Podcast Hosting

Top 5 Podcast Hosting Platforms

A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Top 5 Podcast Hosting Platforms

06.06.19 | Podcasting | By: Jon Street

Nailing down your podcast hosting is a critical step in getting your content out for others to hear. To take your podcast from concept to release can be a bit of a process and the hosting setup is an absolutely essential part of that process. Once you develop your idea, you have to plan it out. Once you plan it out, you have to record it. Once you record it, you have to polish it up. Once you polish it up, you have to make it available for others to hear. That’s where podcast hosting comes in. The hosting platform functions as the house for your podcast’s audio to live in and works along with the listening directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify to allow others to access your episodes and listen to them.

We’ve written about this before and we’ve also highlighted some of the most popular hosting platforms that many podcasters choose for hosting their podcast. The truth is though, even in the few months since we’ve written our previous post there have been a smattering of new hosting platforms that have popped up, each with aims of claiming their own piece of the pie. With a growing number of hosting platforms asking for podcasters to put their podcast on their platform, the question becomes…how do you choose? Well truth be told the general function of all hosting platforms is essentially the same, yet they each have their own uniquenesses that differentiate them from the rest. Some are aimed at helping new podcasters learn the ropes and make podcasting simple. Others have focused their attention on podcasting networks to help give much needed assistance for monetization and advertising endeavors. In the great big world of podcasting, each one is looking for a niche to fill and an itch to scratch.

Our team is committed to helping podcasters have simple, necessary resources to help them with their  podcasting goals. That’s why we’re committed to an approach that we believe is an easier way to podcast. So who should you trust and where do you start to look for a hosting solution for your podcast? Well we’re here to help. I reached out to 5 leaders in podcast hosting to provide podcasters like you the details that are important in that decision-making process. These are platforms that the Resonate team knows, works with regularly and points our clients to. But I want to provide you more than just a superficial overview. Truth be told, anyone can just pull arbitrary details and numbers from a webpage and throw them into a blog to call it a day. But that’s not what I’m intending here. That doesn’t really help you know the company behind the service you’re looking at. It doesn’t help you get a feel for what makes them tick and if they’re a good fit for your needs.

With that in mind, my goal is simple. I’ve reached out personally to each platform to allow them to speak to you about what makes their philosophy, user experience, monetization features and future development ideas different from the rest. I’ve connected with a living, breathing person at each of these platforms to provide you with a behind-the-scenes look into the top 5 hosting platforms with information that came up organically, conversationally and that you might not just read on their website. More than that, it’s a perspective of what makes them special, but in their own words.

Top 5 Podcast Hosting Platforms

Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout has been around for a while. Since 2008 actually. But in reality Buzzsprout’s parent company has been around since the 90’s. The brand found a niche helping non-profits build websites, so when these organizations started asking about audio and podcasting they figured it made sense to build Buzzsprout. Buzzsprout is well-known in the industry and has some fun and unique features that already makes them stand out from the background noise in the space. They automatically perform ID3 tagging and will convert any audio file to mp3 as well as resize your podcast artwork to ensure it meets directory standards. They also have WordPress plugins and simplified publishing features to ensure that uploading, editing and pushing out both your written and recorded content is a breeze. In fact, they even help you build a basic, customizable website for your podcast so you have a web presence, or can provide you with attractive embed players to use on your existing site or blog. They also offer a chapter marker function for your episodes to make your audience’s listening stress-free. To get the inside scoop on how Buzzsprout meets the needs of podcasters, I reached out to Alban Brooke, Head of Growth, who came on board with the Buzzsprout team in 2014. Here’s what I found.

Philosophy:

What do you offer that other platforms don’t?

The approach of making podcasting easy. When you think Buzzsprout, think easy. You shouldn’t have to be a tech guru to get your podcast online. You should be able to focus your time on other aspects of podcasting. The truth is most people are spending 3 hours per week to do things that computers can do automatically. Buzzsprout’s goal is to take care of the technical work so you can focus your time on creating a great podcast.

What do you do better than anyone else?

We provide a superior user interface (UI) and usability of the hosting platform as well as an unmatched service approachability aimed at helping novice podcasters. While other companies may have additional features on their platform, some of these features are intentionally unincluded with Buzzsprout to allow us to best serve our target audience and meet their real needs.

Who is your target podcaster?

Creators, nonprofits or anyone who wants to get their message out as easily as possible.

User Experience:

How would you describe your interface?

Because our target podcaster is someone who wants ease of use our interface is designed to be simple, clean and easy to navigate. Something that even a new podcaster or creator can easily use.

Can you submit to listening directories directly from your platform?

Yes, we make directory submission as seamless as possible without going to the extreme of owning the listing (like other hosting platforms do). What we provide is a one-click entry, but you control  the listing.

What directories do you have destinations for?

Primarily Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts (which is 99% of where podcast listeners plug in) and additionally we will offer you directions on how to get into other platforms.

Can you share an example of your embed/media player?

(Standard Player)
(Customized Player)

Is there anything unique about your analytics?

Our analytics can capture the listeners’ type of device used (iOS, Android, etc.), where they are (geographically), what was listened to and what app(s) are being used. We also uniquely track “listeners” which provides a clear answer of how many listeners you have in the first 90 days of an episode. This information tells you more about your actual reach, rather than just how many people have subscribed to your podcast but may not actually consume it. Paired with Buzzsprout team’s support, this information can be used to enable you to focus your time on marketing concepts that are working for your specific podcast. For example, if you get no (or very few) listens from Alexa, then short-form content is not an ideal strategy for your audience. “Download time” is not tracked because it is often inaccurate because when people download and when they actually listen are not always the same. Also, we try to decipher and remove duplicate listens from fraudulent bots or duplicate IP addresses to give accurate analytics to podcasters.

Do you offer any private hosting options? What security features do you offer?

No, but we would recommend Transistor.fm for podcasters looking to have a private hosting option.

Monetization:

Do you offer any support with, options or features for monetization?

Buzzsprout has never built this feature since it’s not a main focus for our market, but we do integrate with Dynamo (by Voxnest), PODTRAC and Chartable for podcasters who are monetizing.

Do you offer dynamic ad insertion or geo-targeting?

In contrast to most others in the space we take a hard line against the CPM (cost per thousand) advertisement model since it’s not the most compelling strategy and we believe there are more impactful and effective ways of helping podcasters find the support and monetization results they are looking for. Asking for donations from listeners and building affiliate marketing relationships are more effective and a better long-term strategy.

Growth:

What do you see as the next biggest need in podcast hosting and how are you filling that? Do you have any updates or new initiatives in the works you want people to know about?

There’s a vacuum of educational material in podcasting. People are not taking the time to make well thought out and well researched content. Buzzsprout wants to help people tackle common questions in podcasting and get the answers they are looking for. We also have innovative ideas for how monetization could be done more effectively.

We also want to help fill the void in extending the reach of smaller podcasts to get them in front of more people. Historically there have been two growing niches in podcasting: people who are putting out really good, quality shows who are not big enough to be a “radio show” and secondly, people who are talking about very specific topics that 99% of people would not gravitate towards, but a small number of listeners would be very dedicated to. As podcasting grows, a lot of focus needs to be on these shows and strategies need to be developed that allow listeners to find them more easily.

Podbean

PodBean is a go-to solution for podcast hosting. Like a handful of others in the hosting space, they have a long history of helping podcasters get their content out and distributed in an easy, reliable way. Sure, sometimes being around the block a few times has a bad wrap. Sometimes established brands are set in their ways and lose sight of current needs. But don’t let their tenure fool you. PodBean is extremely innovative and in-touch with the needs of podcasters and is always looking for ways to improve and offer more. In fact, PodBean has been years ahead of the trend in many areas and has been offering some of the key features and solutions that newer hosting platforms are building their marketing strategies on.

Looking for a way to perform some basic post-production functions right on your phone before you post? PodBean unrolled this concept a few years ago. Looking to monetize your podcast and get in touch with partners that can make that happen? PodBean has been helping podcasters with this… for a while now. The need for building mobile-friendly platforms was something PodBean was hard at work even before the recent surge mounted.

But they also offer some key things others don’t. For starters, PodBean has its own podcast and offers some promotional opportunities in their app that enables podcasters to get their name out in front of the world and more potential listeners. They also offer private hosting options for podcasters who don’t want the world at large to hear their content. But to learn more about what PodBean is doing to improve the things they are already doing well and to hear about some new initiatives they are rolling out, I reached out to Shannon Martin, Director of Communications, who signed on with the PodBean team in 2014. Here’s what we discussed.

Philosophy:

What do you offer that other platforms don’t?

What we offer is fairly comprehensive. We’ve been in the industry for a long time and we are very innovative. What we provide is stability and innovation through features like flat-rate, unlimited monthly plans; integrated monetization features and a standalone app that functions as a listening directory. We even have a (little-known) built-in audio recorder within our app, a function that has already been around for years, which provides the capability for podcasters to add music or export the audio for post-production and more in our most recent update.

What do you do better than anyone else?

Ease of use with our interface (especially for new podcasters) and offering features that can grow with you. We started because our owners loved the simplicity and functionality of WordPress for blogs but wanted something as simple and cleanly designed for podcasts. So even as additional features are added to our platform, the simplicity and ease-of use are key parts of the design and integration process.

Who is your target podcaster?

We appeal to beginners (or those without expertise), but because of our monetization options we are also a good fit for larger networks and podcasters looking for sponsorship partners. Our private hosting options also make us relevant to enterprise brands who are looking for a private solution centered around membership and security.

User Experience:

How would you describe your interface?

It’s really clean and attractive and designed for beginners. Our hosting membership also includes a customizable website (which comes free with unlimited plans) that can have a domain name. And with additional open API’s we can integrate with other platforms like MailChimp to set-up auto-email campaigns, etc.

Can you submit to listening directories directly from your platform?

Currently we offer unique pass-through programs for Spotify as well as a simple set up for Alexa flash briefings (through a separate RSS feed) that will keep being refined moving forward.

What directories do you have destinations for?

As far as direct submission, most platforms (minus Spotify) require initial set up but we provide the RSS and all the Apple Podcasts tags, etc. so it’s easy to do and then they pull from the RSS so the podcaster doesn’t have to do additional work. We also have auto-post to social media, Youtube, WordPress integration, etc.

Can you share an example of your embed/media player?

(Standard Player)
(Customized Player)
(Show Player)

Is there anything unique about your analytics?

We have a refreshed stats dashboard with new graphics and data points which include “day of week” and “time of day” as well as listener retention data (that is pinpointed through the app and online player) which shows how many return listeners a podcast has. There’s also an add-on feature (ideal for enterprise clients) called User Engagement Intelligence which, (similar to Apple), shows where people drop off or stop listening and what percentage of the episodes are being consumed, which is helpful for gaining sponsors and tracking listener participation for internal podcasts.

Do you offer any private hosting options? What security features do you offer?

Yes, we have several options for private and business hosting. We have simplified options for businesses who have a designated membership they want to make their content available to (while still maintaining some level of external privacy), as well as options for enterprise brands who have higher regulation requirements and who are typically working with a larger user base who will need SSO login for added security. Additionally we offer white label app development for those who want to have an added option of accessibility for their content through a mobile app.

Monetization:

Do you offer any support with, options or features for monetization? Do you offer dynamic ad insertion or geo-targeting?

We offer a podcast advertising marketplace for people who want PodBean to get ads for them. The great thing is that anyone can join as it’s based on CPM so you get pooled together with other podcasts of a similar type. Sponsors can then do a search for podcasts they feel are a good fit and start advertising on these podcasts. We also offer growth and monetization opportunities from our PodAds SaaS (software as a service) side by using our tools to insert ads in your own episodes. With this option you can bring your own ads and insert them. PodAds key features include automated management of your ad campaigns, time-limited campaigns, geo-targeting and affordability (no revenue share, we just charge $1/CPM, no setup fees).

Growth:

What do you see as the next biggest need in podcast hosting and how are you filling that?

To help podcasters save time and money and make money from their podcast wherever they are able to. Mobile functionality will also continue to be a major focus along with ongoing improvements in advertising options. We also feel like there will be an increased demand for premium content where people can sell their content.

Do you have any updates or new initiatives in the works you want people to know about?

We have just launched the fullPodAds system and refined the tools in our podcast advertising marketplace and we are also working on continuing to update the audio recorder feature in our app.

Libsyn

To say that the world of podcasting would not be what it is or where it is today without Libsyn would be an understatement. Seriously. Libsyn has been here from the beginning and has had its hand in nearly everything the podcasting industry has done over the last almost 15 years. They are touted as the world’s largest podcast network and are the preferred hosting platform for a growing number of podcasters worldwide. But let’s take a second to touch on that. They don’t only host the novice and new podcasts, but also the big ones. Like BIG, big ones. Respected and renowned podcastdom favorites like Joe Rogan and Marc Maron host with Libsyn. Libsyn is known for its reliability and how in many ways it sets the bar for all things related to podcast hosting. It’s no wonder then why they were the preferred launch partner when directories Spotify, Google and Pandora were looking to step into the podcasting space. I reached out to Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations, who has been on board with Libsyn since 2007 and knows a thing or two about what keeps the engine running there. Here’s the highlights from our conversation.

PROMO: Use promo code “RECORD” when signing up at Libsyn and receive the rest of the current month and the entire next month for free*.

Philosophy:

What do you offer that other platforms don’t?

We make liberated syndication and allow anyone to be a podcaster. We make podcasts available everywhere. We allow new podcasters to have same level of exposure for their podcast as Joe Rogan and Marc Marron, which is part of our core philosophy.

What do you do better than anyone else?

Our reliability and uptime is legendary. The additional tools that podcasters get with their account are also great. But the branding of the podcast is what is first and foremost in everything we do. We put our brand in the back seat to highlight the podcaster and allow the podcaster to get the spotlight. This is seen in the custom podcast apps we build for our clients which intentionally has no Libsyn branding on it. And contrary to other platforms’ claims, we host more active podcasts than anyone else because we measure how many of our podcasts have released a new episode within the last 90 days. We have more downloads than any other service; more than NPR, Serial and Wondery combined and doubled. In 2017, roughly 30% of the downloads globally across Apple Podcasts were from shows were hosted on Libsyn and currently we have 28% of the top 400 shows in Apple. We have more US unique monthly users download from our service than people who access Pandora or Spotify in the US.

Who is your target podcaster?

Anyone that has a podcast. Anyone from the smallest, newest podcaster to Joe Rogan, who was really the first podcaster to hit a billion downloads.

User Experience:

How would you describe your interface?

Our interface is designed to be easy and simple for a basic episode release as well as very granular with options for customized messages and scheduling for social platforms or each directory destination. We give you the option to release content to your website first and elsewhere at another time. We give podcasters more control of their content and a say of where and when their content is released. We’re also aware of what matters to podcasters. Since Apple is where 60% of consumption comes from, when Apple rolls something out we make sure to get with the program as soon as possible.

Can you submit to listening directories directly from your platform?

It will depend on the directory or destination.  For Apple Podcasts, no; nor would you ever want your podcast host to submit directly.  You need to go to Apple to submit if you want to keep control of your show. There is one host that submits to Apple for you – and then you lose control of your show and you can’t check Apple Analytics.  So no, not with Apple. But you can submit directly to Radio.com which we just launched with the end of May, and directly to Spotify, iHeartRadio and Radio Public.

What directories do you have destinations for?

Without a doubt Libsyn offers more places to get your content out to then any other podcast host. Once you are signed up with us you will be able to publish to many different destinations and schedule when you want those episodes to go live.  With our service you can publish to any day or time in the future (down to the minute) to each of these destinations:

Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, Pandora (Beta – and Libsyn Exclusive), Google Play Music, iHeartRadio (after your show is 2 months old), YouTube (where it converts audio files to video automatically), Soundcloud, iOS App  (Advanced 400 MB plan and greater), Android App  (Advanced 400 MB plan and greater), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Your own libsyn blog page, HTML5 player, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Radio Public and Radio.com

*Note: By submitting your RSS feed to Apple Podcasts it automatically gets you into: Overcast, Podcast Addict, PocketCast, Castbox, Castro and most other 3rd Party Aggregator apps – over 122 different apps.

Can you share an example of your embed/media player?

(Single Episode Player)
(Multi-Episode Player)

Is there anything unique about your analytics?

We offer analytics that are ethical, yet comprehensive. In podcasting, your listeners don’t have an opt-in option for tracking their details or to accept cookies, so tracking many of those gathered details is unethical. That’s why other platforms’ tracking methodologies can’t work in Europe with new GDPR regulations. And it’s just a matter of time until those regulations are implemented here in the U.S – Jan 1st 2020 for California and CCPA to be specific. We want to help podcasters have valuable information on their listeners while maintaining an ethical approach on the information being gathered.

Do you offer any private hosting options? What security features do you offer?

We were the first to offer it. Our approach is not security by obscurity. We don’t lock down an RSS feed as many others do, but we offer a truly secure distribution concept. We offer a server-side security function similar to Netflix. With this concept, the content can be streamed, downloaded and consumed only within their platform or app, but once login access is turned off, it becomes inaccessible. We offer a SSO (single sign-on) function with varying options for both big and small companies. . And the App we offer for this solution is a stand alone app for that specific customer 100% with their branding.  

Monetization:

Do you offer any support with, options or features for monetization?

We have had ad-stitching tools available for 12+ years and have these tools integrated with Libsyn Pro to support both audio and video content. With our tools you can  schedule an ad campaign to stitch in Ads you get on your own and geo-target where those ads will be delivered. For podcasters with 5,000+ listens per episode, you can opt-in to our ad sales network. Podcasters can also monetize through the Libsyn smart phone app that offers both free and exclusive paid or premium content (comparable to Patreon). From our perspective, the best approach to monetization is premium content and partnerships with advertisers to convert people to become paid listeners, similar to what Adam Carrolla offers.

Do you offer dynamic ad insertion or geo-targeting?

Yes, we offer both pre and post insertion as well as up to 10 mid-roll spots again this is something we have been doing for over 12 years.  And our tools work with both Audio and Video.

Growth:

What do you see as the next biggest need in podcast hosting and how are you filling that?

For Google to have a native app and submission page. We are hoping to work with Google to make that happen and bring clarity to the current podcasting confusion with Android devices.  But ultimately it is up to Google to get a native app out and I do believe they are starting to see the value in doing so. To many people think Serial is what grew podcasting when it came out.  That is not the case – the growth at that time started with the release of iOS 8 and the Podcasts App being native. That is why most of the growth that next year was on the iOS side – not on the Android side.  We think that is important because when Google does make a native podcast app available on Android it should really help grow podcasting overall.

Do you have any updates or new initiatives in the works you want people to know about?

We are currently going through the IAB V2 certification with the more accurate rolling 24 hour method for filtering. We want download numbers to be accurate and really represent the audience for the podcaster. We want to continue the leadership in the space to make sure the numbers provided to podcasters are trustworthy. Additionally we are excited to announce the addition on Rob Greenlee as our VP for Content and Marketing and the roll out of Radio.com as a new destination in the Libsyn Publishing tools.

Simplecast

While tenured stalwarts like Libsyn and PodBean are household names, they are not the only ones who have some seriously impactful offerings for podcasters. But amid the onslaught  of new hosts popping up (what seems like daily), few can really deliver something truly new and unique. Sure, there are lots of gimmicks and clever words, but few can deliver something of real value for podcasters. Thankfully, Simplecast is one such example of a brand that is succeeding in this endeavor. We first met the Simplecast crew at Podcast Movement 2018 and loved the overall usability of their platform and how they were looking to enable (and engage with) podcasters on a level that other hosting platforms just aren’t. I connected with Caitlin Van Horn and Addy Saucedo from the Simplecast team to hear more about their most recent platform updates and some exciting things they are rolling out in the coming months and to hear about how they are providing a unique experience for podcasters.

Philosophy:

What do you offer that other platforms don’t?

We are a company that is highly focused on customer success, a value that drives all of our product decisions, features and functions. We are always looking for ways for our podcasters to succeed, which is why we offer a higher level of usability and customization than many other hosting platforms.

On a more granular level, we’re proud of our industry-leading analytics and world-class support. We’re always looking towards ways to push the industry forward, like with our Unique Listeners metric, which adds depth and breadth to your understanding of your audience’s listening habits beyond just downloads. Between the members of our support team is over 1000 hours on podcasts recorded–so whatever issue you’re running into, they’ve been there before!

What do you do better than anyone else?

We offer sympathy and empathy for podcasters who have their eye on podcasting with a purpose. We enable podcasters who are sharing with collaborators to create separate login accounts for each of their contributors to the podcast and assign a set level of accessibility for each user account. This means that people are able to do what they need to do, without having full access to the administrative functions of the platform. With Recast we bring the podcaster to the audience in a fresh, new way. Sure, there are other audiogram tools out there, but with Recast, the audience can make their own audiograms for sharing their favorite parts of an episode with their own social networks. Soon, we’ll have Recast analytics, so you can see which parts of your show are resonating most with your audience. Also, our podcast websites are optimized and responsive for platforms like Google Podcasts. Additionally, the banner is relevant to the mobile platform you are looking at the site on.

We’re extremely invested in getting to know the creators that are using our platforms–this isn’t just a transaction for us. We have a growing and lively Facebook group for Simplecast customers to meet and connect with each other, and offer weekly webinars to help creators find success, however they define it.

Who is your target podcaster?

Because we have a higher level of usability and customer-focused functionality, some podcasters do not find value in paying the monthly fees for our hosting. If you are looking for something simplistic or free, we may not be the best fit for you.

User Experience:

How would you describe your interface?

Can you submit to listening directories directly from your platform?

On Simplecast, you can use one-click publishing to distribute your episodes wherever your listeners are: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and dozens more. Not gonna lie–it feels a little like magic. And coming very soon: Alexa, YouTube, and Soundcloud!

What directories do you have destinations for?

Our Simplecast Sites are optimized for Google Podcasts, meaning your Simplecast Site will be automatically found and index without the customer having to place any special codes.

Can you share an example of your embed/media player?

(Mini Episode Player)
(Standard Episode Player)
(Show Player)

Is there anything unique about your analytics?

We offer our podcasters analytics that are more granular than any other hosting platform at this point. We’re also always pushing the envelope based on what our customers want. You want listener data down to the city and device type? Sure! You want to compare the performance of multiple episodes against each other? Of course! You want to know how many times a listener listened to a specific episode? We can do that, too! Our analytics are customizable, downloadable, and exportable–plus we make it easy to bring in other team members with an Analytics-only view.

Do you offer any private hosting options? What security features do you offer?

While we don’t currently offer private RSS feeds, customers can discourage search engines from indexing their RSS feed–which is useful if they only want to share with certain subscribers. They can also hide specific episodes from their RSS feed, meaning they won’t be visible on their site or embed players.

Monetization:

Do you offer any support with, options or features for monetization? Do you offer dynamic ad insertion or geo-targeting?

We currently don’t offer either of these features, but will have a larger focus on monetization tools moving forward.

Growth:

What do you see as the next biggest need in podcast hosting and how are you filling that? Do you have any updates or new initiatives in the works you want people to know about?

Because we are really focused on usability, we see that most podcast players and hosting platforms are not currently accessible for certain groups of podcasters and podcast listeners, like people with special needs (such as the visually impaired). In May, we announced our plan to make our players, sites, and dashboard fully accessible so that people with disabilities canmore easily consume podcasts as well as more easily become podcasters themselves.

The future of podcasting is really up in the air–frankly, we don’t even know what a podcast is right now. We definitely think the most successful podcast hosts are going to be the ones that allow creators to be at their most creative. That’s why we’ve spent a ton of time investing in sound infrastructure, so we can have a platform for the modern podcasting age that’s elastic enough to handle anything a podcaster can throw at it.

Megaphone

One of the focuses for many podcasters is trying to make something more out of their podcast than just having a few handfuls of people listen in. For many, they set out shooting for the stars. One way this is seen is through monetizing a podcast to begin to see it as an income opportunity for the podcaster, the brand or the organization behind it. This can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve touched on it in a few other posts we’ve done. But do you ever stop to think where the big guns host their podcasts? The “professional podcasters” who are making a living with podcasts? What support does the hosting platform offer for podcasters looking to get their podcast out to the masses but also monetize it along the way? As a new or entrepreneurial podcaster the question has likely crossed your mind. There are many platforms that assist with the monetization and advertising components of podcasts, but few do it well. Megaphone (formerly Panoply Media) offers a podcast hosting platform,that focuses on helping podcasters get more out of their podcasts. And monetization is one of those methods. I connected with Rae Palermo, part of the Business Development team at Megaphone, to get more insight into what the Megaphone brand and team uniquely offers to podcasters worldwide.

Philosophy:

What do you offer that other platforms don’t?

Megaphone focuses on the business of podcasting and is designed for publishers managing  complex podcast networks and large teams. Our three pillars are modern publishing, measurement, and monetization. Everything we do is aimed at solidifying these pillars. Our founders have been in the podcast space for 14 years and our platform is the only one built by people who were actually publishing podcasts every day. Everyone on the Megaphone team has podcasting in their DNA.

What do you do better than anyone else?

A couple things! Megaphone Targeted Marketplace (MTM) is the first and most sophisticated audience targeting technology in the industry. It allows brand advertisers to reach over 60,000 Nielsen audience segments based on demographic profile, interests, intent to purchase, and more. MTM supplements our clients’ direct ad sales by filling unsold and back catalogue inventory, giving them revenue they’d otherwise be leaving on the table. We’ve also brought an unprecedented number of major brands into podcast advertising for the first time, largely because those brands demand the kind of audience targeting data that wasn’t available before MTM.   

On the publishing platform side, our producer-friendly interface has become famous in the industry for its simplicity and time-saving workflow. We’re also proud of our straightforward onboarding process. We’ve made a science out of reducing the headache of migrating platforms, and we make sure nothing gets lost when podcasts come to Megaphone.

Who is your target podcaster?

Our platform is specifically tailored to enterprise and network level podcasts. Our tools help overcome the challenges faced by companies with lots of moving parts, both on the content production side and the ad sales and trafficking side. That said, MTM can also help individual podcasters with large audiences capture more revenue than they would otherwise, regardless of who sells their direct ads.

User Experience:

How would you describe your interface?

It’s simple and easy to use. Even with an innovative and robust feature set, we design with our user in mind and make sure our workflows are as intuitive as possible. We want users to be able to move in and out of the platform quickly and accomplish what they need to, rather than spend time figuring out how the platform works.

Can you submit to listening directories directly from your platform? -What directories do you have destinations for?

Yes. Megaphone can publish directly to all of the major directories, and can also create private RSS feeds or ad-free versions of any show as needed.

Can you share an example of your embed/media player?

Is there anything unique about your analytics?

We offer analytics that are as broad as your whole network or as specific as ad impressions in a single episode. In addition to detailed reporting on downloads, geolocation and listening devices/apps, we help track a network’s top performing shows and top performing episodes, its delivered order impressions, its sell-through rates, and many other metrics crucial for the business of podcasting. We give clients access to the details in a visually rich and shareable format. We also offer hourly export services for both download and impression metrics so that enterprise organizations have all their data at their fingertips.

Do you offer any private hosting options? What security features do you offer?

Megaphone offers robust technical solutions, including secured and ad-free feeds. Our secured feeds feature allows you to place a password restriction on the feed, or specify access controls that limit your feed to the apps or services of your choice.

Monetization:

Do you offer any support with, options or features for monetization?

Yes, this is one of the core focuses of our platform. In addition to MTM, which allows clients to supplement their own ad sales substantially, we offer the most comprehensive suite of tools for sophisticated ad insertion and trafficking. Many podcasters are concerned about hidden fees with insertion, etc., so our pricing it completely transparent. Instead of charging based on gigabytes or the number of ad insertions or some other metric that’s hard to calculate in advance, our price is simple: a flat CPM based on the client’s downloads. All the basic services of Megaphone, including ad insertion, are covered by that price.

Do you offer dynamic ad insertion or geo-targeting?

Yes, in fact Megaphone pioneered the use of ad insertion in the podcasting space. Our dynamic insertion functionality allows you to keep your messaging fresh and up-to-date with point-and-click ad locators and allows you to manage campaigns across multiple shows within your network. The solutions we offer help you to anticipate advertisement needs even before your content is made. Additionally we use geotargeting to allow for region-based marketing to reach and speak to people where they live. This allows sponsors to get a unique message out to each demographic they’re targeting. With our functionality you can also target around specific tagging or keywords.

Growth:

What do you see as the next biggest need in podcast hosting and how are you filling that?

Podcast networks will need more and more flexibility to move their content wherever audio is being consumed, and we’re constantly building new and innovative ways to support that flexibility. We also have long standing relationships with all the major distributors (for example, our team has been working with Apple Podcasts since 2005), which allows us to stay on top of, and often collaborate on, every advance in how listeners receive their shows.

Do you have any updates or new initiatives in the works you want people to know about?

Yes. We’re not quite ready to announce them yet, but we have a number of big and exciting new innovations being rolled out in the next few months that we think will change the game for professional podcasters. Stay tuned!

Closing Thoughts

Whew! If you stuck through all of this-kudos to you, friend. It’s clear that when it comes to podcast hosting, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. There’s something that’s important to you that your hosting platform needs to deliver on. The great thing is there are lots of options to choose from! I recommend starting your search with these top 5 hosting platforms. Poke around their website, reach out to their service reps to learn more. Or, reach out to our team to see if we may be able to help give you some insight from our personal interaction with each of these platforms. Whatever you do, get your podcast out for others to hear!

Resonate Recordings is a comprehensive podcast production company. Headquartered in Derby City–Louisville, Kentucky–we are committed to developing partnerships with our clients, not just performing transactions. Since 2014 it’s been our mission to make podcasting easy for businesses, brands, entrepreneurs, and individuals. We do this by providing support with podcast launch, podcast consulting, podcast editingpodcast production, and other creative podcasting services. If you have questions or are looking to start a podcast, our in-house team is available and ready to help! We would love to schedule a call with you and learn more about your podcast needs and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


*Terms for Libsyn promo code:
1. The promo code is only valid for new users with a new show on Libsyn. Users with additional shows already on Libsyn cannot redeem the offer.
2. Your billing information is required at time of account set up to use the promo code.
3. If users cancel their billing during the first partial month – then the account is suspended at the end of that month.
4. If users make changes to their level of service during the free period – the free offer is suspended & the account transfers into payment mode. Users will be charged a prorated amount for that current month.


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Jon Street

By: Jon Street

As the Operations Manager at Resonate Recordings, Jon leads the production team and ensures that all our podcasters have everything needed to release consistent high-quality episodes. Jon and his family are from West Palm Beach, Florida and now live in Simpsonville, KY.