful nowadays (and affordable).
The webcam that I use and recommend is the Logitech C920S.
4. AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M50X: BEST HEADPHONES FOR PODCASTING
Since audio quality is one of the most important aspect of your show, a good pair of headphones can listen for p-pops, distortion, feedback, and other issues. You’ll want a pair of closed-back headphones so that none of the sound coming through the headphones gets picked up by your microphone.
A pair that I like that’s under $150 are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional headphones.
5. MACKIE PROFX8V2: BEST MIXER FOR PODCASTING
To have a higher amount of control over your sound (and get that smooth radio voice), a USB mixer helps manage inputs, outputs, levels, and effects. Reverb, flanging, delays, echos, and other effects are not only fun to mess around with, but give your show a professional sound.
My favorite mixer for podcasting is the Mackie PROFX8V2.
WHAT IS THE BEST PODCAST SOFTWARE TO RECORD MY EPISODES?
After you’ve chosen a podcast host and know where you want to publish your show, it’s time to start recording your audio with podcast software. It’s pretty easy. With a quality microphone and some podcast recording software, you can quickly get your media recorded, edited, and launched like a pro.
Here are some of the best software options to start recording your high quality audio.
Anchor touts themselves as the easiest way to start a podcast. Ever.
And I have to agree. Their free podcast recording software allows you to record high-quality audio, create a free, unlimited amount of episodes, and distribute to all major websites with one click.
Anchor makes it easy to drag and drop different audio clips to rearrange segments in your episodes. They also give you a free landing page with a custom URL for your show.
With their unlimited free hosting, recording capabilities from anywhere, and one-click distribution, Anchor is the best podcast software on the market.
Try Anchor recording software today.
Zencastr allows new and professional podcasters alike the ability to record themselves and their remote guests in studio quality right from a web browser. To record the audio of your podcast guest in another location, you just send them a link and then receive a separate audio track when you’re done.
This live recording is done via a VoIP connection through both people’s local microphone. As the podcast host, you press record and each person’s audio is recorded from the web browser, without any compression or artificial sounds decreasing the audio quality.
Zencastr is also great for collaboration, as you can share your audio files via Google Drive and Dropbox.
With their free plan, you get up to two guests, 8 hours of audio recording per month, and only pay per use in post-production. If you upgrade to their Professional plan at $20/month, you get unlimited guests and recordings, a live editing soundboard, and 10 hours of automatic post-production every month.
Try Zencastr podcast software.
Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation (DAW) from Avid Technologies. It is a high-end audio product with crazy amounts of power. I remember using Pro Tools in an advanced audio engineering course back in my college days to fully mic up and record a live band.
You’re not gonna need this powerhouse to record your podcast, however if you want the absolute best, or want podcast software that you can use as a budding film producer or audio engineer, they are your #1 choice.
It costs $299 for a 1-year subscription and you get $850 in bonus gifts, including Pro Sound Effects, tutorials, and royalty free music. You can also buy it on Amazon.
Try Pro Tools audio software today.
21 FINAL TIPS TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR PODCAST [INFOGRAPHIC]
THAT’S A WRAP
There you have it – my list of the best podcast hosting in 2019.
When making your choice, first dig deep into the platform’s features. You should be able to upload as much monthly content as needed, be compliant, view analytics, and have enough storage space.
Second, decide if you want free unlimited podcast hosting, or are willing to pay extra to get more features.
Third, do you need a new website? Look for options that couple web hosting and email marketing with WordPress or Weebly so you can add show notes and blog posts. Ensure your hosting company works with the best podcast networks.
Finally, examine which hosts can promote you with marketing, crowdsourcing, ads, monetization, expert guidance, and support.
These companies take the guesswork out of storing your podcast, distributing your audio content to the right places, and supporting you on your podcasting journey.
My recommendation for new podcasters is to get started with PodBean and get one month free.
So pick the best option tailored just for you… and happy podcasting!