If you haven’t jumped the podcasting bandwagon yet, I refer you to eye-opening statistics from the latest annual study by Edison Research.
- 55% of Americans 12 and above have listened to a podcast in 2020, which is up from 40% in 2017.
- More than 100 million Americans listen to at least one podcast a month
- There are more podcast listeners (24%) than churchgoers (23%) among American consumers.
Whether you like it or not, podcasting is here to stay and engage with people willing to listen.
Now, for those who think podcasts are all fun and games, they’re not wrong. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure.
You can also monetize the episodes you create by inserting ads during your episode, including CTAs to your product and services, and more.
But to enjoy the benefits of podcasting, you need to learn where to set up yours first.
In this post, you will learn the different podcast hosting platforms to upload and leverage your audio content to build an audience and monetize your podcasts.
Let’s get started.
The best podcast sites are Buzzsprout, Transistor, PodBean, Simplecast, Captivate, Resonate, Castos, Fusebox, and Blubbry. Choosing the right platform for your podcasts is one of the most important parts of starting your podcasting journey. Before you buy a pair of good headphones and a microphone you should choose a podcast hosting site that will fit your particular needs as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
In this guide, we will do your best to show you the most interesting options so that you can save your precious time and focus on recording your first episode.
Here are our top picks for the best podcast hosting for 2021:
The Best Podcast Hosting for Beginners (Free – $12/month).
With 5-star ratings from 700+ happy customers, Buzzsprout is one of the easiest-to-use podcast hosting around, and our #1 pick.
They’re a host that’s been in business since 2009 and are trusted by over 100,000 podcasters. Plus, they’re one of the only companies that offer a totally free plan with unlimited team member accounts.
Their free plan only allows you to upload two hours of content hosted for 90 days. If you’re serious about podcasting, you can scale up and upgrade your plan based on how many hours of content you need to upload per month.
When you upgrade to one of their paid plans ranging from $12-24 per month, Buzzsprout hosts your files indefinitely and gives you unlimited storage and 250GB of bandwidth per month (enough for 20,000 to 40,000 downloads).
It also has one of the most vibrant podcast communities on Facebook where its customer support takes care of questions and concerns regarding the platform.
- Get more people to hear you by listing your podcast in the top podcast directories.
- Track the progress of your podcast by monitoring its stats.
- Optimize uploaded audio files using the Magic Mastering™ technology.
- Make your podcast more accessible to search engines and PWD by transcribing it.
- Help listeners browse through your podcast much easier using chapters.
Buzzsprout offers a free tier that lets you upload two hours worth of audio a month hosted for 90 days. The paid plans (starting at $12/month) lets you host your podcast indefinitely.
Also, you get more hours of uploaded audio files a month as your plan goes higher.
The best data-driven podcast hosting site ($19-99/month).
Using Transistor, you can get advanced analytics to track and monitor your podcast’s performance.
Aside from the usual metrics (average episode downloads, number of subscribers, etc), the site breaks down the number of visitors each of your episodes has over a period.
It can also show you which apps listeners use to consume your content and shows you the map where your listeners are from.
- Create as many podcasts as you want on the same account at no extra charge.
- Set up the podcast player on your site so visitors can play it without leaving your page.
- Invite people to help collaborate with your podcast.
- Use the RSS feed to easily import your podcast to a different hosting platform.
Transistor does not have a free plan, but you can sign up to its free 14-day trail and play with all its features. It offers a monthly or yearly subscription across three plans. The higher the plan, the more times people can download your podcasts in a month and the better the privacy settings are for your exclusive content.
Easiest podcast hosting platform for newbies and professionals ($29/Month + 1 Month Free).
PodBean takes away the guesswork from creating a podcast. Create your account by signing up for a free account and upload your audio files to turn into a podcast.
This way, you can focus on what you have to say as PodBean will take care of the rest.
- Set up a free website account to showcase your podcast.
- Distribute your podcast to all destinations where people get their podcast fix.
- Use the platform’s built-in dynamic advertising system to monetize your podcast.
- Engage with your audience even more with live audio streaming.
- Record, edit, and publish your podcast using its native app on Android and iOS.
The free plan lets you upload up to five hours worth of audio content, offers a 100GB monthly bandwidth, and lets you create a free basic podcast website.
Paid plans give you unlimited hours and unmetered bandwidth, as well as monetization features.
Best podcast management and analytics platform
Similar to Transistor, Simplecast helps you parse your listeners and the performance of your podcast using its advanced analytics feature. Uncover data about your audience so you can better understand how to serve them better.
- Encourage listeners to share clips of your podcast on social media using Recast®.
- Develop websites, apps, and dashboards using the Simplecast API 2.0.
- Manage different podcasts with collaborators under a single account.
- Create a website for your podcast with the help of its intuitive drag-and-drop builder.
- Seamlessly Migrate your podcast show to Simplecast with a few clicks of a button.
Simplecast has a free 14-day trial for its three plans. Each plan offers at least two team members, one-click distribution, basic analytics, and more. Higher plans get advanced data like the Location analytics, Unique Listener reports, Technology analytics, Detailed Device analytics, and much more.
Best podcast hosting site for growing your audience and influence
Captivate provides all the tools that podcasters need for making their voices heard. With the platform’s simple interface and 24/7 customer support, you don’t have to worry about the setup of your podcast.
- Collaborate with unlimited team members available for all plans.
- Promote your CTAs onto your podcast player to help you increase conversions.
- Integrate your podcast with your WordPress site using the CaptivateSync™ plugin.
- Monitor the performance of your show using its IAB-certified statistics and analytics.
- Link to popular podcast players like Overcast to expand your show’s reach and get more subscribers to it.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial on any of Captivate’s three plans. All of them possess the same features – the only difference is the number of podcast episode downloads allowed in a month. The higher the plan, the more times people can download your podcast.
Best full-service podcast service provider available
Sometimes, it’s not enough to record, upload, and publish your podcast to your hosting. You need to make sure that the quality of the podcast is up to standard and it is launched properly.
While Resonate Recordings can do these for you, it also offers a hosting platform to groom your podcast to success.
- Upload edited and pre-produced podcast files to your hosting and publish them.
- Distribute your podcast to different directories in a single click for increased reach.
- Track the growth of your podcast by analyzing its statistics on your dashboard.
- Embed the latest podcast episodes on your site so people can hear it from there.
- Create a microsite or simple landing page to engage with your podcast better.
Resonate Hosting has a free 14-day trial for its two plans. The only difference between the two is the Premium plan gives you access to its microsite creator. Other services like Podcast Launch (starting at $199), Podcast Production (starting at $59), and others are paid separately.
Best podcast hosting for audience growth
Most podcast hosting site features are too restricted that it either encourages you to pony up for a higher plan or migrate to another host.
Thankfully, you won’t have that issue with Castos thanks to its unlimited storage and bandwidth. This way, you can publish as many shows and gather as many listeners as you can!
- Manage all your episodes on your WordPress site with the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin.
- Republishing your podcast on Youtube to generate even more listeners.
- Automatically transcribe your podcast to improve accessibility and SEO performance.
- Create pages for each of your shows to connect with your respective audiences better.
- Analyze podcast data in one simple and easy-to-understand dashboard.
Castos has three paid plans available. Each plan differs in terms of the number of private subscribers allowed per account. Higher plans also have access to Youtube Republishing, Headliner Audiogram Integration, Advanced Analytics, and more.
Most innovative podcast software player
Co-founded by Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, Fusebox (originally Smart Podcast Player or SPP) made it easier for listeners to choose which podcast episode to listen to on the user’s website.
Since then, it has come up with even more innovations to help podcasters come up with creative ways to present their episodes to their audience.
- Feature your podcast using the full player, single track player, and site-wide sticky player.
- Encourage listeners to sign up to your email list from the podcast player.
- Generate transcripts automatically to improve engagement and SEO.
- Allows for multiple speeds so people can listen to more episodes in one sitting.
- Allows people with hearing disabilities to still enjoy your podcast with accessible design and downloadable transcript PDFs.
The free plan gives you access to its site-wide sticky player and most of its transcript features. The Pro plan contains all the free plan features plus all the podcast players and their more advanced options.
Best hosting platform for busy business owners
Blubrry gives you all the tools to set up your podcast and share your ideas to target listeners. What makes the platform unique, however, is its turnkey Pro-Production Services that offers done-for-you podcast episodes from its expert in-house podcast team.
- Includes free WordPress site on all plans.
- Publish your podcasts and distribute their episodes from your WordPress site using the PowerPress plugin.
- Customize embeddable podcast players on your site pages or social media feed.
- Receive insightful data about your audience by tapping into the platform’s advanced analytics.
- Get email and phone support for all your podcast questions and concerns.
All four plans include all features. The difference is the monthly storage (starting at 100 MB). Higher plans get a much larger storage capacity.
For plans with higher storage and bandwidth, the Pro Hosting plan starts at $100 per month.
Blubrry also offers Internal Private Podcasting (starting at $150/month) and Pro-Production (podcast on autopilot for $950/month with four DFY shows).
The simplest way to create a podcast
Lots of podcast hosting sites out there are loaded with features that you might not need. Spreaker keeps things extremely simple by offering the most essential features podcasters from any level needs.
- Schedule the episodes of all your podcasts and automatically share them on social media from your CMS
- Set up a live streaming podcast to increase interaction with your listeners.
- Monetize from your podcasts by enabling dynamic ads or manually inserting them.
- Gain valuable insights about your listeners using its IAB-certified analytics.
- Get your podcast promoted on curated lists and the most popular podcast directories.
The free plan allows for multiple podcast hosting. The other paid plans give you access to customizable RSS feeds, programmatic monetization, and more. The Publisher Plan ($120/month, perfect for enterprises) lets people download your podcast 60,000 times monthly along with premium support and collaboration features.
Most professional podcast hosting & website builder
If you’re new to podcasting and don’t have a website yet, then this solution is perfect for you.
PodcastWebsites makes the entire process of creating a website where you can generate revenue from your podcast business easy.
- Offers training to help you launch a successful podcast through the Podcast Success Academy.
- Create daily podcast backups and set up website security to ensure safety at all times.
- Integrates well with Fusebox’s versatile podcast player.
- Get quality 24/7 support from experienced podcasters for your questions and concerns.
- Connect your site with email platforms likeMailChimpp, Aweber, and Clickfunnels to grow your subscribers effectively.
There are two plans to choose from: New! and Popular. Regarding podcast hosting and advanced download statistics, the first RSS feed is included in both plans. But for additional feeds, you must pay $10/month per feed.
Best hosting platform for taking your podcast to the next level
If you feel you’ve plateaued with your current podcast hosting site, consider migrating to Audioboom. Established podcasters get better monetization opportunities to further grow their audience and revenue.
- Accommodate your listeners by distributing your episodes on Deezer, Stitcher, and more.
- Embed your responsive player on your website or share it on social media.
- Understand the habits and behavior of your listeners by looking at your analytics.
- Invite collaborators and manage their permissions to get your podcast off the ground
- Monetize your podcast with dynamic ads and sponsorships (for 10,000 monthly plays)
Podcasters can sign up and enjoy the creation of unlimited episodes a month with 10,000 plays max (for Standard Plan) or 25,000 max (for the Plus Plan). Podcasters with over 10,000 plays per episode gain access to better features such as live reads and host endorsements from top podcast advertisers, branded content partnership opportunities, and more.
The most reliable podcast hosting site
Even before “podcasting” was born, Libsyn has been at the forefront of hosting audio content of users to its listeners since 2004. Up to this day, the platform continues to deliver top-notch hosting features to all its podcasters.
- Get IAB-certified podcasting statistics to drive bigger impact and results.
- Optimize your episodes on Apple to spruce up your podcast and get more listeners.
- Integrate with the most popular podcast platforms and services using OnPublish.
- Monetize your podcast by selling access to your content or opting into ads.
- Offers ad stitching tools, private podcasting, and other enterprise solutions.
Libsyn has four paid plans. The higher the plan, the greater the monthly storage (starting at 50 MB a month). Also, the Classic features don’t have access to monetization and advanced tools.
Best platform for audio content creators
Known for streaming free music from upcoming artists and musicians, Soundcloud has also become a place for podcasters to share their content.
- Make money from the content you upload on Soundcloud using Repost.
- Plan your podcast episode releases like a pro to build anticipation.
- Improve the sonic quality of your audio files to match the quality of their content.
- Receive exclusive partner offers for sample tracks and DAWs.
- Get free educational resources to make better sounding podcasts.
The free Basic plan lets you upload any type of audio as long as it’s not longer than three hours. Repost lets you syndicate and monetize from your content to further grow your audience. There’s also an opportunity to apply for their premium services program for greater reach.
Finally, the Pro Unlimited plan gives you access to its premium features like scheduled releases, mastering up to free tracks, and more.
Best freemium podcast hosting platform
Most platforms listed here offer limited trial periods to get you to sign up to their premium services. Podomatic flips the script by allowing people to sign up for free and enjoy generous limits for growing their audience.
- Upload and store up to six hours (500 MB) worth of audio content for free.
- Allow listeners to enjoy 15 GB bandwidth (good for 180 hours) a month
- Connect with your Patreon account to build an audience willing to pay for your content.
- Play your podcast on Facebook and Twitter feeds.
- Pay anytime you’re ready to upgrade your account – no trial periods!
The free plan is good enough to help beginners establish themselves first as a podcaster. Once the demand for their episodes increases, they can level up to paid plans for greater storage and bandwidth.
The podcast hosting platforms featured above should prove to you that there’s one for every type. For example, podcasters looking to level up might want to check out Audioboom’s monetization opportunities. For those whose target audience are PWDs, they will find lots to love with Fusebox’s auto transcription feature.
Beginners can do with a podcast hosting service that’s simple and easy to use. That said, Buzzsprout not only possesses the features that all podcasters look for in a hosting site, but there’s no denying the raving reviews it got from customers.
To see if Buzzsprout is for you, click here to sign up for a free account.