If you’re researching your podcast options and want to see exactly how Castos and Anchor stack up? We’re giving you a straightforward look at how Castos compares as an Anchor alternative for your podcasting needs.
Looking For An Anchor Alternative? Meet Castos
From the very beginning, Castos and Anchor are quite different podcasting platforms. We hear a lot of podcasters who started their first show on Anchor and, after a while were ready to “Graduate” to a more feature-rich podcasting platform that can serve the needs of a more savvy content creator.
If this sounds like you, keep reading because Castos may be perfect for you as an alternative to Anchor.
Castos Features Compared To Anchor
Castos is an excellent choice if you’re looking to move up from using Anchor for your podcast hosting needs. Especially if you have moved on past the beginning phases of podcasting and need more features to support your show.
We offer additional features, straightforward pricing, and the peace of mind that we’re committed to podcasters in the long run.
Here’s precisely how Anchor compares to Castos.
Upload & Bandwidth Limits
Unlimited uploads, podcasts, and episodes on all plans.
Unlimited uploads, podcasts, and episodes on Anchor.
Core features included within our Starter Plan for $19/month.
Earn 2 months free with our annual plans.
This is a big difference. Anchor is entirely free.
But, they can make their platform entirely free because they associate ads with your content.
Use Seriously Simple Podcasting to manage your podcast directly from WordPress.
Publish episodes, customize the embeddable player, and view analytics from one dashboard.
If you have a WordPress website for your podcast, you’ll have to sync content between Anchor and your show’s website manually.
Automatically Convert & Publish Podcast To YouTube
Use Castos’ automatic YouTube Republishing to convert episodes into video files and publish them to YouTube.
Host both your audio and video files with Castos.
Anchor does not currently support video republishing to YouTube at all.
Uploaded Files Not Altered
Castos doesn’t alter your files, ever. The files you upload to Castos are exactly the ones your listeners hear.
All files uploaded to Anchor are encoded as an M4A file at a relatively low fidelity, which creates audio quality loss over the original version you recorded and edited.
Manage Multiple Podcasts From One Account
Unique RSS feeds and podcast websites created for every new podcast series.
Currently, you can only have one podcast per account on Anchor. So if you have multiple shows, you’d need to create separate accounts, each with its own logins, analytics, etc.
Not available currently.
Use Your Own Domain Name For RSS Feed Link
RSS feed URL can be based on your current domain name for free either through Castos’ Custom Domain feature or via your WordPress site.
All RSS feed URLs are randomly generated by Anchor and cannot be modified.
Advanced Analytics For Every Plan
View listens by episode, geographic breakdowns, and listens by device and platform.
View listens by episode, geographic breakdowns, and listens by device and platform.
No Credit Card Required
Own your content and how it’s distributed. With Castos, we don’t alter your files and will never impose ads or branding on your content.
While Anchor is entirely free, we like to say “you get what you pay for”.
The downsides of using a free service to host and distribute your podcast is somewhere that company has to make money, and in the case of Anchor (owned now by Spotify) they do so by attaching their branding to your show. And they do this in a few different ways.
The first is by watermarking your podcast cover image with the Anchor logo. The one piece of visual identity your podcast has is now “co-owned” in a sense with your hosting provider. This isn’t ideal if you’re looking to build a brand for your podcast that will stand the test of time.
At Castos we never alter your podcast cover images, and in fact have created entirely free (yes, free, no watermarking, not even an email opt-in) podcast cover image design tools to make the process of creating eye-catching imagery for your podcast a breeze.
Here’s an example of a podcast hosted on Anchor and just a few of the places where the Anchor and Spotify branding are imposed on you and your show’s brand.
If you value the look and design of your podcast website, this is probably not what you want out of a website host.
Monetization, on your terms
When you host your podcast with Anchor, their platform will automatically insert ads into your podcast, without you having choices around what ads, for how long, and where they are placed.
So your podcast brand runs the risk of being associated with advertisers that are quite contrary to you, your brand, and your listeners’ core beliefs.
Castos takes the “you decide” model and gives you options around how you want to monetize your podcast. Whether that’s with advertisements, donations, and recurring paid subscriptions, you have full control over how your podcast is monetized, if at all.
Features You’ll Love At Castos
Aside from owning your brand and not having a 3rd party’s branding (literally) imprinted on your content, there are some really core features that Castos offers that give your podcast a greater chance for success than if you’re just hosting at Anchor.
Advanced Podcast Analytics
Castos Analytics is one of the most advanced in the industry. Giving you detailed listener information, in a privacy-first setting, around the listenership of your shows on a podcast and episode level.
Additionally, Castos’ analytics gives you information about where and how your listeners are tuning into your content.
This includes data points such as:
- Device type
- Operating System
- Mobile app
and of course
- Geographic Distribution, down to the city level
Customizable Podcast Websites and Themes
Every podcast should have a website that is the online presence for your show. This home base for your podcast should represent the brand look and feel for your show, and should be customizable to match each individual podcast.
Castos’ customizable podcast websites are a great example of what this should ideally look like.
Each podcast at Castos can choose from 3 customizable website themes. Each of these themes comes with all of the most important components of a great-looking podcast website, such as:
- Host Profiles
- Subscribe pages
- Social media links
- Individual episode pages
- Embeddable and customizable episode and playlist players
- Social sharing built into the player
- Support for audio and video playback
Automatic Distribution To All Major Podcasting Directories
Once you’ve built your podcast, submit it to the major listening directories and share it with the world.
But importantly, you want to do this on your terms, connected to your accounts.
Anchor is the only host in the industry that has a proprietary mechanism for submitting your podcast to Apple Podcasts.
While this sounds great on the surface, what you quickly realize is that you do not in fact, “own” your podcast there. Anchor (and thus Spotify) owns your podcast’s submission to the largest listening directory online.
With this, you are cut off from gathering additional insights about your podcast from Apple’s Podcasts Connect platform.
Within Apple’s Podcasts Connect platform, you can see information about percent completed for episodes and other valuable listener information. But you can’t do that if you host with Anchor.
One-click import of your existing podcast from Anchor
Migrating your podcast from one hosting provider to another can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.
Castos’ automatic importer allows you to quickly search for your podcast, import it, and provides detailed instructions about how to redirect your RSS feed when it’s time.
Castos makes podcasting with WordPress seamless with our Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin. With Anchor, you’ll spend more time managing your podcast between two platforms.
If you’re looking to tightly integrate your podcast to your WordPress site, look no farther than Seriously Simple Podcasting by Castos.
With Seriously Simple Podcasting, you can manage your podcast directly from the WordPress dashboard you know and love. With robust features and an intuitive interface, there’s a reason over 30K+ podcasters trust Seriously Simple Podcasting.
Here’s everything you can do directly from your WordPress dashboard using Seriously Simple Podcasting:
- Upload audio and video podcast episodes directly to WordPress
- Files are automatically synced with your podcast hosting provider (like Castos)
- Display podcast episode lists, single episodes, or playlists anywhere on your site
- Change embedded player settings with customized colors and episode images
- Feature custom subscribe links to any podcast listening platform
- View episode analytics within WordPress dashboard
Automatically republish your podcast to YouTube with Castos and be discovered by their 2 billion monthly users.
Many podcasters choose to film video while recording new episodes to repurpose their podcast for YouTube. With Castos’ Pro Plan, you can host your video and audio files for one low price.
If you haven’t started filming videos alongside your episode recordings, try our Growth Plan. Each time you upload a new episode to Castos, we’ll convert the audio files into a video format and add a static background image. Then we’ll republish the episode to your YouTube channel automatically.
YouTube Republishing is not available at Anchor. For those repurposing a podcast into video content, Castos’ automatic YouTube republishing tool saves you time and headaches.
See how easy it is to set up Automatic YouTube Republishing with Castos’ Growth Plan.
Castos doesn’t alter your files in any way when you upload them to your dashboard. Anchor can’t promise that.
Anchor automatically converts uploaded files to 96kbps not matter which bitrate you might have previously set when editing the episode. For those who don’t spend anytime editing their audio files, this won’t be a big deal.
But for the podcasters who spend timing editing and mixing each episode, having the hosting provider automatically alter the final file can be a game changer.
Castos doesn’t touch our customer’s uploads and leaves the episode exactly how you envisioned it to sound. At Anchor, you don’t have any control over the re-encoding of your podcast files when you upload them to the platform.