Okay before we start looking to explore what best podcast hosting sites we have, let’s start with the basics.
There are 100 million+ podcast listeners in the US alone, and all the podcasters have to begin with choosing their podcast hosting provider of choice.
There are a ton of podcast platforms comparison available there with similar features. And choosing the best option from top podcast sites can be a frustrating and time-consuming task.
Now, are you dreaming of starting the next hugely successful podcast and sharing your audio content with the world? That’s great! However, podcasting isn’t as easy as recording audio and uploading it to iTunes.
Now let’s answer the question of the best places to upload podcasts. So Let’s get started.
What is Podcast Hosting and Why You Need it?
Podcast hosting offers to store and deliver media files associated with a podcast.
Just like you need a website hosting service to store all your website files, podcast hosting is a specialized service that provides the same but for your podcast’s media files.
Now you may be thinking, couldn’t I just use my website hosting to store my podcast files as well? Well, You can do that, but that wouldn’t be great for your podcast listeners.
You see, podcast episodes are large files. Delivering them from the hosting server will take a lot of server resources. This will make your website slower, and it may even crash during high load.
If several users start downloading at the same time, then most shared hosting services have a processing limit that will simply block the processes exceeding those limits. This means users will not be able to download your podcast.
And that’s precisely why you need podcast servers.
How do you pick the best one?
I want to make your choice more accessible by providing information on the best podcast hosting to help you find the perfect fit for your new podcast. There are enterprise options, free options, and everything in between – it all depends on what you want.
To be frank, podcast hosting comparison is a pretty difficult job to do, As most of them offer nearly the same features with one plus or minus here and there.
I have reviewed and ranked these companies based on reliability, technical support, monthly upload volume, price, compliance, storage, ease of use, marketing features, monetization, integrations with apps, and more.
Here are my top picks for the best podcast hosting in 2021.
The Best Podcast Hosting for Beginners (Free – $12/month + $20 Amazon Gift Card).
You must have probably heard about it as they provide the best podcast servers that have been in business since 2009 and are trusted by over 100,000 podcasters. Plus, they’re one of the only companies that offer their users a totally free plan with unlimited team member accounts. No doubt it is one of the best platform to host podcast.
Their free plan allows you to upload two hours of content which will be 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.
If you upgrade your podcast hosting account to one of their paid plans ranging from $12-24 per month. Buzzsprout will allow hosting multiple podcasts and gives you unlimited storage and 250GB of bandwidth per month (enough for 20,000 to 40,000 downloads).
Let’s now move onto some of its standout features they provide.
- 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
- Audio quality is also great as you can upgrade to 128k stereo optimization for better sound.
- They offer an easy-to-use analytics dashboard with an algorithm that estimates how many listeners each episode receives within the first 90 days.
- It is super easy to upload and schedule your podcast. Simply upload your audio file, change the episode title and description, and submit your podcast to any important directories
- one of the key features is you can easily add episode chapter markers.
- Enabled with the text editor for your show notes
- And one of the podcast syndication platforms you are looking for.
I recommend you get started for free and then upgrade to any plan you want based on how many hours of content you plan to upload each month. It is the best platform to start a podcast if you are just a beginner and with little technical know-how.
Best and Easy Podcast Hosting (Free – $9/Month + Pro Themes).
PodBean is my #2 recommendation, with distribution, unlimited hosting services, and promotion on Google Play, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Alexa, and all the major apps and directories.
PodBean has been in the main podcast platforms space for more than 10 years and is touted as one of the easiest-to-use hosts on this list. Also, it is considered to have one of the best podcast distribution options available in the space.
To get started, they too have a free plan. On this tier, you can upload up to 5 hours of content per month, but are only allowed 100GB of bandwidth. This open-source plan gives you some basic stats, but you need to upgrade to their $9/month plan to get more detailed analytics.
Best Built-In Podcast Analytics ($19-99/month).
The transistor is a high-quality, professional service that hosts some popular podcasts including Honeybadger, Drift, and Cards Against Humanity. According to me it’s really the best host for the podcast.
Known to provide their podcasters with absolutely everything they need to grow their podcast audience. This podcast hosting software provides managing multiple users per account, hosting unlimited shows, distributing your podcast, generating branded websites with your own domain name, and viewing advanced analytics.
Their analytics tools are where they stand out against other podcasting websites. Their dashboards show you trends and stats like average downloads per episode, the number of subscribers, and downloads over time.
Additionally, if you use another hosting platform like Libsyn or Anchor, you can easily import your existing feed into Transistor with simple migration tools. It also connects with other top podcast hosting sites.
If you take podcast analytics seriously, start your 14-day free trial of Transistor (and get 2 months free when paid annually).
Best for Marketing and Growing Audience (Starts from $19/Month).
Captivate is an amazing new podcast host that is super-focused on growing podcast audiences. They are created by Rebel Base Media, which also runs the Podcast Websites. There are a couple of useful things like smart UI features, batch uploadings like WordPress integration with their custom plugin, default schedule time, and a lot more podcast network hosting features.
All plans come with unlimited team members, a new podcast player, an unlimited number of podcasts, advanced analytics, and marketing tools.
The amazing growth features they provide are their automatic podcast website and built-in calls to action. Every plan comes with a customizable, mobile-friendly website with donation support built-in. Second, you can build your email list and generate new leads with podcast player calls to action. For example, if someone is listening to your podcast player, they can sign-up directly to your email list via an opt-in form.
Captivate is also constantly improving its analytics software. They use the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to create more insightful intelligence to track the performance of your show. Clearly, they are giving a tough fight to other audio hosting sites.
Best WordPress Podcast Hosting Solution (Starts from $19/month).
Castos Podcast Hosting is a full-featured solution that integrates seamlessly with WordPress. They are a new podcast platform that was founded in 2017 and made it to the top 10 podcast platforms. They own the Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin where you can manage your feed and upload new episodes right from WordPress.
Their plans range starts from $19 to $49 per month. With the higher tier plans, you get full podcast video hosting and can republish to YouTube.
Another amazing feature they provide is automatic transcription – when you upload your audio file, it returns a transcription to your Castos dashboard within a few minutes. You can download the PDF version and add it to your site, or either copy and paste this transcription into WordPress.
Powering Top Brands with Industry-Leading Features (Starts from $15/Month).
One Line: They live up to their name and state displayed on the website.
For one, their embeddable players are some of the smoothest and best-looking I’ve ever seen. You also get detailed analytics for anyone who uses it.
Simplecast has been around for over 6 years and now powers some of the largest brands in podcasting, including Nike, Facebook, Kickstarter, and HBO.
They provide their podcasters powerful tools at any stage of podcasting with different web players, a fully-functioning website, one-click publishing, and advanced analytics tools.
Simplecast has three paid plans you can choose from:
- Basic Plan ($15/month): Two member accounts, customizable show website, 20k downloads per month, Unlimited storage and uploads, an embeddable web player, and email support.
- Essential Plan ($35/month): All basic plan features, plus additional web players, two extra user seats, 50k downloads per month, location (country and state/region) and technology (apps, browsers) analytics, and the addition of chat support.
- Growth Plan ($85/month): All features of previous plans, plus ISP analytics,5 more extra user seats, 120k downloads per month, and detailed metro area location analytics.
Offers Best Storage Capacity (Starts from $18/Month + One Month Free)
Spreaker is a mobile-focused site with its Speaker Studio platform. It is available for both desktop and mobile devices. It is considered as one of the best podcast streaming platforms available.
Their free basic plan provides limited 5 hours of storage and a single session allowance of 15 minutes. You need to upgrade to one of their three plans to get unlimited streaming and more storage.
Their paid plans have some strong features like schedule episodes, the ability to embed widgets on your website, and even order your mobile app.
Their Broadcaster, On-Air Talent, and Anchorman plans have amazing features. All plans give podcasters to show intro insertions for ads, private episode sharing, and ad revenue sharing for monetization.
Best Toolbox of Podcasting Software ( Starts from $8/Month)
Fusebox is an amazing invention manifested by the 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 produce the perfect podcasting tool than a prolific podcaster himself?
Fusebox has a lot of great features, including email capture (one of the only podcast players to offer this) and other more top-notch features. They also provide RSS hosting to connect your RSS feed.
They provide a transcript plugin with SEO-friendly live text that automatically adds podcast transcripts to your website.
And how about the player working, it’s very straightforward.
Just install the Fusebox WordPress plugin and add your RSS feed. Next, enter your subscription URLs to push your show to the important directories. Finally, customize the colors of your podcast player, and then add the player to your pages and posts.
More Podcast Hosting Companies
Here are the other most popular podcast platforms you can look for. These podcast providers do have their own unique advantages when it comes to podcast hosting costs for beginners, brands, or enterprise-level use.
My first podcast host (many years ago) that I had heard about was Blubrry which came out on top of my list, even though more “big” names were used or recommended by other podcast hosts.
A lot has changed since then and they wouldn’t be my top choice today, but they still deserve a mention.
The main reasons I heard them back then were:
- the easy integration they provided with their PowerPress plugin for WordPress
- advanced industry-leading statistics included free with your open source podcast hosting
- “no-fault” overage – you can upload more than your monthly limit without being charged extra
You can find a more in-depth look at Blubrry in this review.
Their plans start from $12/month for 100MB of audio storage per month. Depending on the episode quality and length, that should be enough for at least 1 episode per week.
PodServe.fm lets you host unlimited podcasts with a bandwidth of 2,000GB per month. That’s enough for over 50K downloads per month according to me.
The most important benefit is that you will get free promotion on PodParadise, a podcast directory that gets 1000 visitors/month.
These make everything really easy to start up and get listed everywhere.
Pricing is from $19/month and if you do happen to have a ton of downloads, you can pay $20 per 3,000GB.
Podcasts.com is a free podcast upload site with unlimited everything (podcasts, storage, bandwidth) and has a large directory of shows to choose from. Also, have a free RSS podcast hosting available.
The anchor hosting podcast is probably the most well-known free podcast platform. Known for its self host podcast concept, it’s one of the best free podcast sites to try. Their podcast hosting app is also easy and very interactive.
Their main focus is on mobile podcasting, but you can also use their web platform to manage and edit your episodes.
They also have a built-in ad platform, simple editing of your audio files, and are constantly adding new features.
One big downside is that you cant change the email address in your RSS feed, which is used to verify your podcast on many services.
Podcast Websites is an all-in-one podcast platforms that include web hosting, unlimited podcast hosting, a WordPress website, domain name, email address, and a ton more.
You can easily build your email list as they connect to many of the top email service APIs too.
They also included their Academy membership to help you learn with their video library.
Two long-time (and well-known) podcasters produced this so they have a great understanding of what new podcasters need.
Check out Podcast Websites here. You can use the coupon code HOSTME for $10 off per month or try free, this podcast hosting provider.
Podiant “makes it incredibly simple to begin and grow a podcast” – with unlimited storage all starts for $12.99/month.
Some of the features include:
- A website with blog pages and posts
- Podcast analytics
- Auto-posting to YouTube
- Dropbox connection
- Social sharing
Backtracks claim to have “the world’s most advanced hosting platform with podcast analytics ”.
Their cost and set of features are probably overkilled if you’re just beginning. But if you run a decent size brand or media company, having easy access to advanced analytics is invaluable.
Many huge brands use them and they have a really good embeddable player along with clickable transcripts.
audioBoom lets you “host, monetize and distribute ” your podcast. They have a couple of various hosting tiers depending on how many downloads you achieve:
The “New podcasters” option is available from $9.99/month that allows you to publish up to 5 episodes per month with plays up to 10,000 per month.
Once you surpass 10K monthly downloads, you’ll get access to their sponsorships, targeted ad network, and branded partnerships. This is a great way to monetize your podcast once you begin getting some traction.
They also provide a tier for radio groups and podcast networks along with additional management and monetization options.
Libsyn is a podcast hosting service that has been around since 2004. They are mostly recommended because that’s what long-time podcasters have used and preferred it for years, but there are better free podcast services now.
Their dashboard and podcast server software badly need a new refresh. So they are not one of the best places to host podcasts.
Libsyn’s pricing plans start at $5/month with an upload limit of 50MB (which is too tiny for most people) so at a minimum, you will need the $15/month plan that bumps you up to 250MB of upload per month along with basic statistics.
Megaphone by Panoply is a podcasting platform designed for large, enterprise-level podcasts. Touted as a heavyweight podcast host, they also serve advertisers looking to reach these popular podcasts. Trust me this one was the most difficult in podcast hosting sites comparison to look for.
Their list of features for podcasters includes ad management, sales, dynamic ad insertion, and more. Very few podcast hosting options match the list of features they provide.
You’ll need to request an invite to get your podcast hosted on their platform. Although it appears they’re developing a plan for smaller podcasts soon.
RedCircle launched in February 2019 focused on “semi-pro” podcasters.
One of their unique features is the ability to cross-promote your podcast and reach out within audio hosting platform.
You can search for podcasts, reach out to them to pitch and set terms and swap pre-recorded messages promoting each other’s podcasts.
Fireside was created by 5by5 network founder Dan Benjamin. He and his peers create a lot of podcasts and know the industry well. Fireside is an all-in-one platform in that you get a nice looking website, podcast hosting, and podcast statistics.
They keep things easy: there is 1 plan for $19/month – unlimited everything.
Other Platforms that are more than Podcasting
Squarespace Podcast Hosting
Squarespace is an e-commerce platform and website, but you can use it to host your podcast as well.
While technically they are not free, if you already pay for a website through them you can add a podcast for free.
Though it’s not a core feature, they do give you an audio player and an RSS feed. Here are more details.
SoundCloud Podcast Hosting
SoundCloud as podcast host has the feature to be used as a free podcast host, but their podcasting features are limited compared to other sound hosting sites.
You get up to 3 hours of storage free. If you want unlimited uploading, it will cost you $135/yr. You can upload 30 hours per week with that option.
My suggestion is that you avoid other paid options as you only upload 6 hours of content.
Commonly Asked Questions
A podcast host is a place to distribute and store your podcast’s audio files. They provide a podcast RSS feed that you can submit to Apple Podcasts and other podcast directories.
They provide web players, analytics, scheduling tools, and other features for publishing and growing your podcast quickly.
Some of the platforms also integrate social sharing features, ad networks, and additional distribution options.
On average, pricing for podcast hosting ranges from $5/month to $50/month.
Pricing varies depending on which platform you go with, how many downloads you get, and how many episodes you produce, .
To make things slightly more complicated, different platforms base the pricing on downloads, Megabytes (MB), hours, or bandwidth.
Most folks don’t spend more than $15/month when starting out. If you have a famous podcast, you could easily pay way more.
Of course, you can, but I don’t recommend it. If a service is free, that means you or your data privacy is generally compromised.
Look at Facebook and other platforms, all the issues with data privacy lately.
Free podcast hosting platforms can shutdown anytime (and your podcast along with them!), so play it safe and go with a paid service.
Not all podcast hosting platforms are the same. Some are designed for brands, beginners, or enterprise customers – with costing to match.
Compare podcast hosting at customer service, audio quality, ease of use, pricing, embed players, analytics, storage options, and more to help you choose the right host for your needs. I would recommend starting with the Best Podcast Hosting section at the top of this page.