When it comes to hosting your podcast, using a dedicated host is usually the best option. While you can upload your podcast files to your regular web hosting server space, the extra downloads can have a negative impact on the performance of your website, not to mention your bandwidth allowances. Furthermore, dedicated podcast hosting services often offer extra features to help make your show a success.
Although there are plenty of well-known premium podcast hosting solutions, when it comes to finding free podcast hosting, the options aren’t as quite visible. This guide to the best free podcast hosts will help you find a home for your show without sacrificing too much in terms of quality or features.
The Best Free Podcast Hosting Solutions
Most of the best free podcasting hosting services are limited in some way. Depending on the service, this could apply to the amount of audio you can upload each month, how much bandwidth the downloads of your episodes can consume, or whether you can access the support services or not.
Due to these limitations, before evaluating the different ways you can host your podcast for free, it’s worth considering how many minutes of audio you plan to publish each month, whether you want to choose a service that also has a podcast directory that visitors can browse, and if audio quality is a priority for you or not.
Regardless of which free podcast host you choose, the majority of your listeners are likely to come via the iTunes Store podcast directory, so be sure to register there when you’re done.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an affordable cloud storage service that’s suitable for a wide range of purposes. However, thanks to the AWS free options, it’s also a great way to host your podcast without spending a penny. New users who sign up with AWS will get access to 5 GB of Amazon S3 storage and 15 GB of data transfer out each month for one year.
Key information about Amazon S3 free podcast hosting:
- Generous storage and bandwidth allowances compared to most of the competition.
- File hosting not limited to podcast and audio content.
- Choice of data center locations for potentially faster downloads.
- Additional paid storage starts from $0.023 per GB per month.
If you’re looking for a free storage solution for your podcast files, with flexible and affordable upgrade options, Amazon S3 could be a good choice. However, you won’t have access to the podcast-focused features found with dedicated podcast hosting services making it more suitable to DIYers.
Buzzsprout offers free podcast hosting alongside their paid plans. All plans, including the free option, boast unlimited storage with bandwidth capped at 250 GB per month – although this can be increased at a cost. To minimize your storage requirements, Buzzsprout optimizes files on upload down to 64k mono. Those on the paid plan can pay extra to increase this to 128k stereo, but free users don’t have this option. Therefore, if you’re publishing a music podcast, this might not be the free hosting option for you.
Key information about Buzzsprout free podcast hosting:
- Free plan is limited to two hours of audio uploads per month.
- Files are hosted for 90 days only.
- No overage allowed on the free plan.
- Free WordPress plugin for embedding episodes on your website.
- Paid podcast hosting plans start from $12 per month.
You can start hosting your podcast with Buzzsprout for free without having to enter any payment details. However, as files are only hosted for 90 days, you’re probably going to need to upgrade to one of the paid plans relatively quickly if you want to keep your archive online.
Podiant receives positive praise from the podcasting community and with an unlimited free plan, this could be the best free podcast hosting service out there. The only downside of choosing the free plan over the paid options is the lack of access to the Podiant help and support services. However, if you do want to gain access to the Podiant support team, the paid plans are very affordable.
Key information about Podiant free podcast hosting:
- No storage or bandwidth limits on any of the plans including the free option.
- Real-time analytics to see who’s listening, where, and on what devices.
- Podcast player can be embedded on your website.
- Each episode you upload gets its own web page with embedded player on the Podiant site.
- Hosted podcasts are listed in the Podiant directory.
- Paid podcast hosting plans start from $5 per month.
The free Podiant plan includes many of the features found on paid podcast hosting plans, making this an attractive option.
Free users of Podigee can upload up to one hour of audio each month. They also get access to some basic podcast statistics and 72-hour turnaround times on email support. Upgrading to the paid plans unlocks the advanced statistics for your podcast, reduces the support response times, and increases the amount of audio you can upload per month.
Key information about Podigee free podcast hosting:
- Ability to upload an unlimited number of podcasts (although limited to one hour in length per month).
- Free and paid plans allow unlimited podcast downloads and bandwidth consumption.
- Free website is created for each podcast on a Podigee subdomain.
- Files served via the Podigee CDN for potentially faster download times.
- Custom hosting plans available upon request
- Highly functional podcast web player.
- Paid podcast hosting plans start from $10 per month.
Unlimited bandwidth is appealing but only being able to upload one hour of audio per month might not be enough for some podcasters.
SoundCloud, the popular audio streaming service, offers podcast hosting alongside their standard audio hosting facilities. With both free and paid podcast options, SoundCloud makes it easy to get your show online today. Free users are restricted to uploading no more than three hours of audio each month, with the lowest priced paid plan doubling that cap to six.
Key information about SoundCloud free podcast hosting:
- Free users get access to basic podcast stats with more detailed data reserved for paid users.
- Large community of users actively browsing the SoundCloud library.
- Community features allow listeners to leave comments that you can respond to.
- Embeddable podcast player with Twitter card and other social media support.
- Paid podcast hosting plans start from $10 per month.
If you want to host your podcast for free with a well-known brand, SoundCloud could be a good option. Although you can get more features elsewhere.
Spreaker is a commercial podcast hosting service with a limited free plan. However, the free plan is aimed more at those who want to try before they buy rather than being a long-term free podcast hosting solution. But if you aren’t put off by only being able to host five hours of audio at any one time, then the free Spreaker plan could be suitable for your needs.
Key information about Spreaker free podcast hosting:
- Free users can only host a maximum of five hours of audio.
- Ads are displayed on the podcast pages of free users.
- Live chat feature is available when streaming a podcast on the free plan.
- Embeddable player for publishing episodes on your website and elsewhere.
- Hosted podcasts are listed in the Spreaker directory.
- Mobile and desktop apps for recording, streaming, and uploading podcast episodes.
- Paid podcast hosting plans start from $5.99 per month.
If you want to try podcasting for free and don’t mind upgrading to a paid plan in the future, Spreaker has a good set of features available to its pro users.
As you can see, there is a range of different ways to host your podcast for free. If you’ve no intention of paying for podcast hosting either now or in the future, then it’s hard to beat the Podiant service and its free unlimited plans.
Once you’ve found a home for your podcast, don’t forget to submit it to all the best podcasting directories, such as iTunes and Stitcher. If you’re looking for some new podcasts to subscribe to, why not check out our collection of the best podcasts to help grow your business.
Please let us know in the comments, which free podcast host you’ll choose!
Article thumbnail image by serazetdinov / shutterstock.com