10 minutes | Sep 23, 2020

Choosing the Best Podcast Host

Episode 9: If you’re ready start a podcast, you’re probably asking, “Where should I host my podcast?” The good news is that you’ve got choices. The bad news is that you’ve got choices!Don’t get overwhelmed though. A dedicated podcast host is a specialized service that offers to store and deliver media files associated with a podcast. While you could host your media files (MP3 or AAC / M4A) yourself, either on your own server or wherever you host your website, this is not recommended for most. If your podcast begins to grow, your podcast downloads could affect your bandwidth and quickly get expensive. Also, your web host specializes in delivering web pages, not media files. And if there are ever issues with your website, listeners might not be able to download your episodes.Your dedicated podcast host should serve your media files quickly and take the load off of your website. You should also get industry-standard statistics, distribution across podcast directories/platforms, and support. You might also consider factors like an embedded player, monetization features, sponsorship opportunities, automations, and education.When choosing your podcast host, you want one that will grow with you and meets your needs in terms of price, reliability, and support. You want to find a long-term partner because if you need to change hosts in the future, you probably won’t be able to seamlessly port your downloads and analytics. It’s not the end of the world, but choosing the right host today will save you from headaches tomorrow.Here are three hosts that I use:LIBSYNEstablished in 2004, Libsyn (Liberated Syndication) launched as the first podcast service provider offering storage, bandwidth, and RSS creation tools. Libsyn hosts over 67,000 podcasts worldwide, delivers over 111 million unique downloads every month, and accounts for 28.2% of Apple Podcasts downloads for the top 400 US Podcasts.I’ve hosted Inspired Money at Libsyn since launching it in September 2017. The hosting has been reliable, and Libsyn helped distribute my podcast early to Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music/Audible, and other services. It’s great to be supported by long-time podcasters like Rob Walch, Elsie Escobar, Dave Jackson, Rob Greenlee, and others.Pros: Strong brand reputation, host of many of the top downloaded podcasts, frequently first to market for integrations with platforms and directories, advertising and monetization (for shows with 5,000+ monthly downloads), custom app for iOS & Android (extra $10/month + other fees), The Feed The Official Libsyn Podcast.Cons: Dated web interface, cost, one RSS per account.Plans:Classic 50 Starts at $5/month for 50 MB monthly storageClassic 250 at $15/month for 250 MB monthly storageAdvanced 400 at $20/month for 400 MB monthly storage and Advanced IAB v2.0 StatsAdvanced 800 at $40/month for 800 MB monthly storage and Advanced IAB v2.0 StatsLibsyn: Sign up and be sure to use promo code “andy” to get one month free. If you sign up on the second day of the initial month of your trial, you’ll get the rest of that current month and the following month free.CAPTIVATESelf-proclaimed as “The World’s Only Growth-Oriented Podcast Host™”, Captivate was created in 2019 for independent podcasters. Captivate is the podcast hosting company of UK-based Rebel Based Media that offers a suite of podcast tools including Poductivity, Podcast Success Academy, and Podcast Websites.The Podcast Gym podcast is happily hosted here. Founded in 2019, Captivate is a newcomer but it feels like a veteran. Mark Asquith, CEO of Rebel Base Media, has been helping podcasters to build their audio influence since 2014 and is a frequent speaker, exhibitor, and attendee at podcast events. The small but mighty team is responsive and consistently adding new features. There are lots of resources including a private Rebel Base Media Podcaster Support & Experience Facebook group, Blogs (Captivate, Rebel Base Media), Podcasts (The Podcast Accelerator, Captivate Insider), and YouTube channel.Pros: Unlimited podcasts/RSS feeds for one inclusive price, advanced analytics, calls-to-action built into the podcast player, and excellent content for education and support (multiple podcasts, live Q&A, blog) focused on creation, growth, and monetization.Cons: More downloads means higher pricingPlans:Podcaster at $19/month ($17/mo annual discount) for 12,000 downloads/monthAudio Influencer at $49/month ($44/mo annual discount) for 60,000 downloads/monthPodcast Brand at $99/month ($90/mo annual discount) for 150,000 downloads/monthCaptivate: Click here to start a 7-day free trial.PODBEANPodbean has been providing innovative podcasting services as an industry leader since 2006. It boasts working with 530,000+ podcasters, 11.3 million+ episodes, and over 7.4 billion downloads. Podbean offers a user-friendly interface that integrates publishing, management, syndication and analysis tools into an easy-to-use podcasting package.Podbean is a good ally and media host of The Asian American Podcasters Association Podcast. The web interface is very easy to use and prices are affordable. Podbean is known to feature its customers in its app and as guests on its Podcasting Smarter podcast.Pros: Podbean App Audio Recorder, Podbean Live Stream (audio streaming for audience engagement), Paid plans have unlimited storage space and unmetered bandwidth, monetization (Podbean’s built-in dynamic advertising system, Patron Program, and/or Premium Podcast service).Cons: One RSS per account so multiple shows require separate $9/mo accounts with separate logins. Additional features like multiple ad networks and a customizable player requires higher priced plans.Plans:Basic FREE for 5 hours storage space and 100 GB bandwidth monthlyUnlimited Audio $14/month ($9/month annual discount) for audio podcastingUnlimited Plus $39/month ($29/mo annual discount) for video and monetizationBusiness $129/month ($99/mo annual discount) for podcast networks and business podcastsPodbean: Sign up for one month freePodbean unlimited hosting planPodbean business hosting plan (starting from $99/month)Visit www.podcastgym.com to read the full article that includes other recommended hosts:AcastAnchorBlubrryBuzzspoutCastosSimplecastSpreakerTransistorWhat podcast media host have you worked with? If you ever changed hosts, what were the reasons for moving?
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