Best Podcast Platforms
(reviews) 2021

Podcast Platforms review page graphic

Table of Contents

What exactly is a Podcast Platform?

For anyone who wants to create a podcast, a podcast platform is an absolute must it’s the most important part. Before anyone can begin distributing a podcast, they need a place to store the files and keep the feed file that will tell their subscribers about the new episodes available.

The first thing required is a domain name where the site will be located. Many domain registrars and web hosting companies are available who will help one register a domain name for a small fee. Once the domain is registered, hosting is required, and again various companies are willing to do the hosting for a small fee. One of those is Bluehost.com, but many others are accessible.

When looking for a host, the most important thing is to ensure that a lot of bandwidth and storage space is available and cheap. Since podcasting deals with large media files, a lot of disk space will be taken up storing the files and bandwidth will be eaten quickly when they are downloaded by the subscribers.

After we have acquired podcast hosting, it needs to be used, and the site needs to be set up. The DNS addresses of the site need to be set to the addresses that the host provides you so that the servers that underlie the internet will know where your site is.

The DNS addresses can be set by going to the domain registrar that was used to acquire the domain and inputting the addresses provided by the host. After that is done, it will take several days before the master list the domain registrar updates will be shared throughout the internet and all name servers know where to find your specific domain. You can then go about setting up your podcast.

If all that seems a little daunting there is some good news, there are specialist podcast platform hosting companies to help you, and some are super easy to use and you may get some free podcast hosting for a trial period.

Here are my top picks for 2020’s best podcast hosting sites.

How to start a Podcast?

Alban Brooke from Buzzsprout tells Bestmediatools readers the right way to start a Podcast.

Related Articles

For the record, it’s important to us that this site remain completely free and of the highest possible standard for you. To assist us in this endeavour, we’ve collaborated with some of the companies we endorse and will receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Here’s where you can find a complete list of our partners and our affiliate disclosure.

Who listens to your podcasts?

A whopping 68 million americans,nearly 1 in 4 tune in monthyly, these regular listeners tend to be educated, millennial and male.

Who listens to podcast infographic

What podcast genres are most popular?

Chart-Topping podcast genres.

  1. Comedy 48%
  2. Education 40%
  3. News 38%
  4. Sports 27%
  5. Politics 22%
  6. Gaming 18%
  7. Technology 16%
  8. ScFi 16%

What is the best podcast hosting site?

Podcast mic
Podcast Platforms

Buzzsprout, Podbean, Resistor, Simplecast, Captivate, Spreaker, Fusebox, Libsyn, Blubrry, and Castos are the strongest Podcast hosting firms. Starting a new podcast can be thrilling. You can create the podcast episodes you are interested in producing, purchase brilliant new tools, record audio, and share with the world your own show.

But don’t forget you need to choose a framework to begin with. Differing podcasters may require different hosting services, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach

This guide will give you the best choices to enable you to concentrate on producing excellent podcasts for your listeners.

1. Buzzsprout Review

Buzzsprout is my #1 option for several reasons. They are a host that has been in operation since 2009 and don’t have any upfront costs or billing.

Buzzsprout review logo
Buzzsprout review

Why is Buzzsprout so good with a free plan?

They offer free podcasting as a great option for those just starting out. Their free plan enables you to create material for about two hours and hosts the files for 90 days.

If you switch from $12-24 a month to one of their three paid plans, they will store your files forever, you will get unlimited storage, and 250 GB of bandwidth per month. This bandwidth spans about 20,000 to 40,000 plays of episodes every month.

Buzzsprout Embed Player

Buzzsprout lets you add a podcast player that plays on your website–and you can show either one episode or a full episode playlist.

Buzzsprout how to start a podcast

They offer a simple-to-use metrics console with an algorithm estimating the number of subscribers downloading each episode within the first 90 days. You can also see the countries from which your listeners are checking in, helping you better understand your audience. Such capabilities of the analytics are super helpful.

You can also switch to 128k stereo optimisation for better sound with Buzzsprout.

Buzzsprout podcast review pic
Buzzsprout podcast review

What makes Buzzsprout so easy to use?

Buzzsprout upload and schedule

They make your show super easy to upload and schedule. You simply upload your audio, change the title and explanation of the episode and send your podcast to all the directories that are significant:

Buzzsprout upload

Buzzsprout Chapter Markers

Another advantage is that you can easily add chapter markers for the episode. This feature lets fans appreciate short descriptions of your episodes further at a glance. They do not require these (and do not appear on every podcast app), but is however a nice feature.

Buzzsprout chapter marker

Conclusion

Overall, Buzzsprout is my #1 option with its month-to-month pricing and a simple-to-use dashboard. I recommend their $24/month package because you upload 12 hours of content per month and save money on any extra hours that you upload.

And Buzzsprout has a special bonus for my readers, if you take out a paid plan on your second payment you will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Just remember the team at Buzzsprout is passionate about helping you succeed.

2. PodBean Review

PodBean is my #2 choice, with unlimited hosting, distribution and marketing services on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon, Alexa and all the big devices

PodBean review logo
PodBean review

Has Podbean got a free tier?

Worldwide Podcast Hosting Powering More than 225,000 Podcasters ($29/Month + 1 month free) You can start out free of charge. You can upload up to 5 hours of content per month on this tier, but it permits only 100 GB of bandwidth per month. Their open plan gives you some basic stats, but to get more comprehensive statistics you need to upgrade to their $9/month plan.

Podbean hosting features

Can you monetize Podbean?

They list a large number of podcasters, streamed shows, and more than 6.2 billion downloads on their platform:

I suggest podcasters serious about running their successful show sign up to their $29/month PodBean Unlimited Plus Package. This package is much more comprehensive than the free option–first, you get unrestricted audio and video storage.

Second, to monetize more easily you can automatically apply your own funded ad campaigns to your latest shows. This arrangement also enables a Patron network to accept annual listener service revenues

Podbean monetize

Another excellent benefit for PodBean users is a free YouTube version of their podcast that is instantly added to their channel when they sync their YouTube account when posting.

Podbean web app

Conclusion

You’ll also have a smartphone app, tracking updates, and daily Facebook and Twitter posts. Overall, PodBean is my #2 choice, and their Unlimited Plus Plan is the best route to go down on your podcast adventure.

3. Transistor Review

Effective Specialist Podcast Hosting and Tracking ($19-99 a month)

Transistor.fm is a high-quality, specialised service that hosts a variety of popular podcasts including Drift, Honeybadger and Cards Against Humanity.

Transistor review logo
Transistor review

Transistor an all in one package?

They’re known to give their podcasters everything you need to expand your podcast audience. Resources include streaming unrestricted events, handling multiple accounts per profile, creating customised websites with your own domain name, broadcasting your podcast, and displaying advanced analytics.

Tansistor build your podcast

Transistor limitless podcasts?

The Starter Package is $19/month which includes limitless podcasts as well as episodes, up to 2 users, and 10,000 downloads a month. Prev, their Comprehensive Contract is $49 a month for up to five team members and 50,000 downloads a month. Ultimately, their enterprise model is $99 a month for up to 10 staff members and 150,000 downloads a month.

Conclusion

Transistor also lets you scale your podcast as your audience expands, and you should have no trouble building up your audience.

If you already use another hosting site, such as Libsyn or Anchor, you can import your current feed into Transistor easily.

If you’re a serious podcaster who really truly wants your audience to expand without limitations, I’d recommend that you go for the Transistor Professional Package. Today you can start with their free 14 day trial. If you pay quarterly, you get 2 months free too.

4. Simplecast Review

There are several different podcast hosting platforms and selecting which one to go with can be difficult. Some companies have been around for a long time, and new ones are continually coming up. If you want to start a podcast, save money or switch to a better hosting platform, I can take you to the best podcast hosting software!

Simplecast is the pioneering podcast management and analytics system, hosting podcasts from some of the world’s most popular creators and brands — Dax Shepard, Facebook, Politico, Shopify, TechCrunch, Harvard, Twitter, Fast Business, just to name a few — delivering almost a billion audio streams a year.

It began in 2013 before podcasts became as commonplace as they are today. It offers top-notch writing, delivery, sharing, and analytical resources for users. Over the years, Simplecast has developed itself as one of the major players in the industry. It has supported countless large and small show users alike.

Simplecast review logo
Simplecast review

Best features of Simplecast

Embedded Website:

Simplecast offers an attractive modern and clean, secure (HTTPS), mobile-friendly, and responsive website. The colours can be completely customised to match the branding of your show. You can add social media links and custom pages to your site within the settings. If you already have one, it can be linked to your custom domain too.

The domain name will standardly be podcastname.simplecast.com. You can set up a custom domain if you want to.

The platform that can be customised is entirely optional. You can use your website you created with resources like WordPress or Squarespace if you prefer. Only hide the simplecast site from search engines by checking the “No Index” box.

File Uploads:

As with other websites for podcasting, simplecast allows you to upload your files for storage and distribution. The method is rapid, and your new episodes are easy to get out of.

The software switches to 128kbps or lower MP3s. It re-encodes larger files automatically down to 128kbps, but if you need to keep your file at a higher bitrate, you can speak to the company. All uploads retain their original encoding for stereo/mono.

Statistics:

Simplecast’s entire interface is smooth, well built, and simple to navigate. They’re a host that is very accepting of the stat addict. They do a fine job of showing these visually, too.

But it’s not just about the beauty. Simplecast provides its stats based on guidance from the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau).

IAB guidelines maintain a high standard for downloading/listening stats. This will help podcasters get a more accurate understanding of their total audience size. It also allows sponsors and marketers to work with.

You can take a deep dive into your simplecast stats, with used device and directory information, common daytime times, and location graphs. Also, there is an episode comparison feature that allows you to compare episode success against each other.

Web Players:

All tiers allow you to embed players on your site effortlessly. This is fantastic because many listeners use their web browser to connect with podcasts.

You are limited to the regular player by the basic schedule. This choice is good, but you get a bunch of player and colour customisation choices from the critical and development plans.

Private Podcasting:

Simplecast gives you the option to pick ‘Hide from RSS’ when you publish a new chapter. This means you can post a ‘secret’ episode that will not appear in your list or directories such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

However, you can also share this episode as part of a premium content deal, for example, on a network such as Patreon. You also have the option of converting public episodes to private at any stage, and vice-versa.

Sharing:

Users have access to the recast editor, which is one of the most powerful resources for sharing your podcast. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc., is perfect for editing short audio clips.

The cool thing is that it allows you to personalise the clips with colours, artwork or even a logo. This gives you far more control over the branding. Listeners to an audio player have access to recast too. They can edit and post their own videos with friends, making it a perfect way to boost the exposure.

Movable:

The company makes moving between platforms simple for consumers. Let’s say, for example, you just signed on to subscribe. You can switch any shows you have already published to the simplecast platform. Simply use its screen migrator to locate and assert your presentation. It then transfers it to your account.

It’s as convenient to switch your episodes off of simplecast as to bring them on. You can easily change your displays without any interruptions.

Ease of use

To publish and distribute an episode is easier than ever before. Simplecast is user-friendly for podcasters. They can easily upload audio — with one-click publishing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and more. It lives up to its name, in the sense that setting up and using it is extremely simple.

Simplecast understands your listeners better, where they are, where they’re listening (like at work, at home or on a plane). You can move your Podcast quickly. Furthermore, it provides a support team of world-class that is available seven days a week.

Pricing

There isn’t actually a free version of simplecast. Users are expected to sign up for one of the three pricing levels on the platform. A regular subscription charges a fee per month. Or, if you want to save money, you can make a prepayment for the whole year.

The pricing consists of:
● Bottom line: $15 / month ($13.50 / month if prepaid annually).
● Essential: $35 / month ($31.50 / month if annual prepaid).
● Growth: $85 / month ($76.50 / month, if annual prepaid).

All three plans (basic, critical, and growth) cover the following features:
● Limitless uploads
● Unlimited area for stocking
● Share clips on social media
● Analytics and reviews for listeners
● Customisable website display

All plans get unlimited storage and uploads, access to various channels of distribution, a stable website and RSS stream, multiple display management in one account, and Recast.

Conclusion

Simplecast is highly recommended if you are a podcaster and want to publish your audio to different podcast hosting platforms. After reading this article on Simplecast review, I hope you understand the features and the importance of using it. I highly recommend this software because of its user-friendly characteristics.