Podcast Hosting Services: Compared in 2018
Before you dive in and commit to one hosting service it’s important to take into consideration what your podcast’s needs are.
For example, how often you publish and your episode lengths will determine how much storage you need. If you’re planning on bringing on sponsors in the future then access to analytics will be a high priority for you since advertisers like to know your audience numbers.
Here are 6 great options for podcast hosting that, for impartiality, I’ve listed these services in alphabetical order.
A UK based service that hosts some of the top podcasts in the UK and worldwide like No Such Thing As A Fish and Undisclosed, Audioboom provides a platform for podcast hosting put also to connect those podcasters with advertisers to help monetise shows.
You get access to this advertiser network once your podcast hits over 10,000 plays per month and until then the service costs $9.99/mo for up to 5 episodes and analytics too.
Audioboom also displays your podcast in one of the better looking free websites that are available with hosting services and they also offer direct submission to a number of directories including Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.
Blubrry is one of the most established podcast hosting services and is usually one of the most highly recommended.
Blubrry offers a free Wordpress site, analytics with all their hosting packages, which only vary based on how much you upload each month.
If you’re doing a couple of episodes a month you might be ok with the cheapest plan at $12/mo and then pay more if you‘re uploading more frequently.
Libsyn is another highly recommended and widely used hosting service that has a great reputation amongst podcasters.
It’s basic offering is cheap at just $5/mo but it only comes with 50mb of storage which isn’t much, plus there’s an optional $2/mo addition for basic analytics so you might want to start with the $15/mo package that gets you an ample 250mb/mo storage and analytics.
Like Blubrry, the service scales with your show so the more you’re uploading the more features you’ll get access to such as more advanced analytics and generous storage.
Simplecast’s offering is, as its name suggest, simple. But don’t let that be mistaken for lacking or basic.
In fact, Simplecast offers an incredibly robust hosting service for $12/mo with unlimited storage, bandwidth, detailed analytics, and a great looking web player too, with the ability to create clips to share on social media coming in the near future. They also offer in a 14 day free trial to new customers.
Simplecast includes a hosted website, that you can customise to match your podcast brand, giving your show an instant web presence when you sign up. They’re also one of the partner services that can get your podcast on Spotify.
Spreaker offers podcast hosting and a directory all under one roof so even if you don’t get your podcast on Apple Podcasts or any other directories you’ve already got a potential audience from the start.
Spreaker is one of the rare services that offers an entirely free plan to start you off though it is very limited with 5 hours of audio storage before you’d have to pay $5.99/mo for up to 100 hours of storage which you'll likely be upgrading to pretty quickly after a few episodes.
As a podcast listener there’s a strong chance that you’ve heard a Squarespace advert once or twice. What’s surprising about Squarespace advertising on podcasts is that they never mention that the website platform—which this website is built on—does a good job hosting podcasts too.
Perhaps the best case for using Squarespace is if you already use it for your website. If you do, adding a podcast will cost you nothing compared to getting a dedicated host.
Where Squarespace is lacking for podcasters is in analytics. For websites it’s incredibly detailed, but for podcasts you’re only given numbers of RSS hits and not details about each episode or listener locations, for example. What’s interesting is that you can pass your feed through Blubrry to get access to analytics at little to no additional cost too.
One last thing to keep in mind is that Squarespace podcast feeds only display the most recent 100 items. This can be great for starting out since by 100 episodes you might already be making money from your show to cover the costs of specialised hosting and using better analytics to nurture your audience and bring on sponsors.
These aren't the only hosting services. There are plenty of others that you might want to check out including;
One service to avoid, however, is Soundcloud. You might see it recommended by some but since the company itself has had a rocky time of late its podcasting product has fallen behind other services. This may change so for now just use Soundcloud to share your episodes but not for dedicated hosting.
Which hosting service do you and what made you pick it over others? Let me know in the comments below.