Best Podcast Hosting Platforms

Top Podcasting Platforms (2020)

Starting a new podcast can be exciting!

However, you need a host for your podcast. And there are several podcasting platforms available to choose from to host your podcast. 

This can be an overwhelming and frustrating decision to make.

The reviews below outline the best podcast hosting to help make your decision easier.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for further details.

What is a podcast platform?

A podcast platform, or host, is where your podcast files (.mp3 files) are kept and made available as an RSS feed to podcast directories. The directories make the podcasts available to listeners.

Below is a list of the top podcasting platforms.

And if you're looking for a web host as well, here are our top recommendations.

Additionally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about podcasting platforms after the podcast hosting service descriptions.

But first, let’s discuss some things to look for in a podcast hosting site.

How to evaluate podcast hosting websites

Here are the most important features to think about when selecting a podcast host.

  • Cost and free trial availability
    • While there are free and low-cost plans available, it doesn't cost much to ensure you have a reliable, high-quality podcast hosting service.
  • Support and ease of migration
    • Migration capabilities are important to consider, whether needed now or potentially in the future.
  • Audio quality
    • Listen to other podcasts that use the service you are looking at to ensure the audio is clear.
    • If you don't have high-quality audio, you will have a hard time retaining listeners to your podcast.
  • Embedded media player
    • This gives you the ability to embed a podcast episode in a related blog post or a different website.
  • Bandwidth and storage
    • It is important to understand any limitations to avoid added costs or being forced to move to a higher tier plan.
      • Thankfully most plans are unlimited for both bandwidth and storage.
      • However, if it is not unlimited, be sure to take this into consideration.
  • Analytic capabilities
    • The ability to track important data around your podcasts, which may include:
      • Views
        • Time of day
        • Location
      • Comments
      • Likes
      • User retention
    • This helps you understand your audience better allowing you to grow your podcast efficiently.

Differentiating podcasting platforms

When evaluating the different platforms, you need to decide what features are important to you. More importantly, think about why you are starting a podcast and what features affect the experience for your listeners.

Most hosting sites offer a free trial, so you may want to try a few and see what you like about them.

Additionally, what is important now with Episode 0 may not be the same as what is important when you’re on Episode 125. So, the second item listed above, ease of migration, may be more important to consider now even though it probably isn’t on your mind at this point.

Finally, while monetization of your blog may not be something you are thinking about today, it may be in the future.

And probably should be. Advertising revenues for podcasting continues to grow each year.

With those points in mind, here are the top platforms.

What are the top podcasting platforms?

1. PodBean

PodBean Podcast Hosting

PodBean has been providing innovative podcasting services, and improving upon them, since 2006. It provides free and premium hosting packages.

PodBean has a user-friendly interface that requires minimal technical knowledge to get your podcast published. You also have the ability to record and publish using the PodBean app.

The free plan is pretty limited. Additionally, video and more advanced monetization capabilities aren't available until you move up to the Unlimited Plus plan.

Features

  • Share and embed tools
  • Record and publish from the PodBean app
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Unlimited storage
  • Customizable podcast site and ability to integrate with an existing website
  • Enhanced, downloadable statistics
  • Integrated monetization tools, including:
    • Sponsorship opportunities
    • Ability to sell premium podcast content
    • Crowdfunding

Pricing

PodBean Podcasting Platform Pricing
  • Free Podcast Starter plan (Hosted episodes don’t expire)
  • Approx. 25-35% discount for annual billing on Unlimited Plans

For the ability to have support for video and to maximize monetization of your podcast, I recommend the Unlimited Plus plan.

2. Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout Podcast Hosting

Buzzsprout is highly rated and is used by some of the top podcasts, including Pat Flynn’s Ask Pat podcast. Buzzcast has been around since 2009.

Again, the free plan is pretty limited. You are limited to publishing 2 hours of podcasting each month. Additionally, posted episodes are only hosted for 90 days using the free plan.

The plans are differentiated by the number of hours that can be uploaded each month. And all of the basic plans are limited to 250 GB of bandwidth per month. That is typically more than enough, but if you happen to exceed it, there is a Pro Plan available for $49 per month that allows up to 1 TB of bandwidth.

Features

  • Advanced podcast statistics
  • Customizable podcast player for your website
  • Automatic episode optimization
  • Publish scheduling
  • Podcast transcriptions
  • Episode chapter markers
  • Customizable, branded podcast website on your own domain

Pricing

Buzzsprout Podcasting Platform Pricing
  • 192k Stereo Optimization – $6/month
  • Episode Transcription – $0.01/minute
  • No annual billing option

Depending on how many hours of podcasting you expect to upload each month, Buzzsprout is a great option. Get a $20 Amazon Gift card when you try Buzzsprout.

3. Transistor

Transistor Podcast Hosting

Transistor is a little different in how it prices its plans. Each plan is differentiated by the number of downloads per month.

The Starter Plan starts with 10,000 downloads per month. This is sufficient for anyone just starting out. According to Transistor, only 10% of podcasts exceed 1000 downloads per episode.

However, if you need more, a Professional and Business Plan are available. The higher-tier plans also allow access to additional team members.

Features

  • Advanced Analytics
  • Host unlimited shows
  • Smart podcast player to embed on your website or in a tweet
  • Branded websites
  • Easily move from another host

Pricing

Transistor Podcasting Platform Pricing
  • Free 14-day trial for all plans
  • Two months free for annual plans

Transistor is a great option based on their straightforward pricing plans and user-friendly platform.

4. Captivate

Captivate Podcast Hosting

Captivate is a new hosting service that is focused on growth. However, the team behind Captivate isn’t new to podcasting. It is the same team behind Podcast Websites.

Captivate has a similar pricing plan as Transistor, based on the number of downloads per month.

Captivate has one of the nicer podcast players. It allows for just about any customization you can think of to make your brand stand out.

Features

  • Advanced analytics
  • Branded podcast player
  • Unlimited podcasts
  • Unlimited team members
  • Automatic, customizable podcast website
  • Auto-publish new episodes to your WordPress website

Pricing

Captivate Podcasting Platform Pricing
  • Free 7-day trial for all plans
  • No annual plan available

5. Castos

Castos Podcast Hosting

The team behind Castos has over a decade of podcasting experience. Their goal is to make podcasting easy and accessible to all.

Castos provides seamless integration with WordPress using the available Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress Plugin. This makes it easy to upload files from the WordPress dashboard.

Features

  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Unlimited podcasts and episodes
  • Easy migration
  • Manage from WordPress
  • Automated transcripts
  • Personalized podcast website
  • Customizable podcast player

Pricing

Castos Podcasting Platform Pricing
  • Free 14-day trial for all plans
  • Two months free for annual plans
  • Video republishing to YouTube available on the Growth Plan
  • Video podcast hosting available on the Pro Plan
  • $0.10 per minute automated transcription service
  • 20% fee for paid subscriptions (premium content)

Get started with Castos without entering any credit card information.

6. Blubrry

Blubrry Podcast Hosting

Blubrry is based 100% in the United States and has been in business since 2005.

Blubrry has a state of the art content delivery network, accurate statistics, and easy integration with WordPress.

Features

  • WordPress podcast website integration
  • Professional statistics
  • Free media migration and importing
  • Modern player
  • Long-tail podcasting
    • Edit and republish old content without counting toward the data quota for the current month
  • Storage with no-fault overage
    • Ability to exceed monthly data quota without needing to upgrade plan

Pricing

Blubrry Podcasting Platform Pricing
  • Advanced statistics available starting at $5 per month
  • No annual plans available

Try Blubrry for streamlined podcasting from within your website.

7. Spreaker

Spreaker Podcast Hosting

Spreaker is a robust podcast hosting platform based in Brooklyn, NY. It also includes a broad listener database.

Spreaker was acquired by Voxnest, an audio technology company, in 2018.

Features

  • Real-time statistics
  • Monetization program
  • Live podcasting
  • Customizable player

Pricing

Spreaker Podcasting Platform Pricing
  • Discount for annual plans
  • Additional plans for enterprise solutions
  • Advanced and full statistics available on higher-tier plans

Start your podcast on Spreaker for free.

Other podcasting platforms to consider

The podcast host websites above are the ones we recommend. However, below are several more for you to consider if the ones above aren’t a good fit.

Libsyn

Libsyn Podcast Hosting

Libsyn (Liberated Syndication) is one of the oldest podcasting hosts, founded in Pittsburgh, PA in 2004.

You have the ability to schedule the publishing of your podcasts to different directories at different times.

Libsyn has been an official podcast launch partner for Pandora, Spotify, and Radio.com.

Additionally, Libsyn will create a personalized iOS/Android app for your podcast.

Features

  • Advanced statistics
  • Apple Podcasts optimization
  • Scheduled publishing
  • WordPress integration
  • Customized audio and video media player
  • Podcast page mini site
  • Monetization tools

Pricing

Lisbyn Pricing
  • No annual or free or unlimited plans
  • Additional storage plans of 1500 MB and 3000 MB are available for $75 per month and $150 per month
  • An Enterprise Solution is available as well
  • $2 per month to use your own domain
  • Can add 200 MB storage per month and have a customized mobile app for $10 per month each

Get started with Libsyn today.

Simplecast

Simplecast Podcast Hosting

Used by several prominent brands, including Facebook, Nike, Target, and Marriott.

Simplecast also comes with Recast, the industry's first listener-powered audiogram tool. It allows listeners to share custom clips of your podcasts on social media.

Features

  • Unlimited storage and uploads
  • Streamlined workflows for publishing and distributing podcasts
  • Advanced audio analytics platform
  • Simple migration
  • Embeddable web player

Pricing

Simplecast Pricing
  • Free 14-day trial for all plans
  • Discounted annual plans

Get started with Simplecast today.

Podomatic

Podomatic Hosting

Podomatic partners with both Patreon and Advertisecast to help monetize your podcast. They've also partnered with Weebly to provide the website builder to premium level members.

Features

  • Pro statistics
  • Promotion tools
  • Monetization tools using Patreon
  • Weebly website builder included in the premium level plan

Pricing

Podomatic Pricing
  • Free basic plan available
  • Free 2 months with annual plans

Get started with Podomatic today.

Podiant

Podiant Hosting

Podiant was founded in 2016 and works directly with creators to help them produce their shows.

All plans come with unlimited storage. Additionally, Podiant includes planning features that help schedule recording times and share scripts in realtime.

Features

  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Flexible website
  • On-click distribution to podcast directories

Pricing

Podiant Pricing
  • Free 14-day trial
  • No annual plan

Get started with Podiant today.

Backtracks

Backtracks Hosting

Backtracks has an impressive team behind the platform. They have worked on space station software, hold multiple patents, and have built e-commerce and payment systems.

Backtracks has built a highly-scalable, globally-distributed system optimized for podcasts and audio files.

Features

  • Unlimited audio duration
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Number of shows based on the plan

Pricing

Backtracks Pricing
  • Free 14-day trial
  • Discount for annual plans
  • Transcriptions and custom player theme available on some plans for an extra monthly fee

Get started with Backtracks today.

Zencast

Zencast Hosting

Not to be confused with Zencastr, an online tool for recording remote guests on your podcast, Zencast is another option with a free trial you may want to consider trying.

Features

  • Unlimited episodes
  • Unlimited downloads
  • Smart podcast player
  • Podcast website

Pricing

Zencast Pricing
  • Free 14-day trial
  • Discount for annual plans

Get started with Zencast today.

Anchor

Anchor Podcast Hosting

Anchor is unique in that it is completely free. There are no paid features.

Features

  • Unlimited free hosting
  • One-click distribution
  • Monetization program
  • Straightforward analytics (<1 minute)

Pricing

  • Free

It is free and is a simple platform to use. However, you’ll be missing out on additional features that help build your brand.

Unfortunately, free isn’t always better.

But it is free, so if you want to see if it works for you, get started with Anchor today.

Frequently asked questions about podcasting platforms

Podcasting platforms summary

There are several items to consider when choosing a podcast hosting service. And each provider has a different set of features.

Our top picks are:

But if you are a new podcaster, we recommend you take advantage of the free trials available from many of the providers. Then you can move forward with the podcast host that is the best fit for your podcast.

Do you have a favorite podcast hosting service? What are the features you like the most about it?

Please share in the comments below.

Best Podcast Hosting Sites

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