podcast hosting

The podcast world is evolving so fast, it’s hard to keep up with all the news out there. Since I last updated this post, Joe Rogan and Spotify made history with the biggest podcast deal ever, Apple is muscling in on the media, and even Patreon is joining the game.

Meanwhile, podcasters have a growing number of innovative hosting platforms to choose from. So after looking at the best podcast hosts a few years ago, this list was overdue for an update.

Now let’s start with the bad news: if you’re new to the podcasting game, you might be completely overwhelmed by the choice and wide range of features available out there.

But for the good news: this guide will give you a great understanding of what to look for.

So let’s dive into some useful features, must-haves and deal breakers, and let’s see if our list of good podcast hosts has evolved since we last looked at it.

But first:

What is a Podcast Hosting Platform?

Think about how you listen to your podcasts. You probably get them from iTunes, Google Play, Spotify or any podcast app. Maybe you stream them directly on the podcast websites. Either way, these aren’t the hosting solutions, but rather the directories. Think of them as shop assistants that point you to the right aisle.

Enter podcast hosting platforms.

They are the “shelves” where you can put your “inventory”, in the form of audio files. Some of these shelves offer more features than others. And of course, the prices vary greatly depending on how nice they are.

Why Can’t I Host the Files on My Website?

Actually, it’s possible. But audio files can require a lot of storage space and bandwidth to be streamed. Having tons of listeners at once could push your plan over the limit – or simply prevent your website from functioning properly.

So if your podcast gets popular and you get hundreds of listeners, you’ll need a high-end performing hosting service (rather than an standard low cost web host), to handle this.

Then there’s the issue of distributing your podcast. If you host it on a website that nobody lands on, what’s the point?

Podcast hosting services aim to kill two birds with one stone. They let you store and stream the audio files, and give you all the features you need to reach your audience.

What Kind of Price and Features Should I Look For?

Short answer: it depends. The thing with podcasting is that it’s still a bit of a wild west. Maybe you have a professionally recorded, edited and highly polished product. Maybe it’s just a DIY recording of you rambling to your iPhone.

The point is, that there is no one-size-fits-all. A good podcast hosting solution should only really do three things:

  1. Host your audio file
  2. Create an RSS link so people can subscribe to it
  3. Be reliable and offer good bandwidth so listeners can stream seamlessly

But now that podcasting is evolving, you’ll find tons of extra features. These will include:

  • Ability to embed your podcast player on a website
  • Easy to use /customizable player
  • Push to iTunes, TuneIn, Spotify etc…
  • Monetization options
  • Upfront costs and billing
  • Podcast metadata (title, artwork, category etc.)
  • Analytics
  • Listen offline / download option
  • Good marketing options

And please, please, as with any digital content, do read the small print. Especially for free offers that seem too good to be true. Remember that if you don’t pay for the product, you are the product – whether it’s by letting the hosting platform monetize your data, or infringe on your copyrights.

Overview of the Best Podcast Hosting Platforms

Buzzsprout: Still Going and Growing Strong

buzzsprout podcast hosting 1


Buzzsprout has been going since 2009, and now has 100,000 podcasting users. When we first put them at the top of our list, they still seemed like a work in progress. But seeing how the technology has evolved in recent years, and all the new features they keep adding, we can confidently name them a strong contender for the best podcast host for beginners, and best all-rounder.

Their core focus is to create a smooth experience for new podcasters. The interface is easy to use and intuitive. The submission to iTunes or Spotify is done via clear step by step guides. The stats are easy to understand. You can use their free site or link to a WordPress website for more control.

Since I last looked at Buzzsprout, they have added a number of interesting paid features, such as the ability to get your episodes transcribed for $0.25 / minute. They also offer “Magic Mastering”, which, in their own words, is like an Instagram filter for audio. In short, it optimizes audio compression and levels to match the best practices for each platform (Apple Podcast is particularly picky about it). It costs $6 – 12 a month depending on your plan (not available on the free plan).

The standard features have also been given a nice polish, with a brand new embedded player, an updated text editor for the show notes, and the ability to mark chapters, amongst others. Recent additions and innovations also include soundbite tags, and podcast locking, to avoid the risk of getting your content stolen.

It’s quite amazing how often Buzzsprout pushed new features, and you can keep track of them all on their excellent blog, where you’ll also find hundreds of super useful tips and tricks for beginners.

The downsides? Be aware that there are caps for bandwidth as well as uploaded audio.

Buzzsprout Pricing

  • Free: up to 2 hours of audio monthly. No ads, but the episodes are deleted after 90 days.
  • $12 per month: 3 hours of audio per month. Unlimited bandwidth. You can add more content at $4 per hour.
  • $18 per month: up to 6 hours of audio. Add more for $3 per hour.
  • $24 per month. Up to 12 hours each month. Add more for $2 per hour.

Buzzsprout Pros

  • Simple interface: the user experience with BuzzSprout is excellent. This is true whether you update your first episode, or transfer an old show to their platform.
  • Clear, transparent pricing: nothing too complicated here. You can manage your plan based on how many hours of audio you host with them.
  • Distribute to major directories: you’ll find all the usual suspects such as Spotify, iTunes and Google Podcasts, among many others.
  • Useful advanced features: we’re big fans of the audio transcription service ($.01 per minute), which can let you convert episodes to blog posts (good for SEO). You can also create a simple website for your podcast.
  • Automatic audio optimization: if you’re not too confident in your sound engineering skills, BuzzSprout offers Magic Mastering (from $6-12 per month depending on your plan). It applies optimization effects to your audio to make it sound more professional.

Buzzsprout Cons

  • Free plan deletes your files after 90 days: you won’t be able to create a full show archive on their free plan.
  • Bandwidth limit: while the cap is set at a generous 250GB per month, it means you might potentially restrict the number of listeners you can have.
  • Download limits: you have to dig deep into their terms and conditions to find that more than 5000 monthly downloads of your episodes could force you to use the Buzzsprout Pro plan.

> More information: www.buzzsprout.com (receive a $20 gift card from Amazon when you sign up for a paid plan)

Libsyn: Home of The Biggest Names in Podcasting

Libsyn Podcast Hosting 1

If you’re an avid podcast listener, chances are Libsyn is the name that comes to mind as soon as you think of hosting. There is a long list of famous alumni, including The Joe Rogan Experience. WTF with Marc Maron was hosted there. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History and the McElroy brothers were there. You’ll be in good company.

Now Libsyn, which was the first podcast host (founded in 2004), always focused on publishing to multiple directories (Libsyn is short for liberated syndication i.e. free from exclusive deals), and this is true to this day. Libsyn offers more distribution opportunities than any other host. You can push your audio files to hundreds of directories, including Apple, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music/Audible, Youtube, SoundCloud, Twitter, and WordPress, amongst others.

Unique to Libsyn is they give you a stand-alone feed for Spotify, Pandora, Gaana, and other key platforms allowing for additional information in those custom feeds and unique promotion opportunities with those platforms.

In terms of bonus features, you get a page on libsyn (mypodcast.libsyn.com), and the top tier plan also comes with your very own custom podcast app for your show, which gets your podcast out as an app into the Apple App + Google Play Store. Libsyn also supports the publishing of video files.

The advanced statistics which include listener location and device, amongst others, only appear on the mid-tier plan onward. The dashboard looks a bit dated but we were told that a new version will be launched in 2021.

With the current version you’ll be able to find powerful features, especially in the statistics department. You can filter them for a set period, and even select your preferred metric. There is Libsyn’s own, and the IAB, developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. This is proof that Libsyn is serious about how you measure the success of your podcast, which in turn will help you grow it further. Libsyn’s stats update every 15 minutes, by the way.

Libsyn Podcast Hosting Pricing

  • Libsyn Classic 50: $5 per month. Lets you add up to 50 MB of audio monthly.  You can create an RSS feed, podcast page, HTML5 player, and network app listing. Basic statistics cost $2 extra per month.
  • Libsyn Classic 250: $15 a month to add 250 MB of data monthly. Same as above, except basic stats are included.
  • Libsyn Advanced 400: $20 per month for 400 MB of extra data storage per month. You can get the custom app or an extra 200Mb for $10 more per month. Advanced statistics are included in the price.
  • Libsyn Advanced 800: $40 a month for 800MB of extra data per month. Same as above with the extra option of transcoding your audio files.
  • Libsyn Advanced 1500: $75 / month for all the bells and whistles and near-unlimited data hosting.
  • Libsyn Advanced 3000: $150 / month for even more storage (1500 MB)

Libsyn Podcast Hosting Pros

  • Reliable reputation: Libsyn is the home of many famous podcasts for a good reason. It’s a solid platform that hosts with loads of listeners can rely on with complete peace of mind.
  • Unlimited audience: don’t worry about listener counts, the only limit monthly is how much storage you use.
  • Advanced features: not all of them are free, but there is a great choice in monetization, statistics, and how you present our podcast to the world with a custom site.

Libsyn Podcast Hosting Cons

  • Dated design: if you spend a lot of time in the dashboard, you might start wishing they would give it a new coat of paint.
  • No free plan: the minimum you’ll have to spend to use Libsyn is $5 a month. Not a huge sum, but add an extra $2 for standard statistics.
  • Paid extras: even if you’re a premium plan, you’ll still have to pay extra to use the IOS and Android app or your own domain.

> Try it out: www.libsyn.com (get 1 month for free using Promo Code ‘tooltester’)

SoundCloud: The Social Podcasting Host

Soundcloud Podcast Platform 1

SoundCloud is a highly recognizable name in the music streaming world. But they’re also one of the biggest platforms for podcast hosting. The biggest advantage is that millions of users browse their platform looking for new content, so you’ll get some traffic simply by virtue of using the service. It combines podcast hosting with social media, like an audio version of Instagram. Great for discovery and attracting curious listeners.

It’s also is an intuitive website, which has been around long enough to be trustworthy. Their player is ubiquitous on the web, and that’s because it’s so easy to embed and comes with good options. These include the ability to one-click share to Twitter, and their innovative timed comments that really give a sense of community around each upload.

SoundCloud works to host your podcasts, but it’s really a musicians-first hosting platform. This is evident when you start looking at the monetization options of their new Repost service, which all claim to help you make money “from your music”. This works by placing ads before your episodes, but you don’t really control the advertisers.

Having said that, the free version of Soundcloud (Soundcloud Basic) could be good for new podcasters who just want to get a response to their efforts and gather a few new audience members. Aside from that, you can either pay $30 a year for the Repost or $54 for Pro Unlimited. There are no monthly payment options.

The names are a bit confusing, and so is the way the features are shared between the three tiers. For instance, Repost lets you monetise your plays, but not accept fan donations. The Basic and Pro Unlimited plans, however, lets you accept fan donations . But you can’t monetise with Basic.

In fact, the whole Repost service seems to confuse a lot of users. The big idea is that it’s a central platform to keep track of all your monetization and distribution options, and you can then push your podcast to services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Once your royalties reach a certain amount, you can withdraw them directly from Repost, which could be a good way to make extra money on the side. For pro podcast hosts, Libsyn is probably a much better option.

SoundCloud Podcast Hosting Pricing

  • SoundCloud Basic: free. 3H of upload time, and basic statistics and embedding options.
  • Repost: $30 per year: push your episodes to streaming services and monetize in one platform.
  • SoundCloud Pro:$90 a year. Unlimited upload time, monetization options, and advanced listener insights (stats).

SoundCloud Podcast Hosting Pros

  • Good player and easy embeds: the reason you see the Soundcloud player everywhere is that it’s so easy to integrate for a whole bunch of platforms.
  • Get traffic from a large community: not a given, but you could increase your listener count simply by virtue of being on a social network and interacting with fellow podcasters
  • Excellent statistics: the basic “listener insights” of SoundCloud Free might just be ok. But the advanced reporting from the paid plans are extremely in-depth.

SoundCloud Podcast Hosting Cons

  • No monthly plans: you can only pay for 12 months at a time. Keep an eye on the regular promotions though, because you could save a lot.
  • Confusing tiers: the choice between Pro Unlimited and Repost isn’t evident, even after you carefully pore over all the different features.
  • Three hour limit: the free plan is limited by length, not size. It can be a problem for those who were hoping to reduce their bitrate a bit in order to upload longer episodes.

RSS.com: Unlimited Storage at a Fair Price

rss.com home page

RSS.com isn’t the inventor of the RSS technology for blogs that you may already be familiar with. Instead they are another podcast hosting service who uses that exact technology for their podcasting feeds. They present themselves as “the #1 way to start and grow a podcast”. It’s true that they offer a minimalistic interface, effective chat support and a great user experience. But let’s see their pricing, pros and cons.

RSS.com pricing

  • The Educational plan costs $4.99 a month and is available to teachers and students only (you will have to register with a .edu domain).
  • RSS Podcast plan costs $12.99 a month: among other features, you’ll get unlimited storage and episodes, will be able to monetize your podcast through sponsors, and get a free website to show your podcasts. It is 3 times more expensive than the Educational plan but, given its features, it’s still a fair price. If you pay for the $99 annual plan you save $56.88.
  • If you’re a part of a nonprofit organization, you will have to contact RSS to see how you can build a partnership and get a discount.

RSS.com Pros

  • A user-friendly interface.
  • Cross channel podcast including Spotify and Google podcasts.
  • A simple way to find sponsors and monetize your podcast (thanks to Podcorn).
  • Pricing is simple – 2 plans. The RSS podcast plan is not the cheapest one on our list, but it is fair.
  • Unlimited audio storage.
  • Real-time analytics.
  • Episode scheduling & social media integration.
  • Good chat support (when we tested it Support answered us the same day, a few hours after we sent our question via the chat).

RSS.com cons

Hard to find some big cons to be honest! Nonetheless…

  • The cheapest plan is only open to students and teachers. If you’re not studying or teaching, you will have to pay 12,99 dollars a month to use RSS.com. You can’t ignore the fact that Anchor.com for instance offers very similar features, like unlimited storage and episode duration, for free…
  • With the RSS.com free plan, you will only be able to post one single episode. The free plan is just there to let you discover the platform, not to create a podcast. For a good free plan, consider Anchor or Podbean.
  • If you want to display your episodes on a website, it is probably better to build your website first with one of these providers and later add on your RSS feed. The “free website” RSS.com offers will only show your episodes: for instance, you won’t be able to create a blog or an online store with an RSS website.

> More information: www.rss.com

Captivate: Focused on Growing Your Audience

Captivate Podcast

Captivate was built by podcast industry veterans Rebel Base Media and Podcast Websites. And the expertise and knowledge these folks have put into their platform is obvious from the start.

In fact, Captivate could be one of the best-designed podcasting solutions out there. The dashboard is super intuitive, with clear yet thorough statistics. There are tons of tooltips for beginners on things like bitrate, advanced statistics, and publishing options.

It’s also very easy to integrate the players into the complimentary free website, or your own WordPress site (check out our guide to cheap WordPress hosting), thanks to their dedicated plugin. You can even import all your libraries in a few clicks from other platforms.

If you want to learn more about the company, Rebel Base Media have their own podcasts about podcasts…  So you can listen to industry news, business insights, and tips and tricks on how to grow your audience. Plus, you get to see the superb Captivate player in action.

When I first wrote about Captivate, it was still in its early stages, but we can now confirm it’s a solid platform to host your podcast on. The features are exhaustive, the user experience is fantastic, and even the free websites you get with each plan look good. And aside from the number of monthly downloads, there are no limits on the number of podcasts you can host or team members you can add.

They’ve also been working on cool tools, especially when it comes to monetizing your program. You can add built-in CTAs or create a Sponsor Kit PDF to show your numbers and give an idea of your reach to potential advertisers.

Lately, they’ve introduced a new offer that allows you to publish private podcast episodes. This is a fantastic way to monetize premium content, or to create a membership program. It’s a feature you usually only find in the highest tier with other podcast hosts, but Captivate offers it on any of their paid plans.

There’s definitely a lot to love, so I’d highly recommend giving their platform a shot with the free 7-day trial offer.

Captivate Pricing

  • Podcaster plan: $19 / month, 12,000 downloads per month
  • Audio Influencer: $49 / month, 60,000 downloads per month
  • Podcast Brand: $99 / month, 150,000 downloads per month

Captivate Pros

  • Superb-looking player: you can choose to display one episode only or your whole collection of shows. Include a call to action and a whole bunch of other cool options.
  • No changes made to files: what you record is what your users hear.
  • Very easy to use: you can tell Captivate was designed by podcast fanatics, who really understand user experience and intuitive features. It’s got a great dashboard and excellent team management features.
  • WordPress plugin: one of the few podcast hosts with a plugin that lets you publish episodes like you publish posts in the WP dashboard!
  • Private podcasts on entry-level plan: this is a great way to monetize premium content, sell a membership, or just release bonus episodes for a number of listeners. You get 150 invites on Podcaster, 500 on Audio Influencer, and 1000 on Podcast Brand.

Captivate Cons

  • Pricier than some competitors: you get what you pay for, but it can be a bit overwhelming for new podcasters to spend at least $19 a month to host a show.
  • No overall statistics: For some reason, I could only find episode stats. They are detailed, but it would be useful to combine them for an overall view of your show’s popularity.

> More information: Captivate.fm (7-day free trial)

PodBean: Excellent Free Plan

Podbean Podcast Hosting 1

Started in 2006 and hosting more than 400,000 podcasts, PodBean is quickly making a name for itself. In fact, you might already be familiar with this New York based company thanks to its popular player, which works with iOS, Android and even Amazon’s Alexa.

In terms of hosting features, you get good monetization and marketing tools such as the ability to push to social, create a custom design, and use embedded players. One of their unique selling points is the crowdfunding option, which acts like a mix between Kickstarter and Patreon. In short, they’re doing their best to help podcasters make the leap from hobbyist to professional by getting them paid.

Podbean Podcast Hosting Pricing

  • Basic: completely free! 5 hours of storage space and 100GB of bandwidth per month. Can’t monetize and you only get basic player themes.
  • Unlimited Audio: $9 per month for unlimited audio and bandwidth. You can start monetizing through 2 ad networks. Get access to basic player customization, and you can also map the website to your own domain name.
  • Unlimited Plus: $29 per month. Same as above, but with full custom design options for the player. You can monetize through all 4 available ad networks, and join their podcast network.
  • Business: $99 per month. For enterprise podcasting who need multiple admin access, white-label podcasting app and premium bandwidth.

Podbean Podcast Hosting Pros

  • Free subdomain and website
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable plans
  • Good monetization options

Podbean Podcast Hosting Cons

  • Basic website functions
  • Premium bandwidth costs extra

Podbean Podcast Hosting Notes

Podbean is a great hosting site for beginners. It’s user-friendly, has tons of options and gives you all the tools to get started, including numerous monetization options (with the paid plans). The customer service also seems top-notch, which is great when you are setting up for the first time.

One of their big markets are also enterprise podcasts, so if you’re at a company in need of a powerful internal communication tool, you can use things like collaboration tools and content segmentation. It seems to work well, as organizations like IBM, Stripe and JP Morgan use Podbean for their business podcasting needs.

> More information: www.podbean.com

Blubrry: Tasty Podcasting Features

Blubrry Podcast Hosting 1

Blubrry acts as a podcast hosting platform, a podcast directory, and a podcast plugin for WordPress, the highly praised PowerPress plugin. It’s a huge advantage for WordPress users, because everything is optimized for them, from storage space to ease of use. Also, you get a free PowerPress site – which looks pretty good for displaying your audio content.

Blubrry Podcast Hosting Pricing

  • Small: $12 per month. Lets you add 100MB storage every month. Unlimited bandwidth and premium stats.
  • Medium: $20 per month for 250MB of extra storage each month.
  • Large: $40 per month for 500MB of extra storage each month.
  • Extra Large: $80 per month for 1000MB of extra storage each month.

Blubrry Podcast Hosting Pros

  • Unlimited bandwidth and premium stats on all plans
  • Free PowerPress Site for all plans
  • Generous 25% allowance for going over extra storage
  • Edit and replace old content to make it evergreen

Blubrry Podcast Hosting Cons

  • Statistics can be overwhelming
  • Complex for non WordPress users

Blubrry Podcast Hosting Notes

Blubrry has made a great reputation for itself thanks to their PowerPress plugin for WordPress. We like that they’re generous with their storage space – something no other podcast hosting platform does.

And while it’s a little bit more expensive than other solutions, they are giving users more power with their unique features such as “no-fault storage” (which gives you complimentary storage of up to 25% above your monthly quota in case you get a spike in listeners); “long-tail podcasting” which lets you edit and replace content in your archive at no additional cost for evergreen content, and a professional production add-on (for mastering and editing your content).

> More information: www.blubrry.com

Spreaker: Pushing Your Words Through Their App

Spreaker Podcast Hosting 1

You might have heard the name Spreaker thanks to their popular podcasting app. It’s available on iOS and Android, and lets you listen to a huge directory of podcasts from around the world. Oh, and there’s also Spreaker Studio, their desktop and mobile software that lets you record, edit, and manage podcasts.

Which is why it’s not surprising to hear that Spreaker also works behind the scenes, by letting you host your podcast with them directly. Of course you get to reach their huge audience of app listeners, and you can even broadcast live to really feel like a radio presenter!. Oh and you can also publish to Spotify, TuneIN, Stitcher and iHeartRadio, amongst others – all starting at $0 per month.

Spreaker Podcast Hosting Pricing

  • Free Speech: Free plan lets you upload up to 5 hours of audio. Live podcasts can be up to 15 mins long. No monetization.
  • On-Air talent: $6 per month. Upload a maximum of 100 hours of audio. Live podcasts can be 45 mins long. Start monetizing and get customizable RSS feeds. Basic stats.
  • Broadcaster: $18 per month for a maximum of 500 hours of audio storage. 3 hours of live podcasting. Advanced statistics
  • Anchorman: $45 per month for 1,500 hours of audio max. 5 hours of live podcasting and full statistics.

Spreaker Podcast Hosting Pros

  • Find your audience through their popular app
  • Live broadcasting!
  • Chat with listeners
  • Full integration with the Spreaker Studio

Spreaker Podcast Hosting Cons

  • Statistics are tiered depending on plan

Spreaker Podcast Hosting Notes

Spreaker provides a good 360 solution for podcasters. You can record in their app, host on their plans, and reach audiences through their other app. With a focus on live broadcasting and chat, you’ll feel like a real radio presenter in no time!

The plans are generous, and the main thing to keep an eye out on are the kind of statistics and distribution options you get. For instance, with On-Air Talent, you get Customizable RSS feeds, but the player isn’t customizable. Statistics are also limited, so you’ll need the highest tier to get things like followers trend, listeners geolocation, episodes likes and audience demographics (it can even be as granular as learning which devices people listen on with the Anchorman plan).

Transistor: Podcasting For Personal Brands

transistor podcast hosting

A fairly newcomer to the hosting scene, Transistor is now the podcasting home of Alexis Ohanian (co-founder of Reddit) and companies like Basecamp and Kickstarter. You’ve guessed it, they’re geared towards businesses, creatives and professional podcasters, especially those who have multiple shows under their own names.

In terms of features you can expect all the usual like listener analytics, embedded players, customization options, and one click publication to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast and more.

Transistor Pricing

  • Monthly: $19 per month unlimited podcasts, 2 users per podcast, 10,000 monthly downloads
  • Professional: $49 a month same as above with 5 users per podcast and 50,000 downloads
  • Business: $99 a month for 10 users per podcast and 150,000 downloads

Transistor Pros

  • Host unlimited podcasts
  • Good analytics
  • Focus on team management

Transistor Cons

  • Limited monthly downloads
  • No free plan
  • Can’t remove player branding unless on Business plan

Transistor Notes

A key advantage of using Transistor over competitors is probably the ability to host unlimited podcasts with one account. If you have multiple shows under your name, it’s easier to keep them all in one place – which explains why companies love using Transistor.

Because it’s modern, you also get a well-designed backend that is intuitive and easy to use. I’m surprised that this platform that focuses on personal branding doesn’t let you customize the player on the lowest tiers, though. Final note: there’s no free plan, but you can test all the features with the 14 day trial (you’ll need to enter your card number).

> More information: www.transistor.fm

Anchor: 100% Free Podcast Hosting

anchor podcast hosting

You might have noticed a trend with all the platforms I’ve mentioned so far: you usually get a free plan with limited features, and then paid ones. But not with Anchor, the only solution on our list that is completely free and completely unlimited.

And if you’re worried about how they fund that free service: In 2019, Anchor was acquired by Spotify for a reported $140M, so there is investment money behind it. In a lengthy Medium post, their CEO also explained that hosting a podcast costs less than 10 cents a month, so any paid podcast hosting platform is essentially ripping you off.

But what about the content ownership? Does it mean you’re signing away the rights to your podcasts when you use a free platform? Turns out there was some controversy around it, but it looks like you still have full ownership of all your content. However, their terms and conditions do give them license to distribute the content worldwide, so they could reproduce it and even market it for themselves if they so choose.

Anchor Pricing:

  • Completely, 100% free for unlimited file uploads, downloads and listeners. You can even remove the branding.

Anchor Pros:

  • Well, it’s completely free
  • One click distribution
  • Record from your the app, desktop or browser (with up to 5 people at once)
  • Monetization options

Anchor Cons:

  • Clunky audio editor
  • Poor customer support
  • Limited marketing / distribution options

Anchor Notes

The fact that Anchor is completely free and not used by any known podcasts should give you a good clue about who it’s for. It’s mostly beginners and budding podcasters. In fact, some people go as far as calling it a “sandbox”, that is to say: a place where you can experiment without having high expectations.

As for monetization options, they’re also available via their sponsorship programs, which matches you with advertisers (and pockets Anchor a 30% fee). There’s also the option to be sponsored by listeners.

Now you might not be able to become the next hit podcast with Anchor, but it’s definitely a great option to test the waters and get started in the world of professional podcasting.

Castos: Seriously Simple Podcasting

Podcast Hositng from Castos

The “seriously simple” part comes from them running the “Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin”. Remember at the top of the article how we said it’s not wise to host podcast files on your website? There is an exception. If you use WordPress, you can install one of their fantastic plugins to turn your site into a complete podcasting solution. Castos is probably the best, including Powerpress, which we mentioned above.

Castos Podcast Hosting Pricing

  • Starter: $19 per month. Unlimited episodes and storage, one-click import of previous episodes from elsewhere, in-depth stats.
  • Growth: $49 per month. Same as above, with the extra ability to republish podcasts to Youtube as videos.
  • Pro: $99 per month. Same as Growth, but you can also host video podcasts.

Castos Podcast Hosting Pros

  • Can separate hosting and plugin
  • Good analytics
  • Unlimited episodes and storage with all plans
  • Can add all metadata in another language
  • Option to republish podcasts to YouTube

Castos Podcast Hosting Cons

  • Need a WordPress site
  • Requires WordPress technical knowledge

Castos Podcast Hosting Notes

Castos is an ideal solution for users who already know and love WordPress. The stats are great, it’s easy to publish from your dashboard, and you can upload unlimited episodes. The prices seem a bit stiff, however, and the video options don’t really seem worth it. It’s also worth noting that you can use the company’s full set of services to help you edit, launch and distribute your podcast with PodcastMotor.

Since I originally reviewed Castos, they have implemented some new features like an audio transcription tool ($0,1 per minute), professional editing services (from $75 per episode), and they’re apparently working on some new customizable analytics reports to show potential advertisers.

> More information: castos.com

Squarespace: Website Builder for Creatives

squarespace podcast

If you listen to podcasts yourself then you probably also know their ads. One thing to note is that Squarespace is a fully-fletched website builder and not just a podcast hosting service. So if you’ve already got a website, this wouldn’t be for you. However, if you also need a place to host your blog, Squarespace could be a really decent choice for you.

Squarespace Pros

  • Convenient all in one blogging solution
  • No extra costs for podcast hosting (It’s enough to have the Personal plan)
  • Useful video tutorial

Squarespace Cons

  • Only works for Squarespace websites
  • Can’t move your Podcast to a different platform easily
  • Missing pro features (statistics etc.)

> More information: squarespace.com

Honorable mention: Wix Podcast Player

wix podcast 1

We’re big fans of Wix as a website builder. And we also knew they offer tons of apps to transform your site based on your needs. One of them is the Wix Podcast Player, which is ideal if you already rely on their platform. It’s free to add to your site, but keep in mind that it’s only a player. You need to host your podcast on one of the other services mentioned in this article.

Wix Podcast Player Pros

  • Integrates into Wix
  • Very easy to get started

Wix Podcast Player Cons

  • For Wix websites only
  • No hosting included

> More information

Conclusion – The Best Podcast Hosting Platform?

Quite frankly, it’s amazing to see how quickly podcasting has grown in the last decade, and this means a proliferation of platforms where you can host your episodes. So the best podcast hosting platform will vary depending on:

  • Do you want a generous free plan? We like what BuzzSprout and PodBean are doing. And Anchor is the only true 100% free solution we’ve looked at.
  • Do you use and love WordPress? Then you should probably go for Castos or Blubrry
  • Do you want to grow your podcast professionally? Go for the industry standard Libsyn or use Transistor for multiple shows under the same account.
  • Ease of use is your main focus? SoundCloud or PodBean are great options.

And of course, this list might continue to grow over the years, so feel free to let us know your feedback, comments and podcast hosting suggestions below!

Latest updates:

15 Dec 2021: RSS.com
21 May 2020: General update & Transistor and Anchor added
30 Oct 2019: Captivate added.
16 Aug 2019: Added Squarespace

About Josep Garcia, M.A. Multimedia Applications (UOC)

josep garcia

Hi there, I am Josep Garcia. Since 2014 I've been testing and writing about website builders and hosting services, and I share all my learnings at Tooltester.com. I hope you enjoyed this article, but of course, if you have any questions, please leave me a comment below.

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