Apple estimates there are currently over 1,000 000 podcasters — Google says over 2 million. Whether the number is over 1 million or 2 million, one thing remains certain, all these podcasters have their podcasts hosted somewhere.
So, what is podcast hosting?
Podcast hosting websites offer you the space to store your files so that your audience can easily download them. It also provides an RSS feed for your podcast.
When a user subscribes to your podcasts, the podcast host sends the audio files and media to the platforms directly.
What to look for with free podcast hosts
Most analytics for podcasts are basic at the free level. However, they can still help you. For example, they can tell you how well you are generating an audience and delivering your information. That said, you should definitely find out what you will be getting before committing to any free podcast host.
Best practices and how to start a podcast
How else does the podcast host support you besides storing your audio and data files? Are there any additional resources or features offered? Additional support can include valuable tutorials and other useful materials that guide in creating and monetizing podcasts, as well as, live streaming.
In other words, is what the podcast host offers at the free level worth it? Can it help you to achieve your goals? Or is it too limited? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself.
Drawbacks of free podcast hosts
Oftentimes, other advanced features may be included with a free version, whereas with many they are restricted to podcasters with paid accounts. Some of the paid features include a website or blog for listeners to stop in and visit, automatic uploads to popular directories, methods for listener feedback, etc.
If you stumble onto a free podcast host that includes advanced features take advantage, especially if you are a new podcaster. However, know that at some point you will need to upgrade to a paid subscription as your podcast will inevitably outgrow the free host option. Remember, that’s a really good thing when you get to that point.
Tip! Free versions are basic. You only get an RSS feed and file hosting. When your audience grows, you will want to consider an upgrade. So, make sure you plan for it in your budget.
That said, let’s dive into what you came here for…the list of the best free podcasting websites.
Best free podcast hosting services
Buzzsprout features a basic free plan along with an inexpensive monthly option that requires no credit card or contract to sign up. It includes detailed analytics to learn more about the audience tuning in and is hailed as one of the easiest services to host, promote, and track a podcast. Publishing to their site takes literally minutes and can be scheduled in advance.
The dashboard is designed to notify you of how much upload time is left in the current cycle. That means you don’t have to guess how many more hours are left to upload per month. With the free subscription, you get 2 hours of upload each month, and each episode is hosted for a maximum of 90 days and then removed. Click here for more pricing information.
Since the website was launched in 2009, it has hosted over 50,000 people and currently works with reputable podcast directories like Spotify, Apple/iTunes Stitcher, and Google podcast.
- 250 GB of bandwidth each month for paid plans
- Subscription includes your own custom site and ways to sync with popular directories
- Effortlessly migrate a podcast from another source onto Buzzsprout with minimal effort
- Supports multiple audio file types then optimizes the quality of the file
- Only 90 days of hosting for a free podcast before Buzzsprout wants you to upgrade to a paid version
- Unlimited storage for the free plan, but can only upload 2 hours each month
PodBean is commonly described as an “easy and powerful” way to podcast. It offers four plans, including the free version which is capped at 100 GB and 5 hours of storage space. Click here for detailed information on all plans.
Currently, Podbeans hosts more than 240,000 podcasters and boasts of about 6 billion downloads. It offers everything from custom domains and uploads to publishing tools and embedded players for episodes you need to create, manage, and promote your podcast.
As a podcaster, you may connect your website to the hosting provider or embed a player on your own domain for easy playback. Sharing tools make it easier for your listeners to connect with you on social media.
- Features an app for iPhone and Android users
- Will scale as you grow
- Provides excellent resources for sharing and building audiences
- One of the largest podcast hosting platforms available
- iTunes support and RSS feed included even with a free plan
- You can’t use your own domain name for a podcast through the free subscription
- Free version is limited to 5 hours of storage
Spreaker is best known for supporting all podcasters both newbies and experienced by offering versatile programs that help them create, distribute, as well as, potentially make money on their podcasts.
Since its launch in 2010, Spreaker has continued to grow and today hosts thousands of podcasters along with millions of active listeners.
Its onboard recording and editing feature is something you will love. It allows you to record and post at a later date or even broadcast live.
The free plan includes 15 minutes of max live streaming, 5 hours of audio storage, and unlimited bandwidth. However, the podcast monetization tool is not available. Click here to view the other plans.
- Live streaming, including up to 15 minutes per episode for users not paying a penny
- Unlimited bandwidth on all subscriptions
- The best recording studio of any free hosting service for podcasts
- External tools like broadcasting mixers and software supported for advanced audio production
- Advertisements are included with free plans; you will have to pay to remove them
- Lacks any tool to earn income through your podcast on the free version
This is another service that is dedicated to everyone from newbies (who will likely choose the free version) to well-established pros who obviously choose paid options. The free version is unique in a way that newbies are asked to submit their recording for reviews and those eligible will get free hosting. And if you do pass their upload standards (which are a bit stringent), you get unlimited bandwidth and storage for no cost.
Podiant services about 20,000 uploads daily and approximately 1 million minutes consumed by listeners. Not to mention it boasts of its 4 million downloads.
Podiant further supports podcasters by offering analytics and ways to monetize their podcasts.
- Compatible with Spotify and Apple podcast directories
- Unlimited storage space and bandwidth for new podcasts that are eligible for the free program
- Community support forum and consulting service can help beginners get adjusted to the world of podcasting
- Audio editing is a nice addition yet not quite as in-depth as Spreaker
- Not everyone will qualify for the free offer
Anchor believes everyone should have a voice and shouldn’t be limited by paid subscription services as seen offered by many providers.
Perhaps that is why it is advertised as 100% completely free. It charges absolutely nothing for unlimited storage and puts no caps on the number of shows you can host.
Like other providers, it is a complete all-in-one package for podcasters of varying skill levels and audiences.
It provides a platform to create and distribute an unlimited number of episodes and also offers handy tools to help turn a profit.
For now, we wait and see what will happen after Spotify acquired this service.
Podcastics is a new podcasting alternative that is very easy to use and offers cool features, including a very intuitive dashboard and the ability to build teams within the dashboard if you have multiple podcasts. Other features include:
- Podcast and episode editing tools
- Live streaming capabilities
- The ability to schedule episodes
- Smart features like QR codes, smart links, surveys, and heat maps
- Podcast analytics, including plays, days and hours, sources, and locations
Getting started with Podcastics is very simple, just a few clicks and your account is ready. If you already have a podcast, you can automatically import it from any RSS feed or Apple podcasts.
You can choose from 5 plans, all offering unlimited episodes. However, storage and bandwidth start at their pro plan. Click here for more information on this.
SoundCloud boasts of their 175 million unique monthly visitors and incredible 12 hours of content uploaded every minute. It is, in fact, the largest music and audio hosting website, which introduced its hosting platform in 2015.
Using this service, you get access to their Twitter cards, timed comments, and embedded players. With a free account, you can upload three hours of content per month and get basic reporting. To receive unlimited upload time, embed controls, and the ability to pin podcasts to your profile, you will have to upgrade. Click here for more pricing information.
Podomatic is another excellent platform that allows content creators to record, upload, and promote their new content all in a single dashboard. One thing you will love about Podomatic is the ability to develop your podcast advertising and crowdsourcing with the help of Advertisecast and Patreon.
Not to mention that Podomatic has partnered with Weebly to help you create a website and build a podcast app for android and iOS. Besides, there is a social sharing option, and your podcast can be played directly on Twitter and Facebook feeds.
You can start with the free plan before exploring the paid options.
Podcasts.com is a free host with unlimited everything (storage, bandwidth, podcasts) and has a huge directory of shows.
Launched in February 2019, this platform focuses more towards “semi-pro” podcasters. Currently, the best thing about RedCircle is their ability to reach out and cross-promote your podcasts within the platform.
For example, you can search for podcasts, reach out to them to pitch and set terms, and exchange pre-recorded messages promoting each other’s podcasts.
Hosting is absolutely free and you get help to monetize your shows, as well as, share their revenue.
Do I need podcast hosting?
Sure, you do need it to store your files and publish them on platforms like Stitcher and iTunes. There is no way you can record and upload an audio file directly to Stitcher or iTunes.
Which podcast host is the best?
There is no single right answer to this question. Honestly, your individual needs largely help you make the right selection. By asking yourself these questions, you should be able to choose the right podcast host:
- Are you looking for a service that is more dedicated to earning income and distribution?
- Do you already have professional audio equipment or are you starting from scratch?
- Are you looking for hosting that offers the most storage or has all-inclusive directories?
What are podcast directories?
These are services like Google Play, iTunes, and Spotify that receive podcast files and RSS feeds and push them to their front-end systems.
These directories make it easier for your audience to find shows with their computers, podcast apps, or smartphone.
Here is what actually happens:
- You upload your recording or audio
- The directory detects something new in your feed
- It downloads the file and displays the latest episode to its users