What to look for in a podcast hosting platform

Jun 16, 2023

Whether you’re new to the podcasting game, or an old dog looking to learn new tricks, the world of podcast hosting platforms can be confusing to navigate.

We’ll start simple: what is the difference between a podcast hosting platform and a podcast distributing platform?

A podcast distributing platform does exactly what it says on the tin – it distributes your podcast for you, allowing you to grow an audience, and do fun things like share a link to your podcast on your social media.

A podcast hosting platform is primarily focused on the storage and management of your podcast files. However, several podcast hosting platforms also offer distribution services – a famous example would be Spotify, which offers services that’ll take you through the whole process.

Whether you’re hosting a podcast on something niche, like commentary on a specific American football team, or you’ve got an itch for celebrity gossip, or you want to deep dive into some weird and wonderful facts, we’re sure there’ll be an audience for you somewhere.

How to choose a podcast hosting platform:

There’s a wide range of things to consider when selecting a podcast hosting platform. If you’re not sure where to start, keep reading for our handy guide on some of the main factors you should consider.

Technical Factors:

Firstly, you should think about the technical logistics of the podcast hosting platform you choose – specialist multimedia files (such as podcast files) are large and take up lots of storage space. They can also be fiddly to store efficiently if you don’t have the right equipment or if you aren’t sure what you’re doing.

When considering which platform to choose, take into account the type and size of file you’ll be dealing with, and consider the storage options of different platforms.

One of the market’s cheapest options is Podbean, which offers unlimited bandwidth (in case your podcast captures the attention of the nation), storage for five hours audio, and a generous 100GB of monthly bandwidth (for free).

While we are on the subject, bandwidth is also an important part of the reason why we wouldn’t recommend you host your podcast on your website. Streaming a podcast will quickly exhaust your bandwidth, making your site much slower, or potentially unavailable. Depending on who your website host is, it might even be against their terms of service.

Podcast hosting versus podcast distribution:

Another factor you should be aware of when choosing a podcast hosting platform is ease of distribution – some hosting providers are linked to distributors, and some provide an all in one service.

Spotify, for example (we’re assuming you’ve heard of them) offer a two in one hosting and distribution service, wherein if you host your podcast with them, it’ll be automatically distributed on their platform. This, by the way, has the advantage of 515 million active monthly listeners – not a bad potential audience!

Reporting and analytics:

Thirdly, lots of podcast hosting platforms are able to offer analytics tools. Being able to view and analyse your podcast data is extremely useful if you’re trying to grow your audience. Get insight on how many monthly listeners you have, who they are, where they’re based, and see which of your episodes performed best…

While not quite as shiny or exciting as features like unlimited bandwidth, trackable analytics are a key part of measuring your progress, and should be a consideration when you’re wondering about how to choose a podcast hosting platform.


Last but not least, you will need to consider the cost. There’s a nearly endless list of podcast hosting platform options, and while there are some free providers, there are also many that come with different subscription levels and payment plans, as well as extra tools and add-ons.

Popular host platform BuzzSprout offers a free version as well as paid plans, whereas Libsyn (one of the oldest podcast hosting services going) only offers paid plans, but they start at as little as $5 a month. You certainly don’t need millions of dollars to get started in the podcast industry – but it’s worth bearing in mind that you might have to shell out a monthly subscription if you want access to some of the features these platforms offer.

We hope this has been a useful guide on how to choose a podcast hosting platform. If you’ve got any questions, (or you want some podcast recommendations) you can get in touch with us. Otherwise, make sure you keep an eye on our blog for all things podcast related. 

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