What's Tops for a Hosting Platform in 2023?

Hey hey -

Searching for lists and comparisons for hosting options has become difficult to research this year. my search results are inundated with lists that are really fake lists meant to funnel the reader to one preferred option.

I’m thinking the hosting landscape has changed since my previous podcast venture 6 years ago…?

What are some options for finding a host platform for an indy podcast? I was using Podbean back in the day, is that still a good option?

What other things should I consider when choosing? I personally am not a fan of Spotify, so it won’t be there.

How have others found a good place to host?


Platforms springs to mind too…


I like Substack. It’s unusual in that it is email newsletter-based, but it is free and provides a stronger connection to your audience. It also give you functionality to monetize without adverts.


Perfect. I knew there would be a post I did not uncover…

Thanks Mark! I didn’t realize it hosted podcasts in addition to writing communities.

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I use Blubrry

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Sure has @Kato ! But what do you want to change?

  • Do you want to host more than one show at no extra cost?
  • Do you want to add paid subscribers?
  • Do you want extra tools built into the fee that will save you time e.g. auto transcriptions, fixing/mastering audio, built in remote recording apps to replace Zoom/Riverside, etc…?
  • Need more upload or download limits?
  • More control over customizing your RSS feeds?
  • More automation e.g. auto distribution to platforms like Youtube?
  • Better audio player to embed into web pages?
  • Better analytics
  • Do you want to incorporate advertising?
  • Do you want to add chapter info to your show?
  • None of the above but just cheaper than what I’m currently using my host for?

A lot of variables to consider which makes a recommendation without this insight difficult.

Have fun! :grinning:


Currently with LibSyn. Wouldn’t recommend, more complicated than it needs to be.

Staring very intently at BuzzSprout. But will also check out Platforms now.


I’ve just moved my podcast to Substack. The free hosting was one reason, but it’s also a platform that seems much more encouraging of sharing and discoverability than others, and it will streamline my publication workflow significantly from what it was. Worth checking out, IMO.


Yeah, I’m with still with Libsyn. It’s expensive. But their new Connect app to record calls like Riverside is a potential game changer because it’s free. The way they customize the the RSS for Apple and atomization for other platforms like Youtube is very good too.

And if you are a member then remember to exploit the opportunity to get some free publicity via promoting our shows via their Feed podcast. It seems they are always short of trailers to promote.

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Hey @steve that sounds very cool. Can you share some more on what specific elements in your workflow that you’ve streamlined by exploiting Substack?

Free hosting on Substack sounds amazing but do you sense they are willing to invest in it long term? I’m just afraid it’s an experiment and they will pull the plug if it’s not always generating revenue. Not all shows will be asking for paid subscribers.

Hey Jey -

Sure, happy to.

Old workflow:

  • Upload episode to Buzzsprout
  • Compose show notes
  • Create page on website for podcast episode, copy show notes & embed episode link.
  • Create & schedule email to send to mailing list to announce episode release

New workflow:

  • Create new podcast post on Substack. Upload file, compose progress notes, and schedule. (I’m removed my blog and podcast pages from my website, and will instead have links which point the the appropriate places on my Substack/_

The transcription service in Substack is pretty solid, but not perfect, but it does support audiogram creation. Substack also automatically creates some .jpg podcast assets to use for promoting your posts.

Substack seems very much focused on creating a platform for creators who’s primary work is words - be that written or podcast - and they are clearly committed to facilitating discovery and sharing of content as well.

Worst case, I can always switch back or away to something else if I need to, but I’m pleased with the experience there so far.

https://stevemccready.substack.com is the URL if anyone wants to see what it looks like.


I’ve tried ACast and BuzzSprout. Because I have a kids podcast, neither would let me into the Ads market, but ACast has a great ‘freemium’ model. Their free level has some cool features. BuzzSprout only keeps your audio for 90 days unless you pay.

Alas… now I’m on to Spotify for Podcasters. Wish me luck.


That’s very cool @steve. Love the integration. And all for free! I must admit I wondered if the podcast element was an experiment for Substack but it sounds like they are all in. Impressive.

Thanks for being so generous with the detail and insight. Much appreciated.

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Good to know. Thanks!

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Thanks @MoeP for sharing these experiences. It’s helpful to me at this early juncture.

Thanks @Jey -

Thanks for this list. It gives me lots to consider. Right now I don’t know what might best, but also don’t want this to be an obstacle that keeps me from starting.

What did you start with and what changes did you seek after doing a podcast for a while?

Many people who came through the Podcasting Workshop used Simplecast. I did until I needed to host more than one podcast and moved to Captivate.fm They were subsequently bought by Global but the original team are all still involved. Good industry standard hosting. I have been very happy. They have added functionality I haven’t needed but can see the power and benefit of.

If I had a podcast I was looking to keep available but not pay monthly for I would consider Acast.

Starting from scratch - or again @Kato - I have a few favourites I lean towards but not had recent direct experience. I would include Acast and Buzzsprout.

I really like your list of questions @Jey - helpful filters to narrow the field.


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