Podcasts have undergone a massive progress from just being sources of entertainment platforms available to a chunk of the global population. They have gained such magnanimous popularity with such giants as Apple Podcasts having more than 700,000 podcasts episodes alone.
We are talking of impressive numbers with the US having more than 86 million podcasters in 2019, a number that is expected to shoot to an excess of 132 million by 2022. These numbers, as clearly outlined in our Podcast Statistics 2020 article, should be enough to convince anyone out there that podcasting may not be a bad venture; more so since monetization of podcasts is now easier than before. Don’t believe me? Well, check out 8 Ways to Make Money Podcasting and you’ll see just how easy it is to cash in with podcasting.
If you are new to the podcasting arena, check out our starter pack How to Write a Podcast Script; the info here will knock your socks off, that is if you prefer to have them knocked off. If not, you will definitely find the kind of info that will help you get started on your way to podcasting success.
Now, before we delve into anything else, let us agree on one thing- we all love free stuff. Who doesn’t? Can you imagine receiving something for free and then using that something to create other profitable “somethings” for free? Yes. It’s entirely possible. In this article we will tackle some of the best free podcast hosting providers that you can use to turn your podcasting hobby into a profitable venture for free!
Well, let’s get started.
What is Unlimited Podcast Hosting?
Before we proceed, let’s first define unlimited podcast hosting.
Unlimited podcast hosting refers to the type of podcast hosting where the hosting provider doesn’t limit or charge you for hours of upload and places no limit on your storage capacity as a podcaster. So no caps on either uploads or downloads.
How to Identify the Best Hosting Provider for your Podcast
If you are currently a newbie it’s vital you know that podcasting doesn’t just encompass you, a microphone and a topic, no. Podcasting is much more than this. For instance, once you have recorded a podcast, you need that podcast to be hosted somewhere. Hosting is simply like a storage facility where you store your podcasts for access from your audience. Now, if you were a brick-and-mortar shop owner you wouldn’t want to store your precious goods in a leaky storage facility, would you? The same applies to podcasts. You want the best for your podcast. Our 10+ Best Podcast Hosting Sites in 2020 might just be the right place for you to start shopping for a hosting provider that best suits your needs.
In a nutshell, in order for you to get the best out of the vast variety of podcast hosting providers out there, you have to ask yourself the following questions:
- How much storage do you need
- What is the rough estimate of the content you plan on releasing on a monthly basis
- Are you planning on venturing into video podcasts or any other format
- What is your budget for podcast hosting
- Do you or your team require comprehensive and well-detailed statistics
- Are your podcasts geared more towards engaging a hobby or are you focusing on making your podcasts a source of income
So, Is Free Podcast Hosting the Best Option for you?
Once you have considered the determiners above, then you can settle comfortably on either going for a free podcast hosting provider from the list below or opt for any of the paid options on either of our articles Best Podcast Hosting 2020 or Best Podcast Hosting for Monetization.
If your podcast and budgetary restrictions demand a free podcast hosting provider, then below you’ll find the best providers available. We have spent a great deal of time going through a variety of free hosting providers to ensure you don’t fall into a trap that might turn your content into someone else’s property or you get a hosting provider that will just up and leave with your content in the near future.
However, you should note that most free podcast hosting providers always have a catch or limitation on either storage, upload hours or bandwidth. The podcast hosting providers below claim provision of free and unlimited hosting, which they do to some extent, but we all know better. After all, if you are not paying for the product then what are you? Yep. You are the product.
Feel free to recommend any of the following platforms to any beginners with a need for free podcast hosting.
Best Free and Unlimited Hosting Providers for Podcasters
Anchor is our first choice and the overall best free and unlimited hosting provider of 2020 for podcasters. At the moment this platform proudly powers more podcasts globally than any other platform.
Anchor advertises itself as a one of a kind platform that allows you to create, distribute and monetize your content right from the comfort of your mobile device, iPad or desktop computer for free. You are therefore entitled to hosting and distribution 100% free with this platform. This is not the only factor that influenced our choosing of Anchor as the best; they also have no cap on storage and since their services are free, you don’t have to worry about a trial period that is about to expire while you are still handling your podcasting. And, you get to share your content by automatically distributing anywhere your audience can listen.
Anchor offers you the following to fuel a successful and enjoyable podcasting experience:
- Creation tools that have been simplified for ease of use.
These tools are vital in enabling recording, editing and addition of content without necessarily requiring high level skills from you. And, you can do this from anywhere on any device. You can choose to record with friends remotely from the web or mobile devices, ensure your audience can actively engage by leaving voice messages and even spice up your audio clips by transforming them into animated videos if you wish to.
- One- click distribution for your podcasts 100% free.
This means you can smoothly distribute your content to any platform of your choice including Google Podcasts, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more. You can see just the extent of distribution availed for you by using this link. And on top of all this, you get the option to either distribute by only one click or you can also manage your RSS feed if that is what you prefer.
- Easy to interpret Statistics.
Anchor helps you track the success of your podcasts via impressionable and easy to act upon stats. This means you get to analyze metrics from different platforms and make informed decisions, all from the comfort of your dashboard. You also get in-depth info on where your listeners dropped off, the demographic layout of your audience and so on from these stats
- A chance to monetize your podcasts.
Anchor offers you the opportunity to get paid from your podcasting endeavor. Their monetization tool is optional, easy to use and geared towards anchoring sponsorships. You can also get support from your listeners via donations by simply adding a button to your profile.
Anchor, like any other platform, has a number of shortcomings. First, if you are planning on using Anchor to distribute your contents to Apple Podcasts, the said contents will appear with Anchor’s account name rather than your own. This is especially crippling since you won’t be in a position to utilize stats inside Apple Podcasts Connect to know how your audience behaved.
You might also find that the monetization option offered by Anchor is a bit of a bummer. How this option works is through ad placement in your content. Not only might these ads be a deterrence to your listeners, especially if you have one too many, you also need thousands of downloads for each episode if you are to make a few dollars.
When it’s all said and done, Anchor isn’t a bad choice for podcasting beginners or experienced ones that treat podcasting not so much as a source of fast cash. It will take patience to make something impressionable with this platform. Don’t go through the Audi catalog with your first publishing, you may be disappointed.
RedCircle is our second option for podcasters that are searching for free and unlimited hosting providers. RedCircle was unveiled in 2019 by a bunch of former Uber employees but in spite of being such a young start-up, the platform is already awing people with their unique approach towards podcasting and regular launches of new features. One of these awe-inspiring features the platform has is the ability for podcasters to get small payments in the form of tips from listeners. This works the same way a waiter in a bar gets tips from customers for good service. But in this context it’s an online podcaster getting tips, in a different setting,with much less shouting and fighting.
As for their pricing, RedCircle has a policy of only earning whenever you earn. As a podcaster, you will be able to get RedCircle hosting absolutely free. RedCircle earns from you as a podcaster in the following ways:
- They get 30% of whatever you earn from advertisers. These advertisers are connected to you through RedCircle.
- They keep 12% of payments made to you for exclusive content. Exclusive content can be paid for on this platform via subscriptions.
- They get 4.5% of the payouts (donations) from listeners who have opted to be sponsors.
RedCircle is a great option for you as it offers a myriad of mouth-watering offers for free. These offers include:
- No cap on storage
- Free distribution to platforms of your choice
- In-depth analytics and complementary reporting
- Monetization option
- Customer support whenever needed
- No limit on the access of Cross-Promotion Marketplace
The only con that comes with using RedCircle is the platform is a bit new so getting prior info is difficult. But, hey, it’s free. If it doesn’t meet your standards all you have to do is move shop. No losses.
Spreaker falls last on our listing of free providers of hosting for podcasters. Spreaker was launched in 2010 and stands as one of the best hosting providers for podcasters today. They provide an excellent platform for creation of content, distribution, monetization and the option to enjoy listening to live audio shows on demand. Although and you should note this very carefully, the monetization option is only available to their paying subscribers.
This platform has risen from humble beginnings during its launching in 2010 to having thousands of clients opting for Spreaker as a hosting provider.
Spreaker is great for hosting due to the following reasons:
- It has a free plan that you will never have to spend anything on. This plan is called Free Speech and it is always, forever free. However, this free plan only includes unlimited bandwidth. Storage capacity is limited to 5 hours of uploaded content.
- Spreaker avails tools for you that are easy to utilize. These tools include an app for recording on any device, an importer for RSS feed that enables you to easily migrate content, measurement tools and so on.
- You get to easily submit content to any platform of your choice on one click. Some of these platforms include Deezer, Google Podcasts and Spotify.
- Your audience gets the option to interact with you as they listen live; they can opt to leave a string of comments, like favorite episodes, find unique content and so on.
- They have iOS and Android device apps for podcasters and listeners alike.
Apart from the Free Speech plan, Spreaker also has paid plans you can upgrade to. These plans are Broadcaster plan starting at $18 per month, Anchorman plan starting at $45 per month and On-Air Talent plan starting at $6 per month.
Spreaker has its own share of cons. First, you have to be a premium user to use their ad injection option for monetization. Their Free Speech plan doesn’t allow users to monetize.
Spreaker’s free plan also comes with ads. The only way to get rid of these ads is to pay.
Spreaker is a great platform for those podcasters that are doing it on the free plan as a hobby. The only way you can turn this platform into an income source is by upgrading to their paid plans.
Honorable Mentions for Free Podcast Hosting Plans
Our honorable mentions are Buzzsprout and Podbean. Although these two don’t have unlimited offers on their free packages, they are definitely worth looking into.
Buzzsprout is one of the most infamous podcast hosting platforms with over 100,000 podcasters on it. This platform was started in 2009 and is a favorite among many successful podcasters including Pat Flynn who is famous for the Ask Pat podcast.
Buzzsprout had to be mentioned in this article thanks to their 90 days free offer. This is their free plan that allows you to use Buzzsprout for hosting for 90 days. This plan is however very basic. All you get are 2hrs of upload limit per month and unlimited team members. Having unlimited team members working on a limit of 2hrs per month kind of beats logic. And, their free plan comes with ads and the only way to get rid of them is by upgrading. Starting at $12 per month you can get ad-free hosting with unlimited storage and an option for free importation of podcasts.
Other than the free plan, Buzzsprout has a variety of plans at great prices. To view their plans and pricing, use this link.
Podbean is widely known for offering unlimited hosting services (bandwidth and storage) to podcasters at an unbelievable flat rate on their paid plans. Their rates stay the same without changing as you publish more and more content or gain a massive following over time. And, they also offer a free plan for beginners.
This platform hosts more than 390,000 podcasters worldwide with episodes in excess of 10.6 million and more than 7.1 billion downloads to date. As you can see, their numbers are quite impressive. And numbers don’t lie.
Podbean’s free plan, called Basic, may not be unlimited but it is worth mentioning. This plan offers podcasters a storage capacity of 5hrs and a monthly bandwidth limit of 100GB per month at absolutely no charge. The only downside to this plan is you can’t monetize content.
Podbean has other paid plans too.For unlimited podcast hosting on Podbean, you have to upgrade to any of their paid tiers. Their paid tiers are Unlimited Audio starting at $9 per month, Unlimited Plus starting at $29 per month and Business starting at $99 per month.
So, Podbean gives you the opportunity to exploit unlimited podcast hosting from their lowest tier at only $9 per month. This is a much cheaper option than Buzzsprout which has unlimited podcast hosting in plans starting at $12 per month.
If you wish to see all their plans, follow this link.