What a Podcasting Service Should Provide: Hosting and Beyond

A podcasting service should provide more than just hosting.

You need a podcasting service provider when you decide to make your show. This level of help is necessary for long-term success. There are many hosting service companies out there for you to choose from. They will help you store and upload your content to different podcast platforms. 

Hosting service companies may vary in offerings. Of course, all are claiming to be the best. However, podcasting service providers should offer file storage, act as a publisher of your show, and manage your podcast’s backend analytics. 

A massive pool of options exists in the market. However, you need to choose carefully. You need to land on the one that fits your needs the best. And, it is also essential that the host can provide growth to and build a stronger audience for your podcast. 

What a Podcasting Service Should Provide

Yes, we can opt for one of the free podcast services. A lot of free services are available out there. Especially if you are just starting, you may perceive everything that involves payment as a risk.

However, you may aim for growth, expansion, and tenure over time. If so, you need to invest in an excellent podcasting service provider. Therefore, we wrote this post to help you. Here, we have advice on how to land the best podcasting service. We made a list of things you should remember. Here are the services that a podcasting service should provide:

Storage and Bandwidth 

Storage and bandwidth limits are the most significant considerations. You should plan your podcasting journey accordingly. Your show’s performance depends on these things. Storage dictates how many audio files in terms of size you can host. Also, when wanting to bullseye the right amount of storage needs, consider how many episodes you wish to release in the future. When you try to think long-term, you should also think big about your storage provider. 

The bandwidth determines how many shows you can upload to your host. It also affects how many downloads you can run. It also defines your capacity to handle a specific amount of traffic. This covers downloading or listening to your performance at a particular time.  

The storage and bandwidth limits decide the number of episodes you can release every week. It also affects the number of past episodes in storage. This limits what your audience still has access to. Therefore, remember that a lower bandwidth limit can create a dissatisfied audience. When you desire to cater to a larger audience, you need to invest in a greater bandwidth limit.

Sure, a newbie podcast producer can start with a free hosting plan. But free subscriptions correlate to a lot of restrictions. As long as you have the best one, it will all be worth it! Never be afraid to pour a more significant chunk of funds into a good podcast hosting service provider.‍

Deep Data Analytics

A man using a tablet showing his podcasting service analytics work.

Numbers always matter. Analytics reporting will give a better glimpse of the depth and breadth of your audience, including their activities. It is a tool for data visualization that can help you to further understand your podcast’s performance. The actionable insights gained from the analytics can help you perform more for the satisfaction of your audience. 

Here are the things that a good data analytics company can provide for you:

  • The number of listeners patronizing your podcast.
  • The activity of listeners in terms of skipping different parts of your show (example: intro)
  • The performance of your episodes and presentation over time
  • The weight of every listener in every place in the world.

More data analytics can provide information about the types of platforms listeners often use to listen to your podcast. Thus, through this tool, you can gear and pattern your content based on the activities of your listeners. You can better understand and provide better content with the help of these data. 

Yet, there is a significant consideration in finding a podcasting service provider to generate data analytics. First off, it must be IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) Certified or Compliant. Through this, you can ensure that the data provided is high quality and accurate. Inaccurate data may lead you to make poor decisions.

Remember that if you plan to utilize this tool, it will dictate the kind of content and advertising you can release. Make sure that the data from your data analyst is transferable so you can work on and check your data regularly. A great podcasting service provider will assist you in determining the sociographics of your audience and listener engagement and growth benchmarks.

Website Support

Having a website is not vital to your podcast in the beginning. However, as you grow as a podcaster, having a website will save you. You will be more visible when your listeners find you through Google. After you publish to your website, search engines will immediately index your content and add you to their search results pages. Without a website, you face an excellent chance that listeners will get detached from your podcast because they can’t find you through search engines.

Having a website will also help you promote your shows. It is a great way to provide your followers with a touchpoint regarding promotion across different channels. You can always mention your website when you notify the audience of new posts. Thus, it acts as the universal landing page for everyone you are drawing in through your content. 

Try to consider listeners who love binge-listening. Use the site as a go-to place for them to check out the entire season of the show. It will serve as a virtual archive to cater to an audience who wants to listen to everything at once. There are podcast hosting platforms that can curate a customized site. However, ensure that they have the expertise to incorporate your domain and RSS feed. Usually, podcasters go for WordPress. It is one of the best spaces to manage shows and content.

Media Player Capabilities

The buttons of a media player.

Having a media player is vital when choosing a podcasting service and establishing your site. This is so that anyone can listen to your podcast right away whenever they visit your pages. You must also inspect your media player’s features, functionality, and aesthetics. 

It is also important for the media player to have share and subscribe buttons right beside it. This is so that listeners can share each episode easily to any platform, especially social media, and also subscribe to your show with no hassle. This way, you can get more exposure quickly and easily, and more views and downloads as more listeners get notified when releasing and live broadcasting a new episode. 

Ease of Use and Support

Before signing up with a podcasting service, always do some research on how user-friendly it is. Their dashboard must be easy to navigate, especially when managing your files. Try to sign-up for a free trial if one is available. This way, you can get an idea of how their dashboard looks, and test out how the features work. 

You can also use YouTube to watch some reviews and tutorials. However, if you feel that technology is not really for you, do not stress yourself out. There is a long list of podcasting services out there that offer tech support on top of their basic offering. Leverage their expertise when you need it so you can focus on what you do best. 

Possibility of Monetization

For many people who started podcasting, it was just a hobby or a passion project. If you are a serious podcaster, you must be able to fund the show. To maintain production levels and quality and to be heard by a lot of people, you need money.  

Good thing you can leverage the podcast itself to earn money. Think of this as a long-term project. When there is a depletion in funds, you cannot go on with your podcast’s weekly or monthly releases. Be wise enough to plan how you can monetize the platform from the very beginning. Even though you may have heard that it is not common to convert every episode into earnings, it is possible. The best podcasting service will help you do this. If you are still wondering how, here are a few great ways to monetize your podcast.

Direct

  • Creating paid membership tiers
  • Asking for donations
  • Sell sponsorships or advertisements
  • Being part of an advertising network
  • Sell premium episodes to access

Indirect

  • Offer products for sale
  • Be a public speaker
  • Curate an e-course to sell
  • Sell consulting services
  • Starting a podcast network

There are a lot of other ways that you can earn from your shows. Podcasting service providers should guide you toward picking the most appropriate method of monetizing each episode.

Notes and Resources

A pinned note that reads,

There are a plethora of reasons why you should transcribe your podcast episodes. First, it boosts SEO. Posting a transcription or show notes of every podcast episode on your website can make you more visible on the Internet. People who are looking for content like yours will use keywords and phrases relating to your podcast to find it, and find you. Remember that to improve your rankings, you must translate everything into words. Search engines like Google do not review audio files to evaluate your website.

Having episode transcripts and show notes makes it much more convenient for you to write other content for blog posts. (Yes, you should definitely repurpose all of your podcast content regularly!) You can expound on mentioned topics in an episode, for example. This process will also further improve your SEO rankings, especially when infusing the proper keywords and phrases into the content. 

Also, with the help of show notes, you can cater to an audience subset, such as those with auditory issues. With show notes, transcripts, and blog posts, they can fully enjoy and engage with your content. Then they can also fully engage with you and others on your website and social media channels. 

Also, with the help of show notes, you can cater to another set of audiences. Audiences with auditory issues can still engage and follow through with the written content.

Written content will help you build authority, credibility, and leadership around your niche. People can easily reference the relevant things they want to extract from your episode. Then your audience will know you as the go-to person for that topic. When someone links to your podcast or a particular episode, there is a likelihood that it will direct more traffic to your website. 

Remember that each episode deserves a comprehensive summary. Also, don’t forget to include a list of relevant links and resources every time. These practices will help you create a rich user experience. Thus, it is essential to team up with an expert podcasting service. The provider that you choose must use the latest machine learning technology to give you the best text analysis. 

Reasonable Pricing

Sometimes, the most affordable subscription plans are not the best for you. Of course, it will ease some of the weight from your pocket. However, it would be at the expense of the value and quality of your podcast. Opt for a paid subscription if you plan on podcasting over the long term, and not just as a hobby. Finding a podcasting service provider with a tiered pricing feature is great. This way, as you grow, you can adjust to the right level. Then, you can maximize your resources and avoid excess. 

To get a better idea of how much you should invest in a podcasting service, you should always ask for a quote for everything. Make sure that you look for and ask about hidden costs and other unstipulated payments. They should also be able to customize if you have special needs. Here at PodKick, we always strive to provide clear custom quotes. 

Audio Editing

A mixer with colorful buttons used for audio editing.

An excellent audio editing service must provide professionally edited audio with openings, closings, commercials, and music. They must only release episodes with clear dialogue that are free from background noises. Also, they need to provide files for each episode that are in mp3 format. This is so that publish-ready episodes will come out to audio platforms like Apple and Spotify

You cannot micromanage everything as a podcaster. Most of the time, you need to leave tasks to the experts. In terms of audio editing, the team will basically mix and master each episode. They should carefully balance background noises and dynamics all throughout the whole podcast, too. That means keeping things level across all episodes. When done correctly, you will have the most pleasing audio experience possible. 

Long pauses, dead air, and filler words like “Uhm,” “you know,” and “ahh” can be pretty annoying when heard repeatedly throughout an episode. Your audio must be free from these distracting words to offer a more impactful message to the audience. If you leave them in, they are likely to not only bother your audience but divert listeners’ attention from the key theme of your podcast. 

If the product does not meet your expectations, then you can open a dialogue to find out how they can improve their output. Remember, however, that you can’t expect first class output if you can’t pay for it.

Machine Learning

Testing the waters in any industry is easier than ever before. You don’t have to have everything ready right from the beginning, and you also don’t need to start from scratch. To start podcasting, there are a lot of podcasting production companies that make things easier for you. PodKick is one of these podcast services. They already have machine learning technology in place to serve you better.

The said technology will help you create transcripts and do text analysis, which are significant for your business. Also, you can ask these kinds of companies regarding podcasting guides and video tutorials to get you up to speed in the industry. The best ones will also have a community that you can join and learn from and grow with. 

Guest Management

Another means to expand your audience is to bring reputable and well-known guest speakers on your show. Or it can be the other way around. You can also join them in one of their episodes. 

However, it can be difficult and is very time-consuming to find potential guests on your own. Find a podcasting service provider that offers a guest management perk. They will search for suitable guests on your behalf. They will evaluate whether the potential guest’s expertise, role, and career experience fit the niche audience that your podcast caters to. Then they will hand over a list of potential contacts, social media accounts, and other relevant information for your reference. Then, if you like, the right podcasting service can also take care of reaching out to these prospects and scheduling interviews for you. 

When a guest sends a positive response, the service will inform you so you can plan your episode.

Distribution Process

A woman using podcast editing software on her laptop.

When we think of a podcast publishing service, we immediately think of the one responsible for deploying your show to various audio platforms. You can easily upload and monitor your podcast episode to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, intelligent devices, and much more through a host. Thus, your listeners will have convenient access to hear your podcast. 

The Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed link, for instance, is a tool for listing your podcast on directories. There are a lot of hosts that can distribute your podcast to all platforms. They can perform these specific tasks by simply giving you an RSS feed. The moment the host submits the link to the distributors, listeners automatically receive your podcast through their RSS feed every time you release new episodes.

Here are the distribution platforms where you can display your podcast:

Apple Podcast

Apple Podcast is one of the leading trendsetters in the podcast industry. It used to be part of the service called iTunes. However, as the demand for podcasts rose and gradually went mainstream, Apple made a standalone software for podcasting. 

You have a lot of perks to enjoy when you use Apple Podcast as a primary entry point in podcasting. You will also be visible in audio spaces like Downcast, Castro, BeyondPod, AntennaPod, and a lot more. 

Also, remember today’s survey by Global Stats shows that almost 30% of the global population is using iOS devices. This vast number of users will be within your reach if you deploy your podcast in the Apple space. 

Here is what you need to make sure that your podcasting service provider will do to get your show into Apple Podcast:
  1. Key in all the relevant information on your podcast host’s designated sections. This includes the podcast title, author, and podcast description.
  2. Have your podcast thumbnail or cover ready. To record your show in the directory, you need to upload it to Apple Podcast.
  • Suggested Resolution: 3000 x 3000 pixels
  • JPG or PNg file format
  • RGB colorspace
  • 72 dpi resolution
  1. Define what category your show belongs to. A subcategory will aid you in acing the SEO ranking, more so if you are a new entrant to the industry. Choose from Apple Podcasts’ three major categories:
  • History
  • Fitness
  • Earth Sciences
  1. Get that first episode rolling! A full-service podcast production company like PodKick can instantly help you get every episode streaming. 
  2. Your podcast service provider will copy your RSS feed URL and submit it to Apple.
  3. Make an Apple ID to check your podcast status on Apple Podcasts Connect.

What will you need?

  • Your Apple ID
  • The credit card on file
  • Submit and wait for approval within 72 hours
Spotify

A screenshot of the Spotify website home page.

 

Spotify is another fastest-growing podcast platform. It can be accessible to both iOS and Android users as well as to PC, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, making a broader scope of audience. Formerly, podcasters could not directly upload their episodes to Spotify. 

However, in 2019, they started to accept submissions. Hence, anyone can place their shows on this audio platform conveniently and for free. According to  Buzzsprout’s podcast statistics, Spotify comes second on the list of platforms used by listeners to access podcast shows. In fact, 29.4% of the 86,875,044 monthly total podcast downloads worldwide happens on this platform. 

There are also a lot of benefits when you decide to upload your podcast on Spotify. One of these is that you can monetize every episode. Spotify lets podcasters post exclusive and special episodes that are open for subscription fees. Through this, you can earn from your shows.

Other benefits include acquiring data such as:
  • Data Analytics on listeners preferences
  • Social Media Integrations
  • Demographics of your listeners
How to get your Spotify Podcaster Account started?
  1. Open the site Spotify for Podcasters.
  2. Click “Get Started” and start making your account. If you already have one enter your email address and password and click “Log in.”
  3. Click “Get Started” one more time and paste the RSS feed link into the text box.
  4. Wait for verification of validity.
  5. Tap the “Send Code:” button.
  6. Check your email for the 8-digit confirmation code. Paste it on the designated text bar. Click “Next” afterward.
  7. Key in relevant data such as your country, host, category, and language. (Use the country of your target listeners, not where your current location.)
  8. Choose the top three subcategories of your podcast and hit the “Next” button.
  9. Review your encoded information. Click “Go Back” if there are necessary changes. If none, “Submit”. (Approval process may take place right away or it may last for days)
  10. After receiving an email of approval, you may log in again to the Spotify for Podcasters website. Tap your podcast name. There you will have access to view your show’s status. 
Stitcher

A screenshot of the Stitcher Radio website home page.

Compatibility:

iOS and Android

Features and Benefits:
  • Mobile and Auto Distribution
  • Increased Listenership 
  • Listening Metrics
Categories:
  • Best Comedy
  • True Crime
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • New Released Podcasts
How to sign-up as a Stitcher partner?
  1. Go to the Stitcher sign-up page.
  2. Click the “Join Us Today” button.
  3. Place your RSS feed URL on the designated text box.
  4. Confirm your email.
  5. Hit the “Next Step” button, then follow the Sign-up process to get a Stitcher Partner account.
  6. Wait for about an hour for the approval of your listing.
TuneIn

TuneIn can be a gateway to publish your podcast to Alexa or Echo by Amazon. There are 75 million listeners in 197 countries using TuneIn to listen to podcasts. Today, there are about 120,000 live radio stations present on this platform.

Here is how you can distribute your Podcast to TuneIn:
  1. Fill out a form provided by TuneIn. 
  2. Login to Sounder.fm to find your RSS feed
  3. Select the button “Manage Podcast.”
  4. Then click “Copy Link.”
  5. After that, fill out the text box and paste your Sounder.fm RSS feed URL 
Alexa

If you already distribute your podcast shows to Apple, Google, or TuneIn, it will automatically be visible on Amazon Alexa. Here is how to use Alexa to get your podcast on Amazon Echo:

  1. First, create an Amazon Developer account.
  2. Find and select Alexa on the menu and click “Get Started” below “Alexa Skill Kit”.
  3. Hit the “Add a New Skill” button.
  4. Choose “Flash Briefing Skill API” as the skill type and enter your podcast name inside the “Name” field.
  5. Go to the “Configuration” page directly. Remember to skip the “Interaction Model” page.
  6. Key in “[PODCAST NAME] is not available at this time” in the custom error message field.
  7. Hit the “Add new feed button” and start typing the podcast’s feed information on the “configuration” page.
  8. Head to the “Publishing Information” page.
  9. Select the category that you think your podcast belongs to, or the closest fit.
  10. In the testing instructions box, type “This is a podcast with an audio feed”.
  11. In the “Short Skill Description” section, write 2 to 3 words that best describe your podcast.
  12. Write a description of the podcast in “Full Skill Description”. This will be visible to end-users. (Pro Tip: if you are not a skilled copywriter, hire one to develop your podcast description. You will use this on multiple platforms. If your chosen podcasting service provides professional copywriting, all the better. Make sure that the copywriter has all the information that they need to create an accurate and compelling description to market your show.)
  13. Upload relevant images preferably 108×108 and 512×512 in resolution.
  14. Fill out additional needed information and test out your podcast using the Alexa beta test option.
  15. Lastly,  tap the “submit for certification” button.
Podchaser

A screenshot of the Podchaser website home page.

Podchaser made its presence known in the podcasting industry in 2016. It is for listeners and podcasters to have a sound community in podcasting. Their main goal is to create a quality platform-agnostic podcast database. Over the years, Podchaser continuously expands and grows across the globe. They have a team of talented developers, designers, data moderators, project leads, content creators, and advisors.

You can also list your podcast through the following directories:

Popular Podcast Hosting Platforms

Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout has been in the market for years already. Its parent company was already operating way back in the 1990s. However, Buzzsprout only started its operations in 2008. Today, they are offering services such as hosting, promotion, and podcast status tracking. 

Features:

Podcast distribution

Buzzsprout can list your podcast on the top podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Alexa Overcast, PocketCasts, Castro, Castbox, and Podchaser.

Measure podcast statistics

With this kind of feature, Buzzsprout can measure the following:

  • Total downloads over time
  • Applications used to listen
  • Listener location
ID3 tagging and audio conversion

This type of feature offers a lot to podcasters. It will convert your audio files instantly to mp3 format. Also, remember not all graphics can fit immediately into podcast distribution platforms without hassle. Some websites or software have different requirements for podcast artwork. Hence, ID3 tagging can resize it all and ensure that it will meet the standards set by a particular directory. 

In terms of optimizing audio files, Buzzsprout uses a technology called Magic Mastering™. It acts as a filter for your audio files, most especially with uttered words or heavy music productions.

WordPress Plugins and User-friendly Publishing Feature

By using this feature, they can help you upload both your write-ups and audio files in an instant. They can also help new podcasters build basic, customizable websites to build their online presence immediately. 

The website has:
  • Directory links
  • Customizable features to fit your branding
  • Your own custom URL

Along with this, they can also provide an embedded player for the listeners visiting your website. 

Their player has the following controls:
  • Skip (forward, backward, 2x speed)
  • Share to social media button
  • Customizable look
  • Marker function
Dynamic Content

Buzzsprout can assist podcasters from pre-roll to post-roll processes. Their dynamic content can give you an option to remove or add pre or post-roll segments for each episode. 

Transcription

Podcasters can turn their audio files into words with this feature. As mentioned, it will improve your SEO and accessibility, and cater to speed readers and the hearing-impaired.

Integrations

Plans and Pricing

Free

You can upload 2 hours worth of audio every month with this type of subscription. It will host your episodes for 90 days then delete them. You can expect ads to pop up on your podcast page. Note that Magic Mastering is not available with this type of plan. What you get with this free plan are advanced stats and unlimited team members. You can upgrade any time you want to remove ads and keep your content saved on the platform. 

$12/month

The inclusions of this plan are:

  • Advanced Stats
  • Unlimited Team Members
  • Import Podcast for Free
  • Unlimited Storage 

The total monthly upload for this is 3 audio hours. Also, your episodes stay hosted on the platform indefinitely. If you would like to add the Magic Mastering feature on top of this plan, you are going to pay another $6 per month. And, if you decide to increase your upload limit, there will be an additional payment of $4 per hour.

$18/month

This plan is quite similar to the previous one. The only difference is that you get 6 audio hours worth of uploads per month. But, if you would like to upload more content, there will be a $3 per hour additional payment. The Magic Mastering tool fee is $9 per month on this plan.

$24/month

The Magic Mastering fee increases again, this time reaching $12 per month on this type of plan. Your episodes will still receive indefinite hosting, and you can now upload 12 hours total of audio content each month. All the features are the same with the $18/month plan except for the upload allowance. If you wish to upload more content, Buzzsprout charges another $2. 

Additional Information
  1. All paid plans include the following services:
  • Podcast statistics
  • Podcast Website
  • Custom Embed Players
  • Get into Podcast Directories
  1. Episode Transcription Pricing – $0.25/minute
  2. Buzzsprout services have no contract. As a subscriber, you can cancel anytime. The service provider does not offer annual payments. Thus, all subscriptions are monthly.

PodBean

A screenshot of the PodBean website home page.

PodBean is a podcast publishing and monetization service. It caters to individuals and companies. You can use both free and paid-to-host options. PodBean is a user-friendly podcasting platform. It combines publishing, administration, distribution, and analytic features into a single package.

PodBean’s location is in Wilmington, Delaware. Since 2006, they have already been operating as a podcast host. Today, PodBean is already hosting over 250,000 podcasts in different genres across the globe.

Features:

Fast upload and publishing

Learning Materials and Customer Support

Another customer solution they have is the PodBean knowledge base. PodBean offers free live chat and email support to tend to customers’ queries. It contains guides, video tutorials, and a plethora of articles to help podcasters who are just starting in the industry and have tons of questions that need immediate answers. 

Another sub-feature is the money-back guarantee. Customers who are unhappy with the service have a 7-day grace period. They can request a refund immediately, 

Customizable subdomain and page theme

With PodBean, you can choose your own subdomain as long as nobody has taken it at the moment. Moreover, they will provide a customizable page where your listeners can access your episodes. The customization is only limited to the following parts:

  • Header image
  • Background image
  • Font color
  • Theme color
  • Font size
  • Font style
  • Media player position
  • Player color
  • Title color
SEO Feature

This feature can help your podcasts become more resilient. We all know that Google’s SEO algorithms develop very quickly and are very dynamic. Thus, it is best to have a podcast host to back you up despite the change. 

Aside from transcribing and converting your audio files into show notes, it is also better if you optimize for podcast search engines. 

Let us explain it this way. The competition with other podcasts exists not only on search engines like Google. You also need to have a competitive advantage against the other podcast in a particular distribution directory within your chosen category. Hence, PodBean will provide you with optimized titles and descriptions for your podcast and episodes.

Also, this specific feature includes an SEO Meta tags plugin that will enable you to add basic tags or keywords for these search engines. This practice will help you become more visible to the end-users in just a search, thus attracting more listenership to your podcast.

Mobile-ready software 

PodBean has mobile applications for both Android and iOS. Aside from using the said applications to listen to podcasts, you can also use this to upload your episodes. However, we do not recommend doing this because it’s easier on the web portal.

Video Podcast Support

Sometimes, your podcast episodes should have a video counterpart. This is so that your listeners can develop a closer rapport with you and your guests.If you are trying to build a personal brand, this PodBean feature is best for you! 

Remember that most people learn with both visual and auditory stimuli. Thus, you can use video to express body language and make discussions more dynamic to connect with your audience more.

Marketing and Monetization

PodBean will help you curate a more profound marketing plan before you start. Having no plan at all before deploying your show will bring on a lot of issues. Here are the beneficial features offered by PodBean to boost your marketing capabilities in the industry:

  • Social sharing done automatically
  • Simple embedding 
  • In the search results, highlighted spots for new podcasts 
  • Adding adverts to your podcast to help you make money
Analytics and Statistics

Your level of data acquired through analytics varies with the plan tier you achieve. PodBean can integrate Google analytics for additional, comprehensive metrics. 

Plans and Pricing 

Basic – Free

This entry-level subscription has a 5 hours total of storage space with a 100GB monthly bandwidth allowance. It offers free podcast themes, a free podcast site, RSS feed, and iTunes Support. Also, they provide iPhone or Android mobile applications and embeddable players. 

Unlimited Audio – $14/month or $9/month if billed annually

This 2nd tier subscription provides unlimited storage space and unmetered bandwidth. You can also have access to:

  • iPhone/Android App
  • Embeddable Players
  • Own Podcast Site
  • Podcast Themes – PRO
  • RSS Feed and iTunes Support
  • Custom Design – Advanced
  • May your domain
  • Multiple Podcast Channels 
  • Ads Marketplace
  • Premium Sales
  • PodAds – The SaaS for Podcast Advertising
Unlimited Plus – $39/month or $29/month if billed annually

Similar to the previous subscription plan, this also has unlimited storage space and unmetered bandwidth. Also, the following are included:

  • iPhone/Android App
  • Embeddable Players
  • Own Podcast Site
  • RSS Feed and iTunes Support
  • Podcast Themes – PRO
  • Comprehensive Podcast Stats
  • Custom Design – Full
  • May your own domain
  • Multiple Podcast Channels 
  • Ads Marketplace
  • Premium Sales
  • Patron Program
  • PodAds – The SaaS for Podcast Advertising
Business – $129/month or 99/month if billed annually

This is the high-end subscription that covers all the services offered by PodBean.

  • iPhone/Android App
  • Embeddable Players
  • Own Podcast Site
  • RSS Feed and iTunes Support
  • Podcast Themes – PRO
  • Comprehensive Podcast Stats
  • Custom Design – Full
  • May your domain
  • Multiple Podcast Channels – Unlimited
  • Ads Marketplace
  • Premium Sales
  • Patron Program
  • PodAds – The SaaS for Podcast Advertising
  • Multiple Admins
  • Private Podcast with SSO authentication
  • Engagement Intel Groups
  • Remove PodBean Branding
  • Live Chat Support
  • PodBean Pro App

Additional Information:

  1. Unlimited and unmetered storage and bandwidth may still be subject to PodBean’s Fair Usage Policy.
  2. All paid plans include a 7-day free trial and a money-back guarantee.
  3. You can renew your account annually or monthly. 

Spreaker

A screenshot of the Spreaker website home page.

Spreaker is a full-service podcasting tool that has already provided solutions to podcasters in various sizes for more than a decade. In 2019, IAB Tech Lab recognized and gave Spreaker a certification. The said certificate defines how credible this podcast service provider is. 

The podcasting service provider offers audio editing services, broadcasting, social media, and monetization. 

Features:

  • Podcast Distribution
  • Podcast Monetization
  • Deep Analytics
  • Enterprise-level Podcasting
  • Podcast Recording App
  • Podcasting Application

Plans and Pricing

Professional
Free Speech – free

Inclusions:

  • Multiple podcast hosting
  • Publish to iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Apple Podcast
  • No credit card required
On-Air Talent – $8/month

Inclusions:

  • Multiple podcast hosting
  • Publish to iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Apple Podcast
  • Customizable RSS Feeds
  • Make money with Ads
Broadcaster – $20/month

Inclusions:

  • Multiple podcast hosting
  • Publish to iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Apple Podcast
  • Customizable RSS Feeds
  • Make money with Ads
  • Paid subscriptions
  • Advanced statistics
Anchorman – $50/month

Inclusions:

  • Multiple podcast hosting
  • Publish to iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Apple Podcast
  • Customizable RSS Feeds
  • Make money with Ads
  • Paid subscriptions
  • Advanced statistics
  • Full statistics
  • Customizable player colors
Enterprise
Publisher – $120/month
  • Audio ads trafficking tools
  • Priority support
  • Collaboration feature

This publisher subscription plan will help you scale your podcasting career. Spreaker creates customized solutions specifically for every client they have. The platform allows you to integrate your existing technology and system. 

Some benefits of this plan include easy team collaboration for productivity and optimized campaigns. Through this, you can let the experts manage your network of podcasts and make it a stable source of cash flow.

Transistor 

A screenshot of the Transistor website home page.

Transistor is a podcast hosting tool established in 2017. Today, the company provides service to almost 16,000 podcasts of different categories. They offer podcast solutions such as hosting, analytics, distribution, and private podcasting. Their customers include Ionic, Wh1, and IBM.

Plans and Pricing

Starter – $19/month or $190 yearly

This subscription offers:

  • Unlimited podcast creation
  • Live customer support
  • Advanced analytics
  • Two additional team members
  • Fifty private podcast subscribers
  • 15,000 monthly downloads
Professional – $49/month or $490 yearly

The features of this plan include:

  • Unlimited podcast creation
  • Live customer support
  • Advanced analytics
  • Five additional team members
  • 500 private podcast subscribers
  • 75,000 monthly downloads
  • Dynamic ads from pre to post roll
  • Show Notes
Business – $99/month or $990/year

The features of this plan include:

  • Unlimited podcast creation
  • Live customer support
  • Advanced analytics
  • Ten additional team members
  • 3,000 private podcast subscribers
  • 200,000 monthly downloads
  • Dynamic ads from pre to post roll
  • Show Notes
  • Branding removal from player

Additional information:

  1. Even though Transistor published your content, you still own them.
  2. They will upgrade your subscription automatically, when you have been consistently going over your download limit.
  3. Transistor does not have storage limits. 
  4. Transistor offers a 14-day free trial.

Simplecast

A screenshot of the Simplecast website home page.

Simplecast offers a free 14-day trial for those who want to try their service. This service provider has been in the market for seven years already. They are ready to serve podcasters in different sizes or categories. 

Features, Plan, and Pricing

You can choose two categories in terms of features and subscription: Independent Podcaster or Networks and Businesses.

Independent Podcaster
Basic – $15/month or $13/month if paid annually

You will get access to the following features when you opt for this level of subscription:

  • Two team member seats
  • Unlimited storage and uploads
  • Distribute to any locations your listeners are in
  • Entry-level Analytics
  • Customizable show website with a custom domain
  • Manage multiple shows with one account
  • Embeddable episode web player
  • Recast for you and your listenership
  • Secured (HTTPS) site and RSS feed
  • 20K downloads included monthly
  • Email support
Essential – $35/month or $31.50/month if billed annually

You will get access to the following features when you opt for this level of subscription:

  • Four team member seats
  • Unlimited storage and uploads
  • Distribute to any locations your listeners are in
  • Entry-level Analytics
  • Customizable show website with a custom domain
  • Manage multiple shows with one account
  • Embeddable episode web player
  • Recast for you and your listenership
  • Secured (HTTPS) site and RSS feed
  • 50K downloads included monthly
  • Email support
  • Additional web players
  • Compare analytics across two episodes
  • Location analytics in terms of country and state or region
  • Unique Listener reports
  • Web Player analytics
  • Technology analytics in applications and browsers
Growth – $85/month or $76.50/month if billed annually 

All inclusions found in the essential are present in this plan. However, there is an additional plus of collaboration tools and deep analytics and insights access.

  • Nine team member seats
  • Compare metrics across five episodes
  • Location analytics in detailed metro areas
  • Detailed Device analytics
  • Web Player Embed Location analytics
  • Network (ISP) analytics in home, office, and mobile
  • Technology analytics
  • 120K downloads included per month
Network and Business
Professional

This plan includes all features in the standard program. Yet, you will also get to enjoy:

  • Volume show pricing
  • 15 team member seats
  • Location analytics
  • Consumption analytics
  • Episode retention data
  • Real-time analytics 
  • with reporting granularity down to the hour
  • Multi-show analytics
  • MAE Dynamic Audio Suite
  • Analytics API
  • Priority customer support
  • Set up and migration support
  • Uptime guarantee
Enterprise

Features stipulated in the professional subscription plan with additional features such as:

  • Volume pricing for team member seats
  • White-labeled RSS URL
  • oAuth support
  • Publisher API
  • Private distribution API
  • SO
  • High bitrate audio
  • Dedicated success manager
  • Personalized onboarding
  • Technical implementation support and services
  • Custom reports with industry-first insights
  • ACH or bill.com payment options

Additional Information:

  1. Simplecast offers unlimited audio storage with all their plans.
  2. You can cancel anytime with the ‘Independent Podcaster”, however with the “Networks and Businesses,” you need to check your contract for the terms and conditions on termination.
  3. You can switch between plans if you are currently using an independent podcast creator type of plan.
  4. Simplecast will never run ads without your permission. The company respects your privacy and authority thus consults you before making any changes.

Audioboom

A screenshot of the Audioboom website home page.

Audioboom‘s primary services are advertising, distribution, and production. They make podcasts readily available and have the capacity for monetizing. With the combination of their top-notch technical support, production experts, and ad sales, surely you can gain a budget-wise quality experience. 

Feature, Plan, and Pricing:

Podcasters – $9.99/month or $99/month if billed monthly

This type of plan prioritizes podcasters who are looking for an ad-free experience. 

Here are the services you can enjoy:

  •  Unlimited monthly episodes
  • 10,000 plays monthly on Standard Plan or;
  • 25,000 plays monthly with Plus Plan
  • Podcast distribution platforms (Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher)
  • High-end analytics with itemization per application, device, and geographic location
  • Embedded players for your site
  • Social media podcast integrations
Podcast Pros – pricing varies

If you want to get a quote, you may fill out this form.

Here are the features of this subscription:

  • Unlimited episodes monthly
  • Unlimited plays for each episode
  • Podcast distribution platforms (Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher)
  • High-end analytics with itemization per application, device, and geographic location
  • Embedded players for your site
  • Social media podcast integrations
  • Live Reads and Host Endorsements from all the top podcast advertisers
  • Sponsorships
  • Access to Audioboom’s targeted ad-network
  • Branded content partnership opportunities
  • Event and Live Show sponsorships
  • Monetize instantly through our targeted ad network and premium sales service
  • Use our midroll ad-insertion tool to optimize your revenue
  • Manage multiple podcast channels via contributor accounts

Castos

A screenshot of the Castos website home page.

Castos can service both private and public types of podcasts. Private podcasts are those that are made exclusively for specific content or audience. At the same time, public podcasts desire to grow and expand to a broader audience. This hosting site offers a free trial without requiring a credit card.

Integrations

Features

  • Customizable Podcast Website
  • Automatic Podcast Transcriptions
  • YouTube Republishing
  • Podcast Analytics

Pricing 

Starter – $19/ month or $190/year
This subscription includes:
  • Unlimited Podcasts and Episodes
  • In-Depth Listener Analytics
  • Up to 100 Private Subscribers
  • Up to 20,000 Downloads per month
Growth – $49/month or $490.year
This subscription includes everything in Starter Plus and:
  • Video Republishing to YouTube
  • Headliner Audiogram Integration
  • Up to 250 Private Subscribers
  • Up to 75,000 Downloads per month
Pro – $99/month or $990/year
This subscription includes everything in Growth Plan and:
  • Video File Hosting
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Up to 500 Private Subscribers
  • Up to 200,000 Downloads per month

Castos Premium – from $4,990 annually

This type of subscription is best for large and high-volume publishers that require additional amounts and types of resources. This subscription plan includes everything in Pro and:

  • Custom Contracts and Invoices
  • Single Sign-on (SSO)
  • Increased Limits
  • Dedicated Account Manager

Podcasting full-service providers vs. Podcasting hosts

A brass weighing scale symbolizing comparison.

Full-service provider

This type of provider or agency can tend to all your production needs. They provide a comprehensive solution with the help of their team of experts. With this type of podcasting service, you can save a lot of effort and time editing and micromanaging all the tasks for your podcast releases.

Your usual full-service podcast agency will handle different production areas like:

  • Providing you with proper recording tools and equipment
  • Planning and collaborating with you on strategic marketing activities for your podcast
  • Syndicating the show on directories
  • Curating clicky titles, content, show notes, scripts, transcripts, intro, and outros
  • Making artwork and uploading them to various platforms
  • Guesting management and episode release management
  • Audio editing services
  • Uploading and distributing episodes 
  • Editing podcast content for clips, audiograms, blog entries, social media postings, and more. 
  • Managing sponsored commercials and advertising placements, as well as publishing and marketing the program

Podcasting host

Hosting is just a tiny chunk of what the podcasting service provider offers. The primary purpose of hosting sites is for bandwidth and storage. Also, they generate the RSS feed URL for you to publish and enable your listeners to subscribe for updates and new releases.

Kinds of Podcast Service Providers

Now that we have already mentioned the different services that a podcast service provider should perform, let us categorize them according to their purpose:

1.  Podcast Production Service Provider

This podcast service provider is responsible for pre-production and post-production services. Pre-production service may include technical support, equipment, and recording support. Also, they are the ones to help you with the curation of the introduction and outros. And, one of the most important things when starting as a podcaster is in setting up your hosting site. 

Post-production support is another offering laid down by this type of podcast service provider. It means that it will include editing and clearing out fillers in the audio to improve the quality and audacity. They may also add background music and sound effects in each episode. Also, they will be the ones uploading your episodes to the hosting site. 

Some agencies would have additional services, such as transcription, content planning and creation, and coaching. 

2.  Podcast Booking Service Provider

An agent handling podcast companies guest ourtreach.

You would not like to run out of guests and grab a random person for your next episode. Remember, as what we mentioned about earlier in this article, and guests must pose credibility and authority with the topic. Hence, podcast booking agencies are in charge of finding the most fitting guest for each episode’s topics. 

This type of podcast service provider will set the schedule for the record, do the prospecting and follow-through. Also, they will be the ones keeping in touch with your guest after the interview. Overall, this type of agency will build your vast network of people. When this service provider effectively outsources guests, especially the influential ones, your listenership will broaden. And, more people will get interested in your show.

3.  Podcast Creative Service Provider

A podcast creative agency can help in content curation, release time schedules, branding of your entire show, and post-production. It is the most similar service provider to a full-service podcast provider. They can also perform services like scripting, uploading podcasts to hosting sites, incorporating intros and outros to each episode, and podcast series strategic planning.

Other services they offer are:

  • Audio branding
  • Sound mixing
  • Noise and nuisance audio editing 
  • Storyboarding outline and content
  • Guest and host sourcing

4.  Podcast Advertising Service Provider

This service provider focuses on booting your audience and bettering your networking capacity. This provider handles everything that mentions or correlates to advertisements and promotion for your podcast. Here are the primary services that a podcast advertising service provider offers:

  • Matching podcast listenership and ideal buyers
  • Podcast networking, creative collaboration, and campaign planning
  • Quality ad recording
  • Sound mixing and editing
  • Ad metrics and scripting

5.  Full-Service Podcast Service Provider

A male podcast producer preparing the first episode template on his desktop computer.

A full-service podcast service provider will offer you:

  • Branding management
  • Recording tools and equipment
  • Tech-support
  • Artwork and graphic creation
  • Guest match and verification
  • Prospecting and outreach of guests
  • Networking and promotion
  • Guest management pre and post-event
  • Audio engineering and audio editing
  • Intro, outro, and advertisement recording
  • Professional voice talents
  • Show notes and summary for each episode
  • Publishing and distribution of all episodes

A full-service provider means that they already have everything packed inside their bag. All podcast solutions are present. Here are the following services: podcast strategy, launch, production, marketing, review, and measurement. 

One best example of this type of podcast service is PodKick. PodKick can make the podcast production process easy. As a podcast production company, they have expertise in audio editing, notes and resources, distribution, deep analytics, machine learning, and guest management.

They already worked with prestigious brands like MedCity News, AstraZeneca, Above the Law, and Partners 4 Prosperity. To provide better service to their clients, they have experts in operations management, writing and editing, design and social media, and research. 

You can get a free consultation with PodKick here.

FAQs about Podcasting Services 

What does podcast hosting do?

A project manager scheduling episodes for a podcast producer on an online calendar.

A podcast host acts as a bridge between you and your listeners. There are two key tasks that a podcast host renders. First is being a space on the web to upload your podcast. And, second is an RSS feed generator for you to submit your podcast to various directories. 

Usually, you can avail of this service through a monthly or an annual subscription. However, other podcast-specific hosts go for quotations for each client. There is no one universal billing rate. It varies depending on the needs of a specific podcast.

Who handles the podcast publishing or distribution?

Not all hosts can assist you with publishing or distributing your podcast to various audio platforms. Usually, it is the podcasters themselves who do this task. Yet there are full-service podcast service providers like PodKick that can assist you from start to finish, including handling your podcast distribution.

Can I host my podcast on my own website?

There are a lot of disadvantages if you host your own podcast. First, you won’t have access to experts and learning materials to assist you as a newbie. Second, bandwidth can be the most significant dilemma. Audio files can take up a lot of space and require a lot of bandwidth to play on-site. There are fair-use policies regarding bandwidth. The downside of not considering this is that your website host might flag or force you to upgrade.

How will I know the best podcasting service provider for me?

Remember that no matter how excellent and highly-rated a service provider is, the features and services should fit your needs. It will not be as effective as you expect it to be if a particular host does not perform according to your podcast’s requirements.

Here is the list of several hosts alongside their niche in podcasting:

  • Captivate – growth, private podcasts, network features
  • Buzzsprout – ease-of-use and automation
  • Castos – excellent in WordPress integration and editing
  • Transistor – private podcasting feeds and a plethora of players

How many people will they have working on my show? 

It takes a lot of skills and knowledge to be successful in the podcast industry. Therefore, you must have at least 3 experts to keep your processes going. You need a producer, a graphic designer for your artwork, and an audio editor or engineer to edit your audio files. Depending on how much time you have to invest in your show, and your skills and talents, you may also need a guest talent coordinator, a writer for your content and show notes, A full-service podcast service provider can help you with a videographer for content repurposing as well.

Key Takeaways 

Think before investing in various services to improve your podcast. You need to know and understand how the industry works. At this point, you should at least know:

  • How to define and differentiate podcasting services
  • How to distinguish between the different types of service providers
  • What your podcast needs
  • How to identify the podcasting service providers that best fit your podcast category
  • What the various hosting services do
  • How to compare and contrast hosting sites and differentiate them from full-service providers
  • pricing, features, and plan subscriptions of different hosting providers

Be a wise decision-maker when thinking about partnering with podcasting service providers. Do some research and be knowledgeable about the services, subscription plans, and features. Know whether they can really deliver quality service and the results that you need to start or scale your show.

 

Author at PodKick | + posts

Mary Achurra is a freelance content marketer. She helps business owners and entrepreneurs attract and retain customers by creating quality, engaging content.