Getting your podcast up and running is a pretty taxing creative endeavor.
But one of the things you have to think about, beyond actually putting the content together and recording your episodes, is how you’ll get your podcast distributed to your listeners and who’ll “host” the show (in terms of server space).
Finding a Podcast Service
Finding a great podcast hosting service or site can be tricky. Especially since many of the best demand payment for their features.
However, there are plenty of excellent free podcast hosting options you can benefit from. Take a look at these free podcast hosting sites and check them out; we bet one of them will be great for your show!
What is a Podcast Hosting Site?
When you make a podcast episode, the files that comprise your audio data are MP3s. These are naturally pretty storage-heavy files that can be difficult to store on a regular website, particularly if you look for a cheap or free website hosting service.
Many top web hosting providers only give you up to 10 GB of storage space unless you pay for a much pricier subscription model.
Similarly, podcast episodes need plenty of bandwidth to let your listeners download the episodes and enjoy them without it taking forever.
All in all, podcast hosting requires quite a lot of server resources compared to most blog or simple website hosting endeavors.
This niche has been filled by podcast hosting services or websites that you can use to distribute your podcasts to your listener population.
Podcast hosting companies are essentially specialized web hosting services that offer lots of storage space and excellent bandwidth (usually unlimited) in exchange for reduced functionality for other types of websites.
There are plenty of podcast hosting services available, though some are definitely better than others. Additionally, you don’t necessarily need to pay money for a great podcast hosting service.
How to Find a Great Podcast Hosting Service
Let’s consider what you should look for in a podcast hosting provider.
Some podcast hosting services have one or more embeddable audio players that your listeners can use. Others may allow you to use an audio player across multiple platforms relatively seamlessly; this can be important if your listening audience is spread across several social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.
You’ll also want to see if a podcast hosting service works on a variety of media devices, like laptops or smartphones.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to compatibility, although more compatibility options and greater versatility are always a plus.
As we explained above, how much bandwidth a podcast hosting service provides is actually quite important. Keep storage space in mind at the same time.
In general, you’ll want a free podcast hosting service that offers you unlimited storage and bandwidth if you can find one. Some may only provide these benefits if you pay a monthly fee, however.
Naturally, some podcast hosting services are a lot easier to use than others.
User-friendly interfaces and dashboards that allow you to quickly and easily upload new audio content to your listeners are a must. Complex or difficult to navigate user interfaces usually aren’t worth the low or nonexistent price tag.
If you’re serious about growing your podcasting brand or business, you need good analytic tools to help you understand your visitor traffic patterns, how long people listen to podcast episodes, and to see which episodes are more popular.
All of this can help you tailor your content to be more successful going forward; they’re tools we wouldn’t recommend you ever skip out on.
Can a podcast hosting service let you make and host a blog, like a WordPress site? These are usually great options since they allow you to diversify your content stream and maximize your brand audience.
Finally, check out whether a given podcast hosting service also provides you with monetization options. Chances are good you’ll eventually want to charge either for your podcast episodes or set up a subscription model for your most diehard listeners. Monetization options built into a podcast hosting service make setting up the entire thing a lot easier on your end.
With all that said, let’s take a look at some top free podcast hosting services you can use for your 2020 podcast episodes.
RedCircle is one of the newer podcast hosting options you can find, as they only launched in February 2019. Despite their young age, they’re one of the best free podcast hosting sites and our top choice overall.
There are lots of reasons for this. For one, RedCircle gives you the option to cross-promote your content and podcast within the platform.
This allows you to team up with other content creators or podcasters and share listeners with one another by promoting one another.
This feature could be very useful if you make podcast content in a niche with lots of similar content creators. It’s an excellent way to grow your podcast when you are just starting out.
They also have an excellent user interface that allows you to search for various podcasts and see how the competition is faring. You can use this function to set up the above-mentioned cross-promotional deals.
As they’re free, RedCircle banks on the ability of its podcast makers to eventually monetize their content.
They have a dynamic ad insertion function, allowing you to put new advertisements into your podcast episodes at the touch of a few buttons. This is a great way to update your existing episodes and still take advantage of new advertising deals. It’s kind of like prerecorded radio advertisements.
Speaking of monetization, they also feature built-in donation and subscription buttons. Listeners can support you incredibly easier when you plug your need for support at the end of every episode. Your listeners won’t need to go through tons of steps to hand over some cash. RedCircle naturally takes a small cut of these profits to remain a free service.
Content management is another excellent point with RedCircle. They later manage more than one podcast from a single account and screen. You can create a new show or import shows from other platforms in just a couple of clicks. They’re a great choice even if you already have a presence on another hosting platform.
Furthermore, they feature unlimited storage and uploads and allow you to publish your podcast all the top apps and directories. These include YouTube, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts.
All in all, they’re a fantastic podcast hosting service through and through and don’t have major downsides despite being a free platform.
This free podcast hosting service also comes with subscription upgrades you can choose if you want additional features. The free option lasts for 90 days. They give you enough space to upload audio that’s up to two hours long per episode.
We still think they’re a great choice. The extended free trial gives you enough time to play with their toys and see their real worth.
For instance, their interface is incredibly easy to use and user-friendly. All you have to do is upload a media file and BuzzSprout takes care of everything else. They submit your episodes to all the top podcast directories automatically.
Furthermore, their embeddable podcast player can work on any size of screen: this is a great advantage if you want to reach mobile listeners. A free WordPress plugin makes this aspect of content proliferation even simpler.
One last benefit is that BuzzSprout will make a website for you if you don’t feel like putting the effort forward. You can even plug in a custom domain name or customize the design if you desire.
The big downside to BuzzSprout is that they have storage and bandwidth limits on all their hosting plans, even the paid options.
Podiant is another solid choice for a free podcast hosting site.
They don’t have any caps on bandwidth or storage. As long as you take advantage of their free program with a new podcast.
Furthermore, they’ll automatically upload your podcast episodes to both Apple and Spotify’s directories. This makes it easy to proliferate your content to a wide audience of eager listeners.
Even better, Podiant provides a community support forum that all newcomers should take advantage of. It’s a great resource if you want to pick the brains of successful podcasters or need some help getting started. A consulting service is built into their platform and will help you tackle any technical questions.
The downside is that the free program is only available to new users. Additionally, their audio editing tools are a bit simple compared to what’s offered elsewhere. You’ll likely want to touch up your episodes yourself instead of using on the tools provided by Podiant.
Launched in 2010, Spreaker provides podcast creators with all kinds of tools so they can create the best content possible. They feature apps for iOS and Android phones, so it’s easy for you to spread your content far and wide.
They also feature recording studio tools with their free service. You can use these to spruce up your episode quality or add interesting sound effects.
There are even more tools you can take advantage of, like broadcasting software and various audio mixers. Advanced audio production techniques are at your fingertips through this service.
They provide you with unlimited bandwidth on all their subscriptions and allow you to bring live streaming to your listeners: up to 15 minutes per episode if you use the free plan.
They do automatically include advertisements with the free hosting plan, however. You need to fork over a little cash to remove them. This is made even harder since they don’t give you monetization options with the free hosting plan.
Anchor’s a solid choice for those looking for a free podcast hosting service. They don’t have any storage caps. Thet also don’t place an arbitrary limit on the number of shows you can post using their platform.
Anchor also provides you with several monetization sources. It’s possible to earn income right from the start provided you have listeners willing to pay.
We also really like the integrated app recording function you can use with your episodes. It makes it easy for you to integrate cohosting or guest speakers into your episodes. When it comes to distribution, they spread your episodes everywhere you’d expect, like Spotify, and Apple and Google Podcasts.
On the downside, Anchor doesn’t include analytics tools of any real substance unless you pay a bit extra. It can be difficult for you to figure out how your podcasting episodes are doing if you only stick with the free tools.
Still, this is ultimately a minor flaw and it might be something you can work around if growing your podcast quickly isn’t a big deal at the moment. You may eventually want to upgrade to a different service because of this weakness, however.
This podcast hosting provider is a great choice; they offer unlimited podcast hosting and unlimited bandwidth, even with their free option. One of their best aspects is the collection of design tools. It allows you to customize your website to your heart’s content and make a truly beautiful online space. Furthermore, the Podbean podcast player is easily embeddable within your existing WordPress or similar site.
They also provide all their users access to an advertising marketplace. This gives you some easy to utilize avenues for content monetization, plus podcast promotion tools that will automatically place your episodes on top podcast directories.
Reaching bigger audiences quickly and easily is a snap through this platform. Keep in mind that the big downside here is that the free plan comes with limited storage; you’ll need to pay if you want to continue adding podcast episodes ad infinitum.
All in all, any of the above podcast hosting sites could be a good fit for your show.
They’ll let you try out their services without spending a dime and get your podcast up and running on a budget.
Let us know if any of them worked well for your show.