an-overview-of-the-best-podcast-hosts

With the increasing popularity of podcasting, everyone now days seems to have their own podcast or an idea for one, but finding a host for your podcast isn’t as easy. The size of your podcast can determine the best host for your show, and even then it can be tricky choosing the best one.

First and foremost, having your own website is your first step in getting your podcast hosted and out there the best way, but not all website hosts are good hosts for podcasts and other media. Many have strict rules and will ban users from storing large downloadable audio or video files as they bog down their servers, hence the need of separate podcast hosts.

Our guide will outline the 8 best hosting options for your podcast.

Top Sites to Host Podcasts

SoundCloud

SoundCloud-Podcasts
You may have heard about SoundCloud which allows users to upload and share music with everyone. Although it is primarily targeted towards musicians it can be an excellent service to host your podcasts

When you sign up for some cloud you’ll get your personal profile with a dedicated URL. When someone will access your profile they will see what exactly have you uploaded, and they’ll be able to share it on social networks, re-post it on their own sound cloud profiles are added to their personal playlists.

Soundcloud offers free as well as paid plans, and they are pretty reasonably priced. The free version has certain limitations but the pro version will give you an idea who exactly has listened to your podcast, where are they from and other important stats. The distinct advantage is the quality of service and the excellent user interface, but the limitations of uploading in the free version might be a turn-off for some.

The Gigaom Chrome Show is a good example of podcasting using Soundcloud. you can check it out here.

Check out SoundCloud

Archive.org

One of the most well-known and popular podcast hosts is Archive.org. This website will host any kind of media file you upload, including MP3 files. While the site is a bit slow and replacing media once it’s uploaded is impossible, it’s a solid free host that offers plenty of embedding options.

uploaded-podcast-in-archive.org

Check it out: Archive.org

Amazon S3

If you’re willing to pay money for your podcast hosting, Amazon’s Amazon S3 hosting is great because it offers quality hosting services at a lower price in comparison to other pay hosting services. It does have a free plan as well, with a limit of 5 GB of storage and a limit of 20,000 get requests.

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The only drawback to this hosting service, however, is that your monthly charge will go up as your subscriber numbers increase. The same goes for the more podcast episodes you upload. The service will host any kind of media you upload as well.

podcast-file-in-amazon-s3

Check it out: Amazon S3

Ourmedia.org

For another completely free podcast host offered by a not-for-profit organization, check out Ourmedia.org. This media host doesn’t limit file bandwidth, allowing as many listeners to your podcasts as possible. Uploads are fast as well. They will, however, scan your content for anything inappropriate and if they find something deemed so, it will not be allowed.

upload-form-for-ourmedia.org

Check it out: Ourmedia.org

Podomatic

Podomatic is another free podcast host that has one of the easiest user interfaces currently available. With a free account, you get 15 GB of bandwidth each month and 500 MB of storage overall, which should be enough for the casual monthly podcast. You can also create podcasts directly on the site. It does take a longer time for media to upload, however. If you are not in a rush, this is a good option.

media-library-in-podomatic

Check it out: Podomatic

Libsyn

For one of the longest running podcast hosts online, you can’t get any more esteemed than Liberated Syndication, known as Libsyn for short. While this service isn’t free, they are very reliable. In 2011 alone the site hosted over 10,000 shows, with over 1.6 billion downloads. This site definitely has strong server power. Their lowest price plan is only $5 a month, with 50 GB of bandwidth each month, making this hosting service definitely one check out.

libsyns-upload-tool-for-podcasts

Check it out: Libsyn

PodBean

An easy-to-use podcast host that offers a free account is PodBean. For casual podcast hosts who don’t have files that exceed 30 MB, this is a great option. It also offers a sleek user-interface, a mobile option and an RSS feed for your podcast. Statistics are another handy feature included, as well as several artistic themes to add interest to your podcast page.

podcast-page-in-podbean

Note: PodBean isn’t free but it does offer a free trial plan.

Check it out: PodBean

Buzzsprout

This podcast host offers both free and paid accounts. Buzzsprout’s free “Seedling” plan will temporarily host your podcast for 90 days and will also allow files as long as 2 hours to be uploaded each month. If your podcast is more timely, then this hosting service may work for you. Otherwise, they offer a plan that costs $12 a month that allows your podcasts to be stored indefinitely. Statistics to view all activity tied to your podcast are included with your account.

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buzzsprout-episode-hosting-page

Check it out: Buzzsprout

Conclusion

While having your podcast hosted directly on your website server can work for some, the benefits of a separate podcast host are numerous. A podcast host gives you listening analytics, which is key for generating advertising income, as well as tools to share your podcast with the world.

For everything you need to know about creating a podcast with the popular software Audacity, check out our post – The Complete Guide to Creating and Editing Podcasts with Audacity

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Tiffiny Carlson has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She began writing while still in college, studying for her BA in Mass Communications at Augsburg College. She has written for dozens of magazines, online publications and blogs. Her writing covers a wide range of content from politics and technology to lifestyle subjects. She was a contributor for over 2 years for TopTenREVIEWS.com and the political site, Evote.com. Hailing from Minneapolis, Tiffiny loves spending time in the great outdoors and enjoying the beauty of all four seasons (with her smartphone never too far out of reach).
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  • Podomatic allows 500 MB of storage not 500 GB per month for free users.

  • Thanks so much for sharing, would you like to take a look ours?

    JustCast – turns dropbox into podcast hosting? http://www.thejustcast.com

    • Cameron Young

      do you have any issues with bandwidth throttling from Dropbox? i’ve heard that doing this is in breach of Dropbox’s rules. (I used to do it manually with an xml file and Dropbox’s public folder…just for a very small dedicated podcast)

      • yes, Dropbox has bandwidth limit.
        Basic dropbox accounts are limited to 10 GB/day of bandwidth. Paid dropbox accounts have up to 250 GB/day of bandwidth.

  • About soundcloud…
    Soundcloud doesn’t create an actual xml rss file. They create a text file, not good. you have to hunt for your mp3 file. This and more Makes SoundCloud a subpar choice in podcast hosting.

  • Philip Rivers #QB.Squad

    I’m king of bling son

  • zeibura

    Just so you’re all aware, Buzzsprout only allows 64k mono uploads unless you pay at least $18 per month. Useless for music.

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  • Thanks for the great info. Definitely helped me out with my new podcast on personal finance.

    • Sarah Jane Ponce

      do you need an editor?

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  • the creator of this

    ugh il just use youtube

    • You do need an RSS feed if you want to be discovered via people searching in a mobile podcast app

  • That for the information, TechNorms rock!!!!

  • PodOmatic offers 500 MB storage with the free version, not 500 GB

  • Another option is Firepype, it’s a service that can automate your podcast so when you drag your media to dropbox it uploads it to their servers to host, but also can automatically send it to sites like youtube, vimeo and even automatically post Tweets and Facebook posts with links to your media. The only thing you need to do is setup the automation once and from then on you just drag your podcast episodes to a folder to Dropbox, the service takes care of the rest.

  • Kaye Kittrell

    I have only done one podcast (short interview) which I put on SoundCloud, but would like the best place for a recent interview. Sounds like LibSyn might be best. The audio file is ready, but it’s a WAV file and 376MB. Should this be converted to MP3? Thanks for the advice!

    • Sarah Jane Ponce

      you have to convert it to mp3 for fast download

    • Yes definitely convert to mp3 to reduce file size and improve compatibility amongst players. Bit rate of 64-96 kbps is plenty for voice shows. Think of your listeners downloading to mobile device: small file size = good for them.

  • Konstantinos Giaouzos

    Lybsyn offers 50MB not 50GB for $5.

  • I’ve been wanting to sort out a place to host my erotic podcasts for a while, who do you think would be best suited? I do have my own site, but would ideally like to host elsewhere. xxx

    • As long as you mark them as “Explicit”, any host above should be fine for you

  • Hakeem Hall

    podbean isn’t free..

    • Thanks for pointing it out. Updated that it only offers a free trial plan.

  • Bloughmee

    This article needs a serious updating – 2014 might as well be 20 yrs ago in the land of podcasting.

    • 20 years might be a tad too much, but the article can definitely use a refresh. We will look into it.

  • YetiShare

    Hi,

    May I recommend YetiShare as an alternative. It is a file hosting script that allows you to create your own file sharing service / site.

    Kind regards,
    YetiShare

  • AF

    It’s insane that Google will allow you to upload and host unlimited huge video’s for free via YouTube yet there is no free audio option. Podomatic is expensive for the limited return, an update to this would be much appreciated.

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  • Shannon Moore Martin

    I work at Podbean and wanted to clarify/update. We have a free plan but it is really limited…as noted more of a trial. We do have a $3/month starter plan, but 90% of our podcasters use our $9/month unlimited plan. No limits at all on storage or bandwidth, includes stats, a blog-like site (but players can also be embedded in your site or you can map to your own domain), integrated monetization, etc.

    The most well-known hosting companies which have been around and invested significantly in podcasting specifically would probably be Libsyn, Blubrry and Podbean. SoundCloud is also used by a good # of podcasters, but there have been some issues and podcasting isn’t their top priority. There are often new and innovative services popping up, so it’s probably hard to keep this info updated but there are some great podcaster FB groups where you can get feedback from other podcasters (shameless plug: I help run one called Podcasting Smarter:-). Be aware that there are pitfalls if you self-host, try to host a podcast on a web hosting company or use services meant for other purposes. The biggest one being the potentially rising costs, or being shut off from using it in a way it was not intended.

    Happy podcasting!

  • Meltzer paid by Japan

    I noticed that no podcast uses Mixcloud since they think it’s only for DJs. Theres a podcast called The Raiders Daily and the host of that show is a genius because he figured out that you can upload whatever you want and you can add labels that say “sports talk” so he did that, there’s no competition on there or a million people all trying to split the pie doing the same thing… His show gets big numbers, it’s easy to stream on Mixcloud and he basically went from being just a guy to the number 1 Oakland Raiders news radio and opinion show