We have all read the statistics and know that podcasting is a great tool for building trust in a personal or business brand. You can grow a loyal audience that will support you for a long time to come. You already know you should start a podcast, what features and qualities your new podcast hosting platform should have.
Adding notes, cover art, and transcriptions should be easy to do. Look for a podcast host that will make these repetitive tasks as easy and fast as possible.
Ease of Use
This is by far the most important feature when comparing podcast hosting platforms. It should be easy to upload your recording and set up sharing to all the different podcasting directories. Because the subscription service and serving large files over the internet can be technically challenging as some of the developers tend to forget that normal people have to use their platform.
Which Platforms They Integrate With
Check that integration with all the different podcasting platforms is supported. This should be built-in and not require any difficult setups to get started. You want your podcasts to go out to all the platforms in a couple of easy steps. Directories that should be included are Apple (iTunes), Google Podcasts, and Spotify. There are many more, but these three are the absolute minimum.
A good podcasting host should offer detailed analytics. You will want to track all your podcasting statistics to see growth in your podcast. Useful information includes how many people listen to / download your podcasts and how many subscribers you have. You can then check which episodes are doing better than others and go back to popular topics for future episodes.
Support for Video
This might not be a deal-breaker for everyone as most podcasts will be audio-only. If however, you want to do a video podcast or offer a video version as well as an audio version you will need to check that the podcast host you choose also supports video podcasts. Not all podcast hosting platforms support video files. Podbean is known for supporting video sharing, and they have a discount code at wiredclip.com/podbean-coupon-code that you can use. If you want to also do video podcasts they are worth checking out.
If you have a WordPress website check that your hosting provider has a plugin for WordPress. This will give you a nice podcast player to embed right in your WordPress pages.
If you don’t have a WordPress blog then check if they have another way of embedding a player on your website. If you don’t have a website at all, then check for a hosting service that includes a website with podcast hosting.
Storage and Bandwidth
Storage will determine how much content you will be able to upload to your podcast hosting company. Storage and billing will differ from hosting company to hosting company. Often they will also have different tier levels of plans that get more expensive. Check how much storage you get and if it is upload-based. Usually, you will get a monthly upload allocation in gigabytes or hours that will reset every month. Some hosting companies calculate the storage and billing in different ways though.
Bandwidth is how many people will be able to listen to your podcast after you have uploaded it. Some podcasting hosts have unlimited bandwidth. This means there is no limitation as to how many people will be able to listen to your podcast. Some hosting companies will limit the size of monthly downloads or the total number of downloads on different plans.
When you have a large podcast it will usually pay easily for the podcast hosting and equipment. The problem is going through the months and maybe years before you get to a large enough audience. Check with your potential podcast hosting company how their pricing works. Be prepared to cover the costs for many months before starting to make any money from podcasting.
The ideal podcast hosting company will have pricing tiers that will allow you to pay more as your podcast grows. Starting out could be on a free or inexpensive plan and then later on you should be able to scale up without moving to a new hosting company.
Check if your potential podcast hosting platform has monetization options. The two most popular options that some of the hosting companies will offer are premium content and advertising.
Premium content is where you can upload podcast content that only paid subscribers will be able to access. Advertising is exactly that, but instead of you having to manage contracts and include the ads in your recording your host can also manage this. It works similar to YouTube ads where the hosting company sells the ads to advertisers, and you get a share of the profit.
Whichever podcast hosting platform you choose, make sure they will still be able to fulfill your needs as your podcast grows. Look at some of the features that you will need in the future because it is great having to switch platforms a few months down the line. Also, remember that ease of use will save you a lot of valuable time so don’t just check features, but also compare the usability of the platforms.