Can you guess what’s a marketing tool driving people crazy these days?

Lately, it is among the hottest trends that you could hear everywhere, especially when you are scrolling your social media feeds.

Yeah, I’m talking about Podcasts!

It has become quite a buzz, isn’t it?

Although it’s not a new kid in the school, it has been gaining rapid momentum this year. Rising above hobbies, it has become one of the mainstream marketing techniques for businesses.

As of January this year, around 850,000 podcasts are active with over 30 million episodes, says this report.

This insanely huge number is proof that podcast listeners are growing significantly from the last couple of years and will continue soaring high in the upcoming days.

So, if starting a podcast channel ever crossed your mind, you are in the right direction.

Let’s discuss it more to clear your doubts.

What’s a Podcast 🎙️?

A podcast refers to a type of digital audio broadcast available on the web. It is generally made in series that subscribers can receive when a new installment arrives.

You can download the podcast you like on your smartphone or computer and listen whenever you want. Tune-in to the podcast, you find relatable with your personal life or beneficial for your business.

Or, you can start a podcast channel of your own. Pick a niche you want to talk about and let your voice be heard.

Who knows, it could help a person healing from mental trauma or someone who is starting their business and looking for some actionable insights!

And when you invite an influencer in your podcast channel, you could witness exponential traction.

So, if you are excited about taking it further, there are things you should know.

Being a new podcaster, getting it published out there, and discovered is one of the hardest aspects. For this, you need a reliable podcast hosting to store your files and distribute them easily to directories.

But why?

Save your time in researching through loads of forums, social posts, and websites because I’m going to explain just that.

Why go for a podcast hosting?

Podcast hosting allows you to leverage specialized services where you:

  • Upload and store your audio files
  • Write the title and description of podcast episodes.
  • Create RSS feeds to include all the episodes serially.
  • Collect analytics to understand download stats and audience response

You must be using a website hosting to store your site data and files, right?

Podcast hosting services help you similarly.

Are you thinking, why can’t you use your website to start the podcast?

The answer is YES; you can.

But it will consume a lot of server usage, given the large media files associated with podcasts. As a result, your website performance degrades, and it could also crash during heavy load.

It will also affect user experience, and they might fail in downloading your podcast. It’s because simultaneous downloads may lead hosting services to block those processes consuming huge server resources.

Some other benefits of using a podcast hosting service:

Smooth data transfer

A specialized podcast hosting is designed to allow smoother and quick data transfer to the audience. Consequently, it reduces latency, and even if a large audience is trying to download the audio file at once, there won’t be a problem at all.

High security

Cybersecurity is the big elephant in the room when it comes to online services. Hence, your audience trusts you with reliable information, and your brand reputation matters.

So, what would you do if someone hacks your podcast, disturbs the episodes, or replaces some of them with explicit messages?

It’s terrifying, without a doubt!

But don’t worry; everything is safe with a dedicated podcast hosting. Their developers and security practices take care of security to protect your data.

Podcast hosting is affordable.

For many, especially those who are starting out, spending additional money on hosting would seem unsatisfying. But trust me, it pays off.

It’s affordable and costs around $100, more or less depending upon the provider.

But if you think your website would suffice for your podcast, you might risk your website’s speed or have to upgrade for a higher plan, which would cost you more.

Then, you would realize podcast hosting would have been cheaper than what you are compromising on today.

Add-ons

Podcast hosting services give you the options for add-ons. Paying a few more bucks, you can get detailed data on the way your audience is listening to the podcasts, their location, device, and much more. It will help you target your efforts based on these data to serve your customers more.

Seems convincing?

If yes, now is the time to find some of the best services making a buzz these days with their stunning offerings for hosting your podcast.

Let’s dive in!

Transistor

Whether you are a professional podcaster, creative, or a business owner, Transistor can be your great option. Just record the audio and then upload it there; they will assist you in distributing it to Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Overcast, and Spotify.

Start multiple podcasts on Transistor without having to pay extra. Embed its podcast player right on your site, and view detailed analytics such as average downloads for every episode, trends, number of your subscribers, and podcast applications.

Transistor provides you with an RSS feed ready for starting a podcast, unlimited bandwidth and storage for audio files, global CDN, ease of customization, and multiple user support. It can integrate well with MailChimp, Drip, and ConvertKit.

Pricing

  • Starter: $19/month, 2 additional users, 15k monthly downloads
  • Professional: $49/month, 5 additional users, 75k monthly downloads
  • Business: $99/month, 10 additional users, 200k monthly downloads

Transistor offers a 14-days free trial.

Captivate

The growth-oriented hosting service of Captivate is developed by podcasters to make things easier for you. Without involving any complexity, it helps you focus only on expanding your audience base and influence.

Build a collaborative team, including editors and publishers, to streamline your work. Captivate does not involve any contracts, so you have full flexibility of the hosting service. In case you already have hosted your podcast elsewhere, move it to Captivate for FREE without any trouble.

Its user-friendly dashboard is infinitely customizable to match your brand and auto-configured according to the podcast cover. It is linked to top podcast directories so your listeners can subscribe to your channel easily.

Promote your product, service, or email list with their built-in call to action. Embed the player easily on your social media accounts, external sites, and your website. You can also synchronize it to your site easily through Captivate Sync – a WordPress plugin. Captivate offers IAB-certified podcast statistics that you can understand in no time.

Pricing

  • Podcaster: $17/month, 12k monthly downloads
  • Audio Influencer, $44/month, 60k monthly downloads
  • Podcast Brand, $90/month, 150k monthly downloads

The plans include a 7-day FREE trial, if not satisfied, request for refund.

Castos

Grow your audience base with Castos because it has got all the tools and features just right in place for you. You get unlimited storage, listeners, and shows because you can publish any number of content you want within a fixed price. You can record long episodes, launch a new show, test different styles without worrying about storage.

They impose no bandwidth limits, so your listeners could access your podcast anytime. Manage your entire podcast using a single WordPress plugin, create multiple episodes, view listener data, and customize the player. Pull data out of multiple platforms and organize it into its comprehensive dashboard.

Track the performance of your podcast with simple insights, for instance; total listens, audio demographics, top episodes, listening behavior, etc. Use this insight to trigger better content that your audience wants to hear, boost engagement, and impress your sponsors.

Castos allows you to republish your content on YouTube and produce automatic transcriptions to increase your visibility and SEO efforts plus give your audience additional ways to find your content. Castos provides a responsive landing page for each of your podcast episodes, which makes it easier for the audience to search episodes, subscribe, and find you on various social media platforms. You can even customize these built-in podcast pages.

Pricing

  • Starter: $190/year, 190 private subscribers
  • Growth:$190/year, 490 private subscribers
  • Pro:$190/year, 990 private subscribers

Before that, try it FREE for 14-days.

Buzzsprout

Already helped more than 100,000 people across the globe to start their podcast, Buzzsprout is one of the best you can choose. To host, publish, and promote your podcast, it provides an easy medium in addition to tracking its performance.

Let your voice reach your targeted audience by listing a podcast in Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Castro, Stitcher, Alexa, Tuneln, iHeartRadio, PocketCasts, Overcast, Podchaser, and Castbox.

Get detailed statistics such as total downloads, applications the listeners are using, and from where they belong to. It has an interesting feature where you can add a filter to your audio using an advanced technology that sweetens the files automatically and also optimizes them for industry-standard best practices used for spoken word and music.

Buzzsprout includes automatic episode optimization, so you don’t have to worry about bitrates, filetypes, ID3 tags, etc. You just need to upload an audio file and publish it immediately or schedule it by entering the date and time.

Transcribe episodes to make it better access to various search engines, hearing-impaired individuals, and speed-readers. In addition, Buzzsprout lets you control your podcast through skip forward and backward, or set it at 2x speed.

Share your podcasts on social media and customize episodes to compliment your brand. You can also monetize it through affiliate marketing, as they have some amazing partners. Let your listeners navigate through segments, listen to what’s next, and skip spoilers, just in case.

Pricing

  • Free: 2 hours/month
  • $12/month: 3 hours
  • $18/month: 6 hours
  • $24/month: 12 hours

Buzzsprout also offers a 90-day free trial.

SoundCloud

SoundCloud is the world leader in music or audio hosting. It started its hosting service in 2015 and got 175M+ unique visitors monthly.

Access millions of listeners and advanced stats per episode to grow your fan following. Publish and share podcast episodes easily from SoundCloud, connect with fans instantly, and receive immediate feedback.

SoundCloud Pro Unlimited is a paid plan which lets you schedule releases, access deeper stats, pin popular episodes, and enjoy the unlimited hosting time. It includes a dashboard with real-time stats such as top listeners, their cities and countries, plays, downloads, likes, comments, and reposts, play by 3rd-party apps, RSS, and websites.

You can customize episodes or turn on or off comments. Pin a maximum of 5 tracks, albums, or playlists, get a badge showing on your profile, priority support, monetize it, promote and distribute your podcasts to major services.

Anchor

The all-in-one platform of Anchor lets you create, distribute as well as monetize podcasts easily using any device. The company is on a mission for democratizing audio and helping people to get their voices heard irrespective of their experience or background.

Anchor is loved by a wide number of podcasters due to its offerings tailored to address the pain-points of creators, easy-to-use tools, and powerful technology using the best practices. And the best thing – it is 100% FREE to use, which includes no storage boundaries and no trial period.

Distribute your podcast automatically to Spotify, Google Podcasts, and others. Capture audio from desktop, iPad, or smartphone using the recording tools of Anchor, which is compatible with a wide range of external microphones. Sync recordings across multiple devices and then access then anytime you want.

You can craft episodes through audio segments that you can visualize easily. Convert videos into audios and mix & match segments using the recorded audio in audio. Leverage Anchor’s sound effect and transition library to break longer segments after including a background track in your recording.

Record with guests remotely, no matter where they are situated in the world. You can also invite your listeners to leave a voice message for you. Transform your audios into animated videos and share them. Create a customized cover using fonts and images to enhance its look. Measure podcast success through actionable insights into the dashboard and make money out of it as well.

Simplecast

Say hello to your audience and enjoy connecting with them without any worry because Simplecast has got your back! This podcast hosting, as well as an analytics platform, has been thriving for the last seven years and provides you with an easy way to publish your content.

You can publish your audio on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more platforms where your audience is craving for your voice. Simplecast has already helped thousands of podcasters with industry-standard tools, publishing platforms, distribution, and analytics.

Its episode templates and streamlined workflows help your audio move from your end to the ears across the globe in an instant using the one-click feature. Their audio analytics is highly advanced, which can catch data from your listeners irrespective of where they currently are, be it home, work, or plane.

As their analytics is IAB certified, the IAB Tech Lab audits and approves your data. The Show Migrator of Simplecast requires no heavy lifting; just choose the show, confirm its owner, and view progress right then. They also have a world-class customer support team ready to help you all seven days in a week.

Simplecast offers exquisite, smart, and robust web-players that you can embed on your episodes for an entire series or individual episodes. The web player can easily be used on page builders such as WordPress, Squarespace, Medium blogs, and other social media.

Another impressive feature – Simplecast offers a site builder as well, in case you don’t own one. The easy-to-use site-builder lets you create pages, customize it with beautiful theme colors, and make it live to run seamlessly on a variety of devices, optimized for SEO, and comes with HTTPS security.

Simplecast lets you collaborate easily with your team, share episode clips using a discovery and podcast sharing tool called Recast.

Pricing

  • Basic: $15/month, 2 users, 20k downloads
  • Essential:$35/month, 4 users, 50k downloads
  • Growth:$85/month, 9 users, 120k downloads

All include a 14-day free trial.

Resonate Recordings

Let your audience resonate with your thoughts using the seamless platform of Resonate Recordings. It helps you distribute your audio to multiple podcast directories in no time with 1-click.

It comes with an insightful dashboard to gauge podcast SEO and performance, and a podcast micro-site automatically created with Resonate Recordings so you can deploy your podcast channel online. The micro-site is actually a landing page to let people subscribe, view episodes, plus contact you.

You can directly embed its episode player on your website and start tracking the engagement through the number of users and the listening sessions. Share your podcast with top directories like Google, Stitcher, and more.

Pricing

  • Basic: $25/month
  • Premium: $49/month
  • Professional: Request a quote

They also offer a 14-day free trial.

Libsyn

Let your creative genius hidden inside run wild through a podcast channel powered by Libsyn. It is consistent in providing quality services to its customers worldwide since 2004. Control everything from your hosting service and monetization to distribution.

Libsyn is compliant with IAB Tech Lab and offers IAB v2.0 certified statistics, which means potential investors, advertisers, and show sponsors could trust your podcast and find it more valuable. You get stats like platforms your listeners use, destination breakouts, graphic heat maps, social media statistics, data range selector, downloads, and more.

It offers easy optimization and customization for every episode, WordPress plugin for publishing, compliance with RSS feed, file manager, a listing directory, FTP support, and supports audio, PDF, video, and test files.

They offer a mini-site for your podcast, which is compatible with mobile devices, availability for Android or iOS apps, custom domain, and color options for your branding. You get additional features like monetization and enterprise-level tools beneficial for corporations, producers, etc.

Their plans start with just $5/month and include so many customizable options for features, so you have to pay only for what you use.

ZenCast

Trusted by thousands of podcasters, ZenCast offers an easy way to step in the world of podcasting. It does not limit your creativity or growth; instead, it lets you create unlimited episodes, uploads, and downloads without annoying you with ads.

Its lightning-fast Content Delivery Network (CDN) helps you distribute your podcast with a blink of an eye. Besides, they are compliant with the RSS feed, so there’s no risk associated with losing your subscribers.

You can also avail of their website hosting without any additional cost, which is awesome and useful if you don’t have a website. Their podcast player looks great and easy to customize with the aesthetics of your brand.

Don’t worry about server management, plugin configurations, or site synchronization because they take care of these things and update your site automatically as soon as you make any changes to it. Moreover, you get an impressive player and real-time analytics to improve your further content.

Try it free for 14-days without a credit card.

Sounder

Discover the whole new world of marketing by starting your podcast on Sounder. Focus on creating high-quality content and let Sounder handle the rest. It provides you with easy options to host, manage, distribute, and import your content.

Their impeccable delivery tools like in-stream search, audio SEO, episode soundbites, episode and podcast pages, and transcription makes it easy for you to drive more audience to your channel.

Use demographic and search data to understand more about your audience’s interest and grow your podcast. Be a part of a creator-obsessed community to learn, laugh, explore, and drive towards change.

Get discovered easily by distributing your podcast on famous listening apps and using a simple dashboard, and be heard!

Whether you want to start your podcast for your business or just for your hobby, they have suitable plans for you.

Pricing

  • Basic: FREE, 20k streams/month, 2 seats
  • Plus: $30/month, 100k streams/month, 5 seats
  • Enterprise: Contact them for price

So, are you ready to launch your podcast?

Here are some tips and tricks from my side to make things simpler for you.

Steps to launch your podcast successfully?

  • Give your podcast a catchy name, which must convey what message you want to give to your audience.
  • Set music for intro & outro to match the tone of your podcast and create familiarity
  • Design the episode cover. You can try Canva for that.
  • Invest in podcast equipment – a computer, microphone, and Headphones. For the microphone, you can try Blue Yeti and for a headphone, try Sony.
  • Find podcast episode guest(s) based on the niche you have chosen. You can source relevant people from LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.
  • Record your episode. Try multiple recordings to get better.
  • Market and promote your podcast where you have a strong audience base. You can try LinkedIn or other social sites for the same. And then, gradually start promoting on other mediums.

Conclusion

There are plenty of ways of sharing your thoughts with the world, be it your personal hobby or business. Starting a podcast is one such tool getting so much hype these days. Thus, couple it with a reliable hosting to continue leveraging its benefits in the long run for your brand.

All great podcasts need great music and SFX. You can visit Videvo and check out their free and Premium libraries, which include thousands of stock audio files to take your podcast to the next level”.

If using WordPress then alternatively, you can convert Articles into Audio as explained here.

The clock is ticking…

Get ready to launch your podcast in three simple steps,

Create. Record. Distribute.