The 8 Best Podcast Platforms and Hosting Sites

Starting a podcast is exciting for anyone who wants to share their expertise, opinions, and ideas on an open platform. You probably already know what you’ll talk about, who you want to invite, and when you’ll release episodes.

But sooner or later, you’ll run into technical concerns—what microphone to buy, what podcast editing software is best, or what podcast hosting platform or site to use.

In this article, I’ve ranked and reviewed the best podcast hosting sites, the basic features you need, and how to use them.

buzzsprout

Used by 100,000+ podcasters, Buzzsprout is an easy-to-use platform with a wide range of features.

rss logo

RSS.com is the service to use if you want unlimited storage for the best price.

anchor by spotify

Anchor.fm is one of the best platforms for free recording and hosting and offers rich features despite the free plan.

libsyn

Libsyn is an excellent and affordable option for publishing quickly on major podcast directories.

podbean
Podbean lets you record remote podcasts and host them for distribution in one go
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out of 10

Omar's Take

As one of the most popular podcast hosting platforms, Buzzsprout is the podcast host of choice for over 100,000 podcasters. It’s one of the best podcast hosting platforms for anyone looking for an easy-to-use platform.

What makes Buzzsprout one of the best podcast hosting services available is its robust analytics and reporting to help you track your podcast’s growth and progress.

  • Best Overall
  • Price Starting at $12/mo (for paid plans)
  • Annual Discount N/A
  • Promotion Free plan for 90 days

Key Features

Buzzsprout has a user-friendly podcast hosting platform that lets you easily upload your podcast audio files. There are also direct integrations with audio editing software like Audacity to allow you to export your files directly to Buzzsprout.

Buzzsprout is also one of the few podcast hosting providers that let you make soundbite video clips. This helps you promote your podcasts on social media channels and other platforms.

There’s also a customizable podcast player that makes embedding your podcast episodes to your website seamless.

Podcasters can also access Buzzsprout’s Magic Mastering™ feature, which automatically improves a podcast episode’s audio quality for optimal listening experiences.

Aside from that, Buzzsprout provides some of the most detailed statistics on your podcast’s performance, including the number of plays, downloads, and subscribers.

The podcast hosting platform also has several monetization options, including direct ad sports and merchandise sales from your platform.

Cons

Depending on your plan, Buzzsprout has limits in terms of storage and monthly bandwidth. Your fee depends on the number of hours you upload. The more hours of episodes you upload a month, the more you’ll have to pay.

Pricing

Here are the pricing plans for Buzzsprout:

  • Free for the first two hours of monthly content for the first 90 days
  • 3 hours each month: $12 monthly
  • 6 hours each month: $18 monthly
  • 12 hours each month: $24 monthly
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out of 10

Omar's Take

Another well-known podcast host, RSS.com features an easy-to-use and powerful interface that many podcasters love.

The platform has a complete suite of podcast RSS feeds creation, podcast distribution, monetization features, and dashboards.

  • Best For Unlimited use
  • Price $12.99 a month
  • Annual Discount 20% to 35% off
  • Promotion Discount for NGOs

Key Features

You can create a cover, episode, and chapter art on RSS.com and then share them on social media and external websites for your listeners to see.

It’s also one of the few podcast-hosting sites that provide unlimited storage. That way, you to create as many podcast episodes as you’d like.

On top of limited free podcast hosting, RSS.com also gives users a free podcast website that automatically updates when you have a new episode to publish.

Cons

RSS.Com only allows you to create one show in one account, which could be challenging if you want to run and host multiple podcasts on one platform.

There are also some limitations to its statistics. More specifically, the podcast hosting provider has issues detecting and tracking the number of subscribers from podcast channels.

Pricing

Rss.com has three pricing tiers:

  • Student & NGO: from $4.99 monthly
  • All in One Podcasting: $14.99 monthly
  • Podcast Networks: Custom price
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Omar's Take

Anchor.fm is a podcast host service acquired by the giant streaming platform Spotify. As one of the best free podcast hosting services, Anchor.fm is another excellent option for aspiring podcasters with a limited budget.

  • Best Free podcast hosting
  • Price Free
  • Annual Discount N/A
  • Promotion Free plan

Key Features

For a free podcast hosting site, Anchor.fm is pretty stacked in the features category.

It has a great-looking smart podcast player that you can easily add to podcast websites.

Anchor.fm is also one of the very few podcast hosting providers to provide unlimited podcast hosting and storage.

Because it’s owned by Spotify, submitting your RSS feed through Anchor.fm would be easier.

However, it also does an excellent job submitting to other channels, like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and other platforms.

The free podcast host lets you publish unlimited episodes and use as much bandwidth as possible. You can also easily record and upload tracks, a feature that few podcast hosting service providers have.

Anchor.fm also has a monetization dashboard for podcasts that want to feature ads on their shows.

As one of the few free podcast hosting platforms with unlimited storage and bandwidth, Anchor.fm is easily one of the best hosting services in the market.

Cons

Anchor.fm uses an advertising model that involves a profit share.

That would be fine, too, but there is one limitation. This monetization feature is only available in the United States for the time being.

This could, of course, change in due time, but there’s no clear directive on when that might be.

Pricing

Anchor.fm is free to use.

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out of 10

Omar's Take

Libsyn is arguably the best podcast hosting service for podcasters who want a cheap option. The podcast host lets you publish relatively quickly on most major podcast directories.

What’s excellent about Libsyn is its social scheduling platform, which allows you to schedule podcast episodes and related promotional content, including posters and audio clips.

  • Best Affordable option
  • Price $5/mo
  • Annual Discount N/A
  • Promotion N/A

Key Features

Connect with your followers everywhere with Libsyn’s reliable and customized podcast hosting services.

It has an easy-to-use mobile app where listeners can check stats or edit an episode’s title, description, and others.

The podcast host also has two excellent monetization channels. First, you can use Libsyn AdvertiseCast Marketplace, which promotes your show to thousands of paying advertisers.

Next, you can also use Libsyn Glow, which allows you to create private podcasts for paid subscribers, advisors, or internal teams.

All of Libsyn’s plans provide unlimited bandwidth to users, giving you more streaming time for your listeners. Storage, however, depends on your plans.

Cons

Libsyn isn’t the most effortless podcast to use, as some beginners might struggle with its navigation and interface. Also, the podcast hosting service provider lacks a free trial, so you’ll need to start paying for the service from day one.

Advanced statistics and analytics also come with a separate price tag.

Pricing

Libsyn’s pricing plans are as follows:

  • $5 a month – 3 hours of podcast content and 162 MB of storage space monthly
  • $15 a month – 6 hours of podcast content and 324 MB of storage space monthly
  • $20 a month – 10 hours of podcast content and 540 MB of storage space monthly
  • $40 a month – 14 hours of podcast content and 800 MB of storage space monthly
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out of 10

Omar's Take

Podbean stands out amongst podcast hosting sites with some compelling features that set it apart from the rest. These include excellent recording capabilities, podcast transcriptions, and customization tools.

  • Best For Remote recording
  • Price Starting at $14/mo
  • Annual Discount Up to 35% off
  • Promotion Free plan for up to 5 hours of content

Key Features

Podbean has something called the Patron program. This is Podbean’s answer to Patreon, which lets you monetize your loyal listeners by getting a monthly pledge from them in exchange for exclusive rewards and peaks.

You also have the option to tier your pledges and offer more rewards the more your followers pledge.

The podcast hosting site has podcast recording capabilities with rich background music and remote recording for shows with multiple guests. It also provides multitrack audio files to make editing more in-depth.

You can also make podcast transcriptions on Podbean, which you can then add to your show notes to help with SEO and give your listeners more value.

Moreover, Podbean provides a podcast live stream platform for you to host live episodes on your podcast.

Well-designed website customization tools allow you to embed a podcast player directly into your WordPress website.

The hosting service provider also has plans for unlimited hosting and unlimited bandwidth, so you can publish unlimited episodes.

Cons

One of the limitations of Podbean is you can’t publish your podcast to Anchor on the free plan. However, this is a minor inconvenience, considering how affordable the paid plans are.

But if you’re looking for a free option, Podbean might not be for you. Spotify is still one of the most popular podcast directories, and not having it would leave a significant gap in your show.

Podbean’s remote recording is excellent, but it only supports audio-live streaming and not a full video-live stream.

Pricing

Here are the pricing plans of Podbean:

  • Basic: free for users who publish 5 hours or less of content
  • Unlimited Audio: $14 monthly
  • Unlimited Plus: $39 monthly
  • Network: $99 monthly
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out of 10

Omar's Take

Unlike other podcast hosting platforms, Podserve.fm helps show owners get more listeners by promoting their shows to thousands of potential followers.

  • Best For Broad audience reach
  • Price $19 a month
  • Annual Discount N/A
  • Promotion 14-day free trial, no credit card required

Key Features

Podserve.fm provides private podcasting, which makes it easy for podcast owners to monetize their content with gated episodes.

You also get a free transcription service with a paid plan.

Cons

If you’re not planning to podcast often, then the $19 monthly plan might be too costly to host your podcast.

However, if you plan to release multiple episodes, you can make the most out of the $19 monthly plan.

Pricing

On the pricing side, Podserve.fm provides one flat rate across the board, charging a fixed $19 a month no matter how many episodes or how much storage you take up.

You get a free trial for 14 days, then you start paying the regular rate.

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out of 10

Omar's Take

Fireside is one of the original podcast hosts, having been around since 2016. With a Fireside account, users get access to a customizable website, stats and analytics, built-in podcast security, a custom domain, and extra-fast audio file hosting.

  • Best For Embedding players
  • Price $9/mo
  • Annual Discount N/A
  • Promotion N/A

Key Features

With Fireside, you can create custom players you can embed anywhere. It also has dark and light-themed designs to fit any brand look.

Fireside also allows you to distribute your podcast content to virtually all podcast directories, including Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Amazon podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and many more.

Cons

Fireside is a bit on the pricey side and doesn’t have a free trial. So you’ll have to pay for a month to see what you can do with the app.

Pricing

Fireside’s plans are as follows:

  • Starter: $9 monthly
  • Standard: $19 monthly
  • Professional: $49 monthly

 

You also have the option to add more shows for another $8 monthly for each podcast show.

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out of 10

Omar's Take

With Spreaker’s reliable analytics tools, podcasters with a mid-range following can get accurate data about their audience and be open to more advertising potential. It covers all the bases and is highly convenient and user-friendly.

  • Best For Mid-range podcasters
  • Price Starting at $8/mo (for paid plans)
  • Annual Discount Up to 25%
  • Promotion Free up to 10 episode uploads

Key Features

Spreaker’s podcast distribution feature puts your episodes on some of the most popular directories.

Whether you want them on Google Podcast, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or many others, Speaker can help you get them on there.

The free podcast hosting of the platform allows for up to ten podcasts for free. Aside from the site’s podcast hosting services, Spreaker also has an audio recording app that you can use to create episodes.

You can invite guests to your podcast recordings and stream your episodes live via Spreaker.

Cons

There aren’t many cons to using this podcast platform except for some feature limitations. For one, the app doesn’t support video podcasting or podcast subscriptions if you want to monetize your community.

However, Spreaker does have the ability to create limited-access podcast episodes. The only thing missing is a way to collect payments, which is arguably the more important feature of this use-case scenario.

You’ll have to use other platforms and solutions to access these kinds of capabilities.

Pricing

Here are Spreaker’s plans and corresponding prices:

  • Free Speech: $0 monthly
  • On-Air Talent: $8 monthly
  • Broadcaster: $20 monthly
  • Anchorman: – $50 monthly
  • Publisher: $120 monthly

How To Publish Podcasts Online

Podcasts are excellent platforms to share ideas, opinions, and expertise. They’re also great commercial vehicles where you can earn by running ads or promoting products and services.

Studies show there are over 383 million podcast listeners online. If you plan to reach a global audience, starting a podcast is a great idea.

But publishing a podcast episode might not be the same as posting content on social media or YouTube. There are specific steps involved. Here’s how you can post your podcast online:

1 – Choose a Hosting Platform.

The first thing you’ll need to publish podcasts is to select from the slew of podcast hosting companies or platforms to use for your show. These are where you will store your podcast audio files and information.

A podcast hosting platform keeps track of your episodes, adds descriptions and titles, and publishes them.

There are tons of great podcast hosting platforms for podcasters and podcast producers. Later in this article, I’ll share some of the best ones you can start with if you’re looking for the best hosting service.

You can only use one hosting service for your show, so you’ll need to choose one solid choice. Choose one podcast hosting platform and add information that will give your podcast an identity, including the following:

A short introduction
A podcast cover image
A title
Other information that your podcast hosting platform might ask for

When choosing a paid platform, you’ll need to enter payment details to pay for the service.

2 – Create Your Podcast RSS Feed.

After you’ve chosen a podcast hosting platform, you’ll need to create an RSS Feed. An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) allows directories to access information and updates regularly.

Think of your RSS as a key to a room and the podcasts’ contents. You’ll submit your RSS to directories and allow them to access your podcast content to distribute on those directories.

Each hosting service has its own set of instructions for creating an RSS feed. Once you’ve chosen the best podcast hosting site, follow their instructions accordingly.

3 – Submit Your RSS Feed To Podcast Directories.

Once you have your RSS feed, you’ll need to start submitting them to podcast directories, apps, and sites where listeners access podcasts.

As a podcaster, you should know that directories like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and others don’t store your podcast files.

Instead, they use a podcast hosting service, which takes care of podcast distribution via your RSS feed.

4 – Wait for Directories To Approve Your RSS Feed.

Once you’ve submitted your RSS to podcast directories, the waiting game begins. Usually, it could take a few days to get your podcast on directories, so check in now and then.

5 – Share Your Podcast.

Once your podcast host submits your content and they approve, all you have to do now is tell the world about your show!

There are lots of great ways to promote your podcasts. Here are just a few basic ideas to help you get started:

  • Create social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others.
  • Start an email newsletter.
  • Build a website to give people more information on your podcast.
  • Share your show in forums and online groups.
  • Tell your family and friends about your podcast.
  • Invite influential guests and ask them to share your podcast episode with their followers.

 

Features of a Podcast Hosting Service

So much of your podcasting journey hinges on selecting the best podcast hosting platform for you.

You need to find one that provides the features you need to properly submit podcast content to directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other major podcast streaming platforms.

Here are other features you can get from a great podcast host:

Storage Capabilities

Most podcast hosts have certain storage limits. So, choose the one that provides as much storage as possible to create as many podcast episodes as you’d like.

Content Repurposing

Some podcast hosting platforms provide content repurposing. Choosing a podcast hosting service that offers this feature could be a big plus.

You could also add your podcast on YouTube.

It might seem weird to publish audio-only content on a video platform like YouTube, but video podcasts are becoming increasingly popular.

Moreover, YouTube gives you a good monetization stream if you have enough subscribers, views, or listens.

Website Integrations

Many podcasters choose to create a basic podcast website for their shows. If you’re planning to create a podcast and a website, integrating these two platforms could help you save significant time when publishing content.

Generally, you’ll want a podcast host that integrates with WordPress, as most podcasters use this content management system for their podcast websites.

Thankfully, many basic podcast hosts integrate seamlessly with a WordPress website.

Monetization Dashboards

Choosing a podcast hosting service with an excellent monetization dashboard will also be crucial if you’re planning to monetize your podcast through ads.

Most podcast hosting platforms have some form of monetization structure that allows you to earn from your show content.

Podcast Analytics

Last but not least, a podcast host will be your source of podcast analytics. That way, you know how your podcasts are performing regarding followership and listenership.

Other metrics you want your podcast hosting provider to track include:

  • Total listens
  • Downloads per episode
  • Listening time
  • Retention rate
  • Audience demographics
  • Audience locations
  • Traffic per podcast directory

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

How Do I Monetize My Podcast?

There are several ways to monetize your podcast. The most common one is to grow your followers and listeners, then get advertisers. Many hosting services in this list provide ad inserts for quick monetization.

You can also use your podcast to promote a Shopify store or service to get more clients and customers for your business.

For instance, business coaches can start an entrepreneurship podcast and showcase their insights and expertise.

Then, you can add a call to action to book a coaching session or discovery call in the recording itself or the show notes.

Or, if you have a political podcast, you can create statement t-shirts with your political views. You can then connect your shop to your podcast episodes and have avid followers support the show by buying your merchandise.

How Do I Choose a Podcast Host?

With all the options available, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and experience minor analysis paralysis. But that doesn’t mean you should feel lost in the process.

I’ve found that having a clear set of criteria helps with the selection process. So you might want to consider these considerations to decide on your podcast host:

  • Downloads, storage, followers, and bandwidth limitations
  • Pricing plans and packages
  • User experience
  • Analytics and reporting tools
  • Exclusive perks and features
  • Social sharing support
  • Monetization services
  • Technical support


On Which Channels Should I Put My Podcast?

You can always use a free podcast hosting channel to house your podcast files and share a link to your hosting public page.

But if you want to increase your reach, you should submit your podcast to other podcast directories.

People listen to podcasts on major streaming platforms, so it’s good to be on as many of them as possible.

Don’t worry; you won’t have to add or remove anything manually from those directories. Any changes you make to your hosting service will automatically apply to all other directories via your RSS.

Here are some of the top podcast directories that your podcast should be on.

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Google Podcasts
  • Stitcher
  • Podcast Republic
  • Castbox
  • Amazon Podcast
  • Deezer
  • Anypod
  • Podcast Addict
  • PlayerFM
  • Learning Out Loud
  • iPodder

 

Is It a Good Idea To Use Free Podcast Hosting?

While there are many free podcast hosting sites, there can be some advantages to paying for a premium plan.

For one, paid accounts generally have more support, making it easier to get help if you have problems with your podcast host.

Free podcast hosting platforms also have several limitations, such as the number of episodes you can publish or the number of shows you can manage on one account.

However, this doesn’t mean using free podcast hosting services altogether is terrible. Generally, a free podcast hosting service should give you the bare bones needed to host and run a successful podcast.

If you’re not too sure about the financial commitment on paid premium podcast host platforms, you can always go for a free plan and upgrade or switch later on.

Can I Shift Podcast Hosts Conveniently?

If you’re a podcaster who landed on the wrong hosting service for your needs, you’ll be happy to know that it’s possible to shift podcasting hosts most of the time.

Many podcast host services have an easy import feature that allows you to transfer all your files automatically with a few simple steps. This way, you retain all your content, testimonials, and followers.

However, shifting podcast hosts will require you to resubmit your RSS feeds to directories. So try not to switch between services too often.

The Bottom Line

There are now 2.4 million podcasts worldwide, with more still on the way. This number isn’t too big, considering how many people listen to podcasts regularly. Thus, you would benefit from starting a podcast as soon as possible.

Starting and hosting a podcast should be extremely simple and easy for anyone with these fantastic services.

You only need one host, so choose wisely. Identify which features are non-negotiable for you and which service best fits your needs and budget.

Need more help in capturing today’s audience for your podcast? Check out my guide on Gen Z statistics.

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Omar
Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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