If you are creative, podcasting presents the best possible way to get your ideas and thoughts into the world without breaking the bank. A podcast is just like a traditional radio show – one or more hosts record themselves speaking and upload the audio to a podcast hosting platform for the audience to access it.
Podcast hosting plays an important role in podcast production and distribution. For a new podcaster, choosing a podcast hosting platform is one of the most important decisions you can make. Podcast hosting will have a major bearing on the success of your show.
Beyond discovering a suitable hosting platform, getting into podcasting is really easy and has a very low entry barrier.
Some of the top podcast hosting platforms out there are Podbean and Libsyn, but since you can’t use two platforms, you need to choose one that you feel will serve you best.
In this post, we are going to compare the two biggest podcast hosting platforms on the market today. Once we are done reviewing, we hope you will be well informed to choose the platform that fits your podcast needs.
How to Choose a Podcast Host
Podcast hosting has a huge impact on podcast distribution and therefore, before you pick a host, make sure you read the following capabilities and features that make for a great podcast hosting platform.
– Bandwidth and storage limits
This should be at the top of the list of the things to look for in podcast hosting. Bandwidth and storage will affect many facets of your show, from the number of episodes you can publish per week to the accessibility of old content by your audience.
Moreover, it can also impact how many people listen or download your podcast at a specified time.
When it comes to the amount of storage provided by the podcast hosting platform, it can determine the file size as well as the number of files you can host.
Bandwidth on the other hand impacts how many files you can download or upload from your host, which directly impacts the number of people that can access your show at a given time.
– Analytics reporting
When you publish your podcast, you want to know how people are interacting with it. And that is where analytics comes in.
This tool can help you understand better your audience as well as guide your decision-making processes concerning your podcast.
Even if you don’t like numbers, having a basic understanding of your podcast performance can have a major impact on its success.
But ensure that the analytics offered by a podcast hosting platform are IAB Certified or IAB Compliant.
At some point, you will want to share your podcast on a website to promote it and engage your followers. For that, we suggest you get a podcast hosting platform that can easily integrate with your site.
This can save you a lot of headaches as it grows. If you can, consider using a host that has an option to create a personalized site for your podcast.
– Media player abilities
Media player allows the audience to stream your podcast online if they don’t want to download it. All podcast hosting platforms offer this feature and once you sign up and choose a plan, you will receive a short embeddable code that you can simply paste into the backend of the podcast website.
Libsyn Hosting Review
Libsyn or Liberated syndication was established back in 2004 and has since been one of the most popular podcast hosting platforms in the industry. Despite being probably the oldest podcast host in the game, this platform is regularly updated with new features and tools.
This platform has tons of useful features that podcasters can use to create, publish, and promote their podcasts to attract more listeners. Some of its features include:
– IAB v2,0 Certified Podcast Statistics
In 2029, Libsyn joined ranks of IAB 2.0 Certified Podcast companies after two years of applying the guidelines.
This feature provides a reference for advertisers, which will be your podcast’s main monetary source, to understand how their campaigns are delivering in their exposure goals.
– Custom Episode Publishing and Optimization
Libsyn has a publisher hub, a publishing plugin that integrates with WordPress websites. Additionally, to help you with publishing, the platform can host and distribute audio as well as PDFs and video.
Its OnPublish feature allows you to publish your show to audiences on Pandora, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and more.
With 1005 compatible Libsyn feed, OnPublish lets you connect you to your audience on the most popular apps, platforms, and services including social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
– Custom HTML5 Media Player
Libsyn allows your podcast to have an HTML5 media player that can play audio and video as well as include a variety of skins to fit every audience’s needs.
– Podcast Page Mini-Site
The Libsyn Podcast Mini-Site is a simple website that provides a place where you can direct your traffic to access your podcast.
This page provides a list of all your podcast episodes and can be used to portray text posts, and comes automatically with an HTML5 media player for each episode.
Every podcast gets this mini-site regardless of the plan you use.
– Smartphone App
You can also get a custom Android and iOS app for your podcast. Libsyn provides end-user support and you can choose the graphics and custom colors to make it your own.
The smartphone is supported in iOS App Store, Google Play, and Amazon.
– Custom Domain
If you have a website, you likely own a domain you are using with that website. But if you don’t have a website and domain but you have a podcast, you can buy a domain from registrars and add it to your Libsyn podcast to allow you to use the custom domain with your RSS feed as well as Libsyn generated Podcast Page.
Not that you will be charged $2 per month for hosting a custom domain with this platform.
– Color Swatches
Color swatches can come in handy in case you have a color that you often use from your branding. Setting a color swatch in Libsyn prevents you from having to memorize certain hexadecimal or looking them up whenever you need it.
– Advertising and Monetization Tools
Libsyn team works with podcasters to find the solution that works for their podcasts and business when it comes to advertising and monetization. Additionally, the platform offers a wide range of tools to help you along the way, including geo-targeting with tailored ad slots and live-read advertisements.
Pros and Cons
To keep it simple, here are some pros and cons of using Libsyn to host your podcast.
- Regularly updated tools and interface
- An expert podcast hosting brand
- Top-of-the-line posing features
- Easily accessible customer support
- A little bit complicated for beginners
- No free plan
- Some terminology can be confusing
How Good is Libsyn?
Pretty good! Libsyn is among the best podcast hosting platforms in the game, with new features and tools regularly released.
Who Uses Libsyn?
Because it does not have a free plan, Libsyn is usually used by experienced podcasters. Joe Rogan is one of the most popular figures using this platform to host his show.
Podbean Hosting Review
Podbean is also regarded as one of the best podcast hosting service providers on the market, designed to be as beginner-friendly as possible.
This platform comes with a host of great and useful features, including:
– Easy and Scheduled Publishing
You will appreciate how easy it is to get your show up and running with Podbean thanks to the great tools the platform offers, including scheduled publishing. This feature allows you to upload your files and schedule episodes to post at set times.
– Unlimited Hosting
With Podbean, there are no limits on episodes, recording time, or downloads. The platform offers flat-rate, inexpensive plans for hassle-free podcasting.
– Professional website
Podbean also comes with a free website when you create your account. You can choose from a range of professional themes that you can tweak to fit your styles and need.
– Custom Domain Integration
Once you have set up your podcast website, use your own branded domain to run the site for free, unlike Libsyn which charges a fee. Podbean custom domain supports CNME DNS records for the root domain.
– Mobile Podcast Publishing
This platform also has its mobile app for both iOS and Android that was designed with core publishing features so podcasters can easily get their content in front of the listeners.
– Distribution & Promotion
Podbean also helps podcasters with a variety of tools to get your show in front of a potential audience and help you grow your brand.
The platform allows you to get your show on all the places people listen, such as Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other directories.
– Podcast Statistics
Podbean’s inclusive statistics provide you with all the required insights to track the performance of your podcast. Among the important statistics include downloads trends, listener geographies, downloads by the time of day, top 10 episodes, and user retention.
If you want to make money from your show, Podbean presents you with a variety of monetization methods that fit your podcast. You can sell premium content, use patron, or advertise your podcast.
– Live Streaming
Podbean allows you to expand your audience with audio live shows. With live streaming features, you can sell virtual tickets and receive virtual gifts from your audience. You can convert these virtual gifts into fiat money and cash out.
You can also engage your listeners by allowing them to send you instant messages or call into your live stream and interact with them on a whole new level.
Additionally, you can remote co-host and or guest call in using the Live Streaming feature on Podbean.
Podbean Podcast App
With more than one million active users, the Podbean Studio App provides podcasters with the easiest approach to record your podcasts in studio quality wherever you are.
Within this app, you can start to record your show in just one tap, with no complicated equipment or wires, just capture your audio straight from your smartphone or tablet. Moreover, you can also import existing files directly.
The app also allows you to choose your background music, find a suitable intro or outro from Podbean’s extensive music library to blend with your own audio.
Pros and Cons
Podbean has a lot to offer, and here are some pros and cons of using this platform.
- Easy to use and publish your content
- Ideal for beginners thanks to the user-friendly configuration
- Free hosting plan
- No guarantee of uptime
- Limited features
How Good is Podbean?
Podbean is an awesome podcast hosting platform and a great option for beginners who want to start podcasting for free. No fee is required and it is extremely simple to create your own show and get it out in front of your listeners.
It has a user-friendly interface as well as an array of tools and features to help podcasters to monetize and market your show, and track its performance.
Is Podbean Better Than Libsyn?
Both Podbean and Libsyn come with great features for creating, hosting, advertising, and monetizing a podcast, and when it comes to which one is the best, it comes down to finer details.
What is the Best Podcast Hosting Platform?
The best hosting site really comes down to your needs as well as the objectives of your podcast. If you want to know which platform is the best for your podcast, look at the features offered. Refer to our “How to Choose a Podcast Host” section of this podcast to see what makes a great podcast hosting company.
Both Podbean and Libsyn have pros and cons, so make sure you weigh each platform’s pros against the cons and see which one comes out on top.
Final Verdict: Libsyn vs Podbean
Although Podbean and Libsyn are among the top podcast hosting platforms, they don’t offer the same features. If you are a beginner or want to have diverse monetization options, I would recommend trying Podbean. But Libsyn is a reliable and professional platform that any experienced podcaster will appreciate.