Last updated on August, 3
🏆 Best Podcast Hosting for August 2021
Podcast hosting is the best way to grow your audience. It’s easy to set up and manage, and it will help you get more listeners. You can even use our analytics tools to see how many people are listening! You can create your own show, upload episodes, and even monetize it!
What is podcast hosting?
As marketers and content creators, what we are competing for is people’s attention, and one effective way is through podcasting. And to start a podcast, you’ll first need podcast hosting. A podcast host is a place to store and distribute your podcast’s audio files. They provide a podcast Really Simple Syndication or RSS feed that lists all your episodes and will submit to an online podcast distributor and other podcast directories. These distributors and directories will serve as a platform to broadcast your shows.
Why do you need a podcast hosting?
Statistics shows that at least 12 million Americans have listened to podcasts in the past. If you are still not convinced by this number, here are more reasons why you should use a podcast hosting platform:
Broadcast Your Podcast
If you’re looking to start a podcast, you’ll need to sign up with a podcast hosting company to store your .mp3’s and create your podcast feed. Just like when you start a website or blog, you need a web host, and when you start a podcast, you need a media host.
Generate an RSS feed, Reach More People
The primary benefit of a podcast hosting platform is that it can share files automatically with multiple distributors using an RSS feed. Since most people will not hear your podcast directly from the hosting platform (with some exceptions), the hosting site generates a “signal” called an RSS feed, which links the hosting platform to the different podcast directories where people will listen to it. Your cover art, show descriptions, podcast show notes, and data (like downloads and listenership) can all be managed by your podcast host.
Essential Tools to Publish and Grow Your Podcast
Besides helping broadcast your podcast, podcast hosting platforms also provide web players, analytics, scheduling tools, and other exciting features to make publishing and growing your podcast easy. Some of them also integrate ad networks, social sharing features, and additional distribution options.
Core features of the best podcast hosting platforms
Not all podcast hosting platforms are the same. With so many features each host offers, this can either simplify or complicate your decision-making process. To lessen that difficulty, these are the top features you’d like to take note of when choosing your podcast hosting platform.
A good platform for podcasting must be user-friendly. Being able to publish your episode immediately, or schedule the day and time you'd like your episode to go live without the hassle, is an important feature of a hosting platform. This way, you get to focus more on your content, instead of figuring out the difficult technical elements.
Some podcasting platforms have automatic transcriptions. Transcribe your episodes inside the platform to make your podcast more accessible to search engines, speed-readers, and the hearing impaired.
Customizable Podcast Players for Your Website
An eye-catching podcast player can attract your customers when they first visit your site. A good podcasting platform has features to customize your podcast player and give you the opportunity to showcase your unique brand.
As podcasting is mainly audio, your podcast platform’s sound quality is an essential factor to a successful podcast show or episode. When uploading your audio files, make sure that your chosen platform doesn’t distort or make the file smaller, thus, damaging the audio quality.
Another add-on in a good podcast hosting platform is the chapter markers feature. This isn’t a must-have but a nice-to-have for your podcast show. This feature makes it easy for your listeners to navigate to their favorite segments, bookmark these segments, see what's coming up, or skip spoilers they don't want to hear.
Analytics and Advanced Statistics
Statistics and analytics are important for your podcast to track the growth of your podcast. Through statistics, you’ll get to know your listeners and be able to adjust your podcast to attract more audience. This podcast platform feature helps you see stats, like your total downloads over time, what apps people are using to listen to your podcast, and where people are listening to your podcast.
Another important feature of a great podcasting platform is that it gets your podcast listed on all of the top podcasting directories to reach more audiences.
Simple but Not Limited
The top podcasting hosting platforms are designed to make podcasting simple, yet not limited. They have on-of-a-kind designed dashboards that let you spend more time creating content than messing around with uploads.
Regular Upgrades of New Features
With today’s technology, more and more innovations are being made every day. Top podcast hosting platforms regularly come out with updates and new features to their hosting sites to make the user experience better and create amazing podcast shows.
The analytics are advanced and detailed, yet easy to understand. From the number of listeners, to what time each listener started the podcast, how long each listener stayed in the podcast, their comments, and questions - all these analytics are essential to get insight into improving and building your podcast.
This is a great feature for top podcast hosting platforms. Built-in call to actions helps direct people anywhere you want - whether to your website, to a review page, or to your next podcast episode.
While podcasts are usually listened to while on your commute while cooking or doing other chores, being able to browse your phone while an episode plays uninterrupted is an essential feature of a great podcast platform.
Unlimited Uploading of Episodes
As podcasters usually release their episodes regularly, as time goes by, you’ll be uploading more and more episodes of your podcast show. This is why another important feature of top podcast hosting platforms is the ability to upload unlimited episodes to the platform.
Live Podcasting Option
One stand-out feature of top podcast hosting platforms is that they have a Live Podcasting option. You can let listeners interact with you with the included chatbox, and there are other integration options. Many podcasters enjoy this Live option as it allows their listeners to interact with them in real-time.
Mobile and Laptop Friendly Versions
Great podcast hosting platforms have both a desktop app (for Windows and Mac) and a mobile app (for iPhone and Android) for recording, live streaming, and viewing stats.
Types of podcasting hosting platforms
Free Unlimited Podcast Hosting
The best free podcast hosting platforms have easy editing of your audio files and are constantly updating new features. They have free plans that you can use as long as you want, and you can upload 2 or more hours of audio per month.
It has all the basic features you’ll need for a start-up podcast show.
There are limits to how many months you can use the platform.
Some platforms will include ads that might pop-up during your podcast show.
This is another easy way to start, but you’ll need to upgrade to get more advanced stats, a custom domain, or more website customization.
You can't change the email address in your RSS feed, which is used to verify your podcast on many services.
Paid Podcasting Platform
All (or most of) the free podcast hosting options have a paid version wherein you can access unlimited months of streaming or hosting. With paid podcasting platform, you can also access more advanced features.
You get an unlimited number of months to host your podcast on the platform
You can access all the latest features and tools.
Some platforms can be a bit too pricey depending on the subscription you choose
Who needs a podcast hosting platforms?
Professionals or Business Owners
As more people tune into podcasts, more business owners are going to start seeing their potential. For business owners, podcasts can be an excellent way to develop an intimate connection with listeners and potential customers. Podcasting can also help business owners and professionals build a reputation from scratch and position themselves as an authority in their niche.
Thought leaders are those whose views on a subject are taken to be authoritative and influential. Through podcasting, thought leaders can not only increase their audience reach but promote themselves as well. Also, they can attract more leads, grow their audience, build more influence, and promote their products and services.
Internet Personalities or Celebrities
Create an ongoing buzz online. Your show will consistently generate lots of content. People who listen to podcasts tend to have a lot of passion for podcasts, show great loyalty to the shows they like and are likely to be your raving fans.
Step-by-step guide in hosting a podcast
Step 1: Choose a topic for your show.
This is the initial (and also often overlooked) stage to start your podcast. Choose your specific topic depending on who your audience is - they could be your students, your colleagues, your teammates at work, or potential future clients. Choose a topic that is informative and that will motivate your audience. You can always expand your topic later as you get more popular.
Step 2: Pick a co-host (optional).
This one is optional. But podcasting with a co-host can make the journey easier. It can be much easier to start podcasting if you have a co-host as you will naturally have a more engaging conversation if you both share your points of view on a topic.
Step 3: Choose a name for your show.
You want to choose a name that is broader than your topic. Choose a name that will let you expand if you decide to later. Having a podcast show name that is too specific might cause difficulties down the road when you want to expand your topics and audience reach. However, by being specific and by including the exact topic in your name you increase your likelihood of being found for that specific keyword.
Step 4: Purchase a domain name or use a free one.
Purchase a domain name for your podcast. Another option is to get a free domain name. Even if you don’t get your own website host, you’ll want a domain name (the .com) to use for your podcast.
Step 5: Choose a show and episode format.
These are the sample format for your podcast show:
- Intro Music
- Ad Spot
- Call To Action (“Review us on iTunes!”)
- Outro Music
Step 6: Add your podcast show description.
By including as many relevant phrases and keywords as possible in the description of your podcast, people will be able to find your content quicker.
Step 7: Choose a date and time.
First step would be to agree on a specific date and time for the webinar. Webinars are usually 30 minutes to 2 hours long depending on the content and reason for the webinar. Schedule a time that would work well for your attendees. Make sure to take into consideration the time difference if your attendees are from different time zones.
Step 8: Create your cover art.
Your cover art is the first impression most people will see as they browse through different podcast apps or as they browse through their social media.I Invest a little into getting a compelling cover made and make an effort to create eye-catching designs to entice your viewers.
Step 9: Build your podcast content.
If you are a professor and are hosting a webinar to teach a class, create your lesson plan that will fit into the allotted time slot for your online class. Remember, this is not the physical class in classrooms that we previously had, wherein the teacher can see and really interact with their students. Given this, it is best to keep your lecture concise, and simple yet informative to keep your students engaged.
If you are a businessman looking for potential clients and want to host a webinar to feature what services you can offer, create engaging and informative content that will hook your audience to get your services.
If you are a leader setting up a team meeting or a general company town hall meeting, prepare the points for discussion and make sure to have action points for your employees’ next steps after your webinar.
Step 10: Choose your intro and extro music.
There are so many resources available on the internet to source music for your podcast. But the recommended music would be either using royalty-free music (for beginners) or paid/original music for those looking to a more professional podcast show.
Step 11: Choose your podcast hosting platform.
With the vast number of podcast hosting platforms out there, you’re sure to find one that will suit your needs.
Step 12: Launch your podcast.
That day has finally arrived! You’ve prepared your content, informed your audience, and set-up the technicals needed for your online event. Your days or weeks of preparation will finally pay off. Now is your chance to make a lasting impression on your audience and achieve your goals through this webinar.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The term Podcast is actually a portmanteau of iPod and Broadcast, thus Podcast. A podcast is an audio program, with the opportunity to subscribe to it on your smartphone or computer and listen to it whenever you like. You can subscribe to the show with an app on your phone or laptop and listen to episodes whenever you like on your headphones, in the car, or through speakers.
Most podcasts will be themed around one particular topic. The host or hosts will talk about that topic in every episode. Sometimes it's really specific, and other times, it's more general. This would really depend on your taste and your target market.
The higher the internet speed, the better. But since Wi-Fi can be spotty at times, it is best to use a wired LAN cable if you are hosting a webinar. Make sure your computer is connected to your router by a cable in order to keep your broadcast smooth.
Most Podcasts today are audio-only, even though video podcasts do exist. Podcasting has really grown out of a need for background content. That means something that can entertain you, educate you, or inspire you in the background of other boring or rote activities.
There is no rule as to how long a podcast should be. Some podcast shows last for 30 minutes, while others can go up to 2 ho
A lot of podcasts are done live. This is to create the feeling of real-time interaction of the audience wherein they can post their questions or give a thumbs up. But other podcast shows are pre-recorded. This gives the show creator the opportunity to edit the content and focus on specific topics that were discussed during the podcast.
Most podcasts are free, especially if they are run by entrepreneurs or businesses looking to grow their audience. But depending on the topic and the amount of interest in it, hosts can charge for their podcasts.
On average, pricing for podcast hosting ranges from $5/month to $50/month. Pricing would vary depending on which company you go with, how many episodes you produce, and how many downloads you get.
A podcast is a series of episodes and refers to the program as a whole. On the other hand, a podcast episode is just one recording from that entire Podcast. Podcasts can be broken up into “seasons” like a TV show, or be episodic and ongoing. A weekly release for new episodes is common, but there are also the podcast shows that release daily podcasts or weekly podcasts. It’s all up to you!
-For attendees, high-speed internet connection, a laptop or computer or just your mobile phone, and headphones are the key essentials to listen to a podcast.
-For hosting a podcast, first, you’ll need the podcast platform or podcast hosting services - whether paid or free. Next, you’ll need high-speed internet - a wired LAN cable is better since WiFi can sometimes be spotty. Lastly, good quality microphone and headphones are another essential when hosting a podcast.
An audio file and a podcast episode are technically the same. If you have downloaded a Podcast episode from a Podcast site, you've already discovered the fact that you're just downloading an audio file. The difference comes when you add the option to subscribe to that series of audio files.
It is difficult to do so because the files are massive compared to anything else you upload. This means when you start having multiple people download or stream at the same time your website will easily struggle to keep up with all that data.
Don’t panic. When you see trolls or hecklers trying to disrupt your live podcast, you can mute or block them or ask your host to do so. Focus on providing quality content for your audience.
Make sure you’re sharing your podcast on social media and promoting it regularly. Just like anything on social media, hashtags when posting will go a long way.
All online platforms have their associated risks. Each podcast hosting service has a different set of security measures in place. In order to ensure the safety of everyone when using an online podcast hosting service or platform, here are the best practices to follow: