Thinking of starting a podcast? You’re going to need a hosting company to publish it with. Get details on the leading hosting companies right here!
The 11 Best Podcast Hosting Companies to Start a Podcast
Podcasting is an excellent method to engage with your audience, express your thoughts, generate amusing material, and promote your brand. One of the issues that novice podcasters struggle with is deciding on a host for their podcast.
Related: Learn how to get internet famous with podcasting
The problem is that there are so many alternatives available that even glancing through them may be overwhelming. Even for the savviest customers, the brands might begin to blur together. That is why we have done all of the research for you. In this post, I’ll go through some of the top podcast hosting businesses as well as their essential features.
We’ll look at RSS.com, as well as Transistor, Simplecast, Blubrry, Podbean, and many others. Finally, you’ll be able to make an educated conclusion about which platform is best for you and your new podcast. Let’s get started.
What is a podcast hosting company?
For those who aren’t already familiar with the definition, let’s cover what a podcast hosting company does. The short answer is that a podcast hosting company allows you, the creator, to focus on creating and publishing content while they handle all of the technical aspects of hosting and making the podcast available to your audience.
Podcast hosting companies also offer a variety of features and tools to help podcasters manage their podcasts, such as analytics, monetization options, and integrations with other platforms. Some platforms even provide support, tutorials, and other resources to help podcasters produce and promote their podcasts more effectively.
While you technically can create a podcast without working with a hosting platform, it comes with a long list of things the creator will need to address. You will need to arrange for storage space and server bandwidth so people can listen, and without a host, you may also need to create your RSS feed to distribute your podcast, which can be complicated. You’ll also face challenges getting similar analytics and monetization options that big hosts can provide.
What should you look for in a podcast hosting company?
There are potentially dozens of criteria by which you can evaluate or compare hosting companies, but we’ve limited our list to the top 3 things to consider when looking for a podcast hosting company.
If you want to reach your audience, your podcast needs to be available when they are, which means you need a reliable host above all else. Uptime is a strong indicator of overall reliability. If you are going to be putting out episodes relatively frequently, you’ll want to ensure your platform has the highest uptime possible.
Analytics & Insights
Another thing to look for in a potential podcast hosting platform is that they provide a detailed set of insights and analytics tools to understand the behavior of your audience. This will include things like download stats, listener distribution, and more. Having detailed analytics means you can make much more informed decisions about your content and marketing strategies.
Finally, if you plan to monetize your podcast to create income or revenue from it, finding a platform with a variety of robust monetization options is going to be crucial. This isn’t just limited to advertising either, this can apply to premium or additional content and more. This also means finding the most favorable revenue-sharing models so that you keep more of what you make.
Related: Learn how to start a successful podcast from experts in the field.
Best podcast hosting companies right now
My Top Pick: RSS.com
RSS.com has been in the podcast game since 2005, which has given them a long time to get things fine-tuned. You can get started completely free on RSS.com, and you only need to choose a plan once you publish your first episode. They are the perfect platform for beginners and expert podcasters alike.
- No episode limit
- Cross-platform analytics and insights
- Embedded episode player
- Customizable RSS feed
- Social share buttons for your episodes
- Free podcasting website
- Automatic distribution on the most popular podcast directories including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google and Samsung Podcasts
- Podcasting 2.0 tags to add chapters, transcripts and soundbites to your episodes
All plans are paid.
- The all-in-one podcasting plan will cost $14.99 per month, or $11.99/month if you choose annual billing.
- Student and NGO plans available at just $4.99/month!
- There is also a podcast networks plan starting at $14.99/month that allows you to host multiple podcasts on a single account.
New users can set up their accounts for free, which will allow them to create and publish a single episode. To load a second episode you will have to choose a paid plan.
- Highly affordable
- All-in dashboard
- Multiple monetization options
- Cross-platform analytics
- Embedded player
- One-click sharing
- Top-tier customer support
- Top-end plans can be relatively expensive
Related: Learn how to protect your intellectual property online.
Transistor is a relatively new podcasting hosting platform and has a very skilled and dedicated team behind it. They are very highly focused on podcasts that have a brand, rather than serving those who are unsure of their commitment to production.
- Publish multiple different podcasts
- The ability to add team members
- They offer great stat visibility
There is no option for a free plan, but the plans start at $19 per month, for up to 20,000 downloads, and go up from there.
Transistor does offer a two-week free trial of their premium offerings.
- Host unlimited different shows
- Multiple team members
- Great analytics
- Comparatively expensive for higher plans
- Not geared toward hobbyists
Simplecast offers some of the coolest embedded players, as well as great insights.
- Unlimited uploads
- Team members
Plans start at $15 per month, which comes with unlimited uploads. Plans of $35 per month or more come with vastly expanded features.
14-day free trials are available with certain promo codes
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited uploads
- Custom website and domain
- Only one additional team member allowed
Blubrry is a well-loved podcasting platform that many creators choose over bigger names. They have WordPress integration and a forgiving upload plan, making them great for beginners.
- PowerPress plugin integration
- Highly-advanced stats
- No-fault upload overage lets you exceed upload caps without charges
No free plan, but the plans start at $10 per month, with 125MB per month of content storage. This means about one episode per month without an overage.
No free trial option is available
- A good option for beginners & experienced podcasters
- Good customer support
- Podcast directory integration
- Analytics cost extra
Podbean is a great option with progressive plans for podcasts to grow into. They also feature their app, as well as Alexa integration for finding and listening to other podcasts.
- Cheap plans
- Analytics included
- App integration
The free plan allows 5 hours of uploads with basic stats. Upgraded tiers start at $9 per month when you buy a year, and include custom domains, a website, and more detailed analytics.
Some promo codes can be used to get a free month.
- Easy to use
- Good features with the free plan
- Free plan doesn’t include publishing to Spotify
Castos is a great option for those who have a WordPress site that they want to integrate with their podcast. They are the brand behind the Seriously Simply Podcasting plugin for WordPress as well.
- No bandwidth cap
- Excellent WordPress integration
- The plugin enables ultra-simple podcasting
No free plan. Plans start at $19 per month for unlimited bandwidth and uploads.
14-day free trials are available, which can also be extended to a month with a coupon code.
- Free, unlimited hosting
- Listener support
- Solid analytics
- The audio editor needs to be improved
- Customer support is lacking
- Limited marketing & distribution options
Spreaker is another platform that’s been around for more than a decade, and they’ve created some unique features over the years. They make it a point to simplify the podcasting process for their users, and have numerous integrations.
- Live Podcasting option built-in
- Apps for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS
To explore the platform and its features, they do offer a free plan. The most popular option, however, is the $20/month plan called Broadcaster.
Promo codes can earn an extra month on personal annual plans.
- Multiple pricing plans for versatility
- Super user-friendly
- No video podcasting ability
- Minimal integrated functionalities
Anchor is a very well-known free podcasting platform, with a heavy focus on mobile podcasting. For a free platform, they are very versatile and feature-rich.
- Built-in ad platform
- Focused on mobile podcasting
- Built-in audio editor
The platform is free.
- Free to use
- Makes distribution simple for beginners
- Unable to change the email address in your RSS feed
- Limited sound quality options
- Remote recording options limited
Buzzsprout was created to make podcasting simple, without hampering future expansion or publishing. They have one of the best at-a-glance dashboards, which give you crucial details without digging around. They also update their platform with new features regularly.
- Built-in transcription
- “Magic Mastering”
- Affiliate marketing programs
- Text editor for show notes
They have a free plan that hosts your episodes for 90 days and plans that start at $12/month for permanent hosting.
No free trial, just the forever free plan
- Easy to use
- Simple interface
- Constantly improving
- With the free plan, your episodes disappear after 90 days
Libsyn is a podcasting platform that has been around for many years, since the advent of podcasting. They are often recommended by word of mouth by existing users that have been with them for a long time, but they need an update.
- Devoted user base
- Cheap plans
There are no free plans. The cost starts at $5 per month for a 162MB upload cap.
No free trial offers, unless you can find a code somewhere online
- Been in the game a while so they are an experienced platform
- Low upload limits
- Expensive plans for the limited storage and hours per month
Acast is a platform used globally and has a wide range of monetization options. It’s built to be useful to seasoned podcasters as well as beginners.
- Multiple monetization options
- Advanced analytics
- Built-in recording and editing abilities
Free plans are available with paid plans starting at $14.99 and $29.99/month that unlock additional features
- Easy onboarding
- Good insights
- Membership integration
- Difficult social integrations
- Logging in can be challenging for some
Which podcast hosting company is best?
When It comes down to it, I feel RSS.com is the best podcast hosting company for a variety of reasons. Before we get into those reasons, I do need to disclose that I’m actually such a fan of theirs I’ve even become a brand ambassador for the company. I currently host RSS.com’s show Podcasting 101 with RSS.com as well as my own podcast The Bloggy Friends Show on their platform.
That said, here’s why RSS.com is the leading podcast platform in my opinion:
- RSS.com is incredibly user-friendly and has an intuitive interface. These make it seriously easy for even the newest creators to start their podcasts.
- RSS.com maintains a robust hosting framework that can accommodate massive traffic and provides all the storage you’ll ever need.
- The tools you get with RSS.com help you scrape valuable data about the performance of your podcast as well as who’s listening to it.
- If you’re looking to make money, the monetization options offered by RSS.com are ideal, offering both advertising via Podcorn, tipping with bitcoin, as well as the ability to add your own sponsored content within your episodes. You can even add your Paypal or Patreon link to your public podcast website to give your listeners even more ways to support your content!
Keep in mind that while I prefer RSS.com and use it exclusively for my podcasting needs, I do fully understand that some podcasters need streaming and private podcasting RSS feed options. While some hosts offer slightly similar benefits and features, RSS.com is my overall top pick for the best podcasting platform. That said, make sure you know what you want from your platform, and do your homework before committing to anyone.
Conclusion and next steps
Now that you have a full rundown of the most popular podcast hosting companies out there right now, as well as a personal recommendation on which I think is the best overall, it’s time to pick your host of choice and start a podcast. Remember – Make sure you consider your wants and needs when shopping for a hosting company. And, you can start your podcast for free with code RSSFREEMONTH with RSS.com. Or you can click this link to switch from your current host and get SIX months free!