4 top free podcast hosting tools for debut podcasters

Published on 2022-04-28 by Tessa Anaya

Podcasts have become a popular medium for content creators across all industries. To help entrepreneurs find their perfect platform without making a big investment, we’ve compiled a list of the top free podcast hosting tools. 

a list of the 4 top free podcast hosting tools for new podcasters

Deciding which approach to podcasting works best for you is hard to know before you start. To aid new podcasters in getting to know the different methods of producing, we’ve compiled a list of the four top free podcast platforms with the highest monthly search volumes on Capterra Canada. All these tools, presented alphabetically below, allow you to host, publish, and share your digital audio files (full methodology at the bottom of the article). These tools also offer engagement tracking to measure the performance of your podcast to see if it’s meeting your goals, even in the free versions. 

1. Podbean

free podcast hosting tool which allows episode sharing on social media platforms
Scheduling podcasts to be shared via social media platforms on Podbean (Source)
  • Ease of use: 4.3 / 5
  • Customer service: 3.6 / 5
  • Features: 4.0 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.0 / 5

Podbean offers a customizable experience to new podcasters. The free version includes all the basics, from setting up the necessary information about your new podcast to publishing it. Users also have various options for promoting podcasts via platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, etc. 

Download statistics are generated and available for creators even in the free version, though more advanced reporting is offered to those who upgrade their software package. There are three paid versions of the tool, which include different amounts of storage, hosting, themes and customization options, and ad distribution. See their website for pricing information.

Notable features of the free version:

  • Customizable profile
  • Autoshare to social networks
  • Multi-channel distribution
  • Audio recording
  • Podcast website designer
  • Embeddable podcasts
  • Live streaming

Read More

2. SoundCloud

how to customize podcast profile with podcast hosting software via SoundCloud
A profile page on SoundCloud, customized with images and brand logos (Source)
  • Ease of use: 4.6 / 5
  • Customer service: 3.9 / 5
  • Features: 4.3 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.5 / 5

This podcast hosting platform doubles as a free listening platform, where both listeners and creators can engage with SoundCloud’s audio capabilities. Creators can set up a podcast profile and add social links, choose a URL, and upload images and podcast episodes for free. From there, adding descriptive tags, used by SoundCloud’s algorithm to make recommendations, can help your podcast get seen by users with similar interests. 

Creators can distribute and monetize their podcast episodes by upgrading to paid packages of the software. They’ll also receive higher amounts of upload space, user downloads, and more advanced insights. Two packages of features are available for upgrades; pricing can be found on the vendor’s website.

Notable features of the free version:

  • Customizable profile
  • Listener platform
  • Embeddable podcasts

Read More

3. Spreaker

create a podcast with RSS from a free podcast hosting platform
Customizable RSS feeds in Spreaker (Source)
  • Ease of use: N/A*
  • Customer service: N/A*
  • Features: N/A*
  • Value for money: N/A*

*No reviews available as of 28 April 2022

With Spreaker, the free podcast hosting platform made by the iHeart radio network, creators can upload podcasts and share them with audiences via multi-channel distribution, social sharing, embedded audio, and RSS. Once the podcast profile is set up, creators can integrate their various accounts to share episodes with external audiences, as well as reaching Spreaker’s listeners on their built-in listening platform.

Spreaker’s free version gives creators an overview of download statistics, though the data reporting becomes more advanced with upgraded software. Paid versions also allow for the monetization of podcasts, including pay-per-stream revenue and advertisements. For more information on pricing, visit the Spreaker website.

Notable features of the free version:

  • Customizable profile
  • Autoshare to social networks
  • Multi-channel distribution
  • Audio recording
  • Listener platform
  • Embeddable podcasts
  • Live streaming

Read More

4. Storyboard 

schedule podcast publication via a free podcast hosting platform
Scheduling publication to specific audiences in Storyboard (Source)
  • Ease of use: N/A*
  • Customer service: N/A*
  • Features: N/A*
  • Value for money: N/A*

*No reviews available as of 28 April 2022

Storyboard offers users a different way to engage with listeners; it is a private platform. That means that audience members must be invited to listen to the podcast by the creator via an emailed link. As part of this private environment between listeners and hosts, visitors can comment on podcasts and even leave voice messages for their favorite creators.

The free version allows podcasters to invite up to 50 listeners to their private stream, but paid versions offer more listener bandwidth. These upgraded versions also provide customer segmentation options, listener analytics, brand customization, and higher capacity to invite listeners. 

Notable features of the free version:

  • Email marketing templates
  • Private podcast feed
  • Audio recording
  • Listener platform
  • Receive recordings from listeners

Read More

Commonly asked questions

Depending on how new a podcaster is to the worlds of audio producing, social media marketing, and digital tools in general, creators will have different hurdles to overcome. They’ll also have different needs from their software, which is why free podcast hosting platforms are best for getting to know the features.

When choosing a podcast platform, here are some important questions to consider:

  • Are you looking for a tool to record your podcast as well as host it?
  • Will you record your episodes in one take or will you need audio editing software?
  • Is monetizing your podcast a long-term goal for you?
  • Do you have data storage already or will you need cloud storage for your content?
  • How will you market your podcast and reach your audience?
  • According to your goals, which metrics are most important to get reports on?
Looking for podcast hosting platforms? Check out our catalogue.

Methodology:

To select the products mentioned in this article, we considered those which:

  • Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  • Meet our podcast hosting software market definition: Podcast hosting software is an online platform for hosting and sharing digital audio files, typically available as a series to its subscribers or listeners.

They also have the following core features:

  • Hosting
  • Publishing/sharing

Tools that met the market definition were also evaluated for popularity by comparing their average monthly search volume, of which the four products with the highest search volumes were selected.

This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.

About the author

Content Analyst at Capterra, dedicated to helping SMBs access the insights that elevate their organizations. B.A. in English, University of Michigan. Based in Barcelona.

Content Analyst at Capterra, dedicated to helping SMBs access the insights that elevate their organizations. B.A. in English, University of Michigan. Based in Barcelona.