Where to Host Your Podcast in 2022
As a new podcast creator, you have a lot of options to host your podcast. Let’s find out which one is right for you in 2022.
So, if you’re like, well, just about anyone living in 2022, you’ve thought about starting a podcast. You get some buddies, set up some mics, and discuss what ’80’s synth-pop band has the best vocalist while drinking craft brews on your new show, “Tears for Fears and Beers.” You decide you don’t like that name anymore, so you settle for “Bock of Seagulls.”
But, after recording is over and you’ve gone back to re-record three more times—and then you mastered your file—how do you distribute it to the masses that are hungry for this incredibly specific content? What options do you have for hosting your podcast, both free and paid? That’s what we’re diving into today.
Before we talk about the specific apps and websites to use, let’s discuss some items you need to check off your list before you get started.
First, let’s discuss what an RSS feed is and why you need this service.
What Is an RSS Feed?
If you’re unfamiliar with this service, essentially, RSS acts as a middleman between your podcast episodes and distributors like Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, etc. When trying to upload, these popular sites will ask for your “RSS URL,” so you’ll 100% need this to host your podcast on this and multiple platforms.
All you have to do is enter all the basic information about your podcast: title, description, cover art, and a few tags to help categorize it all.
You’ll upload the audio file to the RSS feed. So, when you take the URL given to you to the big distributors, all the information you uploaded to RSS will populate, and it provides this information to them so they can verify everything.
It might take a little while to upload your podcast, so be patient and expect to wait a little bit. It’s always best to have your podcast ready to upload days before the scheduled release due to the inconsistency with the RSS deliverable.
So, now that we have that covered, let’s start talking about hosting sites, and the pros and cons that you can expect with each of them.
Libsyn is one of the oldest, most tried-and-true hosting sites out there. A large number of popular podcasts are hosted here, primarily because of their excellent distribution infrastructure and abilities for scaling once your podcast gets a bigger audience.
Once you upload your podcast, Libsyn will give you the ability to upload your podcast to over twenty different podcast platforms, such as iTunes, Podcast Addict, and PocketCasts.
They also offer tools to monetize your podcast by allowing businesses to splice their commercials and ads into your podcast, with no work needed on your end. Also, most of their features are available at all price points, making it perfect for budget-conscious podcasters.
- $5/month for 50mb/month upload size
- $15/month for 250mb/month upload size
- $20+/month for higher allotments/month upload size
Buzzsprout is one of the more user-friendly options on this list and has helped many people get their podcasts off the ground. It caters to beginners and longtime podcasters, alike. With advanced analytics to show you who’s listening worldwide and how they’re listening, it’s one of the top choices for any level of podcaster.
They probably have one of the most accessible distribution features. Simply upload your podcast episode, and Buzzsprout does all the work to get your audio onto just about every single major platform. Due to their own optimization process, they also measure their size requirements to hours, not megabites.
- Free for two hours of content/month (podcasts are deleted after 90 days)
- $12 for three hours/month
- $18 for six hours/month
- $24 for twelve hours/month
Simplecast, like the name suggests, is a highly easy-to-use podcast hosting and management site. It does two things exceptionally well: hosting your audio files (no matter the size) and great analytics to measure your podcast’s success.
The website is sleek, modern, easy to maneuver, and one of the cheapest options for unlimited storage.
- $15/month for unlimited storage
- $35+/month for added features (team member access and more analytic tools)
Megaphone is one of the more enterprise-centric sites on this list. You can tell right from the first page of their site, which is half dedicated to advertisers and half for publishers.
If you’re looking to monetize your podcast, Megaphone has the framework and team dedication to get your podcast to start making money, once you solidify your audience. Huge names trust it in the podcasting game, such as Gimlet, Vox Media, and The Wall Street Journal.
If you’re hosting a podcast with your buddies, this might not be the best choice. But, if you’re starting a podcast for your company and you already have a large audience, this is one of the best ones to choose.
Price: Custom Quote
If you want to both host your podcast and a website for it, PodcastGIANT is an admirable choice. They offer fast and unlimited podcast hosting, along with a custom website that hosts your podcast for your audience to find.
They automatically optimize your content for SEO, so you don’t have to worry about becoming a search engine expert overnight to get your podcast seen.
Price: $37/month for unlimited uploads
Just like PodcastGIANT, Fireside is focused on hosting your podcast alongside creating a beautiful website for it. They’ve got analytic tools, website building features, and a distribution network that gets your podcast on every major streaming app.
If you already have episodes hosted elsewhere, they’ve got a one-click importer that grabs your episodes from another site without losing any subscribers. They’ve also got a pretty competitive price for unlimited storage and downloads. So, it’s a fair price for someone looking to build a brand.
Price: $19/month for unlimited uploads and storage
SoundCloud is a unique hosting site since it’s both a hosting site and a distribution/streaming service. You may know SoundCloud from underground rappers and mixtape releases, but it’s also an excellent alternative for someone who wants their podcast in one place.
Their comment system allows people to comment on specific timestamps, giving you detailed feedback on what your audience is connected to. SoundCloud doesn’t distribute to other sites—such as Spotify and iTunes—so be aware if you decide to host your audio files here. It’s free, though, so many people choose it for its ease of use and availability.
- Free for three hours of content/month
- $10.80/month for unlimited storage
So, Which Is Right for You?
Now that you know all of the options available to you, how do you decide which one is right for you? Well, we came up with a “Podcast Hosting Selector” for you. This will help you narrow down your choices based on things you should consider before starting your podcast.
On a Tight Budget, and Only Releasing Monthly Episodes: Libsyn
Libsyn offers a $5/month plan with a 50Mb upload limit. It’s the perfect size if you only want to release one or two episodes per month.
Just Having Fun, and Don’t Want to Spend Any Money: SoundCloud
SoundCloud is the perfect platform for people that want to record a podcast with their buddies and host it somewhere where they don’t have to worry about payments or monetization.
Serious About Podcasting, But on a Limited Budget: Simplecast and Buzzsprout
With a $15/month price plan for unlimited storage for Simplecast and a $12/month for three hours of content on Buzzsprout, Simplecast and Buzzsprout are the best sites for people who want their podcast to be ready for growth and audience retention.
Want Both a Podcast and a Slick Website: Fireside and PodcastGIANT
Both Fireside and PodcastGIANT offer simple avenues for you to create a killer website to host your podcast on. If that’s important to you, it’s a good idea to stick to sites with the infrastructure to support it.
Working with an Enterprise Company and Want Immediate Reach: Megaphone
Megaphone is essentially the Cadillac of the hosting sites. Their prices are quote-based, and they work with some of the biggest clients out there in the podcasting world.
Suppose you start a podcast for a big company or even a medium-sized one. In that case, Megaphone is the perfect site to get an immediate audience and access to advertisers as quickly as possible.
Now that we have the how and where figured out, let’s talk about a way to speed up the distribution by consistently putting out more episodes to appease the algorithm that we all know and love.
Transcription services help you organize and more efficiently edit your work. An incredible way to speed up your post-recording workflow is that of podcast transcription. This will allow you to quickly cut as you need without listening to the whole thing repeatedly.
Here’s a list of reliable and cost-effective transcription services you can check out:
Looking for more advice on podcasts and editing audio? Check these out:
Cover image via Jiri Hera.
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