Choosing the right podcast host is a critical first step in getting your content out. In this guide, I cover ten of the best podcast hosting platforms ⇣ available right now.
Quick overview of the podcast hosting services I have reviewed and compared in this article:
|Cost (Monthly)||Free Plan||Storage||Bandwidth (Monthly)||RSS Support||Podcast Analytics|
|Blubrry||$12||No||100 MB /mo||Unmetered||Yes||Advanced|
If you run or are planning to run a podcast, you will almost certainly need to use some sort of podcast hosting platform. Although it is possible to host your podcast directly on your website, this isn’t recommended.
Podcasts take up a lot more space than standard media, which means you could run into bandwidth problems if you don’t use a dedicated podcast host.
This is especially true if you have a large audience that is likely to access your content at the same time.
What’s more, dedicated podcast hosts come with a range of podcast-specific tools and features.
Most include some sort of RSS feed where your episodes are listed, powerful analytics, a web player, and advanced publishing and marketing tools.
And often, podcast hosts provide some way for you to monetize your content.
However, it can be hard to choose the right podcast host, especially if it’s something you aren’t very familiar with.
To help you out, I’ve analyzed countless options to bring you the following list of the top 10 best podcast hosting platforms in 2021, along with some important information that you may not yet know.
10 Best Podcast Hosting Platforms in 2021
Best podcast host for beginners
- Automatic submission to podcast directories.
- Attractive native podcast player.
- Free WordPress plugin.
- Website: www.buzzsprout.com
Buzzsprout is an intuitive, easy to use podcast hosting platform designed for those with little experience.
It focuses on streamlining the upload and sharing process, and it comes complete with a WordPress plugin so you can easily embed your podcasts directly on your website.
Additionally, Buzzsprout makes it extremely easy to share your podcasts with listeners on major audio platforms.
Once you’ve set it up, your episodes will be automatically added to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and more.
You will also have access to a range of analytics to help you optimize the overall performance of your podcasts. Discover when people are listening, where your audience is located, and much, much more.
- Very easy to use.
- Great analytics.
- Basic free plan.
- Only supports one podcast per account.
- Some advanced features are missing.
Buzzsprout has one free plan and three paid plans, with prices ranging from $12 to $24 per month.
All have upload limits, and extra content can be added for $2 to $4 per month (depending on the plan). The free plan has a hard limit of two hours of audio per month.
Ultimately, I’d recommend checking out Buzzsprout if you’re looking for an intuitive, no-frills podcast hosting platform to get started with.
Best for those with multiple podcasts
- Supports multiple podcasts.
- Comes with advanced long-term statistics and analytics.
- Allows you to add extra team members.
- Website: www.transistor.fm
Transistor.fm is another of the world’s most popular podcast hosts, and it targets its services at those with multiple podcasts who are looking to grow their audience.
One of the platform’s stand-out features is its support for extra team members, which makes it easy to scale when required.
On top of this, I love the style of the Transistor.fm podcast player. It’s simple yet attractive, and it can be embedded directly on your website.
It includes subscription buttons for the major audio platforms, along with a share button and an additional information popup.
And, Transistor.fm’s analytics are simply exceptional. You can track a range of advanced metrics, including downloads over time, subscribers and future estimated subscribers, listener trends, and more.
- Highly advanced analytics.
- Very attractive podcast player.
- Easy integration with major audio platforms.
- No free plan.
- Relatively expensive.
Unfortunately, Transistor.fm is slightly expensive, with prices ranging from $19 to $99 per month.
All plans come with a 14-day free trial, and you will get two months free if you pay for a year upfront.
All things considered, I’d recommend Transistor.fm for anyone who’s planning to run multiple podcasts with a vision to scale in the future.
Best podcast host scalability and long-term growth
- Advanced yet easy to understand analytics.
- Extremely attractive podcast player that you can embed directly on your website.
- High-quality, 24/7 support services.
- Website: www.captivate.fm
Although it’s a relative newcomer to the field of podcast hosting, Captivate is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable, scalable host.
It comes with a range of advanced features, including auto-generated links to major audio platforms (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc…), the ability to add unlimited team members, and built-in CTA buttons.
One thing that stands out on Captivate’s website is its bold claim that it’s “The world’s only growth-oriented podcast host”.
Of course, it’s certainly not the only one, but there’s nothing to suggest that it isn’t a great option for those looking to scale rapidly over time.
- Mobile friendly podcast player.
- Built-in CTA buttons.
- Free migration to Captivate.
- No free forever plan.
- No audio optimization tools.
Captivate has three plans, with prices ranging from $19 to $99 per month. Small discounts are available with annual subscriptions, and all plans come with a seven-day free trial.
Overall, I’d recommend having a closer look at Captivate if you’re planning to grow your podcast in the future, as it includes great long-term scalability tools.
Best podcast hosting for unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Allows podcasters to monetize their content with built-in advertising.
- Come with a customizable player optimized for WordPress.
- Free forever plan with generous resource limits.
- Website: www.podbean.com
PodBean is another highly-rated podcast hosting company that’s known for its generous free plan and the unlimited storage and bandwidth included with its paid plans.
It comes complete with a highly-customizable podcast player that you can embed almost anywhere.
In addition, PodBean comes with a selection of tools to help you monetize your content. Include ads from the native ad marketplace, connect to Patron, or sell premium content directly to your listeners.
- Extremely easy to use.
- Highly customizable player.
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage.
- Security can be a concern.
- No uptime or other performance guarantees.
PodBean has a great free plan that lets you upload five hours of audio with a 100GB per month bandwidth limit.
Its paid plans range from $14 to $129 per month ($9 to $99 with an annual subscription) and include unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth.
Ultimately, I’d highly recommend checking out PodBean if you’re planning to upload a lot of content or if the resource limits imposed by other hosts bother you.
Best for its selection of advanced features
- Powerful podcast host designed for WordPress users.
- Backed by excellent customer service including phone support.
- Comes with a great one-month free trial.
- Website: www.blubrry.com
Blubrry labels itself as a podcast host “designed by podcasters, for podcasters”.
This immediately instills confidence in its services, as does its excellent customer support and excellent 15-year track record.
It’s this company’s WordPress compatibility that makes it stand out from the competition. All plans include access to the versatile Powerpress plugin, which comes with a range of advanced features.
One of the most noteworthy is the ability to upload podcasts directly through your WordPress website.
Blubrry also comes with an extremely powerful analytics dashboard, complete with custom reporting and daily summaries delivered directly to your email.
- Excellent customer service.
- Unlimited bandwidth with all plans.
- Powerful Powerpress plugin.
- Quite expensive.
- Can be complicated for non-WordPress users.
- Very limited monthly storage.
Unfortunately, Blubrry is one of the more expensive podcast hosts. Prices for the four standard plans range from $12 to $80 per month, while custom plans start at $100 per month.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use host that integrates with WordPress, Blubrry could be the right option. However, make sure that you’re aware of the monthly storage limits.
Great podcast hosting choice for live podcasting
- Allows you to easily share and monetize your content.
- Comes with great live podcasting tools.
- Supports importation from other platforms.
- Website: www.spreaker.com
Spreaker is an interesting podcasting platform that allows you to both share your own content and explore others’ podcasts.
It comes with a great free plan aimed at those who are just entering the podcasting world, along with powerful desktop and mobile apps designed to aid podcast creation.
On top of this, Spreaker includes great tools for live podcasting, which aren’t all that common among podcast hosts.
You can also import existing content from another platform, schedule automatic social media sharing, and distribute your content to various audio platforms via the one-click distribution tool.
- Powerful live podcasting tools.
- Supports content monetization.
- Comes with powerful desktop and mobile apps.
- User interface can be confusing.
- Advanced features only available with expensive plans.
Spreaker has a free forever plan that lets you upload up to five hours of audio.
There are three standard paid plans ranging from $7 to $50 per month ($6 to $45 with an annual subscription), as well as custom solutions starting from $100 per month.
All things considered, I’d highly recommend having a closer look at Spreaker if live podcasting is important to you.
Best podcast hosting for WordPress users
- Comes with a highly advanced WordPress app.
- Includes unlimited bandwidth and storage.
- Backed by very powerful analytics tools.
- Website: www.castos.com
Castos is an advanced podcast host aimed at WordPress users who need unlimited bandwidth and storage.
It comes with an extremely powerful WordPress plugin that streamlines most podcasting actions, including uploads, player customization, and more.
And on top of this, Castos has no storage or bandwidth limits with any of its plans, which means that you can create as many different podcasts as you want.
You can also track your podcasts’ performance on various platforms via the powerful analytics dashboard.
- Extremely powerful WordPress plugin.
- Automatic transcription included.
- 14-day free trial.
- Slightly expensive for beginners.
- Video podcasting costs significantly more.
Castos has three plans ranging from $19 to $99 per month. All plans come with a 14-day free trial, and you can get two months free if you pay for a year upfront.
Overall, I’d highly recommend giving Castos a try if you’re planning to share your podcasts on a WordPress website.
Best for building an audience with millions of listeners
- Includes strong social aspects to help you gain popularity.
- Lets you share your content directly with major audio platforms.
- Provides real-time analytics.
- Website: www.soundcloud.com
SoundCloud is slightly different from the other podcast hosts on this list because it couples as a social media platform.
This means that it’s often a lot easier to share your podcasts if you use SoundCloud, especially if you’re a beginner without a significant online presence.
On top of this, SoundCloud comes with a real-time monitoring dashboard. This means that you can analyze exactly who is listening, when.
You can also customize your podcast player, embed it on a third-party website, and schedule posts with a paid plan.
- Social aspects of the platform.
- Great free plan.
- Can’t automatically import existing podcasts.
- Analytics aren’t always accurate.
SoundCloud has a great free plan that lets you upload up to three hours of audio.
There is also a Repost plan for $2.50 per month (billed yearly at $30 per year) and a Pro Unlimited plan for $16 per month ($12 per month with annual billing). All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
All things considered, the social aspect of SoundCloud makes it a great choice for people who are trying to build an audience and grow their online presence.
Cheap podcast hosting from an industry giant
- Integrations with all of the major audio platforms.
- Monetization support through various streams.
- Access to powerful analytics and advanced statistics.
- Website: www.libsyn.com
Libsyn is one of the world’s oldest and most popular podcast hosting platforms.
It aims to give you full control over every aspect of your podcast, from monetization to distribution and everything in between.
One of the stand-out features is the ability to create your own custom smartphone apps for your podcast. You will have access to powerful statistics and analytics, and you will also benefit from industry-leading uptime and proven performance.
- High-quality customer support.
- Very easy to get started with.
- Great branding tools.
- Extremely limited storage.
- Custom apps are only available with advanced plans.
These come with very low storage limits, although there are custom plans available on request.
All things considered, Libsyn’s low storage limits will be a concern for most. However, you may like to check it out if you’re looking for reliable podcast hosting from a proven industry giant.
Best 100% free podcast hosting platform
- Comes with a great podcast editor.
- 100% free, forever with no storage or bandwidth limits.
- Includes a great selection of analytics tools.
- Website: www.anchor.fm
Anchor is quite a unique podcast host because it’s 100% free, forever.
All users have access to unlimited storage and bandwidth, along with automatic distribution to the major audio platforms and much, much more.
All users also have access to a free mobile app that can be used to create new podcasts. This includes powerful editing tools such as an audio compiler and video transcriber, along with a basic graphic design module.
And, the performance of all Anchor podcasts can be tracked with the platform’s great analytics module.
- Access all features for free at all times.
- Great podcast creation tools.
- 250MB maximum file size.
- Very limited customer service.
Anchor is 100% free, forever. There are no premium plans or other hidden fees at all.
The bottom line: If you’re looking for a free podcast host with no storage or bandwidth limits, Anchor has you covered.
What Is a Podcast Hosting Platform?
In short, a podcast hosting platform is any host that specializes in podcast hosting. Since podcasts require a significant amount of storage and bandwidth, normal web hosts usually aren’t very good at catering to them.
And with the increasing popularity of podcasts have come specialist hosting platforms like the ones I’ve outlined in this guide.
There are more than one million active podcasts today, with more than 30 million episodes in over 100 different languages. This is almost double the 550,000 active podcasts and 18.5 million episodes reported in 2018.
These stats alone show just how important specialist podcast hosting platforms are becoming. But if that isn’t enough, Google Trends shows that interest in podcast hosting has tripled in the past five years.
Long story short: Podcast hosting platforms come with specialist tools and features designed specifically for podcast hosting.
Why Can’t I Host a Podcast On My Website?
Although it can be tempting to host a podcast on your own website, there are numerous reasons why you shouldn’t.
Primary among them is the large file size podcasts usually have, which can negatively impact your website, especially if you have bandwidth or storage limits.
And even if you do have unmetered bandwidth and enough storage for a significant number of podcast episodes, your audience still might suffer from slow and unreliable download speeds or poor quality streaming.
This could cost you listeners and will almost certainly impede your growth.
Basically, you need to keep your website hosting for your site and any other content you have. Host your podcast elsewhere, and then embed it directly on your website if you want to.
What Features Should I Look for in a Podcast Host?
Choosing the right podcast host can be very difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for. There are numerous options out there, which means you need to have clear criteria before you start searching.
To begin with, the best podcast hosts should have some special features that you won’t always find with a standard web host. Central among these is having enough storage and bandwidth to cater to your audience.
A good podcast host will also have an RSS feed so people can subscribe to your content, a media player that you can embed on your website, and the ability to push your content to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and the other major audio platforms.
You might also want to consider the type and power of the analytics on offer, any monetization options, and whether or not the podcast host includes any sort of editor.
And finally, make sure that your host offers some sort of download option if that’s something you need.
In the end, the best podcast hosts make it extremely easy to create and share high-quality audio content whilst growing your audience and brand.
What Else Do I Need Besides Podcast Hosting?
Along with high-quality, reliable podcast hosting, there are a few other important services that you should consider.
Although a lot of hosts do let you build a basic website to showcase your podcasts, you will generally be much better off signing up for a separate web hosting service and building a website with WordPress.org.
Then, you will be able to embed a podcast player and share your content directly via your website.
Otherwise, you will also need to purchase a domain name, which shouldn’t cost more than $10-$15 per year.
Also consider signing up for an email marketing service like Convertkit, Getresponse, Mailchimp or Sendinblue, along with a transcription service if required.
In this guide, we’ve covered ten of the best podcast hosting platforms available in 2021. Different platforms are suited to those with different needs, but overall, I’d highly recommend checking out Buzzsprout, Transistor.fm, and Captivate.
These three platforms have a strong track record, offer excellent features, and provide the flexibility many podcast creators need.
If you want to make a quick decision, here are my top 3 picks, right now!
- Beginner-friendly and cheap – Buzzsprout
I’d recommend checking out Buzzsprout if you’re looking for an intuitive, no-frills podcast hosting platform to get started with.
- Multiple podcasts and private podcasting – Transistor.fm
I’d recommend Transistor.fm for anyone who’s planning to run multiple podcasts with a vision to scale in the future.
- Multiple podcasts and audience growth tools – Captivate
I’d recommend having a closer look at Captivate if you’re planning to grow your podcast in the future, as it includes great long-term scalability tools.
Good luck, and happy podcasting!