Choosing a podcast hosting platform is one of several decisions you’ll have to make when starting a podcast. It also happens to be one of the most crucial ones since it directly affects your audience’s access to your content.
A good podcast host will help your fans access your content with ease. It will also meet the demand of a bigger audience as your podcast grows.
Therefore, it’s imperative to think the decision through. And don’t just base this decision on the now. You have to think about the future as well.
To that end, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide on choosing the best podcast hosting platform. Here are the items you’ll need to consider:
Storage And Bandwidth
Podcast storage determines the size and number of episodes the hosting platform can hold. Meanwhile, bandwidth affects the amount of content that you can download and upload from the host.
Both factors affect access to your content and your ability to scale the podcast.
For storage, think about the number of episodes you’ll be publishing per week. You must also consider the size of each episode. If you distribute your content in stereo format, expect the episodes to be bigger in size compared to mono formats.
The storage must also be sufficient to hold both new and old episodes. This is really important as your podcast gets bigger. New listeners should be able to access your old content with ease.
Bandwidth affects the number of people that can access an episode at any given time. This may not seem like an issue when you’re starting, but it will definitely become a problem as your audience grows. A bigger audience will need more bandwidth.
Ideally, you want to get unrestricted storage and bandwidth. However, this may not be necessary when you’re just starting. Nevertheless, the host you choose should be able to provide enough storage and bandwidth when you finally need it.
Access To Analytics
Analytics provides key podcasting metrics like number of unique downloads, downloads per episode, top episodes, user retention, number of subscribers, downloads by the time of day, etc.
The ideal hosting platform should give you as many insights as possible. This will help you make better decisions regarding your content.
But that alone is not enough.
The analytics must also be IAB compliant. This is critical in ensuring the data is actually accurate.
Compatibility With A Website
A website is not a necessity when running a podcast. However, it’s good to have one for various reasons.
For example, it improves interactions with your audience. The website can also help you build the brand of your podcast.
So, if you decide to build a website for your podcast, make sure the hosting platform you pick is compatible with the said website.
The good news is that most hosting solutions are compatible with WordPress, the most popular website builder.
Podcast hosting platforms can provide various monetization options like automated ads. With this capability, ads will be added to your episodes automatically. You’ll then earn a commission from these ads based on the number of listeners you’re getting. This option could actually be easier than joining a podcasting network.
Donation programs are also fairly common. With this program, your listeners will be able to give you donations directly from their listening platforms.
Some monetization options are unavailable initially, but you’ll definitely unlock them as your audience grows. So try and settle for a host with these options.
Most providers will price their packages based on storage and bandwidth. Some may also factor in additional features.
You don’t have to invest in an expensive package in the initial stage if you don’t have a ready audience. However, you should be okay with the packages on offer for when you’ll need them.
You should also know that different hosts have different prices for the same features. For instance, Podbean is known for being more affordable than most hosts.
Shop around for some good deals. You can also lookup discounts and other offers. If you head over to Wired Clip, you’ll see some discounts on Podbean. But make sure you are okay with the features provided before investing your money.
Ease Of Use
This is more about convenience than anything else. After all, you don’t want to waste your time trying to manage and publish your content. You’d rather spend that time coming up with fresh content for your eager listeners.
Check if the platform offers a free trial. If it does, use the trial to test whether the host is a good fit for you or not.
You can also check out educational materials on the platform and youtube.
Besides the basics, you should look for additional features that can help you get better value for your money.
Look for features such as web players, content creation tools, podcast websites (if you don’t have one already), the ability to host several shows, automatic content distribution, etc.
Choosing a hosting platform can be a daunting task due to the vastness of options. However, we’re confident you’ll get the best host for your needs, thanks to the informative tips shared above.