Best Podcast Hosting Services in 2023
In 2005, podcasting had just started and it was an untapped market. Many people had grown tired of listening to political talk shows and top 40 radio stations. Over time, it has become cheaper and easier to create a podcast, and over 162 million people in the U.S. have now listened to a podcast. A huge surge compared to the 11 million in 2006.
There are many podcast hosting services available to handle over the 2 million podcasts that now exist worldwide. These services are of varying quality. Some podcasts are fully-staffed, professionally produced programs that bring a lot of revenue and listeners. Others are less technical and made as a hobby for niche interests. Anyone can find something that interests them.
How Do Podcasts Get Distributed?
If you are looking into creating a podcast, you will also need to get familiar with the top distribution service before you go live.
After you have recorded and edited an episode of a podcast, the next step is to release it to the world. You have probably noticed that the same podcasts are listed on many platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Audible. But how do they get there?
It would be a lot of work to upload your podcast to all those sites every time you have a new episode. That is why there are so many podcast hosting service options. You subscribe to one of those services, and that’s where you upload your show. The service then distributes it to all the platforms where people download their podcast choices.
Top Podcast Service Providers
Listed below are some of the most popular choices for podcast hosting services. These options vary in features and price point. But there is a service that will fit into any budget. Some of the options will work even if you have no budget at all.
How often you release new episodes and how long those episodes are will determine which service you choose. Podbean is one of the most widely used podcast hosting services. Like many of the other sites, they have a pricing tier. You can get minimal storage and features for free.
Podbean will not cost you anything until you have more than five hours of content. They offer you a free website for your podcast as well. While the free option is there, many go for the plan that is $24.99 per month, which gives you unlimited storage, and a customized URL for your website.
Soundcloud was created to give small, independent musicians a place to share their work. But, the Swedish company have embraced the podcasting community as well. You can easily create a podcast using Soundcloud. They will assign you an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, which is what you will need to enable people to subscribe to your show.
Soundcloud is a good value for what you get. You do not have to pay anything if your content is under 3 hours. For $12 per month, you can get unlimited storage and lots of help with customized URLs and a player that can be embedded into your website.
Spreaker is a hosting service run by iHeartRadio. It has a lot of tools for both the podcast hobbyist and those that do it professionally. Spreaker is the first service on our list that will allow you to do live episodes. So if you want to create your podcast in a more traditional broadcasting way, this could be the service for you.
Spreaker has packages that range from free to a little on the pricey side. If you want to try the service, you can upload up to 10 episodes for free. Their middle-of-the-road package is $20 per month, will give you up to 500 hours of storage, uploads to some of the top platforms automatically, and will help you monetize your work.
For people who are brand new to podcasting, Buzzsprout has an easy-to-use interface that makes publishing new episodes as simple as possible. All you have to do is upload your file, and they take care of the rest. Your content will be submitted to the biggest podcast directories without you having to do anything.
Buzzsprout also includes a WordPress plugin to help you design your website and an embeddable player. The downside is the pricing. You can upload 2 hours of content for free every month. However,$12 per month only gets you 3 hours. You can go as high as $24 for 12 hours per month, but with many services offering unlimited content for the same price or less, this might not seem like a great deal.
Blubrry has been around for a long time, and it is used by many of the top names in podcasting. One of the things people love about Blubrry is their WordPress plugin called PowerPress, which lets you manage your podcast right from your website.
They do not have an unlimited storage plan, but many of their users love the detailed analytics and statistics they provide. The analytics Blubrry provides can be valuable in knowing what parts of your show people like and who your demographic is.
Blubrry has a standard plan for $10 per month that will give you 125 megabytes of storage, or you can bump it to 400 megabytes for $17 per month.
Spotify is the parent company that owns Anchor.FM. It is a powerful hosting service that is free. And with your free account, you get unlimited storage, video podcast uploads, monetization, and the ability to make live episodes. Anchor even gives your listeners a place to leave a voicemail for you that you can later use on your podcast.
Anchor.FM seems too good to be true for a lot of people. With so many services charging for the same things, how do they do it for free? Anchor.FM partners with podcasts to generate advertising dollars through a revenue share. That way Anchor.FM can offer the same services for free that you would pay for on other platforms.
There are a lot of podcast hosting services. Based on your needs, the frequency of your show, and the number of your episodes, you’ll need to find the one that fits your needs. It may be one of the easier decisions you will make as a podcaster, but it’s one that could affect the longevity of your show.
What podcasting hosting service do you use and what do you like about it? Let us know in the comments below.