In today’s ever expanding podcast boom there are many podcast hosts to choose from but which host is right for you? This decision can be overwhelming but the amount of choices/competition is a good thing. In the end this gets the customer better service, features, support, and pricing. We have worked with many different hosts and today I will discuss some hosts in which we recommend depending on your needs. I will also list some podcast hosts that we recommend avoiding.
Note: we have not tried every host out there so this isn’t the end all be all list. We also only recommend hosts that are IAB compliant.
Hosts we recommend
This one is controversial as many people will tell you stay away from anchor because of the free price tag. “You get what you pay for!”, “they own your content”, “they will go out of business and you will lose your podcast” etc. However, from my experience Anchor is an excellent host that works well for many podcasts. There are some things that paid hosts will offer that anchor does not which is covered below. Overall, we recommend Anchor to any podcast that doesn’t make money.
Things We Like:
- Free: While podcast hosting isn’t considered expensive by most people’s standards it is nice to save money when you can. Anchor is owned by Spotify so if you are worried about them running out of money well you are wrong, its Spotify…
- Anchor is owned by Spotify: as we mentioned above. This means it’s the only host that will currently let you get video podcasts on Spotify. We use Anchor even on some podcasts in which we also use a paid host just for this feature. Spotify is one of the biggest ways people find and listen to podcasts.
- Ad Marketplace: Not only is anchor free they even try and help you make money with your podcast. Many paid hosts do not provide this.
- Interface: Anchor is sleek, modern, and easy to use interface with a great website and dedicated apps for your smart devices.
Things That Aren’t Great:
- Customer Support: We have emailed anchor customer support a few times over the years and they have responded and been helpful every single time. However because of the free price tag prompt response times are not guaranteed. We would love to see a paid subscription for premium customer support.
- No Pixel Tracking: Although Anchor is IAB compliant they do not offer pixel tracking. This feature is only needed when your podcast is getting 10’s of thousands of views so it won’t matter to most. However, when you have a big podcast it is a feature that more and more advertisers are looking for in order to sponsor your podcast.
This host is yet another company that is owned by Spotify so we figure we would get it out of the way. Megaphone is the most expensive hosting platform we have ever used and is the main reason we switched away from it. That being said it has features that we have not found in any other host and why many large podcasts/networks use it. You have to apply on their website to even use it. If your podcast is small, chances are they won’t recommend you use them and neither would we as the minimum cost is $100 a month. Most hosts charge a flat rate per month but Megaphone charges you based on how many downloads your podcast is getting.
Things We Like:
- Analytics: Megaphone has the most advanced analytics we have seen. Tracking your audience can be very helpful for growth, live touring, etc.
- Pixel Tracking: This is the only host we have come across that lets you have two tracking pixels at the same time. Which we have ended up needing to use.
- Ads Marketplace: If you don’t have any live reads for an episode Megaphone will put low CPM in your episodes for you. This income can be very helpful and add up. Megaphone takes 50% of the ad revenue.
- Network Ready: This is the best host we have found for giving people access to specific things for your podcast(s), meaning you can grant someone access to solely view analytics, post episodes, etc. You can also easily publish multiple podcasts.
Things We Don’t Like:
- Price – At the time in which we used them it’s a minimum of $100 per month, this quickly grows if you had a popular podcast.
This host is owned by iHeart with plans for individual podcasts or podcast networks. This is the host we are currently using for our podcast network. Why have found them to have a good combination of features we use as well as affordable pricing.
Things we like:
- Price – Although it is not free, they have a single pixel tracking, IAB 2.1 Analytics, and allow us to give multiple users access to their podcast.
- Ads Marketplace: If you don’t have any live reads for an episode they will put low CPM in your episodes for you. This income can be very helpful and add up. Megaphone takes 50% of the ad revenue.
Things we don’t like:
- Customer support can take hours to respond even though we have their highest tier hosting plan.
- Only individual pixel tracking.
- Not much customization for different types of users. We would love to give each podcast host the ability to track how much money they are making off their ads.
This host’s been around a long time. We have even see the founder answering questions in podcast facebook groups. Although it is not the cheapest, we found Blubrry to offer very unique customizations and integration with WordPress. We recommend Blubrry to individual podcasters looking for a premium host.
Podcast Hosts To Avoid
Buzzsprout – We have recently found that buzzsprout compresses your audio to 96k unless you pay for “magic mastering’. Avoid this nonsense.
Soundcloud – Soundcloud has bad support, bad security, isn’t free, and might go out of business.