If you have a desire to venture into the world of podcasting, then one thing is for certain: you need reliable podcast hosting. The hosting company uploads your audio files, provides details about your show and generates RSS feeds to your potential audience. Once a person subscribes to your podcast, the host then forwards the media and audio files to them.
Since podcasts need a lot of storage space that might not be available in personal website servers, podcast hosting sites provide sufficient storage for them. All the audio files are bundled into one single file for easier accessibility. This makes it easier for your subscribers to download the audio files.
While the quality of the audio is crucial when trying to produce a good podcast, the type of hosting service you use also matters a lot. Choosing an ideal host is, however, not easy. There are many companies out there providing almost similar features. This makes the selection process frustrating and time-consuming, especially if you don’t understand the features to look out for.
So, what makes a good podcast host?
When it comes to podcast hosting, there is no one-size-fits-all. Each company has its strengths and weaknesses, hence the need to be careful with your selection. We have reviewed two of the most trusted podcast hosting services in the world today: Libsyn and Blubrry.
Libsyn and Blubrry hosting services have a huge following, which is a clear indication of their reliability and efficiency. If you are a podcast host looking to select one of these services, you’ll want to know what distinguishes them.
Here is a comparison of Libsyn and Blubrry to help you make the right decision.
Since its launch in 2004, Libsyn has established itself as one of the best podcasting hosts in the market. The service hosts more than 67,000 podcasts around the world and delivers more than 111 million downloads to podcast audiences per month.
Libsyn focuses on helping veteran and upcoming podcasters to monetize their work quickly and easily. The company is ranked among the most experienced hosting platforms for video and audio. It has managed to bring some of the most popular media companies on board. Some of its partners include Spotify, RADIO.COM, and Pandora.
But what makes Libsyn this successful?
- Unique Features
Libsyn offers some of the most amazing features for podcasters. Some of these include:
This tool allows Libsyn users to publish their podcasts to audiences on Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, among other platforms.
OnPublish allows podcasters to connect with their audience on the most famous apps, services, or websites. It integrates with the most popular podcast directories to enhance compatibility and helps Libsyn subscribers reach a bigger audience.
Through this tool, podcasters can add, edit, or remove content with ease and customize destination delivery. It also offers detailed reporting so customers know the platforms that their audiences visit most.
Libsyn Custom Mobile Apps
The company works with every podcast host to build a custom iOS and Android application for its podcast. Customers receive the opportunity to come up with suggestions, such as the kind of graphics and colors they want to display. All Libsyn mobile apps are supported by top App Store markets such as Amazon, iOS, and Google Play.
This a mobile-friendly player created to allow podcasters to publish content to their websites with ease. It has all the standard playback features such as episode duration, rewind, fast-forward, and all the necessary controls an audience would require when listening to a podcast.
- Affordable and Convenient Payment Plans
Libsyn offers some of the most affordable and flexible payment plans for its users. It allows you to cancel or change your hosting plan whenever necessary.
Payment plans start from $5 for 50mb up to $150 for 3000mb. This gives you enough freedom to select a plan that suits your storage capacity and needs. Advanced storage plans start from as low as $20 and offer additional features that are absent in classic packages.
Libsyn’s packages are as follows:
- Classic 50 ($5). This gives you 50MBs of storage. You will need to pay an additional $2 to access Libsyn basic statistics and $2 to use your own domain.
- Classic 250 ($15). This gives you 250 MBs storage with no additional fee to access Libsyn basic statistics. You will, however, be required to pay an additional $2 to use your own domain.
- Advanced 400 ($20). You get 400 MBs storage. For all advanced plans, you can opt to add $10 to get an additional 200 MB, another $10 to get a mobile App for iOS and Android, and $2 to use your own domain.
- Advanced 800 ($40). This gives you 800 MBs storage and the same features as other advanced plans.
- Advanced 1500 ($75). You get 1500 MBs and the same features as other advanced plans.
- Advanced 3000 ($150). This is the highest plan offered by Libsyn. It comes with 3000 MBs of storage plus other features offered in advanced plans.
In case you would like extra features and custom hosting solutions, you are required to contact the support team for assistance.
When you select Libsyn, you are allowed to retain ownership of your podcasts and content. This means the company holds no right to edit, distribute, or stick ads to your content without your consent. This host also charges a fixed amount for every plan, which is not subject to rate increases based on how many downloads your show gets per month. The charge is only calculated based on the amount of content you upload to your account.
- Simplified Monetization
Podcasters make money through subscriptions and adverts. Libsyn works with you to come up with a solution that will push your show to get more audience. This way, you can get more subscribers to your podcast and increase your earnings.
It also gives you the chance to select the kind of ads you want on your podcast. No ads will be stacked in your content without you approving it first. If any brand wants to purchase an ad slot, you will have the right to choose what can or cannot be stitched to your channel.
The good part is that once the ad campaign is over, the ad will be removed from your channel to create room for the next.
LibsynPro is a comprehensive set of tools aimed to help professional networks, corporations, and producers broadcast their shows with more convenience. This hosting platform gives professional podcasters access to advertising campaign management tools, multi-user account management, and unlimited content upload.
LibsynPro is ideal for all brands, networks, and personalities. It comprises of special features such as:
- SSO Private Podcasting
- Account access management settings
- Dynamic ad insertion tools
- IAB v2.0 compliant stats
- Additional branding options
Podcasters also benefit from 24/7 customer support, custom mobile app, and private podcasting. There are other amazing features, such as ad stitching tools for LibsynPro subscribers.
- Proven Track-Record
It is without a doubt that Libsyn has gained a lot of success since its inception in 2004. Its exponential growth is evident when you look at the millions of downloads in the past and the thousands of users it serves.
The company is known for catering to all types of users, including government agencies, celebrities, professional media companies, and all sorts of podcast networks. It takes a lot of efficiency and reliability to obtain this kind of following in such a competitive industry, which is why this podcast host is impressive.
Any podcast enthusiast might have heard something about Blurry hosting. This company is a huge industry player with more than 750,000 podcasts in its directory, serving tens of thousands of podcasters. Blubrry was among the first hosting companies to receive the IAB certification. IAB certification implies that a company is compliant with the official Podcast Measurement Guidelines.
Blubrry is among the few hosting services to offer managed WordPress hosting through PowerPress. It also provides media statistics to help podcasters gain insights into their audience.
Since it started in 2005, it has offered a comprehensive hosting service that is reliable and affordable. Blubrry allows you to concentrate on presenting while it handles the tech part of podcasting. Some of the features that make Blubrry stand out include:
- Flexible Payment Plans
This hosting platform provides multiple payment plans starting from $12 for the small package to professional. Its pricing allows podcasters to get unlimited bandwidth even when subscribing to the smallest plan.
You will receive:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free migration
- ID3 tagging
- Premium statistics
- Optimized RSS feed on all packages
The packages are as follows:
- Small ($12). Users get 100MB storage per month with No-Fault overcharge. This also gives you unlimited bandwidth for audio and web upload.
- Medium ($20). You get 250MB storage for one month with No-Fault overcharge.
- Large ($40). You get up to 500MB storage for one month with No-Fault overcharge.
- Extra Large. This package gives you up to 1000MB (1GB) storage for one month with No-Fault overcharge.
- Professional. This is a special package charged according to your storage and podcasting needs. It offers unlimited storage and other additional features, such as unlimited bandwidth. You also get the chance to upload commercial podcasts, web, video, and audio files.
Use this coupon code to get one month free of Blubrry subscription.
- Optimized Hosting For WordPress
Blubrry offers the number one WordPress plugin, PowerPress, which allows you to publish a show within your WordPress website. This plugin makes it easy to upload your podcast episodes without leaving the WordPress space.
In case you would like to have more than one podcast on one site, PowerPress gives you multiple options when you want to control your RSS feed.
For example, you can work with multiple feeds whenever you wish to upload more than one podcast on the same site. With this WordPress plugin, users can simply write their show notes, upload their mp3 recordings through their WordPress dashboard, and publish in a click of a button.
PowerPress also allows users to set up their iTunes information, including summary, subtitle, author name, and categories, among others. Once you’ve set up your info, you can click on the ‘Destinations’ tab, grab your feed URL and submit to iTunes.
PowerPress provides a section below your blog post or show notes where you can link or upload any content you had previously uploaded on Blubrry. It makes the process simpler by providing all the tools you need on one site.
- Access to Accurate Podcast Statistics
Blubrry provides the most all-inclusive data about your audience. It allows the podcast host to know:
- What platform they are listening with
- The device they are using
- Where they are listening from
It also gives you valuable statistics on:
- Geographical data
- Detailed listener demographics
- Information on who is linking to you
These are vital statistics to help you understand the behavior and preferences of your audience.
Blubrry offers email summaries and custom reports containing accurate information that you can use to track your audience and improve your business. These podcast statistics go beyond the regular web hosting data because they measure podcast downloads. They eliminate all data that is likely to inflate your statistics to give you accurate records.
Blubrry records every individual download, stream, or play and delivers that information to each user. This is different from web statistics, which are generally inaccurate and can lead to inflated totals due to bots and other factors.
Blubrry uses unique internet address info to help its users receive actual statistics like the ones used for corporate networks, Wi-Fi hot spots, and universities.
- Worthy Partnerships
Blubrry only partners with companies that are useful to its podcasting clientele. With such partners, podcasters can establish useful links that will push their content and monetize their work. Some of its partners include:
The company also offers a great link between podcasters and advertisers who want to leverage the power of podcasting. This means more business for users who want ads featured in their content.
Blubrry matches advertising agents with relevant content to benefit both podcasters and advertisers. Podcasters also can determine which adverts should be featured in their content.
- Free Phone Support and Scheduled Video Conferences
When you want a hosting company that listens and acts on your needs, Blubrry is among the best. It has a strong support team that is always ready to answer questions and offer free explanations.
You can call them or schedule a free video conference to speak to its agents. Podcasters can also request for one-on-one consultations when the need arises.
- Modern Podcast Player
Blubrry customers have exclusive access to a newly developed podcast player. This tool comes with all the basics of an audio player to make listening and sharing of podcasts easier. The player looks great and is compatible with WordPress and any other website. It can also support all MP3 RSS feeds, even from other sites.
Libsyn Vs Blubrry: How Do the Two Compare?
From the above features, it’s clear that you will never go wrong when you select either Libsyn or Blubrry hosting services. However, some differences might influence your decision when considering the two.
While both services seem to be reasonably affordable, there are a few pricing differences.
From a direct comparison, it’s easy to notice that Libsyn offers a more affordable option. The prices start from $5, which makes it a better option for beginners who don’t have a lot to spare.
Price is not an indication of how effective a service is. However, there is a clear difference between Blubrry and Libsyn in terms of cost.
For instance, comparing Libsyn’s Advanced 400 plan (which goes for $20) and Blubrry’s Medium package (which goes for $20), there is a clear difference in terms of the storage you get. For the same $20, you get 400 MBs storage from Libsyn and 250 MB from Blubrry.
However, Blubrry does not require you to pay an additional amount to obtain podcast statistics like Libsyn. The amount charged for each plan is inclusive of the price of obtaining the data.
Blubrry podcast hosting has more convenient service plans when you consider its No-Fault Hosting system. This system works by offering complementary data storage of up to 25% above every service plan.
In case you have exhausted your storage, but you still need more space, you are allowed 25% of your data plan to complete your upload. For instance, if you are in the Extra Large package (1000MBs storage), you are allowed an extra 250 MBs to complete your upload.
Libsyn, on the other hand, requires you to buy a higher package to access extra storage. It has a fixed limit for every plan. It’s a better option when you understand your storage needs.
When it comes to navigating both websites, Libsyn seems to have an edge due to its simplistic dashboard. Although Blubrry has a ton of features, it’s not easy to locate them, especially for new users.
However, both sites offer great tools that podcasters will definitely like. The only difference is that with Blubrry, you will take more time to get your way to those pages due to the design of its dashboard.
Plug-Ins For Self-Hosting
Blubrry is a step ahead when it comes to plugins due to its use of PowerPress, which is highly beneficial to WordPress users. PowerPress simplifies podcasting by allowing you to upload and publish your content within your WordPress website.
However, Libsyn offers the Libsyn Publisher Hub plugin, which plays a similar role as PowerPress. This tool enables users to link their self-hosted sites with the Libsyn account to do all the work on one site. Libsyn Publisher Hub is an improvement from its previous Beta WordPress plugin.
Podcast Player Functionality
Although Blubrry and Libsyn media players serve the same purposes, there is a slight difference in the positioning of the tool within a post. While Blubrry’s plugin allows you to position the podcast player anywhere inside your show notes, Libsyn’s only seems to allow placing the podcast player at the top or bottom.
Publishing Shows Using Your Media Host
For those who are not able to pay for a self-hosted podcast website, the other option is to publish through your host website. Libsyn takes the lead when it comes to creating useful templates. It offers a wide range of options for users to secure a Libsyn domain (mydomain.libsyn.com) for their podcasts. This eliminates the stress of running or updating your own website.
Although Blubrry podcast hosting offers the same through mydomain.blubrry.com, it rarely promotes it as a service. This service seems to encourage its users to have their own websites for hosting shows. If you don’t have a WordPress website and prefer hosting your website through your media host, Libsyn would be a better option.
Both platforms offer useful statistics that podcast hosts can utilize to learn the behavior of their audience.
Blubrry, however, has the edge over Libsyn in terms of providing specific details. For Libsyn, you won’t get any stats when you are on the $5 package. You’ll need to pay an additional $2, which only gets you basic stats. You will only be able to get advanced stats from Libsyn if you are on a $20 package or higher.
Features and Depth
Both websites have all the features a professional or new podcaster would need in a hosting service. They have the necessary tools such as audio podcast player, WordPress integration, and useful partnerships. The two services are also great for people who are looking to monetize their content quickly.
Both sites have their way of ensuring their users get value for money. Besides offering affordable plans, Blubrry incorporates the No-Fault system to ensure customers maximize their monthly storage. Libsyn, on the other hand, provides more storage for less. You can subscribe for as low as $5 to enjoy its services.
Both companies serve tens of thousands of podcasters. Their big market outreach is an indication of their efficiency and reliability.
Linking Your Self-Hosted WordPress Website
Although both sites use different plugins, they have similar and equally efficient functionalities. Libsyn Publisher Hub plugin offers the same functionality of linking a self-hosted WordPress website the same way PowerPress does.
There’s no doubt you will get great hosting service when you select either of these two platforms. Many people have described the Libsyn Blubrry competition as too close to call.
They both have amazing features and tools to boost your podcasting career. For instance, when comparing Blubbry vs Libsyn self-hosting plugins, Libsyn Publisher Hub serves the same purpose as the WordPress plugin, PowerPress.
Although there are slight differences, your choice will depend on the small details you consider deal-breakers.