When it comes to podcasts, one of the most common questions asked is, “What’s the best podcast hosting site?”
Although there are lots of fantastic services out there, we think the more important question is:
“What should you be looking for from your podcast hosting platform?”
Answering that will naturally lead you to choose a platform that will be the best fit.
Remember a podcast hosting service performs two essential functions. Firstly, it provides you a means to upload and manage your podcasts along with generating your RSS feed and submitting your show to listening apps. More importantly, a podcast hosting service almost acts as your podcast marketing, growth, discovery, and monetization tool.
What is a corporate podcast hosting platform?
But what’s the difference between a typical hosting platform and a corporate hosting platform?
At the end of the day, the two are going to perform the same core functionalities, but the difference is going to come through the essential functions we mentioned and how a brand leverages them:
- Podcast marketing
- Ease of management
Brands typically have different goals, processes, and metric tracking than an independent creator. For that reason, it’s smart for brands to search for corporate podcast hosting platforms that can adapt to their needs.
For brands, some key questions to ask before you decide on a podcast hosting platform are:
- How many episodes/podcasts will your company be producing?
- How many team members will you have working within the hosting platform?
- What sort of KPIs are you looking to hit through your podcast?
- How much do you know about your target audience and how big is this audience?
- What sort of analytics will help you measure performance?
- How often will you need tech/customer support?
- What sort of added features will make you and your teams’ lives easier (i.e. embedded web players, transcriptions, etc.)?
Not all podcast hosting platforms are created equal, and you should consider many factors when selecting a hosting platform for your brand (including answers to the questions above!).
Choosing a reliable platform is paramount to not only managing your podcast workflow but also helping you grow your audience. So, keep reading and we will break down the key factors that you should be considering.
Factors you should consider when choosing a corporate podcast hosting platform
1. Storage and Bandwidth Limits
When selecting a podcast hosting platform, storage, and bandwidth capabilities are not the shiniest feature but one of the most important to look into.
This feature will impact so many aspects of your show – everything from how many episodes you can release weekly / monthly, how many old episodes your audience can access to how many people can download an episode at any given time.
The storage capacity provided by a podcast hosting platform determines the quantity and size of files you can host. Remember, as your audience grows, so will your bandwidth needs, so you must pick a hosting platform that can grow alongside you. Depending on the hosting platform, pricing may be based on the number of listeners you have or storage that you need, and other prices based on the number of shows you’re hosting, it’s up to you to decide which fits your budget best!
It is worth noting, however, that limited bandwidth can result in a subpar listening experience for your audience. While many podcast hosting platforms offer both free and paid options with varying bandwidth and storage limits, we advise against cutting corners when it comes to investing in your podcast hosting. Allocating some extra resources in this area can yield significant benefits in the long run!
2. Easy Website Integration
If your goal is to grow your social media following or advertise your podcast on a website, it is essential to find a hosting platform that smoothly integrates with various marketing tools. Seek out a platform that offers convenient features such as embeddable players, snippets, and customizable options for showcasing links to your primary distributors.
Most importantly, we recommend finding a podcast hosting platform that integrates with your existing website. Although a podcast website isn’t a dealbreaker for your show, it's a great way to promote your show, boost visibility on search engines, and engage followers as you scale.
Some podcast hosts offer the option to create a personalized site for you. If your company is interested in this feature and creating a personalized site for your branded podcast, make sure it also can integrate with your domain and RSS feed.
When it comes to websites, we’ve seen brands do both options - integrating the podcast with an existing website such as Indigo’s Well Said podcast, or creating a new website specifically for the podcast such as creative agency, PB&J’s podcast website Commerce Chefs.
3. Podcast Analytics and Reporting
Any brand understands the importance of data, especially the marketing team. When investing in a podcast hosting platform, analyzing the type of podcast analytics that you’ll be gathering from it is key.
Even if you're not a “numbers guy,” having a basic understanding of your podcast's analytics provides you with key insights about your show which you can then use to better reach listeners and create content they want to hear. They give you valuable info on how to maximize results while minimizing wasted time, energy, and budget.
Make sure that the analytics provided by the podcasting hosting site are IAB Certified or at least IAB Compliant. The IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) has set standards that a majority of podcast hosts use when looking at analytics to ensure the data is accurate. Uncertified or non-compliant analytics may provide you with inaccurate information, leading to misguided content and advertising decisions.
Aside from just having access to the right analytics, the next step is to put them into a report to present performance and findings to your team, leadership, or clients. Whether it’s a feature in the hosting platform or a service from your account manager, ensure that it’s easy to pull key data from your dashboards and able to measure podcast ROI.
Some key features that your corporate podcast should look for when choosing a platform include:
B2B Analytics provides in-depth insights into what companies are listening to your podcast along with their size, industry, average revenue, and location across listening apps. Brands and agencies can use B2B Analytics to attribute marketing leads, identify engagement touchpoints, ensure their hitting the right target audience, and measure ROI.
Tracking links let you optimize your marketing efforts by showing you what sources your podcast downloads are coming from. This includes things like consolidating listening app links, individual link analytics, and single tracking links through which you can rack all download sources with just one link.
The Audience Profile shows you exactly who is listening to your podcast, where they’re located, and their listening behavior and preferences.
4. Media Player Capabilities
Most podcast hosts provide a media player to let listeners stream their show online, typically through a website. You’ll receive an embeddable code that you can paste into the backend of your podcast's website. Then it will appear online for listeners to stream your podcast.
Pay close attention to how the media player your potential host provides looks and functions in terms of ease of use. Some players will be more beautifully designed or intuitive than others and also offer customization where you can brand the player to your company.
Also, make sure your audience can easily share your podcast on social channels or subscribe to your podcast using your podcast host media player. This functionality will increase the chances of growing your audience over the long term.
5. Ease of Use & Account Support
Podcast hosting features aren’t any good if you don’t know how to use them. We suggest that before investing in a platform, do your research and a deep dive into learning how they work and the unique features that are valuable to your brand. Learning a bit about the backend as well as dashboard features will help you better manage your podcast, media files, and reporting, and also have an understanding of the lingo before committing.
We recommend exploring screenshots and YouTube videos that demonstrate the dashboard of different hosting companies. These visual resources will provide valuable insights into the layout of the dashboard and the technical knowledge required to effectively leverage the podcast host features. Additionally, consider taking advantage of any available demos and free trials to familiarize yourself with the platform before committing to a subscription.
In addition, corporate podcast hosting platforms will typically offer packages that have a dedicated account manager. This is a great service add-on for brands in particular since it helps to save your team time when it comes to setting up and managing your show. It also provides you with a point of contact if you have any questions, require additional functionalities, or need tech support.
6. Automatic Transcription Services
It’s important to look for platforms that allow you to transcribe your show or at least have partnerships with tools to transcribe your content. Having written transcripts of your show have countless benefits, they help with boosting SEO performance and increase visibility on search engines, they make your show more accessible for listeners that might have hearing impairments, and lastly, they’re great for repurposing content.
If your show is transcribed, it can be formatted into blog posts, social assets, and a host of other things that can help draw in more potential listeners. Plus, going with a hosting platform that already has built-in transcription services, saves you the headache of having to do it in-house or adding another tool to your marketing stack.
7. Podcast Advertising
Not all brands will need to have this feature but it’s still a great add-on to look for. If you’re a smaller brand, then maybe you’ll be interested in testing out ad insertion on other podcasts or maybe even offer some on your own (although this is uncommon since your branded podcast acts as an advertisement for your brand so many are not looking to advertise another one on it). Some advertising-related features to look into include:
Enhance your post-production capabilities with ad-roll insertion, enabling you to seamlessly integrate personalized advertisements within your episodes. Transistor’s Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI), for instance, is a convenient feature that automatically incorporates promotional campaigns or announcement clips at pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll intervals.
Unlock a world of sponsorship possibilities, ranging from marketplaces where you can attract paid advertisers to establishing direct connections with podcast sponsors. Some examples include Libsyn's AdvertiseCast, Spreaker, and Ads by Anchor
8. Cost & Budgets
Depending on your team’s marketing budget, the cost may not be a large concern for you. But for other brands, budget can be top of mind, especially if they’re still testing the audio waters.
Most podcast hosts, free and paid, will provide you with basic features like an RSS feed as well as analytics. But as your podcast grows and evolves, you'll need more than just the bare bones. Understanding what a podcast hosting platform has to offer from the start will make things easier for you when further along in your brand’s podcast journey.
But remember, virtually all the good providers offer monthly subscriptions and a discount for long-term committers. We suggest investing some money in a paid subscription. Many podcast hosts have tiered pricing, which can give you an idea of how much you should budget for hosting in the future as your podcast gains popularity and you need more resources to support it.
Corporate Podcast Hosting Sites to Consider
Now that we’ve broken down all the things to look for when choosing your corporate podcast hosting platform, we wanted to end with a few suggestions of ones we recommend:
Created by the award-winning podcast agency, Quill, CoHost equips brands and agencies with the data and tools they need to measure podcast reach, growth, and impact.
Trusted by leading brands, like TD Bank, Expedia, and Uberflip, CoHost revolutionizes the ways brands and agencies publish, manage, and measure their podcasts with features like B2B Analytics, Tracking Links, Advanced Audience Demographics, and Automatic Transcriptions.
Megaphone, developed by Spotify, stands as the top podcasting platform in the industry, catering to enterprise publishers and professional podcasters globally. It presents a range of robust tools and solutions that empower publishers to establish, monetize, evaluate, and expand their podcast ventures successfully.
Omny Studio is a comprehensive podcast management platform that offers a range of tools for content creation, hosting, editing, distribution, promotion, monetization, and analytics. Podcasters and radio networks, such as Monocle, Southern California Public Radio, and Stitcher/Midroll rely on Omny for their podcasting needs.
Libsyn is a podcast hosting and advertising platform that offers a range of services including hosting, distribution, podcast advertising, and monetization. They cater to both newcomers and seasoned professionals by offering cost-effective pricing plans.
Simplecast provides the necessary tools and resources to simplify professional podcasting. It offers an array of features that enable you to publish and share your stories, refine your skills, and connect with a global audience of listeners.
Are you ready to find the right corporate podcast hosting platform for your show?
Choosing the podcast hosting platform for your program can be the difference between a mediocre or a great show. When planning for your podcast, put aside time and a healthy budget to get the best podcast hosting platform (you don’t want to cut corners here!).
Remember to thoroughly research and compare different hosting platforms, read user reviews, and take advantage of free trials or demos to test out the platforms before committing. With the right hosting platform in place, you can effectively manage, distribute, and promote your corporate podcast, allowing your organization to share valuable insights, build brand awareness, and foster meaningful connections with your listeners.
If you want to learn more about corporate podcast hosting platforms, please reach out to our team!