Podcasting Tips

Should You Pay for Podcast Hosting? – Free vs Paid

It can be hard to understand why people would ever pay for products and services they can get for free.

One such example is podcast hosting. Why would someone choose to pay, when there are free options out there?

Let’s explore free vs paid podcast hosting, and determine which is best.

To kick things off, you may be wondering, is it true that free podcast hosting is genuinely free?

It’s an understandable question because we admit, free podcast hosting sounds fantastic!

Getting a podcast RSS feed, digital storage, dependable bandwidth, analytics access, and streamlined authoring for free seems like an amazing deal.

However, it’s important to remember that platforms providing “free” services are businesses that rely on their customers to support their costs and income goals.

Limitations of Free Podcast Hosting

There are several reasons free podcast hosting is actually a bad idea. Here are just a few of them:

1. Limited episode length – Buzzsprout offers a free plan, but they limit you to two hours of audio a month.

2. Your content may be deleted – Buzzsprout deletes “free” episodes after they have been live for 90 days.

Another popular free podcast hosting platform is Anchor, and some users have reported their content can be taken offline without warning.

To make matters worse, we’ve seen users reporting in threads on Quora and Reddit that they have difficulty leaving Anchor because the redirect options aren’t that great.

3. Additional fees for sponsorships – Because Anchor has to cover their costs, where they get their money is through ventures such as advertising. If a podcast host allows advertising on their show and Anchor brokers the deal, they take 30% of the sponsorship! Compare that to Podcasting who only takes 10% for sponsorships brokered through their advertising partner and that can add up quickly!

4. No direct access to your analytics – Anchor touts itself as streamlining distribution. But, the problem with this is they distribute your show to podcast directories like Apple iTunes and Google Podcasts. When they do this, their email address is listed as the show owner removing you from the direct access to your show’s analytics.

Why Pay for Podcast Hosting?

Below are some of the reasons why both professional and hobby podcasters pay for hosting with Podcasting.

  • Less fees for sponsorships through their advertising partner, and no sneaky ad insertions that you have to opt out of
  • Free public website for your podcast with dedicated pages for each episode
  • Free RSS feed for automatic distribution to the major podcast directories
  • Unlimited episode length, downloads, and subscribers (you should not be charged more for growth!)
  • RSS won’t hold your episodes hostage if you decide to leave
  • World-class customer support
  • Maintenance and security of podcast files, and so much more!

Which is Better: Free vs Paid Podcast Hosting?

There are compelling reasons to use both paid and free podcast hosting. The one you select will likely be determined by your individual podcasting needs and goals.

Bottom line however, professionals prefer paid plans while hobbyists prefer free ones.

Though platforms like Anchor appear enticing, they have significant limits as we have demonstrated.

Podcasters can use premium hosts like Podcasting to receive access to all the services they need to launch, grow, and monetize their show for a low cost. What will you choose?