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In 2018, the number of podcast listeners in the US alone reached 75 million. It’s also predicted that by the year 2024, the number of monthly listeners will hit 164 million.
All that with the compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2023 pegged at 17%.
No wonder why many are actively looking for the best podcast hosting software in 2020. If you too are seeking a reliable podcast host service; you have come to the right place!
Already pulling in big traffic? A top-of-the-line VPS host, may very well be worth investigating.
Getting Started ⬇️
To create a podcast, you need a couple of important pieces of hardware:
- great quality microphones + headphones 🎧
- and a stellar podcast software to record episodes directly 👋
…where you can edit everything, saving you a ton of time during post-production.
While the generally best web hosting services focus solely on websites, a quality podcast hosting platform specializes in hosting your media files, such as podcasts.
- audio 🎹
- or video ⏩
These platforms are designed to meet the high storage & bandwidth needs a podcast requires so that the listeners can easily stream & download podcast shows.
That said, here are some of the best podcast softwares you should consider today.
Best Podcast Software (UK 🇬🇧) in 2020 🌟
We take software testing very seriously and aim to provide unbiased reviews and important information to help our readers. Thus, we were able to compile a list of the 7 best podcast hosting softwares that should suit anyone looking to get started. So, without further ado, let’s check them out!
#1 - Buzzsprout
Best Overall Podcast Solution 👌
You ́re looking at one of the very best podcast hosting softwares out there. It´s helped tons of podcasters around the world get started since 2009. They offer:
- excellent support with fair pricing 😳
- an easy-to-use interface
And new functionalities are constantly added, keep them and you up-to-date with the evolving podcast landscape.
First Setting Up ⛺
Buzzsprout has everything a podcaster requires to host and distribute their podcasts.
What we really loved is the dashboard, which totally makes intuitive sense 🎮 ... You’re also provided with tips and detailed instructions where things could be a little confusing.
To get started, head over to the settings page and fill out the information as shown in the screenshot on the right.
Once you’re done with that, start uploading an episode. Just click on the Upload New Episode button and select your audio file.
The software will then automatically process the file into 96k mono, which is the default (recommended) podcast setting. Meanwhile, you can create an episode title, write down a description and summary, and update artwork as per your preference.
If you have an existing show, find and import it directly from an RSS feed or Apple Podcasts.
You can then decide whether you want to publish instantly or schedule a time and date for the show to go live!
Once your first podcast is saved, you’ll find several new options:
- Add Chapter Markers
- Get A Transcript
- Make a Video Soundbite
Furthermore, you’ll receive an email containing relevant links like the embed code of your episode, account remaining time, etc.
These small things make the entire experience feel smoother and much better compared to other hosting platforms.
Chapter Markers.Feature 📑
This is a feature many podcast softwares, including Apple, are starting to acknowledge.
The embed player is placed right above to help you listen and include markers easily. Upon adding chapter markers, the embed player will show a new button like this:
Wave 🌊 Player Feature
Speaking of which, make sure to choose the new, improved Wave player located on the Players page. You can then change the:
- Colors & artwork 😲
- sharing options, and more 😉
Check out the preview below:
Cool 🏠 Website
On top of all that, you get a cool website you can customize using different colors, images, social media links, etc.
It’s always good to have a URL that looks more brandable. You can head over to Namecheap, which is currently one of, if not, the best domain registrar in the UK.
As for the pricing, Buzzsprout offers 3 paid plans:
- about 8 GBP/month for three hours
- 14 GBP/month for six
- and 18 GBP/month for twelve hours of uploaded audio.
There’s also a free plan with some limitations.
e.g. on that plan, your shows will be removed after 90 days. However, considering the overall features, it's still one of the best free podcast hosting softwares you can use.
#2 - Transistor
Create Unlimited Podcasts 🤩
Transistor is an excellent option for hosting as many podcasts as you want.
Because you won’t be charged per episode, you’re able to create several different shows to boost your following.
On top of that, Transistor has a smart, yet easy-to-use podcast player that allows you to embed your podcasts onto:
- your existing Squarespace 😎
- or WordPress site 😎
Social #️⃣ Media
You also have to option to share the embed player on social media.
These features are extremely crucial when it comes to listeners’ satisfaction. They will help your audience access and share your podcasts in the easiest way possible.
Make a New 🏠 Site
You can also use Transistor to set up a new website for your podcasts; new episodes will automatically be added to your site.
Furthermore, the analytics tools powered by Transistor will help you evaluate your podcast performance and identify aspects for improvement.
You’ll be able to find information like the subscriber count and how many times an episode has been downloaded.
- Add team members (producers, editors) and manage them effectively
- Host several different shows
- Have a beautiful podcast site
- Get useful podcast stats
- And more… 😲
What we found the most interesting is that you’re able to surf around while a podcast episode plays completely uninterrupted.
Did We Mention Private Podcasting?
Yes, since you host different shows, Transistor lets you create both public and private podcasts.
Do it all under the same account. The best part? You won’t have to pay any extra for a new plan.
Note: a great WordPress hosting plan for any blog you´ve embedded the podcast into, can greatly boost the user experience, offering:
- stability 🙏
- & speed (also uber-important)
Transistor offers around 15 GBP/month paid plan for 10,000 downloads.
That’s enough for most users. However, if you want more, you can either get more team members and downloads with the Professional or Business Plan.
#3 - Podbean
A Podcast Host for Community & Monetization 💸
One of the best podcast hosting UK software providers. Podbean offers everything a podcaster needs. Whether you’re a pro or new to the podcasting world, you should be safe with Podbean.
The core service of Podbean is hosting podcasts. You can upload your shows to Podbean and have your audience:
- listen to them online
- or download for offline listening
You can also publish your podcasts to platforms like Google Play and iTunes
But the above platforms don’t necessarily host the shows for you; third-party platforms simply link back to Podbean, your podcast host.
… 🔍 Features
Podbean offers many useful features. For podcasters looking for an all-in-one solution, this is a solid choice.
Upon acquiring a Podbean account, you’ll be provided with a free subdomain, given that it’s not already taken.
This page will contain all the information regarding your podcast. It is also where your visitors can easily listen to the published episodes.
Check out Podbean’s theme editing dashboard ➡️
You can choose a particular theme and edit the basic styling options, such as:
- Theme/title/link/font color, style & size ✔️
- Background/header image ✔️
- Video/audio player color ✔️
- Episode count (per page) ✔️
- Podcast player presence ✔️
Every major podcast directory out there like Google Play and iTunes has its own search engine.
While you don’t necessarily 😏 have to optimize your podcasts for Google, you may want to consider doing so for these podcast search engines.
They work based on your podcast’s title and description. Podbean has a nifty plugin called SEO Meta Tags that should let you incorporate basic tags for the search engines.
It’s not obviously mandatory, but we recommend using it as it is the least you could do for your podcasts—good SEO is likely how you found out about us!
Podbean also has mobile applications on both Android and iOS. Although built for listening mostly, they have pretty much all the key publishing features.
As with marketing & monetization, Podbean offers several helpful features:
Easy embedding 📤
Copy-paste the given embed code into WordPress or any social media site to share your episodes.
Automatic social media sharing 🏧
Once connected to a social media profile, you can choose to have your new episodes be shared automatically on your social media through Podbean.
Featured opportunities 🌠
While not 100% reliable, Podbean features your new podcast in its search results to let users know there’s new content. There’s a good chance you’ll get a boost from this.
With Podbean, adding ads to your podcast is a breeze, even if you aren’t that popular to acquire a sponsor. On certain plans, set up a Patreon or sell premium content.
Now, onto Pricing Plans… 📅
As for the pricing, there are two paid plans:
- Unlimited Audio—around 7 GBP9/month (billed annually or 11 GBP monthly)
- Unlimited Plus—around 22 GBP/month (billed annually or 30 GBP monthly)
Both plans offer unlimited storage (audio only) that, considering average podcast site needs, rivals the most powerful cloud storage options available for regular sites.
In this plan, you ́ll also get bandwidth, podcast themes, stats, premium content, the iOS/Android app, and you can map your own domain. Overall, Podbean is one of the best cheap podcast hosting softwares mentioned in this list.
#4 - Simplecast
Ambitious Nature + Unlimited Storage Plans 💪
Simplecast is one of the leading podcast management and analytics platforms. It powers podcasts from some of the world’s most popular creators and brands:
- Dax Shepard
- Fast Company
…Just to name a few.
If you were curious, all the above amounts to them delivering around a billion audio streams every year.
General 🔍 Features
Simplecast offers unlimited:
- Uploads ✔️
- storage space ✔️
- listener analytics and reports ✔️
- and social media sharing clip ✔️
But their biggest selling point is Recast 😏 which is a tool that lets you share custom podcast clips on social media.
The software will re-encode your MP3s over 128kbps to that correct bitrate—but won't change anything uploaded at 128kbps or lower. Mono/Stereo encoding is cached as-is always. You can consult Simplecast about keeping a higher bitrate for your podcast files, though.
… 📅 Plans
They put certain limits on your monthly downloads, based on the plan. For example:
- Basic @ 20,000
- Essential @ 50,000
- Growth @ 125,000 😏
Once you start touching your limit, they will contact you regarding an upgrade. Don’t worry; they won’t upgrade or cut you off without permission.
Both with the Essential and Growth plan, you can:
- include extra team members into your account
- access more web players (with color customization) + comprehensive audience insights
Simplecast offers a 14-day free trial for their three paid plans:
- Basic— around 12 GBP/month (10 GBP for advanced annual payments)
- Essential— around 24 GBP/month (22 GBP/month for advanced annual payments)
- Growth— just over 60 GBP/month (55 GBP/month for advance annual payments)
Simplecast also offers a customizable podcast website. By default, it will be named name.simplecast.com. You can, however, use a different domain— if available.
📡 Player Options
There are several different player options for you to embed on your site or social network.
These are all compelling, well-designed, and easy-to-use players. When publishing new content, Simplecast allows you to choose ‘Hide from RSS'.
Post a ‘private' show that won't display in your RSS feed, or in directories like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. You could perhaps share this episode on Patreon for a special group of audience.
Also, we have to give props to Simplecast’s robust analytics. There are a ton of advanced analytics that you won’t find elsewhere. A few examples:
Downloads by Top Countries
Downloads by Location
Downloads by Time of Day
Downloads Over Time
#5 - Castos
The Best Podcast Hosting for WordPress 💻
One of the best podcast hosting UK softwares for Wordpress. In fact, anyone familiar with WordPress has seen the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin at some point.
That is Castos—it’s preferred by some of the most well-known WordPress content creators in the UK. Their detailed download analytics are rare to find at this price range, and highly useful.
...Not to mention their unlimited storage at no extra charge 😎
Castos offers Premium Podcasting that allows you to:
- monetize your podcasts via subscription
- put your podcasts on YouTube 😉
Share your podcasts privately through the subscription system. It creates a special RSS feed just for Premium members only. You can decide how much you want to charge the subscribers, but note that Castos will keep 20%.
Wordpress Plugin ⚙️
WP´s plugin helps you drive traffic to your site’s built-in player—currently one of the best free podcast hosting plugins available. Extremely useful for managing everything from within the dashboard.
Pay as you Go 💋 Transcriptions
The company evaluated several technology partners for their transcription service. Ultimately, they chose Rev.AI.
The Rev team created a truly remarkable engine. As already explained, Castos displays all the statistics one could possibly ask for 😋
- Spotify analytics inc geographic data
- Listens by the app, OS, device type, and browser
Castos is not cheap, but it’s certainly the cheapest podcasting hosting software when it comes to its unlimited storage facility. There’s no extra cost.
It also offers monetized RSS feeds and automatic transcriptions, among other things.
Unlike Simplecast, Castos won’t change your file’s original bitrate, which is excellent for multi-layered sound designs.
And lastly, these are the 3 pricing tiers of Castos:
- Podcasting for around 15 GBP/month (without republishing)
- Podcasting for 26 GBP/month (with republishing on YouTube)
- Video podcasting for 37 GBP/month
#6 - BackTracks
Real-time Advanced Podcast Analytics 📈
BackTracks claims to have the world’s most advanced podcast hosting & analytics. BackTracks collect performance and behavior metrics advertisers & podcasters need.
Make informed decisions using unique, comprehensive audience data that includes:
- who’s listening, where from 😉
- when are they tuned in the most, how, etc. 😲
A huge advantage can be gained with these podcast analytics. After all, data is a wonderful thing 😎
... 🔍 Features
Use BackTracks' highly responsive and customizable embeddable player. Their modern, feature-rich audio player matches perfectly with your branding.
BackTracks makes hosting media files a breeze with unlimited storage and bandwidth. It doesn’t take very long to start a new or existing podcast. On top of that, Backtracks has a media-specific CDN optimized for podcasts, which also happens to be globally distributed.
Files are typically served from the most suitable location for your listeners using their device or browser’s optimal format automatically. And lastly, you can leverage BackTracks’ rich set of platform SDKs & REST APIs to integrate with, spreading it across your workflows & systems.
Here are the monthly pricing tiers:
- Hobby—around 37 GBP/month, 1 show, unlimited audio and bandwidth
- Startup—60 GBP/month, 2 shows, unlimited audio and bandwidth
- Small Business—180 GBP/month, 5 shows, unlimited audio and bandwidth
Just choose a plan and sign up in under 60 seconds. You’ll get a 13-day free trial.
There’s also an Enterprise plan offering everything unlimited! You can directly contact them to learn more about it.
#7 - Megaphone
Streamline Your Podcast Business 💼
And last but not least, Megaphone is an enterprise-focused podcasting platform.
From publishing to ad salesg, teams across your company can collaborate on 100s of podcasts. The best thing about Megaphone is that it’s constantly evolving to meet customer needs.
The team behind Megaphone is super 🏁 responsive.
They are always on the lookout for improving the platform and moving the industry forward.
It’s an easy-to-use platform. The intuitive publishing workflow lets you spend more time and energy producing the best audio. There’s a publishing calendar you can use to keep editorial teams and ad ops in sync.
Within the library, producers can effortlessly:
- upload a new episode ☑
- create podcasts ☑
- add tags & categories ☑
- then publish or schedule to all popular podcast listening apps ☑
Unusually Advanced 🏦 Monetization Tools
This includes their ad insertion tools.
You´re find enough flexibility to control geotargeting, impression pacing, campaign management, frequency capping, and mobile device targeting.
Now, let’s talk about MTM— The first-ever advanced industry-level audience targeting technology.
Working with private data from the Nielsen Marketing Cloud (NMC), Megaphone Targeted Marketplace (MTM) can easily target:
- 60,000+ psychographic segments and demographics 😵
- across millions and millions of monthly ad-impressions 😵
According to Megaphone, MTM supplements the direct ad sales of its clients via filling out the unsold inventory and boosting revenue.
Megaphone also provides its clients with the most sophisticated, industry-leading inventory forecasting. It offers detailed analytics regarding how your ad campaigns and podcasts have performed so far.
🗿 Big Reputation
As of 2020, Megaphone powers a number of well-known publishers in the podcasting business, including:
- the Wall Street Journal
- Gimlet Media
- Vox Media
- and NBC News
Aside from these big-name players, Megaphone also powers several other types of publishers, from local radio stations & news channels to podcast production houses & online magazines.
As for the pricing, Megaphone’s monthly/yearly plans are customized, depending on the various needs of its customers, as well as the network scale.
Their main services—this includes hosting, CMS, analytics, ad-insertion, and ad-trafficking tools—are all bundled in the base price, calculated as a cost-per-thousand download.
Podcasting Hosting Buying Guide
All set to start your podcast? Here’s the next challenge:
Where to host it—let’s get into the best podcast hosting platform.
While we understand that each podcaster has its own preferences, and there is no one-size-fits-all greatest web hosting solution, we’ll suggest targeted services to help you make an educated decision.
Sounds like a deal? 😉 Let’s get started.
What’s Your Budget 💸
One of the trickiest parts while selecting the best cheap podcast hosting is determining the budget. Would you like to go with:
- Free podcast hosting? 😏
- Or services? 💸
While most services run on a subscription basis, you can also find a lot of free ones. We highly recommend you double-check who owns the podcast content once you upload it.
In case you decide to go with paid hosting, there are numerous platforms that you can explore.
Each offers a range of cost models, which go up as you add more features. Consider the features you need right now, and will some six months down the line.
If you are confused about your budget 😡 it is always the best bet to start cheap and keep on adding features as you scale up. Bluefish is the best free podcast hosting provider.
However, if you plan to podcast professionally, you can also contact the podcast hosting company directly and get tailored plans.
You can also ask them about their ☑ support teams ☑️ monetization options ☑️ and multi-show podcast management.
This will help you evaluate your needs better and will help you determine the kind of features you need.
How Often Will You Upload Podcasts
You may wonder how this is even related to your choice of podcast hosting platform.
Unlimited Storage 💾
The number of podcasts that you choose to upload is entirely your choice, but you might be restricted by your hosting plan.
This is due to most hosting platforms placing restrictions on the episode length.
Services usually allow you to upload unlimited content for a small monthly fee. You must weigh both options and choose the one which suits you the most.
We recommend going for unlimited storage, unlimited storage, to rule out any hassles related to bandwidth barriers when managing your podcast.
In a world where unlimited cloud storage choices keeps getting greater, there's no excuse for having a sluggish site simply due lots of data or traffic.
That sort of thing costs viewer attention 😣
Podcast Integrity 💪
While uploading it to their platform, a lot of hosting websites may alter the file type of your episode:
- its metadata 😐
- and bitrate 😐
There are reasons why hosting plans vary so much, and this has to do with the multitude of independent businesses working in the industry, redistributing server resources for profits.
Reseller hosting is a potentially lucrative business and quick to get into. Even top-tier reseller hosting packages may have idiosyncrasies however,that are not optimal for your business.
For example, perhaps audio quality is incredibly important because you run audiobook episodes on your podcast.
A lot of platforms, for instance, convert uncompressed WAV files into MP3 files. Other platforms will insert the missing ID3 tags (author/title/artwork) automatically.
If you don’t want your podcasts to be altered in any way, you must make sure that your hosting platform maintains the integrity of the original upload information.
Does the Chosen Platform Provide Podcast Analytics 📈
Podcasting has evolved to be a viable online business idea & strategy. It provides hidden business insights and helps you accelerate your marketing campaigns.
This is why it is necessary to ensure that your chosen best or cheapest podcasting hosting service provides you with comprehensive podcast analytics.
Additionally, podcasting analytics must be in line with the guidelines set by the IAB.
For starters, the IAB, or the Interactive Advertising Bureau, recently rolled out guidelines for how varied analytics are tracked, such as:
- listening data 📻
- and downloading data 📊
These standards improve the accuracy of reported analytics and help podcasters work with sponsors and advertisers to provide precise information.
A number of hosting websites will claim to provide IAB compliant analytics 📉 but only a handful of them actually stick to these ever-changing standards, and provide you with accurate info.
Thus, it makes sense to look for the kind of analytics provided by your platform, and choose the best podcast hosting.
What is the Offered Speed/Quality 💨
The speed and quality of your podcast is another factor that deserves your attention.
Needless to say, you don’t want your listeners to wait for minutes before your podcast is delivered to them.
Neither will you want your podcast to be delivered in a hazy and breaking voice with a lot of clutter 😣
No matter, how great your podcast is, if it is not delivered in the top-notch quality to your target listeners, it will fail to provide you with the required traction.
This is why you must pay close attention to the offered speed and quality before deciding to go with a particular podcasting platform.
Podcast Hosting FAQs 🔍
Commonly asked questions…
Can You Make Money Podcasting? 💰
Yes, you can make money podcasting.
This is all thanks to their ever-rising popularity. Google estimates that there will be up to 10 million monthly searches for the podcast in 2020.
Talking about the last year, a study conducted by Edison Research 👓 revealed that around 90 million Americans listened to a podcast in May 2019.
Thus, the craze for podcasting is expected to witness an upward trajectory in the coming years.
If income is concerned, the exact figures vary from podcaster to podcaster depending on their content:
- The Jerry Banfield Show creator, for instance, reported earning $188.73 for 74,080 plays 👓
- On the other hand, the H3 podcast earns its makers an estimated $100,000 per episode from a range of revenue streams 👓
How Much Does it Cost to Host a Podcast? ☹️
The cost of the best podcast hosting UK wide, or otherwise, depends on the platform you choose to go with.
Various free hosting platforms won’t cost you anything, while others might leave a dent in your pocket.
The cost of hosting a podcast could be under a fiver/month and could go as high as a hundred.
In addition to incurring hosting costs, other costs that you might need to bear include equipment costs—think of:
- your computer ☑️
- recording and editing software ☑️
- headphones and microphones ☑️
- amplifiers, mixer, audio interfaces ☑️
- shock mounts and mic stands ☑️
- cover art cost, music ☑️
- and so on. ☑️
What Equipment Do I Need for a Podcast? ⚖️
As mentioned above, depending on how professional you want your podcast to be, you will need a range of equipment. These include the most basic ones like:
- a computer
- a set of microphones
- an audio interface 🔧
- and a mixer.
More advanced equipment includes:
- pop filters/windscreens 💨
- headphone amplifiers
- mic stands
- shock mount ⚡
- editing software
- acousting treatment,
- and the like.
How Do I Get Sponsors For My Podcast? 😉
This goes without saying—there may be a good opportunity to get paid for the podcast itself. There are three main ways through which you can make money through a sponsor:
- Find appropriate advertisers through your podcast host 😶
- Sell ad spots yourself 😐
- Wait for them to contact you 😄
Some of the best podcast hosting services in the UK put shows and sponsors into contact, hoping to secure advertising opportunities.
Generally, they only contact those shows which are highly popular among the listeners or fit well in the genre of podcasts that an advertiser is interested in.
This method has two advantages:
- you don’t have to search for advertisers 😄
- the entire advertising process is taken care of by your host 😄
But the associated downside is that you might need to pay your host for the services offered. If you want to take the matters in your hand, you can also sell the advertising spots yourself.
The best way to move ahead in such a case is to listen to other podcasts in your genre 🎻 and analyze who the advertisers are.
Next, contact the marketing or public relations team of that company to see if they are interested in sponsoring your show.
The last method is to simply wait for the advertisers to knock your door. If your show ranks well, it is likely that you will be contacted by the advertisers directly.
Can You Record a Podcast on Your Phone? 📲
Yes, you can record a podcast on your phone. All you need is the right mobile app and maybe a pair of high-performing mobile microphones.
Then you are good to go! 🙋
So, there you have it; the 7 top podcast softwares that will help you to shape your business.
Instead of surfing through a bunch of websites and Reddit posts to find the answer, consider our list of the best podcast softwares of 2020 and you'll be good to go.
Remember, we did all the research so you won’t have to!