Dreaming to launch the next hugely successful podcast and share your audio content with the world? That’s great! However, podcasting isn’t as simple as recording some audio and uploading it to iTunes – first, you have to host your audio files with podcast hosting.
To tap into the 100 million+ podcast listeners in the U.S., all podcasters have to start by choosing their podcast hosting provider of choice.
And choosing the best podcast hosting site can be a time-consuming task. There are a ton of options out there with similar features. How do you pick the best one?
I want to make your choice easier by providing information on the best podcast hosting to help you find the perfect fit for your new podcast. There are free options, enterprise options, and everything in between – it all depends on what you want to create.
These podcast hosting reviews are based on price, reliability, technical support, monthly upload volume, iTunes compliance, storage, monetization, ease of use, marketing features, integrations with apps, and more.
And if you’re looking to start a blog first, you can check out my other guide to choose a web host.
Let’s get started.
Please note, a few of the links below may be affiliate links. However, I have vetted each tool on this list and believe these are the tools that are most effective for launching and running a new podcast.
Podcast Hosting Table of Contents
What is Podcast Hosting?
Podcast hosting provides the file hosting and RSS feed for your podcast. Podcast hosting sites upload your audio files, tell podcast platforms like iTunes your show’s details, and generate your RSS feed. When a user subscribes to your podcast, the podcast hosting site sends the audio files, media, and RSS feed to the platforms directly.
In the end, podcast hosting is a simple setup. It’s made up of a web server to allow file downloads, the .mp3 files themselves, and an RSS feed describing your audio file. The best podcast hosting sites do much more than that.
They provide advanced analytics reports on your listeners, marketing tools to grow your audience, social sharing options, 24/7 support, and more.
Additionally, podcast hosting sites may also include features like iTunes compliance, help starting a WordPress blog (sometimes with a free website), file storage, and bandwidth to ensure your podcast files are secure and can freely migrate between platforms.
It’s crucial to understand the importance of a good podcast host when starting a brand new podcast.
What is the Best Podcast Hosting?
And it’s excited to start a new podcast.
You get to create episodes you’re interested in producing, buy shiny new equipment, record audio, and share your podcast with the world. But don’t forget podcast hosting! Different podcasters will require different hosting services, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
This guide will provide you with the best podcast hosting sites to save you time so you just have to focus on recording great podcasts.
Here are my top picks for the best podcast hosting in 2019.
Best Free Podcast Hosting Powering Over 225,000 Podcasters Worldwide ($0-99/month)
PodBean is my #1 podcast hosting recommendation, with unlimited hosting services, distribution and promotion on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon Alexa, and all the major apps, and 24/7 support. PodBean has been in the podcasting hosting space since the beginning, starting back in 2006.
You can get started for free. On this tier you can upload up to 5 hours of content per month, but are only allowed 100GB of bandwidth per month. Their free podcast hosting service gives you some basic stats, but you need to upgrade to their $9/month plan to get more detailed analytics.
Their $29/month plan is called PodBean Unlimited Plus and you get unlimited audio hosting and video storage. If you’re running a video podcast, this is a great option.
PodBean also features a mobile app, analytics reports, automatic posting to Facebook and Twitter. Overall, their plans range from the $0 Starter Plan up to the $99 Business Plan, which includes a ton of extra enterprise features.
Best WordPress Podcast Hosting ($12-80/month)
Blubrry is a powerful podcast hosting service that offers not only hosting, but managed WordPress hosting with PowerPress, the #1 WordPress plugin for podcasters. With over 75,000+ active installs, this plugin is consistently maintained, free to use, and offers SEO options, MP3 tagging and iTunes compliance.
The Blubrry website says, “Blubrry believes we should provide you great tools and not interfere,” highlighting their creator-first approach. They offer a podcasting manual, which gives you a ton of detailed information on using their services, as well as tips and advice to succeed with your new podcast.
Their lowest cost option is $12/month and offers 100MB of storage. If you want unlimited hosting services, you can upgrade to their professional plan.
In addition to their professional plan with custom pricing, they have 4 paid plans ranging from from $12 to $80 which offer anywhere from the 100MB to 1,000MB/month of storage space.
Blubrry is quickly becoming on of the top rated podcast hosting sites because of their customer-first approach.
Best Podcast Hosting Network for Podcasters and Advertisers ($9.99/month)
audioBoom combines podcast hosting, advertising, distribution, and production all in one easy-to-use service. Their $9.99/month hosting plan allows you to publish up to 5 podcasts per month with up to 10,000 plays per month.
They also have advanced analytics and embeddable player for website and social media integration. With audioBoom, you can also distribute your podcast via iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher.
The biggest differentiation that audioBoom has is their positions for radio groups and podcasting networks looking to oversee multiple podcasts in their network.
Best Podcast Hosting for Professionals and Website Builders ($67/month with discount)
This host features a simple podcasting workflow that allows podcasters access to full responsive website hosting and security, daily backups, built-in statistics, and 24/7 support.
As a member, you also receive digital marketing support to help promote your podcast, ads, and podcasting advice from real, experienced podcasters. Their academy features video tutorials, media, and a helpful community forum to discuss strategies with other podcasters too.
Additionally, you can use Builder – a drag and drop website builder with themes unique to podcasters. These themes are mobile-friendly and you can also add landing pages when you need to market your podcast.
They are a high quality podcast host and their plans start at $77/month, but you can use my coupon code HOSTME to get $10 off per month per life.
Free Unlimited Podcast Hosting For Beginners ($0-24/month)
Buzzsprout is a host that has been in business since 2009 and has no upfront costs or billing. They also offer podcast hosting free as a great option for those just starting out. However, their free plan only allows you to upload two hours of content and hosts your files for 90 days.
If you upgrade to one of their three paid plans ranging from $12-24 per month, your files are hosted indefinitely, you get unlimited storage, and 250GB of bandwidth per month. This bandwidth covers approximately 20,000 to 40,000 episode plays per month.
Buzzsprout allows you to embed a podcast player right on your website – and you can feature just one episode or a whole playlist of episodes.
They offer an analytics dashboard with an algorithm that estimates how many listeners each episode receives within the first 90 days. With Buzzsprout, you can also upgrade to 128k stereo optimization for an extra $6 per month.
With month-to-month pricing and an easy-to-use dashboard, they are a strong podcast hosting site to pick this year.
What is the Best Free Podcast Hosting?
There are low cost and even free podcast hosting options you can pick from if your budget is tight. Many of the free audio podcast hosting services come with limited functionality, but if you’re just starting out, free hosting services a great way to test out their features.
You might not be able to host hours of content on your podcast server, but a free trial or free plan can get your feet wet in how podcast hosts work.
Here are my picks for the best free podcast hosting in 2019.
Libsyn is one of the most popular hosts focused on helping everyone from novices to podcasting pros looking to quickly monetize their work. They are also one of the original podcast hosts, launching in 2004.
With over 35,000 hosted podcasts, 62 million+ audience members, and 4.6 billion podcast downloads in 2016, they are a prominent player in the space. Like other podcast hosts, they give their users between 50 and 1500MB of monthly storage, provide analytics reports, RSS link generation, premium content, and their own app.
Yes, they aren’t 100% free as their plans start at $5, but for that value, I had to add them to the list.
Pricing: $5 – $75 per month
SoundCloud is the world’s largest music and audio hosting site and introduced podcast hosting in 2015. They boast 175 million unique monthly visitors and an amazing 12 hours of content uploaded every minute on their site.
Using their hosting services, you get access to all of their embedded players, Twitter cards, and timed comments that podcasters can respond to. With a free account, you can upload 3 hours of content per month and get basic reporting.
Purchasing their more advanced SoundCloud Pro Unlimited account gives you unlimited upload time, scheduled releases, embed controls, and the ability to pin 5 podcasts to your profile.
Price: Free to $16 per month ($12 when paid annually)
Podomatic allows creators to record, upload, and promote your new audio content, all in one dashboard. One of their strengths is the ability to promote your podcast advertising and crowdsourcing with the help of Patreon and Advertisecast.
Plus, Podomatic has social sharing options and your podcast can be played directly in Facebook and Twitter feeds. They are partnered with Weebly to help you create a website and have a free podcast app for iOS and Android.
In addition to their free podcast hosting plan, they have four pro plans ranging from $9.99 to $24.99 per month.
Pricing: Free to $60+ per month
Simplecast gives their podcasters a ton of great features: unlimited plays, no upload caps, and industry-leading analytics.
They allow you to share clips of your podcast on social media with their Recast™ tool. You can also collaborate with multiple podcast managers by inviting users to your Simplecast account. They offer a 14-day trial and simple pricing.
Pricing: $12 per month
Spreaker is a mobile-focused podcast hosting site with their Speaker Studio tool available for both desktop and mobile devices.
Their free basic plan is pretty limited, with just 5 hours of storage and a single session allowance of 15 minutes. You will need to upgrade to their higher tier plans to get more storage and unlimited streaming.
Their Broadcaster, Anchorman, and Station plans (great names, right?) give podcasters private episode sharing and show intro insertions so you can add an mp3 to the beginning of each episode.
Pricing: Free to $119.99 per month
How Do I Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Site in 2019?
12 million people listened to a podcast for the first time within the last year. To tap into this growing market and pick the best podcast hosting, you have to consider some different questions.
- What is the right amount of storage?
- How much audio hosting and content will you be uploading per month?
- Do you need a new WordPress site or align each episode with a blog post?
- Can you work with video podcasts, or any kind of video format?
- What kinds of analytics would you like to view?
- Is it easy to dynamically add advertisements and sponsorships throughout your podcast episodes?
- Finally, how much do you want to spend on hosting services?
These are just a few of the questions you’ll have to answer when choosing the best podcast hosting option. Consider these questions before finalizing your podcast episode’s cadence and length.
For example, if you’re running a weekly one-hour podcast, you’ll need less storage than if you’re running a half hour show five days a week. However, don’t let podcast hosting prices limit your show’s options. It’s just good to know your options before getting started.
Here are some tips to choose the best podcast hosting site:
- Know how many hours of monthly audio hosting you need per month. Many podcast hosts only give you two hours of upload time per month, while others provide unlimited uploads.
- Look into server reliability, bandwidth options, and uptime guarantees.
- Look into podcast hosting upgrade options if scalability is important. With premium plans, you can get access to unlimited storage, upload times, and monthly downloads.
- Research signup prices vs. renewal prices, as they may be different. You can also save money by paying annually vs. monthly, so do your homework.
- Dive into a free trial to test the product’s ease of use.
- Make sure the host has a lot of basic features, like storage with no-fault overage, ads, monetization, media validation, FTP uploads, ID3 tagging and iTunes optimization.
What are Podcast Platforms?
Podcast platforms, also known as podcast directories, are services like iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play that take your podcast files and RSS feed and push them to their front end systems. This easily allows your audience to find your show with a podcast app, their computer, iPhone, or Android device.
You simply upload your audio with your podcast host, and when the podcast platform detects something new in your RSS feed, it downloads the file and displays your episode’s information to its users.
What Podcast Platforms Should I Publish My Podcast On?
So after you’ve chosen a podcast host, how do you actually release your podcast? It’s simple. Once everything is uploaded to your podcast host, you’re ready to choose where you want your audience to find you.
These directories ensure you get in front of the most listeners and your RSS feeds are updated automatically after each episode. Here’s a quick list of some of the top podcast platforms.
1. How to Submit Your Podcast to iTunes
Here’s how to get your podcast on iTunes:
1. First, make sure you have an active Apple ID in order to submit your podcast.
2. Sign into iTunes Connect.
3. Click on the top left area of the podcast dashboard and enter your RSS feed into the text box.
4. All of your podcast’s information will load from your podcast host and show you a feed preview. Make sure that all of your text and artwork looks ready to go.
5. Click submit and wait for approval.
2. How to Submit Your Podcast to Google Play
Here’s how to submit your podcast to Google Play:
1. First, make sure you have an active Google account and go to Podcasts in Google Play Music.
2. Click the Publish button, login to your Google account, and accept their terms of service.
3. Next, enter the URL for your RSS feed.
4. Click submit and check your inbox for a verification email, proving you own the podcast.
5. Click publish and wait for approval.
3. How to Submit Your Podcast to TuneIn
Here’s how to submit your podcast to TuneIn:
1. Fill out the TuneIn contact form and add all of your podcast information.
2. Accept their terms and condition.
3. Click submit and wait for approval.
4. How to Submit Your Podcast to Spotify
Spotify is quickly becoming one of the largest podcast sites, boasting an impressive 191 million active listeners and 87 million paid subscribers. Their premium plan is $9.99/month and allows users to download music, listen ad-free, play any song with unlimited skips, and feature higher quality podcast audio.
In the past, you could not easily get your podcast on Spotify within their website itself – you had to use your host and push your podcast to Spotify that way. However, that has changed.
They just released their beta program Spotify for Podcasters where you can learn how to upload your podcast to Spotify and get started right away. All you have to do is login to your Spotify account (through Spotify or Facebook), submit your RSS feed and Spotify does the rest.
If you’d like to go the old fashioned route, this article will help you get your podcast on Spotify as your hosting provider.
What is the Best Podcast Software to Record My Episodes?
After you’ve chosen a podcast host and know where you want to publish your show, it’s time to start recording your audio with podcast software. It’s pretty easy. With a quality microphone and some podcast recording software, you can quickly get your media recorded, edited, and launched like a pro.
Here are some of the best podcast software options to start recording your high quality audio.
Anchor touts themselves as the easiest way to start a podcast. Ever.
And I have to agree. Their free podcast recording software allows you to record high-quality audio, create a free, unlimited amount of episodes, and distribute to all major websites with one click.
Anchor makes it easy to drag and drop different audio clips to rearrange segments in your episodes. They also give you a free landing page with a custom URL for your show.
With their unlimited free hosting, recording capabilities from anywhere, and one-click distribution, Anchor is the best podcast software on the market.
Try Anchor podcast hosting and recording software today.
Zencastr allows new and professional podcasters alike the ability to record themselves and their remote guests in studio quality right from a web browser. To record the audio of your podcast guest in another location, you just send them a link and then receive a separate audio track when you’re done.
This live recording is done via a VoIP connection through both people’s local microphone. As the podcast host, you press record and each person’s audio is recorded from the web browser, without any compression or artificial sounds decreasing the audio quality.
Zencastr is also great for collaboration, as you can share your audio files via Google Drive and Dropbox.
With their free plan, you get up to two guests, 8 hours of audio recording per month, and only pay per use in post-production. If you upgrade to their Professional plan at $20/month, you get unlimited guests and recordings, a live editing soundboard, and 10 hours of automatic post-production every month.
Try Zencastr podcast software.
3. Avid Pro Tools
Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation (DAW) from Avid Tehnologies. It is a high-end audio product with crazy amounts of power. I remember using Pro Tools in an advanced audio engineering course back in my college days to fully mic up and record a live band.
You’re not gonna need this powerhouse to record your podcast, however if you want the absolute best, or want podcast software that you can use as a budding film producer or audio engineer, they are your #1 choice.
It costs $299 for a 1-year subscription and you get $850 in bonus gifts, including Pro Sound Effects, tutorials, and royalty free music.
Try Pro Tools audio software today.
21 Final Tips to Be Successful with Your Podcast [Infographic]
Podcast Hosting in 2019: Summary
There you have it – my list of the best podcast hosting sites in 2019.
When choosing from the best podcast hosting sites, first dig deep into the platform’s features. You should be able to upload as much monthly content as needed, be iTunes-compliant, view analytics, and have enough storage space.
Second, decide if you want free unlimited podcast hosting, or are willing to pay a podcast hosting site to get more features.
Third, do you need a new website? Look for podcast hosting that couples web hosting with WordPress or Weebly so you can add show notes and blog posts. Ensure your podcast hosting works with the best media hosting on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and TuneIn.
Finally, examine which hosts can promote you with marketing, crowdsourcing, ads, monetization, expert guidance, and support.
Podcast hosting sites take the guesswork out of storing your podcast, distributing your audio content to the right places, and supporting you on your podcasting journey.
My recommendation for new podcasters is to get started with PodBean.
So pick the best podcast hosting site tailored just for you… and happy podcasting!