Anchor vs Libsyn 2023: Features & Options

Woman setting up podcast hosting for podcast

There are over 100 million people in the United States alone listening to podcasts every month. Throughout the US, 104 million people listen to podcasts per month.

Podcasting is quickly becoming a popular source of entertainment such as television once was for years. Studies show that nowadays over 66% of audiences prefer podcasts.

There is a huge increase in the number of people recording and creating podcasts. The podcast industry has expanded tremendously with people making successful business moves delving into the field.

If you are planning on starting your own podcast, it is essential to choose the right podcast hosting service. There are many great options out there and today we will compare two of the most popular podcast hosting services Anchor and Libsyn. 

This article will go into depth about Anchor & Libsyn and we’ll highlight the key differences between the two hosting platforms. From price point to performance and ease of use, this article covers every factor you should consider when switching from one podcast hosting website to another.

Anchor fm Podcasting Review

Let’s take a look at Anchor and why you might use it for podcasting.

The Anchor website isn’t very clear about the different monetization options. Anchor does specify that users own their content, all rights reserved, and don’t need to monetize their episodes with Anchor to host them. That said, there’s no clear information about the way Anchor itself can make money.

One thing that partially explains its free plan is that Anchor enables podcasters to record ads for their episodes.

Podcast hosts simply activate sponsorships, choose the most relevant ads for their listener base, and then record them in their own voice for seamless integration. However, Anchor currently only offers this feature to people in the US.

Unusually for a free hosting service, Anchor offers unlimited storage. This is a huge bonus because you don’t need to worry about the:

  • Size of your audio files per episode
  • The number of episodes you’re hosting
  • How many file uploads you have in your Anchor archive?

Anchor Features

Record From Anywhere

One of Anchor’s most desirable features is that it enables you to record audio files from anyway. This means you can record content from your smartphone, laptop, or any other device. The Anchor recording tools are compatible with most external microphones.

So, whether you’ve got an intricate set-up with all the bells and whistles or simply want to use your phone’s in-built microphone while you’re out and about, you don’t need to worry about being unable to upload the audio to the Anchor podcast website later.

One thing to bear in mind is that Anchor records using an M4A format instead of recording an MP3 file. Anchor can also record only 32 bytes per second, much lower than some of the other podcast hosting companies.

Podcast Episode Builder

The Anchor episode builder feature is a great tool that’s easy to use. This podcast maker enables you to create your podcast episodes using the so-called ‘building blocks of audio. You can drag and drop these blocks to arrange your content for each episode, making it easy to remix your segments and experiment with editing.

This is particularly useful if you want to include ads in your Anchor podcast. Simply record the ad in your own voice and drop the sponsored segment into your chosen position.

Importing Files and Background Music

Another capability that’s easy to use is the Anchor importing feature. This is how users can import audio, video, and background music into their podcast. Although Anchor is a free podcast hosting platform, it includes a library of background music, sound effects, and other tracks that you can add to your podcast episodes.

You can also use this feature to convert video files into audio files.

One-Click Distribution

The one-click distribution feature enables people to share their Anchor podcast instantly across a wide range of platforms. These include:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Breaker
  • Google Podcasts
  • Overcast
  • RadioPublic
  • Pocket Casts
  • Castbox

If you’d rather manage your RSS feed yourself, you can opt out of this Anchor feature and distribute your podcast to your chosen platforms in a way that suits you.

Statistic Dashboard

Anchor provides you with a single dashboard to track the metrics for your podcast. This will show you a breakdown of audience statistics, including what percentage is listening via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, RSS feeds, or another podcasting website.

You’ll also be able to see where in the world they’re listening from, how long they listen to your podcast, and which sections (if any) caused listeners to click off the website.

Libsyn Review

Here is Libsyn so let’s take a look and see what Libsyn offers compared to Anchor. If you need more detail on Libsyn you can check out our Libsyn review.

OnPublish (All plans)

Like Anchor, Libysyn’s OnPublish feature combines complete ease of use with a wide range of different publishing options. From Apple Podcasts to Google Play, the 100% compatible Libsyn RSS feed enables you to publish your podcast episodes on every popular social media website, podcast platform, and podcast app.

Unlike Anchor, however, Libsyn’s OnPublish also boasts an assortment of integrations that make this feature easy to use:

  • Advanced analytics reporting to help you understand your podcast audience (make sure you remember this feature is only available if you pay an extra $2 a month, working out to $24 over a 12-month period)
  • Editing tools to remove or add content to your podcast episode
  • Scheduling tools to control when and where you publish your podcast episode
  • Custom Mobile Apps (Advanced $ 20-month unlimited plan)

One of Libsyn’s best features is that it allows people to create custom iOS and Android apps for their podcast. You simply provide Libsyn with your chosen colors or cover art, and it will organize the rest.

Does Libsyn Offer a Free Plan?

The answer to this question is no – unlike Anchor, Libsyn doesn’t offer a free plan. The company believes that people invest by choosing its podcast service. This investment helps to fund the future of podcast hosting, as well as paying for customer service, podcast hosting features, and tech support.

If you like to receive incentives after signing up to a website, you might be interested to know that paid podcast hosting platforms such as Buzzsprout and Podbean offer users an Amazon gift card after they sign up, or once their first episode has been active for 2 months.

Unlike Anchor, this podcast hosting platform comes at a price per month. You can choose between four plans, which we’ve outlined below:

Classic 50 Plan:

This costs $5 per month and includes all the basic features, besides the ‘Basic Statistics’ feature (which you can purchase for an extra $2 per month). As its name suggests, you’ll receive 50 MB of monthly audio storage space per month too.

Classic 250 Plan:

This plan costs $15 per month and gives you 250 MB of storage, as well as access to the ‘Basic Statistics’ feature.

Advanced 400 Plan:

This plan costs $20 per month and gives you 400 MB of storage. Unlike the classic plans, it also includes access to two of the platform’s advanced features – downloadable stats reporting and advanced IAB v2.0 Stats.

Advanced 800 Plan:

Libsyn’s most expensive plan costs $40 per month and includes (you guessed it) 800 MB of monthly storage. Like the 400 Plan, the 800 also gives you access to downloadable stats reporting and advanced IAB v2.0 Stats.

If you’re starting a new podcast for the first time, a rule of thumb is that one hour of audio would require roughly 40MB. This means 5 hours would require 180MB, and so on.

Whichever podcast hosting plan you choose, you can cancel at any time. The podcast hosting plans are not dependent on the number of downloads you get per episode or how often you upload a new podcast episode. This means you don’t need to worry about having to upgrade your plan if your podcast suddenly becomes an overnight sensation!

Libsyn Player (Extra $2 a month for all plans)

The Libsyn Player feature enables people to publish each podcast episode directly onto their website. If you have a personal website and want to host your podcast episodes on there, this is one of Libsyn’s most useful features.

The player is mobile-friendly for total ease of use, making it possible for your audience to access each episode on their phone. You can even customize the player to make it suit your branding.

What Is the Best Podcast Hosting Platform for You: Anchor Or Libsyn?

Ultimately, the answer to the question is Anchor or Libsyn better will depend on your podcast requirements. If you’re looking for a free podcast hosting service, then Anchor could be a strong contender for you.

Only you can decide whether the benefits of using a free podcasting service outweigh the potential drawbacks. Note that Spotify currently owns anchor, and there’s no ruling out that it could be sold again in the future.

It’s undeniable that Libsyn’s podcast features are more high-tech than those of Anchor. Anchor doesn’t offer people a way to host their podcasts on its website, which could be a dealbreaker for those who want to capitalize on existing website traffic.

But if you’re looking for a way to make a podcast for free, with all rights reserved, Anchor is one of the best free podcast hosting platforms on the market.

Although most podcast episodes hosted by Anchor are probably amateur, that doesn’t mean the answer to the question ‘is Anchor good for podcasting’ is no. In fact, Anchor hosts more podcast episodes than any other podcast website!

When you look at the platform this way, you see that Anchor provides a great opportunity for beginners.

To sum up, Anchor is a great option if you’re new to the world of podcast hosting services and want to test the waters before committing to a paid platform. However, if you’ve already got a successful website and some podcast experience, Libsyn could be the best choice for you.

We hope this review has helped you decide which platform is the right choice for your podcast!

Manny Foster

Manny Foster helps us with writing. He is very skilled at writing about how to YouTube, podcasting, blog set up, blogging in general, SEO, and product reviews. He brings years of expertise to the company and we are glad he is on the team.

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