Home eLearning Best Podcast Hosting: Top Three Hosting Companies

Best Podcast Hosting: Top Three Hosting Companies

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Best Podcast Hosting: Top Three Hosting Companies


In creating this post, we read several others that compare multiple hosts and present their recommended choices. Most of the time the recommended choices happen to be the podcast hosts that provide affiliate programs so that person recommending them can earn a commission. My least favorite post I saw, which also is on the first page of Google searches for this topic, recommends five hosts of a list of twenty that they talk about. It just so happens that those five hosts that are “recommended” are the hosts that provide affiliate links whereas the others do not.

Always beware of posts like this and ask why they are recommending the podcast hosting companies. There may be an underlying factor as to why they are recommending them. Is it wrong to be an affiliate? No. Affiliate marketing is a great way for honest bloggers to make some income on their work. In this post we also have affiliate links, but only for the companies that we stand behind.

We painstakingly went through each company’s plans and their terms and conditions to choose the best hosts. At the end of this article, we recommend three hosts for three different purposes. Only one of which we have an affiliate link for. The other two are good hosts, whether we have an affiliate link for them or not.


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We started the Travel Couple Podcast a little more than a year ago now. However, the idea of starting a podcast grew throughout the year until I finally had an idea that I wanted to act on.

I began listening to podcasts in 2015 as I was introduced to a few different podcasts that I could enjoy while commuting or working when I had a chance. This changed everything for me. It opened up a new world I had never known existed. One day, I thought, I would release my own podcast.

I just did not know what that podcast would be about. A couple of years later and lots of thinking, I finally had my idea. I would interview couples who are living a travel lifestyle and have them share their stories with my audience. I thought it would be all uphill from that point on.

The truth is, running a podcast is hard work. If you are going down this route you should realize what you are getting yourself into. Having a good outline of the type of show, consistency, and topics to be discussed on the show is extremely important.


Best Podcast Hosting Top Three Hosting Companies

PLEASE NOTE: We were not paid by any of these companies to put this post together. This post came out of a necessity to provide qualitative information on choosing the right podcast hosting company. I have read multiple posts in the past that include their top hosting platforms only to find that their “top” hosting platforms were just the ones that offered affiliate links. This leaves many other quality hosting companies off the table. It is our goal to include all companies whether or not we make a commission of them.

We do include affiliate links to some of these companies. We would greatly appreciate it, if you found this post helpful, if you followed these links when making your podcast hosting purchase. These help us release posts like this on an ongoing basis.

 

Table of Contents

  1. Choosing the Best Podcast Hosting Company for You
  2. The Best Podcast Hosting Infographic Explained
  3. Podcast Hosting Comparison by Company
  4. Our Choice for Best Podcast Hosting
  5. Conclusion

 

Choosing the Best Podcast Hosting Company for You

Once you have that outline of your show and you are ready to get started in this world of podcasting, you are ready to find podcast hosting. Not someone who is going to host your podcast, that is you, but a place for your podcast to live online. Much like a host that stores your website data on their servers, a podcast host stores your podcast data on their servers.

You use a host for your podcast for a couple of reasons. If you were to upload your audio files for your podcast to your website, it would really make your website load time plummet as visitors would have to wait for a massive file size to load along with your website. This creates a negative user experience which in turn will make your website fall in search engine rankings. Using a host will help alleviate this by storing your audio on a separate server which you can use to embed your podcast audio onto your website.

Using a host provides you with an RSS feed which is used to link your podcast audio to podcast players like Apple’s Podcast app, Spotify, and Google Play among others. Once linked to these different players, every time you add an episode onto your host and that episode becomes live, the podcast players will update automatically without you having to submit each show to each player manually.

Choosing the right podcast host that fits for you is crucial. Choosing a host was more difficult than I had originally imagined. You really want to make sure that you get the right host because it becomes increasingly difficult to change the more and more that you continue to release episodes. You also do not want to get started with a podcast host who may be going out of business in the near future which will find you scrambling to download all of the episodes you released and finding a new host.

It is always best to do your research before making any big decisions, but we thought we would provide you with our research on the subject, what we chose for our podcast hosting, and what we think are the best podcast hosting places to check out for your podcast.

We wont get into any podcast hosting companies that we speculate will be going out of business and you should stay away from. We want to keep this post focused on the best podcast hosting rather than podcast hosting that you should steer clear from.

Choosing the right hosting for you begins with deciding how much storage space you will need for your podcast per month. This is because most hosts charge you by the amount you are uploading onto their servers on any given month. You are not charged for the total amount of storage space for your podcast. Just what you are uploading each month.

For example, our podcast releases a weekly episode that is 30-45 minutes in length. This equates to about about 30-50mb per episode as an mp3. That means I would need a podcast plan that would cover me for 250mb for those months that I upload five times.

Doing this calculation is a good start to deciding which host you will be choosing and which plan works best for your podcast.

You should also consider what is offered besides the podcast hosting itself. For example, some podcast hosting companies offer statistics for you to track your shows success or they provide a website to go along with your podcast. In any case, these bonuses that go along with your plan set apart one company from another when making your decision. However, do not base your decision on something you do not need. For example, if you need podcast hosting and basic stats, but do not need a website then do not base your decision between two companies on the fact that one of the companies offers a website with their plan.

You should also really read into the Terms and Conditions of each of the companies and their plans. Especially if you are choosing to go for a free plan. Free plans usually mean that it can only be used for “personal use”. What is personal use? Well they do not really spell it out, but they do say that if your podcast is deemed to be used commercially then they have the right to shut down your podcast. This means your podcast is gone. Forever. And you can never host with that company again.

Commercial use can be interpreted as anyone who wants to build and grow their podcast to reach an audience. This is, I would say, almost every podcaster out there. Be sure you read the fine print before hopping on a free plan. We will talk about these plans within each podcast hosting company in the continued post.


Best Podcast Hosting Comparison Chart

 

The Best Podcast Hosting Infographic Explained

We want to break down what we did with this infographic above and why we chose to include what we did in this section of the post.

What you will see in this infographic are the hosting company names in the left column, followed by the year they were established, whether or not they have a free personal plan, whether or not they have a free commercial plan, and how much a plan would cost for four hours a month of audio.

Let us jump in to explain why we chose these categories:

  1. Hosting Since

  2. When we asked podcasters what they look for in a hosting company, a lot of them responded with reliability. To us, reliability means that the customer service is responsive, the hosting company does what it says it does, and the company is not going to go out of business any time soon.

    A lot of these have to do with qualitative data that would not quite fit on an infographic. We could research a bunch of reviews based on each company and try to get that into a quantitative figure, but reviews can be hearsay and not be substantiated. Therefore, we chose not to go down that path with this comparison.

    Instead we chose to find the date in which these companies were founded and began hosting podcasts. This number helps determine the reliability of the business, whether they are more likely to stay in business, and their experience within the business, as well as their reliability within the market.

    The idea being with this is that hosting companies that have been around for more years have more experience, are less likely to go under, and your podcast is likely most safe with them.

  3. Free Personal Use Plan

  4. A free plan can be great to choose when looking for a hosting company. It can also be the worst decision that you make. However, if you have no intention to use your podcast for a business, to monetize it, and you are okay with these companies adding information / ads to your podcast at any time, then a free personal use plan for your podcast is your best choice.

    However, for the majority of people entering podcasting, you likely are wanting your podcast to be heard by the masses, grow in popularity, and eventually monetized. In this case you should not opt for a personal use plan as your podcast could be shut down if found to be used for anything but personal use.

    We break this down further in the continued post as to what each company’s personal use plan involves, but for this infographic we provide a check if the company does provide a free personal use plan or an “X” if the company does not provide a free personal use plan.

  5. 4 Hours / Month Cost

  6. We wanted to provide what each hosting company provides for a podcast show that uploads four hours worth of MP3 audio per month. Why did we choose four hours?

    We figure that if you want to stay consistent and keep your listeners coming back for more, at minimum you should be uploading once per month. Now each industry will be different and everyone will have their own views on this, but this is our view.

    Your show, if released weekly, should be anywhere from 30 minutes on the low end to 1 hour in length. Again, our opinion and your may differ. However, this is where we came with the figure of four hours per month of uploads as each month can have anywhere from four to five uploads per month.

    We also choose the lowest cost of this plan. For example, some hosts offer an annual plan rather than a monthly plan. Each plan is the same, but if you pay annually you are provided with a discount.

    In this sense we looked at each company and what they offer for their hosting plans at this rate. We also continue with this plan for the basis of the next two categories and whether or not they are included in the plan.

  7. Basic Stats

  8. Even if you are a beginner podcaster, having basic stats for your podcast is extremely helpful to let you know how your podcast is growing. I would include it as something that is important to have if you are taking your podcast seriously.

    When deciding whether a hosting company provided basic stats, we based it off of the previous column of a plan that covers a 4 hours / month podcast. If the hosting company provides basic stats for that plan, they receive a check mark and if not they receive an “X” in this column.

  9. Website Included

  10. Though this is not exactly a necessity for a podcaster as I believe you should have your own separate website from your podcast for security and safekeeping reasons, there are some companies that offer a website with certain plans and we wanted to share that should you decide you want a website included with your podcast hosting.

    For hosting companies that provide a website with their 4 hour / month plan, they receive a check mark and if not they receive an “X” in this column.

With deciding on including these categories, we had to choose to leave some categories out. However, we feel these are the most important categories to include on this infographic to help you choose the hosting company for your podcast, especially if you are a beginner.

 

Podcast Hosting Comparison by Company

To continue from our infographic, we want to break down the information even further to provide exactly what each hosting company provides for you with the plan chosen in the infographic and things you need to watch out for with each plan.

  • Libsyn

  • We chose Libsyn to host our podcast. Why? Because it was recommended to us and it seemed like the best host at the time. Is it? Maybe. It is fine for us, but we had not done a whole lot of research on other hosting companies before this post.

    Their plan that was chosen for this example is $15.00 per month, the same one that we are under. It includes 250mb of monthly storage, RSS feed, media player, their publishing software with WordPress integration, a podcast page, app listing, directory listing, and basic stats. They have now introduced monetization for podcasters with a certain amount of downloads.

    From their Terms and Conditions, we have found that all of your content is owned exclusively by you which is what you want whenever looking for any podcast hosting company. However, Libsyn reserves the right to terminate or suspend your podcast for any reason at any time. You will also need written approval to use third party ad networks to monetize your podcast. What exactly this would mean should you want to monetize your podcast is unclear.

    The benefits of Libsyn are that it is reliable having been in business for more than 13 years, they support tens of thousands of podcasts, and they have a great track record. They have also introduced an easy way to help podcasters monetize their podcast. The down sides are that the interface is pretty outdated. Though it is fairly easy to maneuver, it could use some updating. If these are the only downsides we have to point out then it is doing pretty good.

    If you want to sign up with Libsyn and receive the current month plus the next month for free use promo code:


    mike

    We receive a small commission if you use this code which helps us continue to post this content, as well as provide you some value with a couple of free months. Make sure to use it on the 2nd of the month to maximize the free earnings you will receive.

  • Podbean

  • I have seen Podbean growing in popularity in different groups that I am apart of. They are slightly less expensive than Libsyn and provide unlimited uploads. They even have a FREE option. That is right, FREE! But how free is free? Well in Podbean’s case, free is only for a personal plan. What is personal? We assume this means that it is only for you and you are not using it for clients, but this is not defined anywhere.

    In addition to this not being defined, if Podbean deems your podcast on your personal plan to be commercial they have the right to delete your podcast. It will no longer exist and you cannot ever host with Podbean again. This free plan also comes with 100gb bandwidth which means if your podcast grows in popularity you will eventually have to upgrade, if your podcast has not been deleted. The good thing is that the upgrade is to just $9.00 per month.

    If you choose a personal plan, we did find this from their Terms and Conditions that was worrying: “You agree to allow the Podbean or its agents to insert additional text, audio, video and other format multimedia advertisements to your file(s).” Ultimately you are giving Podbean a lot of power over your own podcast if you go with their personal plan.

    Along with many other podcast hosting companies, we also found the statement that Podbean can cancel your account if they find you are in violation of their terms.

  • Blubrry

  • What we have found online about Blubrry is that their WordPress integration is quite possibly the best in business. They seem to be right next to Libsyn in the time they began hosting podcasts and their reliability. Though a similar plan is $20 per month with professional statistics coming in at an extra $5 per month. The plan includes a free WordPress site (YOURDOMAINNAME.wordpress.com).

    Similar to other podcast hosting companies, we found that they can also terminate your podcast at anytime for any reason.

    One thing we did find interesting was that they stated you retain the rights of your content, but they included this statement with it:

    “The term of this Agreement for Content Producers is 120 days following the date of the last submission of your content to the Website.”

    From our interpretation of this, you retain the rights of your content unless you have 120 days of inactivity in uploading podcasts. This is very worrying if this is the case.

  • Spreaker

  • Spreaker has a $0 personal plan that includes 5 hour storage, but only 15 minute per episode limit. This means we had to go to the $18.00 per month plan after passing over the $6.00 per month plan that only covered up to 45 minutes per episode. These per episode limits can really stifle choosing them as a podcast host. However, the $18.00 per month plan does include advanced statistics, RSS feeds, and podcast monetization.

    These plans are labelled as personal use plans and not business. Business plans start at $100.00 per month, which we assume are for people reselling these plans to clients. Unfortunately these plans are not defined anywhere for us to find.

    Whereas other podcast hosting companies state they can terminate your podcast for any reason at any time, Spreaker defines the circumstances to which they can terminate your podcast and they are not unreasonable circumstances.

  • Pinecast

  • Pinecast has a $5.00 per month unlimited podcast upload and unlimited shoes with a podcast homepage, basic statistics, and a tip jar that listeners can provide you tips.

    However, episode sizes are capped at 64mb each which would likely be just over an hour per episode in MP3 format. You are provided with an additional 64mb of storage over the initial 64mb per episode in each month.

    Having these capped episode sizes worries me when choosing a host. What worries me the most about Pinecast is that there is no Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy anywhere to be seen on their website or through a Google search. Even trying to find it by adding it to their URL does not show it.

    There is no way that I would ever sign up for a podcast host without knowing the terms and conditions to which I am agreeing to. A blank contract to which they can decide what to do with your content at any time is terrifying to think about.

  • Buzzsprout

  • Buzzsprout does have a free plan, but it is not sustainable by any means with two hours of uploads per month and it is only hosted for 90 days. Their plan at $18.00 per month provides six hours of uploads each month, unlimited storage, basic statistics, custom embed players, and a basic website.

    It also includes 250gb of bandwidth per month which means once you podcast becomes more popular, you will need to upgrade to their $79 per month plan for more bandwidth. They say at 250gb your show would have 20,000 to 40,000 downloads per month depending on the episode length.

    Along with other podcast hosting companies, they also reserve the right to delete your account at any time and any reason. They also state that your content will be forfeited.

    We did not find anything about ownership of content in their Terms and Conditions, but we did find this worrying statement: “By submitting an Episode, you waive the right to make any claim against Higher Pixels or any of its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, successors, assigns, employees, agents, directors, officers or shareholders related to the Episode, including, but not limited to, unfair competition, intellectual property infringement, invasion of privacy, negligence, breach of implied contract or breach of confidentiality, and you further waive all moral rights, so-called “droits morales” and any right of attribution you may have in any materials uploaded or sent to us by you.”

  • Anchor

  • Think of Anchor as the YouTube of podcasts. It is free to upload audio and you get access to their advertising channels, you choose which brands you want advertised on your content, and you can add a button to allow listeners to donate. You also are provided with an easy edit and record right through Anchor.

    The Terms and Conditions are clear to understand and they make it clear that you own your content. However, with how much YouTube has been under fire by creators, it is not hard to imagine that the same thing could eventually happen to Anchor. The company just sold to Spotify so be on the lookout for changes to the platform. Good or bad.

    A note from the CEO of Anchor about why you should not be paying for podcast hosting. Do not just read this post, but read the comments to this post as well and make your own decision about where the future of Anchor will lead.

  • Audioboom

  • Audioboom’s plans start at $9.99 for 5 episodes per month, advanced statistics, 10,000 plays per month, distribution to various podcast players, and embed players. They ask you to contact them to set up an account that suits your needs and agree to an advertisement agreement if you have more than 10,000 plays per month.

    This is interesting as they are likely trying to know what podcasts they can use to help monetize, thus helping the creator earn some money but also a way for them to earn some profit as well.

    Any host that limits the amount of episodes per month or plays per month I stay away from though. I stick to the limit by storage and not the number of episodes.

    There was one statement in their Terms and Conditions that was interesting. Most hosting companies get the right to use your content in order to distribute it online for you. However, Audioboom also stats that you give them the right to: “use, copy, adapt, amend, publish, transmit, display and make the whole or any part of it available in any form, by any media, whether on a commercial or non-commercial basis.” There is also no statement as to who owns the content you publish.

  • Simplecast

  • Simplecast provides a lot at $13.50 per month if prepaid annually. This includes unlimited storage space and uploads, distribution on podcast players, analytics, show website that is not a custom domain, and RSS feed. The most appealing to all of this is the unlimited storage space and uploads.

    In addition to this, their Terms and Conditions state clearly that the content is owned entirely by you and they state clearly what the conditions are that they can terminate or suspend your show.

    A major downside to Simplecast is that they do not have a contact email to reach out to them, rather they have a forum-like support system.

  • Podcast Websites

  • Podcast Websites is the host you choose should you want an all-in-one solution that includes a podcast and WordPress website combination. Where some podcast hosts limit the amount of web pages or posts you can include on your website, Podcast Websites includes themes and unlimited pages, posts, and podcast episodes.

    At $77.00 per month when paid annually, it really does include everything. So much that we will just provide you a link with everything that is included. It is co-owned by John Lee Dumas, a popular podcaster himself so obviously it is a tool that has been created by a podcaster for podcasters. They also provide a free one-on-one call to help you understand their plan.

    As for their Terms and Conditions, they are some of the most easy to read among all podcast hosts, as well as the most kind. If they terminate your podcast due to a breach of their Terms and Conditions, they provide you a zip file of your content. Something that no other podcast host company offers.

  • Backtracks

  • Backtrack’s plans start at $39.00 per month for unlimited storage, episodes, and bandwidth, as well as statistics, RSS feed, and an embedded player.

    They do state in their Terms and Conditions that you own the right to your content. They also state the conditions as to which they could terminate your podcast. However, one such condition really worries me, as they could terminate your podcast over, “emergency maintenance”. Something I assume they are covering themselves should something happen.

 


Best Podcast Hosting Top Three Choices

Our Choice for Best Podcast Hosting

What we learned about doing this post is that your decision to purchase a plan with any podcast host company should not be based on price, but more so the plan that suits your publishing consistency and the terms and conditions of the companies.

In this case, every host serves a different purpose. What you find to be the best host for your podcast may not be the same for another person. However, we really feel there are two great choices for podcast hosting.

The first one being a full-service podcast host company that also provides a full WordPress website and is co-owned by John Lee Dumas, a popular podcaster himself who knows a thing or two about podcasting.

Podcast Websites

If you are convinced to continue with Podcast Websites for your hosting needs, follow our link above and use code HOSTME for $10 off per month for life on your plan.



If you are serious about getting your podcast out there, having the stats to help you analyze your show, and having a WordPress website to go along with your show, then the price of this plan to get going should not scare you.

Their terms and conditions are some of the most kind out there. If they decide to terminate your podcast for a breach of their terms they will provide you with a zip file of all of your content. This is not normal for any other podcast hosting company.

Their terms and conditions are extremely clear and make sense to anyone, whereas other companies’ terms and conditions require multiple reads to truly understand.

However, should you only want a podcast hosting company to provide the necessities at a fair price, then you would be looking elsewhere.

Libsyn

Libsyn has been the longest in business, it remains recommended by many top podcasters in the industry, and though we could recommend a couple others on this list that would be similar to that of Libsyn (Blubrry), this is what we can recommend for a reliable podcasting host.

And finally, if you are looking for a free podcasting platform to get yourself started and are willing to take a chance considering what we have discussed above, then perhaps this one would be best for you.

If you want to sign up with Libsyn and receive the current month plus the next month for free use promo code:


mike

We receive a small commission if you use this code which helps us continue to post this content, as well as provide you some value with a couple of free months. Make sure to use it on the 2nd of the month to maximize the free earnings you will receive.

Anchor

If you would like a couple other podcast hosting companies from our list that we would also recommend besides these, we would stand by any of these:

 

Conclusion

We hope that this helped you make your decision towards choosing the best podcast hosting. If there are any other podcast hosts that you would like us to talk about and add to this list, please let us know. Also, if you have any feedback or comments you would want to add about any of these mentioned in the article, leave a comment in the comment section.

If you are looking for more information on getting your podcast launched, we recommend this book by John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire. He helps you take your podcast from idea to launch in 50 days while keeping you accountable through various exercises.



 

We would love to know who you host your podcast through and what your thoughts are on their services. Leave a comment below!

 

Have a comment or something to add to this article? Leave a comment below or send us a response by contacting us.

 

Check out more on our podcasting posts here.

 

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