Looking for the best podcast hosting? Are you wondering which hosting service is right for your show?
You’ve come to the right place.
Below, we’ve reviewed and compared the best podcast hosting sites on the market today and offered advice to help you choose the best option to host your show.
Before we get to that, though, let’s quickly recap…
Read to start your own podcast? Learn the nitty-gritty details of starting your own show in our comprehensive guide. Learn how to start a podcast.
What is Podcast Hosting?
In simplest terms, podcast hosting is a place where you store all your podcast audio files.
I like to explain it as a home for your podcast. Because that’s exactly what podcast hosting is – It’s where you store all your episodes and make them available for anyone who wants to listen to them.
Now, naturally, there is more to podcast hosting than this. Your podcast hosting platform also takes care of all the technical stuff, like storing and delivering your episodes to different places where people listen to podcasts.
For example, once you’ve stored your files there, your podcast hosting platform will provide you with an RSS feed, which is essentially a list of links to each episode along with other details–like your title, description, and image.
Anytime someone wants to listen to your show, they access audio files through those very links, and that’s regardless of whether they use Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google podcasts, or other services.
But in general terms, podcast hosting is the home for your podcast.
Why Do You Need a Podcast Hosting Platform or Service?
Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts are podcast directories. You want people to find your podcast on these places, but you can’t store your podcast on their servers. They just use your RSS link to display your podcast content. Listing your show on podcast directories is as simple as submitting your RSS link (in most cases).
Why can’t you host your podcast on your own site?
Because your web server probably isn’t configured for it. It isn’t optimized for audio files and can’t handle all the download requests you’ll (hopefully) get. You could purchase the right web hosting plan to store your own audio files, but that would be more expensive than using one of the podcast hosting services.
That said, podcast hosting services aren’t just folders for your audio files. They do a lot more than that–like providing analytics, WordPress integrations, support, and promotional tools.
What to look for in a podcast hosting platform?
Fact – You have so many options when it comes to podcast hosting. We review eight of the best podcast hosting platforms below, but there are even more on the market. So, how do you decide which podcast host is the best for you? Below, I’ve listed some factors that you should consider.
Storage space. Some podcast hosting providers offer unlimited storage space. Others restrict how many hours of audio you could upload each month on each pricing plan. At the same time, their prices also differ slightly, so consider how many episodes you want to publish each month and whether you need larger storage and bandwidth or not.
Scalability. Again, some podcast hosting options offer great features to new shows but might become too limited as your audience grows. At the same time, your show might not be in a position to need some of the bells and whistles right away. So, consider how quickly you want to scale your show in case you run into limitations of a smaller host.
Distribution: Check which podcast directories and platforms the hosting service supports to ensure your podcast can reach the desired audience.
Podcast website: Hosting may be the home for your audio files, but your show also needs a public presence – a website. Check if the podcast host provides you with one as part of their packages.
Monetization opportunities: Consider if the hosting service supports monetization features, such as dynamic ad insertion or integration with advertising networks, to generate revenue from your podcast potentially.
Podcast Hosting – 9 Best Platforms
Which podcast hosting platform is the best? That’s up to you to decide, of course. But we hope that our selection below will help you make your decision. As an overview, here is a comparison of the best podcast hosting providers that we think would be a good fit for your podcast.
The best podcast hosting platforms we’ve reviewed include:
We’d like to humbly start with ourselves. Our platform is a remarkably easy podcast hosting service with some powerful features to repurpose your content and grow your audience. You can either install our WordPress plugin, Seriously Simple Podcasting, and add a new podcast from your WordPress backend (just like adding a new page or post), or start uploaded new episodes directly to your Castos dashboard.
After starting your 14-day trial, you can access advanced analytics about your listeners, including where they’re from geographically, how they found your show, and the type of device they use to listen.
You can import all of your existing podcast content with one click, customize the media player so it fits in with your website, and automatically republish content to YouTube. You can even have each episode automatically transcribed, which is great for your website’s SEO strategy and makes your podcast more accessible.
Plans start at $19 per month. All come with unlimited storage, separate podcasts, and unlimited episodes. And all plans have generous download allowances. Higher priced plans give you access to video podcasting, advanced analytics insights, and YouTube republishing.
BuzzSprout is a popular podcast hosting service for new podcasters. Uploading, tracking, and sharing episodes is easy without any technical knowledge.
After uploading a new episode, you can schedule it to publish on all the major podcast directories and embed the an audio player on your website. Another advantage to Buzzsprout is that you can add chapter markers to your audio files to help your listeners understand details about different parts of each episode. You can also use their audio transcription service ($0.10 per minute) to generate content for your web pages.
Plans cost $12 to $24 per month with a limited free tier. This makes it one of the few options on our list of the best podcast hosting services to let you host your podcast for free. But they remove episodes after 90 days, so you’ll grow out of the free tier quickly. It’s also important to note each paid plan has storage limits so your total cost may exceed the base rates.
Learn how Castos differs from Buzzsprout to find out how our services compare.
Simplecast is a feature-heavy podcast hosting service that’s used by some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Shopify, TechCrunch, Facebook, Politico, and Harvard. It offers an easy upload workflow to get each episode published quickly.
Simplecast comes with IAB compliant, industry leading analytics tool called Audience. It helps you understand where your listeners are from and which parts of your show they share the most. It also comes with Recast, a podcast sharing tool that lets your listeners share custom clips of your episodes on social media.
Plans cost $15 to $85 per month. All plans allow unlimited uploads and storage. Higher tier plans give you more downloads, let you invite more team members to your team, embed and customize the audio player, and access analytics and insights.
Compare Castos and Simplecast to see how our features stack up against each other.
PodBean has been around since 2006, which makes it is a veteran in the podcast hosting space. Even though they’ve been around for a long time, they’ve shown a willingness to evolve and add more features.
All PodBean plans come with unlimited space and bandwidth, an embeddable media player, and website themes. You can record and publish right from the PodBean app.
Higher priced plans give you monetization options. You can work directly with sponsors on the platform to monetize your show using traditional ads or dynamic insertion ads. They even have their own version of Patreon where you can collect donations from listeners, including reward goals and tiers and custom pledges. You can also sell premium content, like bonus episodes, blocks of archived episodes, or file downloads (like PDFs). PodBean only takes 15% of your sales income.
Unlike many podcast hosting services, they will host video content as well. There’s even a feature to automatically create a YouTube version of your podcast and auto-upload it to your YouTube channel during publishing.
Plans cost $9 to $99 per month. There’s a free tier, but it’s extremely feature limited which isn’t useful for most podcasters. For instance, you don’t get the monetization features which is this host’s biggest selling point.
See how Castos and Podbean compare as you choose the right podcast hosting provider.
Blubrry is one of the most popular podcast hosting services. Like Castos, it has its own WordPress integration (PowerPress) that makes uploading and posting episodes quick and easy. It offers a wide range of price options, which is nice if you’re on a budget and only want to buy what you need. Blubrry can also supply you with a branded WordPress website if you need one.
Podcasters like Blubrry because it comes with a detailed analytics feature to tell you about your listeners – their location, domains, referrers, etc. This is useful for when you start finding sponsors for your show.
Plans cost $12 to $80 per month based on your storage space. $12/month gets you 100 MB/month, $20/month gets you 250 MB/month, $40/month gets you 500 MB/month, and $80/month gets you 1,000 MB/month. If you plan to produce a one-hour show each week, you’ll need the 500 MB at least. Fortunately, Blubrry offers “no fault overage,” which means they don’t penalize you if you exceed your maximum monthly storage by less than 25%.
See how Castos compares to Blubrry in our in-depth comparison.
Spreaker is a comprehensive podcast hosting platform. It has everything you need to create, distribute, and monetize your podcast. It comes with features to embed widgets on your website (or other sites), schedule episodes ahead of time, and create private episodes, and insert ads. The interface is modern and easy to use, making it ideal for new podcasters without much experience.
You can upload your audio file or use their desktop or mobile app to record your episode directly. It’s good podcast hosting for the podcaster on-the-go because of it’s live recording features. You can read listeners’ chat messages during live recordings,
Plans cost $6 to $45 per month. There’s a free plan, but it’s limited to just five hours of audio, so you’ll end up upgrading soon. The $6/month plan is alright, but it limits you to 45 minute episodes. If you think you’ll talk longer than that, you’ll need the $18/month plan, which is ideal for most podcasters.
Libsyn is one of the oldest podcast hosting services and thus the most popular. It’s been around longer than most people have known about podcasting. They actually pioneered the system of hosting and publishing podcasts. It hosts over 25,000 shows with 44 million downloaders.
Libsyn is known for his simple interface, easy RSS link generator, and analytics tools. You can publish your podcast any time in the future to podcast directories, independently of each other. For instance, you could publish to Apple Podcasts on Monday at 10AM and Spotify on Friday at 6PM.
For a setup fee and a few extra bucks per month, Libsyn will create an iOS/Android app for you. Imagine having your own app that only shows your content!
Podcast hosting plans through Libsyn cost $5 to $75 per month, which sounds remarkably cheap, but that’s become it doesn’t come with many features. Pricing tiers are based on storage, as well. There is no unlimited plan, but you can purchase extra increments of $200/month.
See how Castos and Libsyn stack up in our in-depth guide.
Anchor is a newer player in the podcast hosting space. Like Spreaker, they focus heavily on mobile devices. Their tools allow you to record, edit (including outros and intros), publish, promote, and monetize your podcast shows from any mobile device.
Since you record with your phone, your audio quality is limited by your microphone. The editing feature isn’t the best (certainly worse than doing it yourself), so the quality can be round.
Anchor is unique because it’s a free podcast hosting platform. Seriously, it’s 100% free. But free isn’t necessarily good, and definitely not in this case. According to Anchor’s terms and conditions, they technically own your content and can use it however they like, for free, forever. They can even modify it and share it with whomever they like.
So why do we include Anchor on our list of the best podcasting hosting services? Because it’s actually quite useful for podcast creators who don’t need a lot of polish. If you aren’t concerned about the little mistake and just want to bang out and share content, this might be the right platform for you.
CoHost stands out as one of the best podcast hosting platforms due to its user-friendly interface and robust features. The platform offers seamless episode uploading, one-click distribution to popular podcast directories, and detailed analytics to track performance.
Managing shows is easy on CoHost. It offers multi-show management, which lets you switch between client or brand shows without ever having to log out of your account. You can even invite team members or clients to your account while maintaining permissions.
CoHost offers marketing features as well. Use their customizable website to boost discoverability, link tracking to determine which campaigns work best, and AI transcripts for accessibility and SEO value.
CoHost has five pricing plans, so there’s definitely something to suit your needs. Get a custom quote by booking a demo.
What to Look for in Podcast Hosting Services
Okay–that’s a lot of information. When it comes to choosing a podcast hosting service, you may struggle to weigh all the variables. Here are the most important aspects to look for when you evaluate a potential host for your show.
1. Audio quality
The quality of your audio can make or break your podcast. Listeners will not stick with a podcast that doesn’t have super high quality audio. A good podcast host will do a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure that your audio quality doesn’t degrade.
How do you evaluate the audio quality of a podcast host before using their service? By listening to other podcasts that use that host. Most hosting services show off a list of some of their customers somewhere. Check to make sure the sound is crisp and clear.
2. Cost of service
Unless you have unlimited resources, cost is always a factor. Fortunately, the best podcast hosting services are not that expensive. But even a few dollars can seem like a lot when your podcast it doesn’t make any money. Choose a hosting service that is affordable, especially in the beginning. You can always migrate to another host later.
3. RSS feed
A big part of promoting your podcast is submitting your show to podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and other smaller services. Making your show available to more people is a cute way to grow your audience. Whichever podcast hosting service you decide to use should be able to give you a simple RSS link you can submit or post anywhere.
4. Embeddable media player
Unless you’re going to use a website produced by your podcast host, you’ll need the ability to embed a media player on your website. This is usually just a block of HTML that you drop into your website’s theme or on individual pages.
5. Flexible storage and bandwidth
If your podcast host doesn’t offer unlimited storage and bandwidth, make sure they have flexible plans that automatically scale based on the amount of content you publish and traffic your show gets. Do not use a podcast host that prevents listeners from accessing an episode if you have already met your bandwidth limit for the month.
6. Analytics tools
In order to grow your podcast as fast and efficiently as possible, you need to know everything you can about your audience. The best podcast hosting service you decide to use should give you as much information as possible about your listeners. It should display your podcast data in a visual, easy-to-understand format.
At Castos, we believe in measuring what matters. In your Castos account are a plethora of statistics about your podcast that will allow you to learn more about your audience. Learn more about podcast analytics.
As a content creator, you will undoubtedly want to integrate your podcast with other services, like your blog, YouTube channel, email marketing service, membership platform, or more. Choose a podcast host that offers integrations with the services you already use.
Castos users can extend the power of their podcast account with powerful integrations. Check them out.
FAQs About the Best Podcast Hosting Services
Here are some common questions people ask about podcast hosting services.
What is a podcast hosting service, and why do I need it?
A podcast hosting service is an online platform that allows podcasters to upload, store, and distribute their podcast episodes. You need it to have your podcast available on major directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Hosting services also offer analytics, monetization options, and other features to help manage your podcast.
What features should I look for in a podcast hosting service?
When choosing a podcast hosting service, look for features such as storage space, analytics and statistics, ease of use, publishing options, reasonable cost, monetization options, customer support, and compatibility with major podcast directories.
How much does a podcast hosting service cost?
The cost of a podcast hosting service varies depending on the features included and the amount of storage and bandwidth required. Some hosting services offer a free plan with limited features, while others may charge hundreds of dollars a month. Keep in mind that free plans are generally limited in terms of features, bandwidth, and storage space.
Can I switch podcast hosting services without losing my existing episodes?
Yes, you can switch podcast hosting services without losing your existing episodes. You will need to ensure that you properly migrate your podcast’s RSS feed and all of your media files to the new hosting service. Most hosting services provide instructions or tools to help you with this process.
Will a podcast hosting service help me get more listeners?
A podcast hosting service provides a platform for hosting and distributing your podcast, but it does not guarantee more listeners. You will need to actively promote your podcast through social media, guest appearances on other podcasts, and other marketing strategies to attract more listeners.
How much storage space do I need for my podcast?
The amount of storage space you need for your podcast depends on the length and frequency of your episodes and the audio quality. As a rough estimate, 1 hour of high-quality audio can take up around 100-150 MB of storage space.
Can I monetize my podcast through a hosting service?
Some podcast hosting services offer monetization options, such as dynamic ad insertion, sponsorships, and listener donations. However, you will need to meet certain requirements, such as minimum download numbers or listener demographics, before you can monetize your podcast.
Is it possible to host my podcast for free?
Yes, it is possible to host your podcast for free with some podcast hosting services. However, free plans often have limited storage space, bandwidth, and features, and may include advertising or branding from the hosting service. Paid plans usually offer more benefits and control over your podcast.
How do I submit my podcast to major directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify through a hosting service?
Most podcast hosting services have an automated process for submitting your podcast to major directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You will need to provide your podcast’s RSS feed URL and follow the hosting service’s instructions for submitting to each directory. It can take several days or weeks for your podcast to be approved and listed.
Which of the Best Podcast Hosting Services is Right For You?
Now that we have reviewed and compared the best podcast hosting services, it’s up to you to decide which is right for your podcast. We encourage you to explore these services on your own to find the one that meets your needs the best.
Ideally, your podcast and audience will grow over time, see you as you evaluate each podcast hosting service, consider what your show will look like in 6 months or a year. Sometimes it’s easier to purchase the service that you will grow into, rather than change at a later point.
That said, many of the podcast hosting services on this list make it easy to import your episodes from another service. So while choosing a podcast hosting service is a big decision, it’s not a permanent one. You can always change it later if your needs change.