Are you wondering what’s the best paid and free podcast hosting platform to host your podcast shows? 

If you go searching on the internet, you would find a ton of podcast hosting platforms to choose from. Sorting through all the platforms on your own can lead to information overload. That’s why I have written this guide to help you make the right choice. 

The first step to starting your podcast show is to sign up with the right podcast host. If you don’t get this initial stage right, you might face a lot of issues with your show later on. 

When it comes to podcast hosting, there are several options to choose from. There are paid podcast hosting services, free unlimited podcast hosting, and freemium plans depending on the features you are looking for. 

In this guide, we would look at the best paid and free podcast hosting services along with their pricing and features. 

Let’s get started.

DISCLAIMER: This article would contain affiliate links that I receive a small commission on at no cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclosure in the privacy policy in the footer below.  

What Is The Best Podcast Hosting Sites?

The best podcast hosting sites are Buzzsprout, Podbean, Transistor, Captivate, Castos, and Simplecast. When you are just starting out, the choice of your podcast host is very important.

Even when you have great content you are ready to share with your audience and have bought amazing equipment for recording your podcast episodes, if you do not invest in a quality podcast hosting service, all your efforts might be wasted. 

Different podcasters would have different reasons for starting a podcast. So, you would need to choose a podcast host that offers you those features you are looking for.

When you have chosen the best podcast host for your short and long term goals, you can now concentrate on creating your podcast shows. 

If you are also planning on starting a blog, you can check out my guide on how to start a WordPress blog. It includes over 17 actionable steps to create a blog from start to finish. 

Here are the best podcast hosting platforms in 2020:

  • Buzzsprout
  • Podbean
  • Transitor.fm
  • Captivate
  • Castos
  • Simplecast

1. BUZZSPROUT 

BUZZSPROUT OFFERS FREE PODCAST HOSTING

Buzzsprout is great for any podcaster that is just getting started. The platform is the best for beginners and what sets it out from others is its ease of use. 

They offer a free option for any podcaster that is just starting out. So if you’re just getting your bearings, then you should definitely try out Buzzsprout.  With the free plan, you can upload up to 2 hours worth of content and can’t host all your files on the platform for a period of 90 days. You would also have access to advanced stats and unlimited team members. 

When you finally decide to upgrade to the paid version, you can choose any one of their three plans. 

Buzzsprout podcast hosting pricing

$12 /month, Upload 3 hrs Each Month, Episodes Hosted Indefinitely, Upload more content for ($4 per hour)

$18 /month, Upload 6 hrs Each Month, Episodes Hosted Indefinitely, Upload more content for ($3 per hour)

$24 /month, Upload 12 hrs Each Month, Episodes Hosted Indefinitely, Upload more content for ($2 per hour)

I recommend that you go for any of the plans because you get unlimited storage and a bandwidth of over 250GB. With this amount of bandwidth, you can have approximately 20,000 to 40,000 episodes plays every month. You would be sure that your episodes would always be online even if you have a high number of traffic.

The platform offers you a dashboard that is very easy-to-use and requires little to no learning curve. It comes with an advanced algorithm that would allow you to estimate how many people listened to your show within the first 90 days. You can also see which countries your listeners are coming from. 

These advanced analytics would help you understand your target audience better. You would be able to create better content and more efficiently. 

With Buzzsprout, you can also embed a podcast player directly on your website. So your blog readers can also listen to your shows without going to podcast directories like iTunes and Stitcher. You can decide to upload just one episode on your website or a whole playlist of episodes. 

Free podcast hosting

Uploading and scheduling podcasts are also very easy with Buzzsprout. The steps to take are:

  • Record your audio
  • Upload your audio
  • Change episode title and description
  • Submit podcast to podcast directories
How to start a podcast

Another cool feature is that you can upgrade to 128k stereo optimization to give your audience a better sound experience. 

You can also use episode markers in your uploads. This feature allows listeners of your show to see details of an episode at a glance. Most podcast hosting doesn’t have this feature, so it is an added bonus. 

Their pricing is also on a month-to-month basis. So you don’t need to save up for a yearly payment plan before you can get started. You can get started with hosting your podcast show right away. 

As an additional bonus, when you sign up to Buzzsprout using my link below, you get a free $20 Amazon gift card.

Try Buzzsprout 

Additional reading: Do you have a slow website? Check out some of the best WordPress speed optimization services that you can try out.

2. PODBEAN (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

PODBEAN OFFERS FREE PODCAST HOSTING

PodBean is my favorite hosting services and powers over 300,000 podcasters worldwide. The podcast hosting service started in 2006 and is one of the oldest hosting platforms online.

When you get started with the platform, you get 1-month free unlimited podcast hosting with all the features that the platform offers. The platforms come with 24/7 support and you can distribute and promote your podcast episodes on major platforms like iTunes, Amazon Alexa, Spotify, and Google Play.

Over 8.3 episodes have been uploaded to the platform with more than 6.2 billion downloads as of today. 

Podbean free podcast hosting

On the free plan, you are allowed to upload up to 5 hours of content but with only a bandwidth of 100GB. Unlike Buzzsprout where you would still get advanced analytics for the free plan, you would get some basic stats with Podbean. For additional features, you would need to upgrade to the paid plan. 

Podbean podcast hosting pricing

Unlimited Audio (Billed annually or $14 monthly)

  • Audio Podcasting
  • No Limits
  • Monthly price $ 9/mo

STORAGE & BANDWIDTH

  • Storage Space (Unlimited)
  • Bandwidth (Unmetered)
  • Does Not support Video

Unlimited Plus (Billed annually or $39 monthly)

  • Best for video podcasts and podcast monetization
  • Monthly price $ 29/mo

STORAGE & BANDWIDTH

  • Storage Space (Unlimited)
  • Bandwidth (Unmetered)
  • Supports Video

Business (Billed annually or $129 monthly)

  • Best for podcast networks and business podcasts
  • Monthly price Starting from $ 99/mo

STORAGE & BANDWIDTH

  • Storage Space (Unlimited)
  • Bandwidth (Unmetered)
  • Supports Video   

If you want to professionally run a podcast show, I recommend you go for the $29/month unlimited plus plan. You would get unlimited podcast hosting and storage, along with the ability to add sponsored ad campaigns in your episodes to help you monetize your podcast show. 

With the unlimited plus plan, you can also set up a Patron program so that you can generate revenue from loyal listeners. 

Another unique feature that PodBean has is that it allows PodBean users to create video versions of their podcast shows and automatically sync it to their YouTube channel during publishing. 

So if you want to grow your YouTube channel and run your podcast show simultaneously, then you should try out PodBean.

Podbean also has a mobile app. So you can upload and publish your episodes from anywhere. You can also automatically post your episodes to Facebook and Twitter. So, my second overall recommendation is PodBean. 

When you use my link below, you get one month free on all paid plans.

Try Podbean

Additional reading: Learn how to increase the speed of your website without plugins.

3. TRANSISTOR

Transistor provides podcast hosting and analytics for thousands of organizations, brands, and creatives around the world. If you are looking for a professional podcast host with advanced analytics, then you should try out Transistor. 

The podcast host comes with a lot of features to improve the productivity and efficiency of podcasters. Some of these features are unlimited podcast shows, advanced analytics, multiple users per account, creating branded websites for your podcast, and distribution of your podcasts. 

Transistor comes with three plans, so it’s up to you to choose the plan you prefer.  

Transistor podcast hosting pricing

STARTER ($19 /mo plus free trial)

  • Create unlimited podcasts   
  • Live customer support   
  • 2 Additional users (per podcast)   
  • Built-in podcast website   
  • 10,000 /mo Monthly downloads

PROFESSIONAL ($49 /mo plus free trial)

  • 5 Additional users (per podcast)
  • Remove branding from player 
  • 50,000 Monthly downloads   
  • Enhanced private podcasting   
  • 1 private podcasts
  • 500 private subscribers (per podcast   

BUSINESS ($99 /mo plus free trial)

  • 10 Additional users (per podcast)
  • 150,000  Monthly downloads   
  • Enhanced private podcasting   
  • 3 private podcasts
  • 1,000 private subscribers (per podcast)   

With Transistor, you can upgrade your plan as your podcast audience grows. If you are already hosted on another podcast host, you can import your existing feed into Transistor easily. 

When you subscribe to their annual plan, you get 2 months free. So that means you would be paying for just 10 months. 

Try Transistor

Additional reading: What is lead generation? Learn how to generate leads to your business

4. CAPTIVATE

Captivate is a growth-oriented podcast host. The platform is geared towards helping you grow your audience. Even though they are new in the podcast hosting industry, they are one of the best podcast hosting platforms available.

All of their plans come with free unlimited podcast hosting, advanced analytics, unlimited team members, new podcast player, and marketing tools that you can use in growing your podcast audience. 

When you join the platform, you would get an automatic podcast website and an in-built call to action. You can easily customize the website and even set up a system to collect donations.

Since the main goal of the host is to help podcasters grow their audience, they provide podcast player call to action to help you grow your email list and generate new leads. With this feature, you can easily grow your sales funnel and generate income by building your email list. 

It also has a simple import tool that you can use to easily import your shows from other hosting platforms like Blubrry. 

You can try out their 7-day trial before you make your decision on whether you would use the host or not. 

Captivate podcast hosting pricing:

PODCASTER – ($19/month for 12,000

downloads /month)

AUDIO INFLUENCER – ($49/month for 60,000

downloads /month)

PODCAST BRAND – ($99/month for 150,000

downloads /month)

All the plans come with a 7-day free trial 

You can manage your podcast show directly from your Captivate account while remaining in sync and auto-publishing new episodes to your WordPress website instantly. This would give your listeners a consistent listening experience no matter where they are. 

With their marketing tools, you can easily generate links to podcast players like Overcast and Pocket Casts. This would help you to find new subscribers and build your audience fast.

If you want to grow your audience fast, you should try out Captivate.  

Try Captivate

5. CASTOS

This is the best podcast hosting solution for WordPress websites. You can install a full-featured Castos plugin for WordPress.

These are the steps you would take to use Castos on your WordPress site:

STEP #1: Log into the Castos site and sign up for the 14-day free trial if you aren’t ready for the paid plan yet. 

STEP #2: Install their WordPress plugin on your site.

STEP #3: After you have installed the plugin, you can record your shows and host them in the Podcast section in WordPress. 

Castos wordpress podcast hosting

STEP 4: After you have uploaded the audio file, you can then add the description of the show. The podcast episode would be played on a customizable media player on your site.

STEP 5: After the podcast has gone live, you can publish it to any podcast directories of your choice. You can also grab the URL and share it on social media. 

The platform also automatically transcribes your audio files to text and returns it to your Castos dashboard. You can copy and paste these transcripts into WordPress or download it as a PDF file. 

If you already run a WordPress site, then Castos is one of the best podcast hosting platforms for you.

Castos podcast hosting pricing:

STARTER ($19 PER MONTH)

  • Unlimited Podcasts 
  • Unlimited Episodes 
  • One-click import for your existing content Personalized Podcast Website 
  • In-Depth Listener Analytics 
  • Private Podcasting 
  • Audio Podcast Hosting

GROWTH ($49 PER MONTH) 

  • Unlimited Podcasts 
  • Unlimited Episodes 
  • One-click import for your existing content Personalized Podcast Website 
  • In-Depth Listener Analytics 
  • Private Podcasting Audio 
  • Podcast Hosting Video 
  • Republishing to YouTube 
  • Headliner Audiogram Integration

PRO ($99 PER MONTH) 

  • Unlimited Podcasts 
  • Unlimited Episodes 
  • One-click import for your existing content Personalized Podcast Website 
  • In-Depth Listener Analytics 
  • Private Podcasting Audio 
  • Podcast Hosting Video 
  • Republishing to YouTube 
  • Headliner Audiogram Integration 
  • Advanced Analytics 
  • Video Podcast Hosting

If you own a WordPress site, Castos is the best choice for you. 

You can start their 14-day trial right away and get 2 months free when you subscribe to their annual plans using my link below.

Try Castos

6. SIMPLECAST

Simplecast podcast hosting is powering some of the biggest brands in the world. Brands like HBO, TechCrunch, Facebook, Nike, etc. 

Simplecast prominent brands

The platform offers a one-click publishing feature that allows podcasters to publish to directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever their audience is. 

The podcast hosting has been online for 7 years and has a powerful framework that allows podcasters to deliver millions of minutes of audio content every day.

The platform comes with powerful analytics to help you better understand your audience, their location, where they listen from (at home, at work, or on a plane), and the kind of content they prefer. 

You can also easily import your podcast from another host with ease. With their site builder, you can create your own mobile-friendly website optimized for the web. 

Simplecast podcast hosting pricing:

BASIC ($15/MO and $13.50 /mo if prepaid annually)

ESSENTIAL ($35/MO and $31.50 /mo if prepaid annually)

GROWTH ($85/MO and $76.50 /mo if prepaid annually)

Try Simplecast

Additional Paid And Free Unlimited Podcast Hosting

Let’s see some more paid and free unlimited podcast hosting services. They include Podserve, Spreaker, Libsyn, Blubrry, and Audioboom.

7. PODSERVE

Podserve is a great podcast hosting platform that lets you host unlimited podcasts. With a bandwidth of just 2000MB, you can have over 60,000 downloads monthly. 

A unique feature they offer is called PodParadise. This feature allows you to promote your show on Podcast directories for free. Promoting your podcast in these directories can help you get thousands of new visitors to your podcast monthly.

If you aren’t sure yet, you can opt for the 14-day free trial before subscribing to a paid plan. 

Podserve podcast hosting pricing:

  • $19/mo 
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Podcasts
  • Free Podcast Promotion
  • Your Podcast On All Platforms
  • Detailed Download Analytics
  • 1 on 1 Customer Support
  • Month to Month – Cancel Anytime
  • 14 Days Free – No Credit Card Required

Try Podserve

8. SPREAKER

Spreaker is a mobile-optimized podcast host with one of the best storage offers. 

While their free plan isn’t the best because you allowed not more than 5 hrs of storage and a single episode cannot last more than 15 minutes. But when you upgrade to the paid plans, you get more unlimited storage and unlimited streaming.

With their paid plans, you get additional features like scheduling episodes, inserting ads in your intros, and embedding widgets in your site. 

With their highest plan, you get over 500 hours of audio and a single episode can last up to 3 hours. 

Spreaker podcast hosting pricing:

ON-AIR TALENT ($5.50/mo* billed yearly)

  • Multiple Podcasts Hosting
  • Customizable RSS Feeds
  • Programmatic Monetization

BROADCASTER ($16.50/mo* billed yearly)

  • Multiple Podcasts Hosting
  • Customizable RSS Feeds
  • Programmatic Monetization
  • Limited access podcasts
  • Advanced Statistics

ANCHORMAN ($41.25/mo* billed yearly)

  • Multiple Podcasts Hosting
  • Customizable RSS Feeds
  • Programmatic Monetization
  • Limited access podcasts
  • Full Statistics
  • Customizable Player Colors

Try out Spreaker

9. LIBSYN

Libsyn is one of the most popular hosting platforms and is great for monetizing your podcast episodes. The podcast hosts over 67,000+ podcast shows with over 110 million downloads. They are also one of the oldest podcast hosts. The platform was launched in 2004

They offer their users features like analytics reports, RSS link generation, premium content, a mobile app, unlimited audience, custom HTML5 media player, WordPress publisher hub, and up to 50 and 1500MB storage depending on the plan you choose. 

Blubrry podcast hosting pricing

CLASSIC 50 ($5, 50MB monthly storage)

CLASSIC 250 ($15, 250MB monthly storage)

ADVANCED 400 ($20, 400MB monthly storage)

ADVANCED 800 ($40, 800MB monthly storage)

ADVANCED 1500 ($75, 1500MB monthly storage)

ADVANCED 3000 ($150, 3000MB monthly storage)

Try out Libsyn

10. BLUBRRY

Blubrry in conjunction with PowerPress – the #1 WordPress plugin for podcasters is great for hosting a podcast on a WordPress managed site. The plugin already has over 75,000 installs, is regularly maintained, and is optimized for SEO.

One great thing about the podcast host is that they offer users with a ton of information and guidelines to help you succeed and meet your business goals. One factor that makes them great is their customer-first approach. They have a good customer care program to help podcasters handle any issues they might encounter. 

Blubrry podcast hosting pricing:

  • SMALL: $12/month for 100MB
  • MEDIUM: $20/month for 250MB
  • LARGE: $40/month for 500MB
  • EXTRA LARGE: $80/month for 1,000MB (1GB)
  • PROFESSIONAL: Unlimited Storage

Try out Blubrry

11. AUDIOBOOM

audioBoom hosting platform helps you to host, distribute, and monetize your podcast show. The amount you would pay would depend on the number of downloads you get. 

Once you have passed 10,000 monthly downloads, you get access to certain perks like – sponsorships, targeted ad networks, and branded partnerships. These features would help you to monetize your podcast show easily. 

audioBoom podcast hosting pricing:

PODCASTERS (From $9.99 per month, or $99 per year)

PODCAST PROS (If you have over 10,000 plays per episode, get in touch)

Try out audioBoom

Where Can I Host My Podcast For Free? (Top Free Podcast Hosting)

You can host your podcast for free on Buzzsprout, Soundcloud, Anchor, and Red Circle. If your budget is tight, you can use any of these podcast hosts. Most of these free podcast hosting platforms also have low-cost packages with added features. 

With most plans, you might not be able to upload a lot of audio hours on the server at a time, but it is also a great way to get started. 

Here are my top picks of the best free podcast hosting in 2020.

1. BUZZSPROUT

Buzzsprout is my #1 recommendation for any podcaster that is just starting out. Compared to the other free hosting platforms, Buzzsprout offers the best features. 

On their free plan, you get access to the complete Buzzsprout dashboard. You also get two free hours upload time and can host your podcast on their server for 90 days. It is the easiest way to start podcasting. 

They make it easy for you to host your show, upload your files, add your podcast episodes to different podcast directories, and offer advanced analytics to help you track your listeners. 

Try out Buzzsprout

2. SOUNDCLOUD

Free podcast hosting sites (sound cloud)

SoundCloud was introduced in 2015 and is the largest music and audio hosting site in the world. There are over 175 million active monthly users on the platform. 

On the free plan, you can upload up to 3 hours of content every month. You get access to basic reporting, timed comments, and embedded players.  

When you subscribe to the pro plan, you get additional features like unlimited upload time, pining 5 podcasts to your profile, and scheduled releases. 

Try Soundcloud

3. ANCHOR

Anchor is one of the most popular free podcast hosting. The core of the platform is mobile podcasting, but you can also use their web interface to edit and manage episodes. 

You can easily edit your audio files on Anchor. There is an in-built ad platform to help you monetize your podcast show. 

The main disadvantage is that you cannot change the email address in your RSS feed. You need this address to verify your podcast on several podcast directories. So, ensure that you use the correct email so you won’t encounter any problems in the future. 

Try Anchor

4. RED CIRCLE

Red Circle is a fairly new podcast platform. It was launched in February 2019 and is focused on semi-pro podcasters. 

One cool feature it offers is that you can cross-promote your podcast with other podcast shows within the platform. So you can reach out to other podcasters and swap pre-recorded podcast audios and share with your individual audiences. 

Free podcast hosting sites

This can help you grow your show faster and get your message in front of a larger audience. 

They recently added another feature called dynamic ad insertion to help you monetize your podcast show more effectively. The best part is that it is all free. 

Try RedCircle

5. PODCASTS.COM

Podcasts.com is a free host with unlimited everything (podcasts, storage, bandwidth) and has a large directory of shows.

Alternative Podcast Hosting

Here is a list of alternative podcast hosts you can also check out:

What Is Podcast Hosting?

A podcast host is where you store and distribute your audio files. A podcast host would provide you with a podcast RSS feed that you would submit to Podcast directories like iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. 

An ideal podcast host will provide you with essential features like web players, scheduling tools, social sharing tools, integrated ad networks, analytics, and additional distribution channels. 

How Do I Choose The Right Podcast Host?

Here are some tips when choosing a podcast host:

1. Find Out How Many Hours Of Audio Hosting You Need Every Month

Every podcast has the amount of audio hosting they allow on their server. Most of the time, it would depend on the plan you subscribe to. If you use a free plan, you might get a maximum of 2 – 3hrs audio hosting each month. 

2. What Amount Of Storage Do They Offer?

The number of audio content you plan on uploading monthly would also determine the podcast host you should go for. Some podcast hosts offer free unlimited podcasts storage while you might have to subscribe to a pro plan to access it in some. 

3. Research If They Offer Video Podcasts

If you are planning on running video podcasts on channels like YouTube, ensure that the platform you choose also offers video formats. 

4. Can You Dynamically Add Advertisements And Sponsorships To Your Episodes?

If you plan on monetizing your podcast show, choose a podcast show that would allow you to dynamically add advertisements and sponsorships to each of your podcast episodes. 

5. What Kind Of Analytics Do They Offer?

Some podcast hosts just offer basic stats and analytics for their free plan. To get more advanced analytics, you would need to upgrade to the paid plan. 

6. Research On The Signup And Renewal Prices

You might save more money when you pay annually vs paying monthly on some podcast hosts. For example, when you pay annually on Podbean, you get one month free.

My number one recommendation for you as a new podcaster (or even an old podcaster looking for something better) is to choose Buzzsprout. Use my link and get a free $20 Amazon gift card

What Are Podcast Directories

Podcast directories are services that allow your audience to easily find your podcast shows on their phones and laptops with a podcast app. A Podcast directory would receive your podcast files and RSS feeds from your podcast host and make them accessible by your audience. Some of the most popular podcast directories are iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play. 

This image from transistor explains how podcast directories work. 

Free podcast hosting platforms

How Much Does Podcast Hosting Cost?

The cost of your podcast host would depend on the features you are looking for (like the number of downloads, how many episodes you would produce monthly) and the podcast hosting company you choose. The prices of podcast hosts usually vary between $5 and $50. 

Should You Use A Free Podcast Host?

You can use a free podcast host, but I don’t recommend it. Monetizing your free podcast host can be extremely difficult. 

You can also lose all your podcast files. Many free podcast hosting platforms shut down without any explanation. You risk losing all your files and audience if this happens. 

There are several low-cost paid plans that you can go for. Not only will you get additional features, but you are also sure of security. Personally, I recommended you go for Buzzsprout or Podbean’s unlimited plus plan.  

Conclusion,

There are an estimated 86 million podcast listeners in the US alone and this number is expected to grow to 130 million in 2022. There is a huge market for podcasts and you need to take advantage of this. 

To get started, you would need to use the right podcast hosting platform. In this article, we have seen a list of the best paid and free podcast hosting platforms available. 

Which of these platforms would you start using? Are there any cool platforms you think should be part of the list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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