Choosing the best podcast hosting platform for your show shouldn’t mean getting carpal tunnel syndrome from scrolling through all of the options out there. (There are a lot).
So we did the scrolling for you and came up with a solid 5 hosting sites you should consider for your podcast. Oh, and if you’re looking for tips on hosting a podcast and not hosting platforms (confusing, I know), check out this episode of B2B Growth.
Now that’s out of the way, here’s the big question we’re exploring today:
What are the best podcast hosting platforms? Here are 5 podcast hosting platforms killing it in 2021, starting with our favorite:
And here are all 34 of the podcast hosting sites we researched:
|NAME||BASE PRICE||TYPICAL PRICE||NOTES|
|Sounder||$0||$30/mo||Great player, transcripts, searchable episodes.|
|Casted||Custom||$8,000/yr||Great transcripts, audio chapters. Pricey.|
|Castos||$190/yr||$990/yr||Modern, easy to manage your podcast thru your website.|
|Anchor||$0||$0||App, production tools, ads, lack of support.|
|Blubrry||$150/yr||$150/yr||Manage via WordPress, old, clunky.|
|Buzzsprout||$0||$288/yr||Transcripts, audio chapters.|
|Transistor||$228/yr||$228/yr||Easy to manage multiple shows for the same price.|
|Podbean||$0||$120/yr||Full network, app, ads.|
|Simplecast||$162/yr||$384/yr||Slightly better analytics.|
|Megaphone||Custom||Custom||Works w/ large brands, back-end for Anchor.fm.|
|Podcast Giant||$49/mo||$49/mo||You guessed it — nothing special.|
|Backtracks||Custom||Custom||Enterprise podcasting, good transcripts.|
|Audio Boom||$99/yr||$99/yr||Full podcast network.|
|Whooshkaa||$300/yr||$600/yr||Mid-market solution, dynamic ads, pro workflow.|
|Art19||Custom||Custom||Enterprise hosting, hosts Wondery shows.|
|RedCircle||$0||$0||Monetization options, dynamic ad insertion.|
|Omny Studio||$29/mo||Custom||Pulls in podcast reviews.|
|Podcast Blastoff||$29.99/mo||$44.99/mo||Just… terrible.|
|Pinecast||$0||$10/mo||Tip jars, audiograms.|
|Podomatic||$0||$200/yr||App, Patreon integration.|
|Shout Engine||$120/yr||$240/yr||Pretty awful.|
|Soundtrap||$11.99/mo||$13.99/mo||Web & app audio engineering, podcast distribution.|
|bcast||$180/yr||$500/yr||Dynamic content insertion, email capture, audiograms.|
Best Podcast Hosting Platforms: Quick Picks
💲 Basic plan is free, Plus plan is $30/mo
Notable Features: In-stream audio search, transcriptions, analytics, easy to use, reliable support
💲 Starter plan is $190/yr
Notable Features: Modern platform, WordPress plugin, option for audio editing, transcriptions
Notable Features: Ad creator, Spotify integration, iPhone app
💲 Starter plan is $12/mo
Notable Features: Doesn’t censor creators, WordPress plugin, analytics
💲 Basic plan is free, Unlimited Plus plan is $29/mo
Notable Features: iPhone/Android app, ad marketplace
Best Podcast Hosting Platforms: Deep Dives
Let’s take a closer look at the podcast hosting sites killing it in 2021. First up is our personal favorite, Sounder.
Cost: Basic plan – Free | Plus plan – $30/mo | Enterprise plan – Custom pricing
Rating out of 5: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sounder is the best in this list for basically every reason: The embedded player is sleek, they provide transcriptions, the episodes are searchable by keyword, there’s in-stream audio search… the list goes on.
If you’re looking for a paid or free podcast hosting platform, we highly recommend Sounder. The Basic (free) plan includes everything an independent creator needs:
- Up to 20k streams per month
- Two seats
- Embeddable podcast player
- Your podcast’s own page
- Pages for each episode
Plus, it’s super easy to use. Another thing that sets Sounder apart from the rest is its support. Someone’s always willing to help out (even though you probably won’t run into problems very often).
The only beef we have with Sounder is that it’s easy to publish episodes to any podcast player (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.), but you can’t push content to YouTube. This is true for pretty much any podcast host, though.
Other than that, Sounder is the top podcast hosting platform for 2021, in our opinion.
Cost: Starter plan – $190/yr | Growth plan – $490/yr | Pro plan – $990/yr
Rating out of 5: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Although Castos doesn’t have a free plan, it’s probably the most modern way to own your feed and manage your podcast through your website. That’s because its handy WordPress plugin lets you publish to the host and to your website in one step.
The plugin can save you a ton of time, especially if you’re consistently publishing episodes.
Depending on your budget, you can leverage Castos’ many features:
- Automated transcriptions
- YouTube republishing
- Customizable podcast players
- Audio editing services
- Advanced analytics
- Video file hosting
If you want to manage your podcast under one roof and you use WordPress (and you have a little extra change lying around), Castos is a great option. You can sign up for their free 14-day trial here.
Rating out of 5: ⭐⭐⭐
Well, you can’t beat free. But that’s not the only reason Anchor is in our top podcast hosting platforms for 2021.
The episode builder lets you use building blocks of audio segments so you can easily see where each speaking part, music clip, and sound transition is. You can even record your conversations or interviews directly to the platform.
Some more features Anchor offers include…
- Cover art creator
- Full-length songs from Spotify
- Transcribed videos
- Monetization options
[RELATED: Learn how to design kick-ass cover art for your show.]
There are a few drawbacks to using this free hosting site. One is that it doesn’t offer great support for when you run into issues (which, again, you probably won’t). The other is that when Anchor submits your show to Apple Podcasts, it’s under their account, not yours. This makes it impossible to see your stats in Apple Podcasts Connect.
And although Anchor offers audio editing, it’s pretty clunky on mobile and there isn’t really a way to do it on desktop.
Cost*: Small plan – $12/mo | Medium plan – $20/mo | Large plan – $40/mo | Xtra Large plan – $80/mo
Rating out of 5: ⭐⭐⭐
* It looks like the only difference between each of the pricing plans is the amount of monthly storage. Otherwise, there’s the Pro Hosting option that offers unlimited storage, ad insertion, and a podcast network tool for $100/mo.
Blubrry offers all of the essential podcast hosting pieces: Analytics, embeddable podcast player, distribution to all major channels, etc. The thing that sets Blubrry above other podcast hosting services is their WordPress plugin.
Like Castos, Blubrry allows you to manage your show through your WordPress website, cutting down on the time it takes to publish episodes.
The other thing some people like about Blubrry is that it doesn’t censor creators like other hosting platforms have been known to do. Simply put, you can make a show about anything and they won’t take it down.
Now for the not so good parts (depending on your view of censorship).
We’re just gonna come out and say it: Blubrry is old and clunky.
Compared to the looks and ease-of-use of Sounder, Blubrry is… sub-par. If the WordPress plugin is a deal breaker for you, we suggest using Castos.
But, hey. You can make your own judgements by signing up for a free month with Blubrry.
Cost: Basic plan – Free | Unlimited Audio plan – $9/mo | Unlimited Plus plan – $29/mo | Business plan – $99/mo
Rating out of 5: ⭐⭐
Podbean offers the hosting basics and then some. The platform helps you publish your podcast (duh), distribute it to all the major channels, view your analytics, and even monetize your show.
Additionally, Podbean comes with an app that you can listen to other shows on and also manage your podcast with.
Another helpful feature is Podbean’s tech support for all of their plans, including the Basic plan.
Aside from those positives, Podbean might be even clunkier to use than Blubrry. The app puts it above some of the rest. Other than that, it’s your typical podcast hosting platform.
Your Ultimate Podcast Hosting Resource
There you have it: Our list of the 6 podcast hosting platforms that are killing it in 2021.
To those who didn’t make it this year **cough, cough, Libsyn**, don’t lose hope. We chose to feature the hosting services that meet the basic needs of creators but also go above and beyond.
Everybody offers distribution, analytics, and players for embedding. Not everybody offers sleek design, an app, in-stream audio search, transcriptions, or even clear pricing. (Honestly, WTF. I’m not going to call you to find out you charge too much.)
Choosing the Best Podcast Hosting Platform
We hope this list helps you choose the best hosting site for your specific needs. Keep a few things in mind when you’re searching for the right one:
- Sometimes free platforms give you what you pay for.
- Don’t get caught up in all the little extra features if a host isn’t well-designed or easy to use.
- The hosts that aren’t updating their platforms to improve the UX aren’t worth your time.
If you have any more questions about picking the best host, don’t hesitate to reach out to me (Dan Sanchez) on LinkedIn.