If we look into the podcast history, it’s been around since 2004, invented by former MTV video jockey Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer. Since then, this industry has grown rapidly, and currently, there are millions of podcast users all around the world.
We are going to talk about a lot of technical terms in this article for podcast hosting. So, I’ll try my best to keep it simple and easy to understand.
What is A Podcast Host?
It is a platform where you can store and distribute the podcast’s audio files created by you. The platform provides you with a podcast RSS feed, which consists of all your episodes listing that you can submit to other podcast directories.
You also get analytics, scheduling tools, web players, etc. to publish and grow your podcast smoothly. Some podcast hosting providers also have ad networks, multiple distribution options, and social sharing features.
How Does it work?
For understanding the working of a podcast hosting, let’s take a look at an example:
Every podcast starts with a podcaster. So suppose there’s a person “A” who wants to make a podcast series. He knows what equipment he needs to record a podcast like a laptop, mic., etc. and starts to record his first episode of the podcast. Once it is edited and ready to upload, the next task is to make sure that the people will listen to it. There’s a misconception among people that all we need to do is upload the podcast to Apple Podcast or iTunes or any other podcast directories, and the people will know automatically about it, which is totally wrong.
One thing you need to understand is that Apple Podcast or Spotify does not host your audio files. Instead, you have to upload your podcast to a podcast hosting provider such as Buzzsprout, Podbean, Blubrry, Transistor, etc.. What they do is that they create something called RSS Feed (a simplified web-page that consists of all the information related to your podcast). The advantage of RSS Feed is that you will have everything together on one page and in one format, which will help Apple podcast or Google Podcast to read it and get access to the podcast file, and the Apps on your phone will work with it too.
There’s a quote in Lord of Rings movie that, “One Ring to rule them all.” Having a centralized place where everything can work together to figure out whenever there’s a new podcast episode, or there’s an updated title, will make things easy for you.
So basically, a podcast host is a place where your podcast lives in one centralized place. It works by creating a single web page known as RSS Feeds, which transfers all the files to people’s phones when requested. After that, they can listen to your brand new podcast.
Podcast Hosting Sites
Following are some of the podcast hosting sites that you can consider:
One thing to keep in mind when adopting a hosting service is that make sure it’s a paid service. There are plenty of websites that provide free podcast hosting service. The problem with such sites is that your data is not secure and will get treated like a product to sell. Paid hosting service will keep your data secure and you get additional benefits also.
Now the next question is, “What role do the podcast directories are playing here?” Long story short, “they are making it easier for the people to find you.”
The different audience tends to use a different platform. For example, there could be a user who listens to Google podcast, a user who uses Spotify podcast, or a user who listens to Apple Podcast. Now, your task is to make sure that your content is available on all such directories so that you can reach out to more audiences. You can do so with a one-time submission process, such as RSS Feed (a single web-page with all your podcast information).
The link will get shared with the podcast directory let’s say with Apple Podcast. Then the Apple Podcast will perform a real human check of your podcast. The process can take up to 1-2 weeks because a real person will perform the checking to make sure that the content is not spam, explicit, and hasn’t been labeled. Google podcast and Spotify podcast does not perform human check so they are faster as compared to Apple podcast.
After getting approved, you don’t have to submit your content to these directories again. The next episodes will automatically go there as the podcast directories will start checking every day to see if there’s a new episode on the hosting platform.
How Does it work?
Let’s have a look at an example to understand the working of a podcast directory:
***I’ll be taking Apple Podcast as a directory example here.***
Suppose person ‘A’ updates on Monday, and on Friday, Apple checks that there’s a new episode. On Sunday, there’s only one episode and then the Person A uploads another episode. Now, Apple Podcast will see that there are two episodes now. Next thing that it will do is update the listing so that any user who will browse your podcast will see the most recent episodes.
Sometimes when you upload your podcast, for example at midnight, it might not show up at Apple Podcast until evening that day. It can be unsettling. But the reason it happens is because Apple may not have checked until evening that day. It is very common for an episode to not show up for more than 12 hours. This doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong.
The good news is that users refresh their Apps regularly. So when they’ll refresh their apps, Apple will go and download the new episode onto all your listener’s phones so that they can listen to it at their convenience. So you don’t have to get concerned about this issue.
There are plenty of podcast directories available. Some of them are listed below:
- Google Podcast,
- Apple Podcast,
- Google Play Music, etc..
The three directories that matter and make-up about 99% of all podcast listeners are Spotify, Google, and Apple Podcast. When you are new to the podcast world, don’t think about other directories. Start with these three directories first.
How Much Podcast hosting can cost you?
The next question that might come in your mind is, “how much a podcast hosting is going to cost you?“
It depends on what type of hosting provider you select for your podcast episodes. On average, you can expect to pay between 10$ to 25$ a month to host your podcast.
***I’ll be taking Buzzsprout as an example here.***
Buzzsprout, for example, can cost you about $12 a month and you get access to all the features that you need to manage your podcast. Detailed Analytics, share tools, and embed players for the website are some of the features that you get in Buzzsprout. You can start with a free plan and when you notice that your podcast is performing as your expected, you can upgrade to $12 plan.
How to pick a podcast host?
Five things that you need to consider before selecting a podcast hosting platform are:
- Easy to Access: You should know that running a podcast channel is a complicated process. So make sure that the host you choose is intuitive for your use. It should be able to handle the complexities so that you can focus on creating a great podcast.
- A Podcast Website: Start with a website without building one yourself. Look for the host that allows you to build a website with them, and allows you to put your own domain.
- Social Media Share Tools: It’s very difficult to grow a podcast. Make sure that the podcast you choose has built-in social media share tools that allow you to share your content on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, etc..
- The Podcast Directories: Make sure that your host allows you to easily get into all the directories in which you want your podcast to get listed.
- Data about your Podcast: You need to have a detailed podcast data that can give you insight about your podcast performance. Your podcast host should provide you with detailed analytics that can answer your questions related to podcast growth, episodes performance over time, listeners that listen to your podcast, and apps that people use to download the episodes.
All these things are important for you to understand what you need to make appropriate decisions for your podcast. Now you know everything that you needed to understand why you should choose podcast hosting. There are plenty of great podcasters that are making huge profits with this. You can check their channels and take some ideas to start a podcast channel of your own.
So, stay tuned. Give a like if you liked my post and leave a comment describing your viewpoints. I always welcome new ideas.