The 10 best podcast hosting platforms in 2024

Cube attached to podcast microphones on three sides

Think of a podcast hosting service as the virtual home for your show. You’ll upload your podcast to a hosting service, which will store and distribute it to all the places where listeners can find it—be that Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts. 

With more than three million podcasts (up from 500,000 in 2018), it’s no wonder you have dozens of providers to choose from. Shopping around for a new podcast hosting platform can feel mind-boggling. 

"Starting a podcast can be overwhelming,” says Alban Brooke, head of marketing at Buzzsprout, “so it's important to use tools that help simplify the process.” Look for podcasting tools that are easy to use, and that offer plenty of guidance and reliable (read: human) support for when questions arise. 

This guide shares 10 of the best hosts to choose from, ranked by their features, pros, cons, and price so you can find the right virtual home for your show.

Plus it’s a fully powered editing suite that does everything you need to make a great podcast. If you know how to edit a doc, you’re ready to get started.
Descript makes editing audio as easy as editing text.

What is a podcast hosting platform and why do you need one?

A podcast hosting platform, site, or service stores (and in some cases, distributes) audio content to listeners. They work by creating an RSS feed for your podcast, which is a public URL that listening platforms use to gather show and episode details. 

All hosting sites provide RSS feeds, but not all distribute them to listening platforms. If your host or hosting plan doesn’t offer podcast distribution, you can do that manually. Submitting your podcast to major listening platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify ensures you’re making the show available to listeners, regardless of which platform they use to tune in. 

🧠 Read more: The big list of podcasting resources: From the experts (2023)

What to consider when choosing a podcast hosting platform

Every podcast has different needs and goals, so it’s important to choose a hosting platform that caters to those needs and goals. How do you find the best fit? Here are some elements to consider.

Free vs. paid hosting platforms

Free podcast hosting exists, but you will likely give up a few important things—like unlimited podcast publishing and the ability to monetize your show. 

Frankly, unless you only plan to publish a few episodes and have no intention of trying to generate revenue, you’ll want to pay for hosting. Paid services typically give deep audience insights and data, sufficient audio storage, monetization via podcast advertising, and distribution to major listening platforms.

That said, it’s fairly easy to switch hosting platforms. So if you want to do a trial run with a free hosting platform and then move to a paid platform when things get serious, you can—just check your host’s requirements for transferring shows first.

7 factors in choosing a hosting service

Once you’ve decided on free vs. paid hosting, you’ll want to evaluate your options with a consistent set of criteria. If you’re on a budget, prioritize the features you want and be willing to make tradeoffs to get what’s most important for your show. 

  1. User interface and customer service: Learning how to use a hosting site’s tools and dashboard takes time, which can delay bringing your podcast to the world. If speed and ease of use are important, look for a host that offers a user-friendly dashboard. To that end, you may want to prioritize hosts with live support.  
  1. Storage and bandwidth: Web hosting plans don’t have enough power to host podcasts. How much storage you need depends on the length of your show and how often you plan to publish. Storage limits are usually set for file size (measured in megabytes) or time; bandwidth limits are usually set in megabytes. You can pay for storage and unlimited bandwidth, so if you plan to publish often, expect to spend more. 
  1. Data and analytics: To truly gauge your podcast’s success, you’ll need data. And if you plan to work with advertisers, they’ll expect a glimpse of your reach. Hosting platforms typically offer data and analytics as part of their service—even at free tiers—but may only offer advanced analytics at paid tiers. 
  1. Distribution: Some podcast hosts distribute shows to major listening platforms such as Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcasts. If your host doesn’t do this, you’ll need to manually submit your podcast with your RSS feed link. 
  1. Visibility: Some hosting sites automatically archive your episodes on customized pages, which can act as the primary homepage for your show if you don’t want to launch a website. If you go the automated landing page route, you’ll want to write detailed show notes—and post your transcripts—for SEO purposes. 
  1. Sharing features: Sharing features make it easier to market your podcast. You’ll want a hosting service that generates links to episodes and embed codes, and shares content directly to social media. 
  1. Monetization options: Some hosting sites, like Anchor, let users promote their platform for a share of the revenue. These opportunities often come with earning caps, but they allow you to practice making ads. Others provide blog posts, newsletters, and white papers on how to attract potential sponsors.

The 10 best podcast hosting platforms

  1. Podbean
  2. Acast
  3. Spotify for Podcasters
  4. Buzzsprout
  5. Captivate
  6. Castos
  7. Hello Audio
  8. Libsyn
  9. Megaphone
  10. Transistor 

1. Podbean

Screenshot of a podcast hosted on Podbean

Podbean offers free and paid podcast hosting, along with a unique monetization platform that allows creators to make money from their show. It’s reportedly used by 600,000 creators and offers tools to record, edit, and host your podcast from a single dashboard.

Best features:

  • Distribute your show to Apple Podcasts and Spotify 
  • Manage Apple Podcasts Subscriptions when creating a paid podcast
  • Comprehensive podcast analytics 
  • Live streaming to record episodes and chat with your audience in real-time
  • Native patron page to get paid tips from listeners 

Pros of Podbean:

  • Free plan available
  • Lots of features that are easy for beginners to use 
  • Monetization tools to make money from your show without pitching your own podcast sponsorships 
  • Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2

Cons of Podbean:

  • You may need a paid plan to access premium features

Pricing: With Podbean’s free plan, you’ll get five hours of storage space and 100GB of monthly bandwidth. You’ll also get a podcast website and basic show analytics to help you identify your audience and best-performing episodes.

For $9 per month, you'll get everything in the free plan plus unlimited storage space and bandwidth, advanced design options, and access to the Podbean Ads Marketplace—a tool for creators to monetize their show with dynamic ad insertion. 

Podbean’s Unlimited Plus plan gives you unmetered bandwidth, full custom design, and access to the patron program. This starts at $29 per month. 

Its most expensive plan, Network, is $79 per month and designed for professional podcasters. You’ll be able to remove the Podbean branding and get live chat support. 

2. Acast

Image of Acast analytics dashboard

Acast is another popular podcast hosting service designed for creators. It reportedly hosts 100,000 podcasts—including WTF with Marc Maron, Forever 35, and The Young Turks—that are listened to more than 430 million times every month. 

Best features:

  • Free access to Podcastle to edit podcasts from your browser
  • Find advertising deals from brands within Acast’s podcast network  
  • Distribution to the world’s most popular podcast platforms 
  • Convert audio into video to promote your podcast on social media
  • Advanced podcast analytics that show all revenue sources in a single dashboard 

Pros of Acast:

  • Preserves high-quality sound
  • Simple and easy onboarding process
  • New episodes are automatically syndicated to podcast platforms without extra work 
  • Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on G2 

Cons of Acast:

  • 150MB limit per episode on the free plan
  • Only one RSS feed link per hosting account 
  • Some users report difficulty getting in touch with its support team

Pricing: With Acast’s free plan, you’ll get access to the Acast analytics dashboard, where you can view and export plays or streams from every podcast episode. You’ll also get a basic podcast website to promote your show and unlimited hosting. 

Its Influencer plan costs $14 per month and gives you everything in the free plan, plus automated distribution, audio-to-video integrations, and the potential to monetize your show with podcast sponsorships.

For $29.99 per month, you’ll also be able to invite your team to work on the podcast, get advanced support, and use a publishing API for greater control over your show.

3. Spotify for Podcasters

Screenshot of Spotify for Podcasters dashboard

Spotify for Podcasters, originally called Anchor, offers free and unlimited hosting for podcasters. Ashley Barnsley, host of the Barno Fitness Podcast, chose this platform because “the analytics are clear for each episode so I can see how each episode is performing on the dashboard.

“These analytics are split to show where my podcast is performing best, which is useful alongside the RSS feature,” Ashley says. “It has everything you need to grow and monitor your podcast.”

Best features:

  • Customizable show page
  • Fan interactions—such as Q&As and polls—to increase listener engagement 
  • Turn your show into a video podcast within the Spotify player 
  • Monetization features like fan subscriptions and ad programs 
  • Advanced analytics to see how people discover your show on Spotify 

Pros of Spotify for Podcasters:

  • Completely free
  • Reach over 100 million people who use Spotify’s media player to listen to shows  
  • The platform can still distribute your show to other directories like Apple Podcasts 

Cons of Spotify for Podcasters:

  • 250MB audio file limit 
  • Basic monetization features compared to other hosting platforms

Pricing: Spotify for Podcasters is a completely free service. You can upload your podcast, distribute it to major listening apps, and access show analytics all for free.

4. Buzzsprout

Screenshot of Buzzsprout analytics capabilities in three images

Buzzsprout is a podcast hosting service that promises outstanding customer support and features to help creators launch their own show. It’s used by some of the world’s most popular podcasts including Daily Stoic, The Jasmine Star Show, and You’re Wrong About. 

Best features:

  • Syndication to 10+ of the biggest podcast directories
  • Advanced analytics that show listener demographics and preferred apps
  • Magic Mastering—a tool to improve audio quality before publishing 
  • Accept payments and process subscriptions for private podcasts
  • Buzzsprout Ads to connect with sponsors and monetize your podcast  

Pros of Buzzsprout:

  • No annual contracts
  • Unlimited podcast storage 
  • Speedy customer support 
  • Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on G2 

Cons of Buzzsprout:

  • Rated below average for smart audio editing 
  • Episodes on the free plan are deleted after 90 days 
  • Some essential features are locked behind expensive pricing plans 

Pricing: Buzzsprout offers a free podcast hosting service that includes two hours of audio each month. However, episodes are deleted after 90 days. 

For permanent episodes, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan that starts at $12 per month. This gives you three hours of audio each month alongside free podcast importing, a hosted podcast website, and unlimited storage.

If you need more than three hours of audio each month, the $18 per month plan gives you six hours and the $24 per month plan gives you 12 hours.

Bear in mind that even its most premium plan doesn’t include all possible features. Magic Mastering, for example, is a $12 per month add-on. 

5. Captivate

Image of Captivate analytics dashboard

Captivate is a paid podcast hosting platform that offers a built-in marketing suite to help you spread the word about your show. It has premium features for advanced podcasters who want to distribute their content across multiple directories.

Best features:

  • Single-click submission to leading podcast directories
  • Podcast website to market and promote your show 
  • Online community and support area to learn about podcasting 
  • Create private podcasts for memberships or communities
  • Unlimited team members to collaborate on your show
  • Pricing based on your show’s success — a small show with fewer downloads pays less than a popular show with more downloads, but with access to the same features

Pros of Captivate:

  • All subscriptions come with unlimited hosting
  • Access all features with any paid subscription 
  • Free 7-day trial available 
  • Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2. 

Cons of Captivate:

  • No free plan available
  • No native monetization tools 

Pricing: Each Captivate plan includes unlimited uploads, storage, and distribution. What differentiates them is the number of downloads per month you’re allowed: 

  • $17/month: up to 30,000 downloads
  • $44/month: up to 150,000 downloads 
  • $90/month: up to 300,000 downloads

6. Castos

Image of Castos Analytics page main view

Castos is a premium podcast hosting service tailored towards growing brands. If you’re looking to host a business podcast, it’s a great option thanks to its unlimited podcasts, episodes, and downloads that are available on all plans. 

Best features:

  • Automatic podcast transcription to make your show more accessible 
  • Customizable podcast website to promote your show
  • YouTube republishing to promote your video podcast on the platform 
  • Dynamic podcast ads to manage sponsorships across every episode 
  • Castos Commerce, which allows you to accept listener donations through the hosting platform 

Pros of Castos:

  • Unlimited storage on all plans 
  • Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on G2 
  • Migrate your podcast from another platform in one click 

Cons of Castos:

  • No free option available
  • Rated below average for ease of use
  • It’s more expensive than other podcast hosting providers

Pricing: Castos is a paid hosting service with plans that start at $29 per month. This Essentials plan includes automatic distribution, 10 transcripts per month, and up to 100 private subscribers.

For access to the Castos mobile app and YouTube republishing, you’ll need to upgrade to its Growth plan at $69 per month. This plan also gives you access to 25 monthly transcripts and 250 private subscribers. 

Castos Pro costs $149 per month and includes video file hosting, advanced analytics, technical support, and 100 transcripts per month. 

The podcast hosting platform does offer a Premium plan for large businesses. This includes everything from the Pro plan plus single sign-on, increased limits, unlimited transcripts, and a dedicated account manager.

7. Hello Audio

Image of Hello Audio dashboard where user is publishing a podcast

Hello Audio’s offering focuses on private audio streams, which can be accessed with custom links. There is the option to create a public podcast feed with Hello Audio, but its standout features help creators publish private shows. 

Best features:

  • Listener management to control who is tuning in to your podcast
  • Personalized feeds to customize the listening experience 
  • Automated actions based on triggers (e.g. listening to a specific episode) 
  • Dripped feeds, where audio files are released a number of days after each listener hears the previous episode

Pros of Hello Audio:

  • Great features to engage podcast listeners 
  • Designed to help you publish your first episode quickly 
  • Free 7-day trial available 

Cons of Hello Audio:

  • No free plan available  
  • Limited features for public podcasts 

Pricing: All Hello Audio plans are paid. Its basic plan, which costs $14 per month, gives you one private feed, one public feed, unlimited episodes and listeners. 

For $39 per month, you’ll get everything in the basic plan plus three private feeds, one public feed, and dripped feeds. 

For $81 per month, you’ll get all of the features from the less expensive tiers, plus unlimited transcripts, automated actions based on listener engagement, advanced drip feeds, custom branding colors, and advanced Zapier automations. 

8. Libsyn 

Image of Libsyn podcast hosting platform analytics on desktop and mobile

The granddaddy of hosting services, Libsyn hosts many of the world’s most popular podcasts. All plans include distribution to popular listening apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google. You can also upload video to the same hosting platform that stores podcast files. 

Best features:

  • Libsyn Studio to record and edit your podcast before publishing 
  • Remote audio recording—ideal if you’re interviewing guests on your show 
  • Smart settings to customize the workflow for uploading new episodes 
  • Canva integration to customize your podcast cover and episode art 
  • Podcast analytics verified by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
  • WordPress plugin to share your podcast on your own WordPress website or blog

Pros of Libsyn:

  • Host audio and video within a single hosting platform 
  • All plans have unlimited bandwidth 
  • Native monetization features to make money with podcast ads and subscriptions
  • Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2  

Cons of Libsyn:

  • No free trial available
  • Subscription only available in USD 
  • Some users report that the interface is outdated

Pricing: None of Libsyn’s podcast hosting plans are free. For $5 per month, you get 162MB of monthly storage, three new uploads each month, and basic podcast recording features.

To upload six hours per month, you’ll need to upgrade to its $15 per month plan. This gives you 324GB of monthly storage and basic podcast statistics.  

For $20/month, you get everything in the plans listed above, plus remote recording, 540MB of monthly storage, and in-depth statistics for advertiser compliance.

9. Megaphone

Image of Megaphone hosting platform analytics

Megaphone is a professional podcast hosting site used by media giants like Conde Nast and iHeartMedia. Also owned by Spotify, this hosting service only works with podcasters averaging more than 20,000 downloads per episode. 

Best features:

  • Publishing calendar to see upcoming releases at a glance 
  • Intuitive publishing workflow
  • Dynamic ad insertion to monetize your podcast
  • Live support via chat
  • Business forecasting tools

Pros of Megaphone:

  • Lots of features designed for large shows
  • Monetize your show using the Spotify Audience Network 
  • Powered by Spotify, one of the largest podcasting platforms in the world 
  • 24/7 enterprise support 

Cons of Megaphone:

  • Pricing is not publicly available (so we can assume it’s expensive) 
  • Limited to podcasters who average 20,000+ downloads per episode 

Pricing: Available by request. 

10. Transistor

Image of podcast analytics on the Transistor platform

Since its launch in 2017, Transistor has quickly become one of the most popular podcast hosting platforms. Not only does it include features that make it easy to distribute your show, but Transistor has advanced podcast analytics and website building capabilities that make it a perfect host for beginners and professionals alike. 

Best features:

  • Create private podcasts
  • Automated podcast websites
  • Embeddable player to share episodes online (like a WordPress site)
  • Analytics to show where your listeners live, what podcast apps people use, and your most popular episodes
  • Dynamic ad insertion to make money from podcast advertisements 
  • Patreon integration to accept tips from listeners 

Pros of Transistor:

  • 14-day free trial 
  • Unlimited storage on all plans
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars on G2 
  • No extra cost for hosting multiple podcasts in the same account 

Cons of Transistor:

  • No free plan available (just a free trial)
  • Plans have limits on the number of podcast downloads 
  • No support for video podcast hosting 

Pricing: Transistor offers three paid tiers for hosting, all of which include hosting for unlimited podcasts, live customer support, a customizable podcast website, and access to advanced show analytics.

For $19 per month, you also get up to 20,000 monthly downloads and 50 private podcast subscribers. 

For $49 per month, you’ll get everything above, plus five login credentials, up to 100,000 monthly downloads, and 500 private subscribers. This plan also includes dynamic show notes, auto-post to YouTube, and dynamic ads. 

For $99 per month, get everything Transistor has to offer—including the ability to remove branding from the embedded player, 250,000 monthly downloads, and 3,000 private podcast subscribers.

How to choose the best podcast hosting platform

We’ve listed some of the top podcast hosts on the market today, but there is no provider that has a monopoly on every successful podcast. Find the right platform for you by weighing the importance of different hosting features, then analyzing which software includes them for the best price. 

Some of the best podcast hosting services have tiered plans available—making it easier to start at a lower investment level and upgrade when you’re ready. This might feel like a high-stakes decision, but if you aren’t happy with your hosting site, you can always migrate your podcast to a new provider. 

Podcast hosting FAQs

How much does podcast hosting cost?

The cost of podcast hosting largely depends on how many listeners you have and how long your episodes are. Services like Spotify and Podbean are free, but for premium features, you could be looking at up to $150 per month.

What is the best podcast hosting platform?

  • Acast 
  • Podbean
  • Libsyn 
  • Spotify for Podcasters
  • Captivate
  • Castos

Should I host my podcast on Spotify?

Spotify offers a superb podcast hosting service that also distributes your show across major podcast players including Apple and Google Podcasts. The best part: it’s free, making it a great option for beginners. 

Where can I host podcasts for free?

  • Spotify for Podcasters
  • Podbean
  • Acast
  • Buzzsprout

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