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Anchor Podcast Review: Should You Use Anchor to Create a Podcast?

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Anchor Review

If you’re creating your very own podcast, you’ve probably caught wind of the podcast-making app, Anchor. For some, Anchor is a great way to build a podcast with a loyal following. For others, there are various platforms other than Anchor that suit their needs better.

But is Anchor right for you?

Consider this Anchor review your guide for everything you need to know about this podcast app. From start to finish, we’re going over what it is like to create a full podcast on Anchor and its features, drawbacks, and benefits along the way. We’ll touch on the pros and cons, what Anchor is like as a free host, publishing and distribution, monetizing your new podcast, and more.

If you want to find out how the Anchor mobile app could make starting a podcast easy and exciting, keep reading this podcast guide.

Anchor Podcast Review

Anchor Review: Podcast Guide

Everything is going mobile nowadays, and apps for podcasting are no exception. Anchor is a leading podcasting app for mobile use because it lets creators run an entire podcast from their phones. The ease of use and simple interface makes recording, splitting tracks, and importing music a breeze on Anchor.

While it is possible to use the Anchor app from a desktop, the Anchor mobile version is the main draw.

Is the App Good?

In short, yes. The Anchor app is breaking into new territory for podcasts and offers features and capabilities that were otherwise unheard of for mobile podcast apps. Anchor is great for beginners, those who need to record internationally, those on a budget, or people who just want to get creative with the idea of a podcast episode builder or cover art creator.

We’ll get deeper into answering this question within this podcast guide, so keep reading.

Anchor FM App

Pros of Using Anchor:

Beginner podcasters will find a lot to love about this app. Let’s go over the pros so you can see what we mean:

It’s Free to Use

You read that right. No subscription service. No fees to use editing tools. No in-app podcast production upgrades.

Anchor is free to use, making it one of the best tools for someone to test the waters of becoming a podcast host. All you need to sign up is an email address! This mobile app allows you to experiment with the concept of creating your episodes to see how things turn out without charging you a monthly or one-time fee.

With no time or money restraints, it allows creativity to flow more freely. You’ll go into your first published episode as prepared as you can be with an understanding of the time and energy commitment required per episode.

It’s Flexible

A versatile podcast host is not common. Most of the time, they’re just serving as a place to upload your files before going live on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. This is where Anchor stands out from the rest. Instead of keeping things bare, Anchor offers additional tools and features so that beyond hosting, the app is also a place to create and edit the show as you go. You can even create your cover art for the final product.

Within the application, it’s easy to grab audio elements and drop them into the episode at the right moment. Working with audio clips can be challenging, so this feature is a real help to beginners.

It’s Fun For Creatives

Sometimes, building your episodes can feel tedious and time-consuming. Editing clips and refining time per episode can build up, and the fun of podcasting can get lost in the hustle.

One of the greatest things about the Anchor app is how easy it makes editing with its features, so that fun and creativity are always the main focus. You have a host of opportunities to make your podcast more entertaining, like:
• Musical interludes
• Sound effects
• Background music
• Listener voices

Anchor makes these features easy to drop into your project, so editing podcasts on this app is perfect for all skill levels – no previous experience required.

It Incorporates Your Audience

Integrating the listeners you have into your show is an amazing way to form connections. Unfortunately, with the business model of most apps, it’s a clunky and awkward process. That’s where Anchor FM, Inc. comes in to change things.

Within the app itself, listeners worldwide can record themselves speaking while they listen. Whether people find you via social media, the Anchor app itself, or otherwise, they’ll be excited to know they can participate in it.

Within your show account, you’ll be able to see all of these recordings sent directly to you. From there, the app makes it as easy as dragging and dropping the files right into your show at the moment of your choosing.

Most podcasts stick to the one-way communication model. Some may incorporate questions or calls from listeners, but it’s usually after-the-fact or in a later episode. Anchor makes it so easy to include what they have to say directly into the original conversation.

Further reading: Check out how Anchor Vs Libsyn compares when we breakdown the two hosts.

It’s Not Geo-Specific

Even a great piece of recording software doesn’t have much use when the team you need to record is located in different geographic places. That is one glaring issue within the industry that this new app is eager to fix.

One of its most sought after features is the ability to record in several different locations. That’s right: you can link different people (in different places) together and let them record in tandem through the app.

While this feature is incredibly helpful in certain moments, it’s probably not a good idea to base your entire podcast on this international plan. That’s because it’s still new, and unless you have an incredibly powerful microphone, the audio quality won’t be as high as an otherwise recorded show.

Cons of Using Anchor:

Without cons, there would be no pros. And vice versa. We don’t want to just give you the highlights, so we’re touching on a few challenges that users have run into with the app.

Control Over Final Product is Limited

When it comes to podcasts, editing is the most crucial part. It’s how you can ensure that your listeners are getting the best, most polished version with every episode you put out. To edit, having control over your audio file is important, yet Anchor doesn’t offer much control.

This app is great for beginners, but it doesn’t offer the experience many other podcasters have with editing. Sure, you can trim audio clips and split certain tracks, but otherwise, there’s not much. You can’t really control the fade or the volume of your sound. This might sound like a small detail, but it’s these little changes that make a big difference in how your project sounds.

That being said, for a new podcast with no experience, Anchor creates some high-quality stuff. And if you’re not an audio expert, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.

Recording via Phone Can Be Tough

Unless you’ve invested in a high-quality microphone, you’re likely using whatever phone you’ve downloaded Anchor with to record your podcasts. That’s the way the makers designed the app. It’s a convenient way to put the power directly in the creators’ hands, but it doesn’t always yield the best audio quality.

The good news is that this issue is easy to work around by finding a professional microphone that you can use in conjunction with your phone for better sound.

Content Rights Reserved to Anchor

As much as you will probably love and have a great deal of ownership over the podcast episodes you put out with Anchor, you’ll need to come to terms with the reality that you aren’t technically storing the content. The files are stored within the Anchor app, so if you want your rights reserved, you’ll need to store the files additionally on your own hard drive.

As long as you maintain your copy on your computer or external hard drive, there’s no glaring issue.

Anchor Advertises by Default

One thing new users will notice immediately is their account settings. Within their Anchor account settings, there’s a box that comes checked by default. That box reads “Anchor Post-Roll.” It might not mean much at first, but that checked box means that at the end of every podcast episode you release, there will be ads played by Anchor.

These ads might not even bother you, but some people find it sneaky. Luckily, it’s easy to change by simply un-checking the box.

Anchor FM Review

How Does Anchor Make Money?

With the option for free hosting, it’s normal to wonder how exactly Anchor makes money with all of this. The answer lies mainly in that advertisement tip above. By advertising themselves and selling advertising space for other brands, they can earn a profit for each episode of every podcast played.

Additionally, they’re owned by Spotify. This could factor into how Anchor makes money, but there aren’t many details available regarding this connection.

Who Is Anchor For?

Anchor is a good choice for anyone interested in podcasts but not sure where to start. Those who are on a budget, need to record from multiple locations, or rely on automatic distribution for their episodes will benefit from its many features.

How Many People are Listeners? Viewing Audience Within Anchor

Just like social media, it’s critical to understand your audience if you want to be successful as a podcaster. You need to understand exactly when, where, and how people are listening to you.

Once they know that, they can get a better idea of what an advertisement within their show would be worth, what the listener acquisition rate is, and how the podcast is growing over time.

Anchor FM makes it easy to view your audience and analytics within the app. You can measure your performance based on the number of plays it received, downloads, streams, and ad impressions.

Beyond that, Anchor’s analytics feature also offers data on how it was heard, where, and when. You can see what percentage of your listeners listened on a phone vs. online, the majority geographic location of listeners, and what platform they’re using to listen (things like Apple Podcasts or Spotify).

Anchor as a Free Hosting Platform

We touched on this above, but Anchor is a completely free podcast hosting option for a host. There’s no money to sign up – the only thing you must have is an email address. Even within the app, there aren’t any limits with file sizes.

This is a major point because even some of the paid apps will reduce your audio or sound effects file size to download easier. Many times, a file that begins at 256 kbps will get minimized to 130 kbps. Not with Anchor. When the same file is uploaded into Anchor, it remains at 256. It does not limit your file download sizes.

However, Anchor will limit what you’re able to upload. There’s a 250 MB cap, which could spell out trouble with a WAV file that extends past 10-15 minutes. This limit shouldn’t affect most podcasters though, because a file that large would be way past 2 hours when converted to kilobytes.

Otherwise, Anchor’s got a whole lot to offer as a free podcast hosting platform and mobile app. For those just looking to get their feet wet in the podcasting world, it’s great to be able to upload whatever you want (as much as you want) without paying for it.

Experienced or professional podcasters might choose to go with a paid hosting service just for the peace of mind that the service is working for you. Being a paying customer keeps the host more accountable and gives you more leverage if something goes wrong. It also supports a paid service model, which tends to last longer than free services.

Distributing and Publishing Content With Anchor

Media hosting services do a great job of taking one podcast upload and automatically adding it to podcast listings on a platform like Google, Apple, Spotify, and more. It makes it easier for the podcaster and listeners alike.

There’s just one small step that creators need to take before their show starts automatically populating whichever platform they’re aiming for: simply submit the show to the appropriate directories for initial approval. Once a platform accepts the show, any episodes uploaded in the future will automatically publish.

Anchor FM, Inc. takes it a step further by even eliminating the initial submission. All podcasts posted to Anchor are automatically distributed to all of the relevant podcasting platforms.

For those who want to grow a serious, long-term podcast show, you might choose to opt-out of this automatic publishing so that you have more control over who can hear what you produce. To do this, you’ll need to locate your Anchor RSS feed and copy it into your podcast’s ‘Distribution Status’ section within your Anchor account.

How to make money with Anchor

Monetizing Your Show With Anchor

Successful podcasts also turn into money-making opportunities. By building a community through the sound waves and social media, you can create a large following that could lead to some pretty nice monetization.

Two ways to make money from your Anchor podcast and considerations to make for each include:

• Advertisement money – This comes if you allow brands to purchase commercial slots in your Anchor podcast to advertise their company or product. Keep in mind that to see any real cash from this, you’ll need to garner thousands of streams and downloads with each episode you’re putting out. Ask yourself (and maybe your audience) if it’s worth it for the interruption.

• Listener support – Another easy way to earn some dollars from speaking over the airwaves is by calling on your devoted listeners for help. With the new Listener Support feature that Anchor offers, you can ask listeners to contribute to your project with a small donation each month. This feature is currently only available to those within the United States.

Best Anchor Alternatives For Podcasters

  1. Buzzsprout
  2. Podbean
  3. Captivate
  4. Blubrry

Is Anchor Good For Podcasts? The Final Anchor Podcast Review Verdict

Anchor has done an incredible job of making podcasts available to the masses. Now, anyone with an Internet connection and a microphone can reach a huge market, offer insight, tell stories, crack jokes, have conversations, and build an audience with a show.

Anchor designed its podcast platform with the mobile market in mind, and the company has made it easy to do everything – from using the episode builder to trimming clips and splitting tracks, to distributing your episodes everywhere, podcasts are available automatically – from the comfort of your own phone.

Anchor operates via a free model, which is helpful for some. All you need to get started is an email address. However, podcast professionals give the review that they require some more advanced features that are otherwise available in paid models.

If you’re a podcast beginner, someone who needs to rely on mobile for convenience, or are looking to get into the industry without a hefty investment, Anchor is a great place to start.

Let the show begin!

Brett Robinson

Head of content and marketing over at Wired Clip HQ. I'm an Audio enthusiast and have been interested in anything from microphones to speakers. I am the lead guitarist for a small band and my main passion is editing our tracks.

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