Starting a podcast is a daunting task. If you’ve never recorded one before and you don’t know what to do, it can almost make you not want to start out of frustration.
There are so many podcasting sites and services that it can make your head explode, unless you use Libsyn.
Libsyn podcasting is one of the easiest platforms to use for podcasting, but how do you actually use it, and what can you use it for? Let’s go over the pros and cons of this all-in-one platform and see just how powerful it is, and whether it’s worth the cost for you to get started.
What is Libsyn
Libsyn is a podcast hosting platform. Similar to others we’ve reviewed, such as Anchor, you put your podcast on this platform and Libsyn distributes it to all the major podcast directories for you.
Libsyn also includes a plethora of features such as custom audio players, social sharing schedules, and more.
Libsyn takes a different approach to monthly production by giving you tiers and different prices, and as long as you’re able to maintain those payments, they hold onto your uploaded video and give you unlimited bandwidth even at the lowest possible budget. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Libsyn before you make a final decision.
- Analytical Reporting: While new podcasters may not know what to do with all of their analytics right off the bat, they’re available to you (in higher plans). Libsyn has great analytics and geographical targeting, so you can find the advertisement networks and sponsors that work the best for you based on your audience.
- Easy Pricing: It’s not a cut-and-dry one-cost-to-rule-them-all scenario, and we like that about Libsyn. There’s three tiers for audio-only podcasting, and three tiers for video podcasting. You can scale as you see fit, or find out how to pinch pennies and make the cheaper options work for you depending on what you’re doing for podcast distribution. It’s the cheapest way you can feasibly appear on all the big podcast directories without tearing your hair out.
- Innovative: Libsyn is an introductory-level podcasting platform, but the reason a lot of people still stick around even as their podcast audience grows is because Libsyn is constantly innovating their own platform. They introduce new tools, tracking, and features that let you control your podcast in a much better way than you ever have in the past. You know those services that feel like they made a product and just leave it on idle? Libsyn is the opposite.
- Amazing Customer Service: This isn’t usually a feature that we list when we review different podcasting platforms, but it’s an important one. Libsyn has great customer service that can help you even if you’re just having a hard time getting started. Ideally, they’ll walk you through the steps and be rather chipper about it (at least they were in our experience).
- Monthly Upload Limit: If you can only upload 324 MB per month, then that’s it; that’s the limit. But that doesn’t mean that’s the maximum amount you can have on your account. Each month is cumulative, so if you upload 324 MB worth of your podcast on a basic plan, it’s still there when the next month hits. Think of it like data on your phone. When the next month rolls around, you get a new allowance of data to spend how you want. That’s basically what happens, excpet Libsyn keeps your old podcast episode stored on their platform with unlimited bandwidth so it can still be accessed. The monthly upload limit can be restricting in terms of what level of quality you’re able to upload.
- Built-in Monetization Isn’t the Best: It’s good that you can monetizae within the platform, especially if you’re a one-person show that’s doing all of this and you don’t have the time to roll with a monetization strategy. It’s not the worst, but it’s something that should only be used early on since it can really cut into the profits you could be making with a different monetization route.
How Does it Work
Libsyn is a podcast hosting platform. You have to produce your podcast first through audio recording software like Audition, Audacity, or Logic Pro X if you’re on Apple.
Even when you find Libsyn’s little guide on how to make a podcast, they reference external third-party apps and software to record your podcast.
Because you have a monthly upload limitation on Libsyn, recording separately is actually really good. You can control how big your file size is (to some extent) before it’s done and before you upload it, giving you all the power.
How to Make a Podcast on Libsyn
Input relevant information for your podcastt including the title, episode numbers, subtitles, category, and work your way through the monetization and distribution options.
Choose which networks you want your podcast on, from Google Podcasts to Spotify and more. The setup is very linear and self-explanatory once you get started with the form.
Additionally, you can take your podcast one step further. You can also host images, PDFs, and text files (which take up almost no room) that your podcast users can download, view, and use as they see fit. If you want to include some educational material or takeaways with your podcast, this is how you do it effectively.
How Much Does it Cost?
Libsyn has some of the most comprehensive and adaptable pricing plans that we’ve seen. There are a few packages so you can scale your podcast based on its size and how active it is.
Each plan has unlimited bandwidth and basic social promotion built in, as well as an ad-free platform. You can pay $5.00 per month for a total of 3 hours of uploads, maxing out oat 162 MB per podcast. This is great to get started and mess around with Libsyn (and your podcast preferneces), but it won’t allow you to upload in WAV format based on file size limitations.
In the $15.00 per month plan, you get up to 6 hours of uploads and 324 MB of monthly storage, and more visible options for your episodes including date, time, and which episode your user is listening to. With the file size restriction, you may still be compressing your podcasts into MP3.
For audio podcasting, the last tier is $20.00 per month for up to 10 hours of podcasts at 540 MB in total. You also get geographic stats and reports, a social promotion scheduler to help take the work off your shoulderr, and a custom podcast player to boot.
Then there’s the video podcasting packages. Are you ready?
For $40.00 per month, you get access to 14 hours of stored video at 800 MB in total, plus all the audio features from the $20.00 monthly plan we talked about earlier.
At $75.00 per month, you get 27 hours of video and audio storage up to 1500 MB (nearly 1.5 GB). Again, you get all the $20.00 per month audio plan packages as well.
Last but not least, for large-scale productions, you can pay $150.00 per month for 55 hours of stored video up to 3000 MB, just nearly 3 GB in total. This works well if you have multiple productions under one company and want to consolodate your costs. This also includes all of the $20.00 audio package features.
Pro Tips for Using Libsyn
If you want to take your Libsyn production up a notch, you can follow these tips to give you an edge and a quick start when you get started on the platform.
- Use the built-in monetization methods to expedite the process and get your podcast earning money as fast as possible.
- Libsyn offers unlimited storage, there’s just a monthly upload limit to what you can add to it. Don’t get discouraged if you have a small production right now.
- There’s no exclusivity clause, so you can also upload directly to YouTube with a “full podcast” if you’re met by limitations with basic plans for Libsyn. Be sure to include “And remember, you can hear the full episode on our YouTube channel.” This can lead to more monetization and viewership while you build an organic audience.
Become a Libsyn Pro
Libsyn has effectively become easier and easier to use over the years, and now it’s at the forefront of hundreds of your favorite podcasts. Signing up is easy, mastering the platform is quick, and the pro services that they offer make it easy to upgrade when you’re ready and take full advantage of what they offer.