Find the best Podcast Hosting Software
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When recording a podcast, you have to create many media files to share online with your listeners. A podcast hosting platform helps you host these media files online as well as provides space to store them for as long as you want.
Many podcast hosting platforms also assist with distribution, allowing online users to find and tune in to your show. These platforms use storage servers specifically designed to support the download and distribution of large media files.
Given the many options available on the market, deciding which software to choose can be confusing. In this buyers guide, we’ve provided all the information you need to make the right purchase decision for your podcast needs.
Here’s what we'll cover:
What is podcast hosting software?
Podcast hosting software is an online platform for hosting and sharing digital audio files, typically made available as a podcast series to subscribers or listeners. It allows the uploaded podcasts to be embedded into blogs, websites, and podcast directories.
Podcast hosting tools provide RSS feeds—i.e., a listing of all episodes—that can be submitted to podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts. They also offer analytics, web players, and scheduling tools to make publishing easy for users. Some tools even integrate ad networks, social sharing features, and additional podcast distribution options.
Common features of podcast hosting software
Most podcast hosting software tools have the following features in common:
Store and distribute your media files or podcasts as well as generate RSS feeds for your podcasts.
Publish your podcasts on blogs, websites, and podcast directories, such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify, for subscribers to listen.
Track and analyze viewership/audience metrics such as the number of viewers per podcast episode, average session duration, number of subscribers, and bounce rate.
Engage with your viewers via tools such as comments, chat rooms, live polls, and Q&A options.
Record and edit audio and/or video files for your podcasts.
Audio/video file upload
Upload the recorded audio and/or video podcast files to blogs, websites, and podcast directories.
Live stream podcasts to multiple devices simultaneously.
What type of buyer are you?
Most buyers of podcast hosting software platforms belong to one of the following categories:
Individuals: Buyers in this category are professionals such as travelers, artists, product reviewers, journalists, and video bloggers who use podcasts to engage with audiences. These users may not be technically sound and need a tool with an easy-to-use dashboard that helps them create podcasts without much effort. A podcast hosting tool with basic features such as a media player, audio editing, audience analytics, social media sharing, and mobile access would be suitable for such buyers. They can also try out free podcast hosting tools to save costs.
Businesses: Businesses mostly use podcasts to educate their customers about their offerings or to share industry expertise for developing brand image among target audiences and building a strong presence in their markets. These buyers should opt for a tool that allows them to embed the podcast videos into their company websites. Large storage, high bandwidth, audience engagement insights, mobile access, social sharing, and custom domain configuration are the recommended features for these buyers to increase brand awareness and build better relationships with their audiences.
Benefits of podcast hosting software
Implementing a podcast software platform has various benefits, including:
High quality: When storing podcasts on your own server, you may face issues such as limited space or low bandwidth, and any compromise in storage space or bandwidth will deteriorate the quality of your podcasts. Hosting platforms offer built-in servers designed to host large podcast files while maintaining the highest quality.
Low storage costs: Hosting an hour-long podcast on a social sharing site, such as YouTube, will cost you a lot more than uploading it on a hosting platform. Podcast recording solutions take care of media storage for you and, therefore, are more cost-efficient. However, if your plan doesn’t offer unlimited podcast bandwidth and your audience keeps growing, you may have to upgrade and pay extra fees.
Enhanced listening experience: If a podcast takes too long to stream, listeners may leave it and move on. Too much buffering or low speed hurts your listeners’ experience or willingness to wait. Hosting platforms offer auto publishing and sharing, and good storage and bandwidth so your subscribers can listen to or download podcasts without having to wait.
Better decision-making: Whether you’re an individual or a business publishing podcasts, it’s crucial to know metrics such as the average session duration, number of viewers/downloads per episode, bounce rate, devices used to listen, and location of listeners. Podcast hosting platforms offer built-in data analytics to help you gain these insights. It also lets you know which types of content and shows your audiences enjoy most. With these insights, you plan your podcasts based on listeners’ preferences.
Built-in security: Hosting podcasts on your personal website requires a state-of-the-art security system, which can be costly to install. Hosting platforms provide built-in security functions to help back up your files and comply with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a podcast host platform:
Compatibility with existing tools: Understanding your existing software infrastructure will help you make an informed shortlist of potential podcast hosting solutions that fit your business environment. For instance, the application you select should integrate well with your existing content creation and planning, brand management, and scheduling applications to ensure a seamless content workflow.
Functionality: Some podcast host tools are standalone and application-specific and support only a particular file format, while others are all-in-one tools that allow you to create content in any file format. Determine your requirements before starting your software search to ensure you're only paying for the functionality you need.
Market trends to understand
Here’s a trend in the podcast hosting software market:
Data-driven user experience in podcasts. In the podcast industry, data-driven user experience is the road to success. Most podcast hosting tools allow content creators to analyze their data efficiently for creating interesting and relevant content. Podcast creators can use data insights to understand their target audiences better. They can also use the insights to build comprehensive audience personas by considering listeners’ browsing behaviors and purchasing habits, among others.
Note: The application screenshot used in this article is an example to show a feature in context and is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.