TOP 10 PODCAST HOSTING SITES FOR 2022
If you’re a podcaster then you have, no doubt, scoured the internet to search for the top podcast hosting.
But which are the top podcast hosting sites out there?
With so many sites, it’s frustrating trying to figure out which ones are the best podcast hosting sites.
In this article, we have taken out all the headaches for you by ranking the top 10 podcast hosting sites.
We evaluated them on parameters like:
- Customer Support
- Storage volume
- Monthly Uploads
- Monetization features
- User friendliness
- Marketing capability
- No. of integrations
We tested over 31 podcast hosts to arrive at our winners.
Without losing any more time, let’s head over to the Top 3 Podcast Hosting Sites on our list.
Our Top 3 Podcast Hosting Sites
The Best Podcast Hosting Service for Beginners (Free – $24/month + $20 Amazon Gift Card).
Buzzsprout ranks 1st on our list for many reasons.
Buzzsprout was designed with podcast publishers in mind. And that has found favor with more than 100,000 users.
They have been in the podcasting hosting business since 2009.
You know what the best part is?
Buzzsprout is the only hosting offering a free plan with unlimited team users.
With Buzzsprout you can embed a podcast player right on your website. This means you don’t need to send your visitors to BuzzSprout, or anywhere else, to listen to your podcasts.
What’s more, you can feature single episodes or a whole playlist of episodes.
They have one of the best dashboards and analytics I’ve seen.
This takes out all the hassles of trying to figure out what’s working and what’s not. And lets you focus on generating content rather than tinkering around with reports and stats.
Recently they have made BuzzSprout even more attractive by adding a slew of new features. You now get:
- transcription engine integration
- Magic Mastering to make your episodes sound perfect
- BuzzCast - a brand new embed player
- the publishing workflow engine
- the text editor for show notes
- an affiliate marketing integration for your Buzzsprout site
- And much more!
They have a completely free plan, which allows you to upload up to two hours of audio hosted for 90 days.
This is good enough to dip your toes and see if podcasting works for you.
When you’re ready, you can upgrade your plan based on how many hours of content you plan to upload each month.
In the paid plans you get hosting for an indefinite period of time (as long as you remain a subscriber).
They have multi-tiered plans which are likely to fit everyones’ pockets.
Free: upload 2 hours each month and episodes hosted for 90 days.
$12/month: upload 3 hours each month, hosted , unlimited storage.
$18/month: features above, plus upload 6 hours each month.
$24/month: features above, plus upload 12 hours each month.
With their competitive pricing and an easy-to-use dashboard, Buzzsprout is my #1 choice.
If you’re the type who needs nudging, BuzzSprout offers a free Amazon gift card worth $ 20 as a bonus when you join. Try BuzzSprout and claim your Amazon Gift Card here.
Excellent Feature-Set with Great Features, Growth & Tools ($17- $90)
If you’ve come across Podcast Websites, then you can imagine what using Captivate is going to be like.
Because, the team running Podcast Websites is the same team that brings you Captivate.
You can tell the team has used its experience well when you see the host of features you get with Captivate.
You’ll agree they have thought everything when you see the features.
- Easy to understand, yet advanced analytics
- Sleek podcast player and amazing website
- Built-in CTA’s (calls to action) to take people anywhere you want
- Unlimited team members
- Private podcasting on every plan
There are many pricing levels depending on your downloads per month. This means you can upload as many episodes as you want and still not burn a hole in your pocket. You only pay based on how many people actually listen.
$17 per month for up to 12,000 downloads per month
$44 per month for up to 60,000 downloads per month
$90 per month for up to 150,000 downloads per month
Best Content Management System and Monetization (Free – $120+)
Think of Spreaker as an all-in-one solution for podcasting. Whether you are a newbie or a podcasting veteran, Spreaker has got you covered.
In fact, they have you covered no matter who you are: a podcaster, a listener, a brand advertiser. Spreaker brings all the parties together on a single platform.
- Makes marketing your podcasts easy
- Manage multiple podcasts with a single account
- Monetize podcasts by getting sponsors for episodes as well as the show
- Add collaborators and team members
- Advanced analytics
- Free Speech (Free): 5 hours of audio storage, up to 10 episodes.
- On-Air Talent ($5.50/month): 100 hours of storage.
- Broadcaster ($16.50/month): 500 hours of storage.
- Anchorman ($41.25/month): 1,500 hours of storage.
Maximum number of their subscribers opt for their Broadcaster Plan
Other Top Podcast Hosting Sites
Best Podcast With Advanced Analytics ($19-99/month)
Transistor.fm hosts some of the best podcast shows.
They are a professional, high-quality service.
They are known for their best-in-class analytics.
Their key features include:
- Host unlimited shows
- Add multiple users per account
- Easily syndicate your podcast to major networks
- Your own branded websites with custom domain
- Advanced stats and reporting
Their main draw is their analytics which gives you a 360o view of your shows on an easy to understand dashboard.
A cool thing is, when you use Transistor, you can browse around while an episode plays in the background.
Another handy feature is the import function. This helps you import all your feed from other hosting platforms like Libsyn or Anchor.
Starter Plan ($19/month): Provides unlimited podcasts and episodes, up to 2 users, and 10,000 downloads per month.
Professional Plan ($49/month): Everything in the starter plan, plus up to five team members and 50,000 downloads per month.
Business Plan ($99/month): All features in the previous plans, plus up to 10 team members and 150,000 downloads per month.
Transistor offers two months free when you pay for a yearly subscription.
Best Podcast Hosting For User-friendliness (Free - $99/Month).
PodBean has been hosting podcasts for over 10 years.
They host well over half a million podcasts, and are the easiest-to-use hosting on this list.
Some of their user-friendly features include:
- Up to 5 hours of storage on the free plan
- Unlimited storage with paid plans (with annual subscriptions)
- Dynamic ad insertion for monetizing your show
- Recurring Revenue collection with Patreon
- Auto-uploads to YouTube
- Customized mobile app for iOS and Android
- Auto-posting to social media like Facebook and Twitter
Basic (Free and Open-Source): 5 hours of storage and 100 GB monthly.
Unlimited Audio ($9/month): Unlimited storage and bandwidth, pro themes, advanced design, and ad marketplace.
Unlimited Plus ($29/month): All the features above, plus Patreon integration and dynamic ad insertion.
Business ($99/month): All the features above, plus multiple domains, private podcasts, advanced statistics, and live chat support.
6. Simple Cast
Industry-Leading Features Powering Top Brands ($15/Month)
“From your first listener to your first million, Simplecast provides powerful tools needed to manage, distribute, share, and grow your podcast.”- claims SimpleCast.
And they pretty much live up to their claim.
Companies like Nike, HBO, Twitter, Harvard University, and others use this hosting for this very reason.
They have a great analytics suite to help you gain insights. Here’s a look at what their analytics look like.
Basic Plan ($15/month): Unlimited storage and uploads, multiple ( up to two) member accounts, customizable website, 20k downloads per month, an embeddable web player, and email support.
Essential Plan ($35/month): All basic plan features, plus two extra user seats (total 4 seats), additional web players, location (country and state/region) and technology (apps, browsers) analytics, 50k downloads per month, and the addition of chat support.
Growth Plan ($85/month): All features of previous plans, plus 5 more extra user seats (9 total), ISP analytics, detailed metro area location analytics, and 120k downloads per month.
Best WordPress Podcast Hosting Service ($19/month).
Imagine you have a WordPress website and are trying your hand at podcasting. You don’t want to start spending a whole lot without tasting success.
In that case, Castos is the best solution for you!
All you have to do is, upload and install their plugin, called Seriously Simple Podcasting on your wordpress site. Now you’re ready to host your own podcast.
The plugin also has a customizable media player which you embed on your web pages.
You want to add your podcast to other directories?
Sure, simply take the URL and send it to the publishers you wish to associate with.
These are some of the key features of the Plugin.
- Automatic transcription – upload your audio files and transcriptions are added to your dashboard within minutes
- Republish to YouTube
- Podcast editing services by Castos Productions
- Customizable podcast webpage
- Podcast analytics
Starter ($19/month): unlimited storage and download bandwidth.
Growth ($49/month): All features of Starter, plus YouTube republishing and custom audiograms.
Pro ($99/month): All features of Growth, plus advanced analytics and video file hosting.
If you are a wordpress site owner and wish to begin podcasting then, Castos might be the best option to dip your toes.
New Podcast Hosting Platform with Unlimited Episodes (Free – $39/month)
Podcastics is a new podcasting hosting provider with an easy-to-use dashboard. Though new, it offers some very competitive features.
With a few clicks you can upload your recording, manage user-permissions and get your show on the road.
If you have already published you podcast, you can import the files with a couple of clicks from any RSS feed.
Some of the main features that Podcastics provides are:
- Podcast analytics, including plays, days and hours, sources, and locations
- Live streaming capabilities
- Podcast and episode editing tools
- The ability to schedule episodes
- Smart features like QR codes, smart links, surveys, and heat maps
Podcastics has many plans but their basic plan starts at $ 4 and provides unlimited episodes.
Premium Plan ($4/ month): Easy import from other hosts, unlimited episodes, unlimited users, worldwide distribution, private & unlisted episodes, analytics, heatmaps, audio player, website, monetization, etc.
Pro Plan ( $8/ month): Everything in Premium plan, plus unlimited hosting and CDN (Europe & North America- 8 locations)
Max Plan ($39 / month): Everything from Pro Plan, plus CDN (worldwide locations -70), priority support.
You get a one month trial with all these plans.
The Best Podcast Hosting For Marketers (Free-$19/Month).
This is the dreamchild of Pat Flynn, the popular podcaster.
He designed Fusebox to overcome all the shortcomings he found in other hosts when he was using them.
And you get a glimpse of this insight when you notice the small things they have paid attention to… like their podcast player, which has an email capture tool (one of the ONLY players to offer this feature).
Ok, how about an automatic transcription feature?
Yeah r…i…g…h…t… so many providers offer this.
But how many offer a transcription plugin that automatically generates SEO-friendly transcripts and adds it to your website?
FuseBox (Free): up to 3 shows with one account and up to 10,000 views a month, customizable player with Fusebox branding.
FuseBox Pro ($19 / month): 100,000 monthly views, advanced player with call-to-action, hide/show cover, playlist and featured episodes, no Fusebox branding, email support.
If you are focussed on marketing, and want to leverage your podcast for growing your business, you have to give FuseBox a try.
10. Red Circle
New podcast hosting service with networking features (Free - $30 / month)
Launched in 2019, Red Circle got their timing right!
In 2020 the whole world was under lockdown and consuming online content like never before. And, Red Circle found ideal conditions to grow .
Companies like SkillShare, Grammarly and TalkSpace use this hosting service.
Red Circle offers a unique networking feature..
They allow you to search for podcasters and reach out to them. You can then pitch cross-promotions and message-swap and grow your audience.
This is a great feature if you are looking to grow your subscriber base without spending a lot.
They have 3 plans starting with free.
Core Plan (Free): Unlimited hosting and distribution, programmatic ads, dynamic ad insertions, standard analytics.
Growth Plan ($9 / month): Unlimited podcasts, cross-promotion market-place, unlimited dynamic ad insertions, instant payouts, advanced analytics, video podcasts.
Pro Plan ($30 / month): everything from Growth Plan, plus video podcasts with one-click, premium analytics, in-app support.
Red Circle is an amazing option for those looking to grow their podcast. Start with their Growth plan and take it a step at a time.
Podcast Hosting FAQs
What Is Podcast Hosting?
Think of a podcast host like your website host. A web host stores and distributes webpages and other assets, while your podcast hosting stores and distributes your audio files.
A podcast hosting does something else too. They provide an RSS feed ( a listing of all your episodes) for your podcast. You can use this feed to submit to directories.
A good podcast host also provides you with a customizable player, usages stats, scheduling and other features to publish, manage and grow your podcast well.
What is the Best Podcast hosting for you?
Before you decide which podcast host to go ahead with, you need to be clear about what you need to look for.
What to look for when selecting your podcast host?
Storage Space: how much space are you going to need to host your audio files. What does the hosting provide? At what price?
Website Integrations: How easily does it integrate with other websites, can you import existing files easily? Do they provide a customizable player to embed on your website? Do they offer easy uploading to YouTube and other platforms?
Analytics: What kind of analytics suite does the host have? Do you get only primary statistics like number of downloads, space consumed, etc. or do you get insightful metrics?
Monetization Support: What support do they provide to monetize your podcast?
Do they help you connect with Sponsors?
Offer cross-promotion facilities?
Other things you need with Podcast hosting
Cover Art- For the podcast to attract more listeners.
A Professional Intro (Optional)- Gives your podcast a consistent feel.
Intro Music- Gives your podcast a professional feel.
Do you need podcast hosting?
Yes, you do need podcast hosting. Unless you have a server to host and feed your audio files to podcast listeners and directories, you are going to need a hosting service.
Also hosting on your own will not provide you download statistics about individual episodes.
So, if you are serious about publishing and growing you podcast you should go for a professional podcast host.
Is Free Podcast hosting a good idea?
A free podcast hosting platform can be a way to check if podcasting is for you after all.
Podcasting, like every other content strategy, isn’t for everyone, so being able to try it out for free, can be nice.
But the problem starts when a beginner gets enamored by the free trials and thinks free is the best way to go.
That’s when they come face-to-face with the ground realities.
Here are some of the harsh realities that you are likely to encounter in case you opt for a free hosting.
Restricted episode length: Most free hosting providers restrict the length of episodes that you can upload. This also means you have a limit on the file size as well.
In fact, there are some free hosting providers that set a limit on the number of hours you can host each month. Most fall in the average time limit of 2 hours a month.
Now, if you combine this with a restricted file size, you can very well imagine what the quality of the audio is going to be.
Hardly the professional quality one aims for.
Content transfers problems: Once you become aware of the time and file size limitations and wish to transfer your podcast hosting to another paid host, you face another challenge.
That of file transfers.
Most free hosts make it as difficult as possible to move your files from their servers to another. This becomes a barrier to shift your show from your present hosting.
Ownership Rights: Imagine sweating on creating that perfect podcast episode and publishing it, only to find that your host has used it in their advertising campaign.
If you are wondering if it can really happen, I assure you there have been cases where it has happened.
Shocked? Don’t be.
Because, there are some free podcast hosts that have a clause in their terms that give them the right to copy, distribute, modify, publish, use, and process your content without any further notice, consent or compensation.
Now, just imagine…
Some years down the road you manage to build a popular podcast and now wish to profit from it by selling it off. How will you pull it off, if you don’t own the full rights to your own content?
How much negotiating power does that leave you with?
Your Podcast Could Disappear Overnight: The biggest reason against using free podcast hosting is that your show could disappear overnight.
Some companies stipulate in their terms and conditions that they reserve the right to remove your show completely for no reason and without notice. And you have no recourse against any such action.
On the flip side, since these are free hosts they don’t make any revenue from hosting your shows, they could very easily go under and wind up bankrupt. What happens to your podcast then?
What are podcast hosting directories?
Think of your podcast hosting as a server and a podcast directory as a web-browser, which people use to view your webpages.
A podcast directory is a podcast listening app (e.g. Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher) which your audience uses to listen to your podcast. They can also download, subscribe, rate and review your episodes.
Choosing the right podcast hosting need not be confusing.
You just need to make a list of all the features you want and check which hosting offers those.
Make sure you plan for growth in terms of space required and number of downloads.
The last thing you want is to be tied down with a hosting service that doesn’t scale-up and grow with you.
Do you need analytics? A website? If so, you might decide to go with certain providers, whereas if you have a website already and it isn’t critical for your podcast, then you may decide to go with some others.
Whatever the case may be, you are sure to find a podcast hosting that matches your requirements in our list.
Dr. Prash Shanbhag is an experienced marketer with a passion for research in digital marketing strategies.
Check out his blog to learn more researched, tried & tested digital marketing strategies that actually work.
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