More entrepreneurs and content creators are podcasting. And why wouldn’t they?
Podcasts are a great way to build your brand, create buzz and connect with your audience, promote your products/services, and can even generate income.
Is this enough to convince you to jump on the podcast bandwagon? If so, you’ve got your work cut out for you! Your responsibilities will include coming up with ideas, finding the time to record podcasts, etc.
You’ll also have to choose a podcast host, which allows you to store and distribute your episodes. Without one, you’ll have a hard time getting listeners.
But, the question is, which media host should you choose? There are a variety of podcast hosting platforms available, but not all of them are created equal. Some will make it easy to launch your show, while others are a headache to use.
To find the best media host, you should do lots of research. We will help you on your journey by giving a complete review of Pinecast, one of the many podcast hosts available to you. Read on to learn about Pinecast’s features, pricing, and more. With this info, you can determine if Pinecast is the right podcast hosting platform for you.
Pinecast launched in 2015 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. The first version was originally used by founder Matt Basta and a just few of his friends. The podcast hosting platform eventually grew and is popular around the world.
Pinecast’s founding principle was to make podcast hosting affordable for everyone. This has remained one of its core values to this day. The company also prioritizes its customers and commits to providing excellent service. Since day one, it has not accepted outside money in an attempt to remain focused on what really matters: its podcasts and users.
Let’s take a look at Pinecast’s best features:
Pinecast lets you upload MP3, M4A, and AAC audio files. It will not accept files that have a file size larger than 256MB.
Unlike some other podcast hosting companies, Pinecast does not modify your files without permission. It won’t reencode, change the bitrate, or make any other changes. It also does not put ads on your audio. Your files will maintain their original sound and integrity.
Another important thing to note is that Pinecast does not reserve the rights to your audio content. You will retain 100% ownership of all files you upload.
Submit Episodes to Directories
When you upload your files to Pinecast, the hosting service will generate an RSS feed for your show. This makes it easy to get your listed on directories.
To get your content published to Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, go to the RSS feed section of Pinecast. Click on either portal icon of the platform you want your episodes on. For both Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, you’ll need to make an account. Once you make your account, provide the RSS feed that Pinecast generated. The directories will publish your content once it goes through the approval process.
To get your content published on Spotify, go to the Spotify section of your podcast dashboard. You won’t have to create an account; simply follow the instructions and wait for Spotify to approve your show.
Pinecast is compatible with all major podcast apps and directories (Sticher, TuneIn, and many more). So, with this host, you can easily get your show on all the platforms your listeners are using. The directories you upload to will constantly check your RSS feed to keep your show up-to-date on their platforms.
Compatible Episode Artwork and Metadata
If you submit an MP3 file that contains embedded artwork and metadata, Pinecast will interpret it accordingly. It will automatically extract the artwork and use the existing ID3 tags.
If the MP3 file you submit does not contain this information, no worries! Pinecast will give you the option to upload the artwork separately. In the case of missing metadata, Pinecast will fill it in based on the episode title, podcast author, podcast name, etc.
Insightful Podcast Analytics
Once you upload podcasts, analytics will start showing up in your data center. To provide an accurate picture, Pinecast pulls the data from all apps and directories that your show appears on. It also runs routine audits to further ensure accuracy.
Pinecast assembles its IAB-compliant podcast analytics into clean charts. They are easy to read and control, allowing you to get a good idea of exactly who is listening to your podcasts.
Each plan gives you access to different insights. Below, we provide some examples of the podcast analytics you’ll get with each plan.
- Total number of unique downloads an episode has
- Total number of unique downloads an episode has just on Spotify
- A breakdown of what source your listens are coming from (direct listens, listens via your feed or embedded player, etc.)
If you have the Starter plan, you’ll get all the podcast analytics from the Free plan and extras like:
- What podcast apps and services users are listening on
- What operating systems your listeners are using
- What days and times your listeners are tuning in
Users with the Pro Analytics add-on get all the analytics we’ve mentioned so far plus extras like:
- How much an episode, show, or network has grown over time
- What countries your subscribers and listeners are from
- Which episodes of yours are the most popular
- Which cities your episodes are the most popular in
Migrate Your Show with Ease
Many podcasters use Pinecast to launch their brand new podcast. However, if you are already using another host, you can easily migrate your show to Pinecast!
All you need to do is provide your show’s existing iTunes URL or RSS feed. Pinecast will copy all of your content over and help you create a new feed redirect. This will automatically move your listings and subscribers to Pinecast.
So, if you’re tired of your current podcast host, you can relax knowing it’s painless to make the switch.
If you have a podcast, a podcast website is a must. A podcast website gives your content home on the Internet, increasing your discoverability and allowing listeners to interact with and share your content.
Pinecast is great because it lets you build your very own professional podcast website. You can easily customize it with the site builder tool. It automatically updates when you put out new episodes. And, it is SEO-optimized to maximize potential traffic.
To get your podcast even more exposure, you can use Pinecast’s embedded players. These are compatible anywhere you can use HTML.
The embedded players are available in 5 themes, giving you the freedom to create the look you’re going for. For instance, let’s say you want to embed your podcast on a website with a distinct aesthetic. To maintain your website’s aesthetic, choose the “Slim” audio player as the simple theme will easily blend in. Conversely, if you want to show off your episode’s cover art, go with the “Thick” embedded player.
Pinecast’s Headliner integration lets you create beautiful audiograms. Each video costs only $1 and makes your social media posts more interesting. They will create buzz about your podcasts and encourage people to share with friends.
The Tip Jar feature is unlike anything we’ve seen from other podcast hosting platforms. With this feature, you can collect one-time or recurring donations. This is a great way for podcast listeners to show their appreciation and for you to make a little extra cash.
To use the Tip Jar, you will have to set up a payout account. This is easy to do, and once you set up your account, you will receive payouts every Friday.
Pinecast has set maximum tip values based on the plan you have. For Free plans, a single tip can not be more than $10. For Starter plans, a single tip can not be more than $50. The good news is that there are no limits on a show’s total tips.
Because Pinecast uses the platform Stripe to process tips, it charges a small percentage on all tips. It also charges a 30% usage fee for tips if you have the Free plan. However, if you have the Starter plan, you won’t have to pay the extra 30% fee on tips.
Pinecast places a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction. The podcast hosting platform has one of the best customer service teams we’ve seen. The Pinecast team is friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to help.
Even more impressive is Pinecast’s blog. It has plenty of resources that will teach you how to use the podcast hosting platform and make your podcasts successful.
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As we mentioned earlier, Pinecast strives to make podcast hosting affordable. And, boy, do they deliver! This is one of the most inexpensive podcast hosting platforms we’ve seen that still offers high-quality services. Check out its pricing plans below:
You can start using Pinecast for free – no credit card needed! The Free plan lets you can upload up to 2 shows. Each feed can have up to 10 episodes with each episode being a maximum of 48MB. You’ll get access to podcast analytics and the Tip Jar.
The Free plan is somewhat limited, especially when considering it brands your content with the Pinecast logo. However, this is to be expected; you get what you pay for. The Free plan still offers some great features and is perfect for anyone new to podcast hosting.
The $10 per month Starter plan is much more flexible and better suited to more-established podcasts. It lets you upload unlimited podcasts and comes with unlimited audio storage. You’ll get access to more analytics for your podcasts and the Tip Jar free from the extra 30% fee. You’ll also get websites for every show and the option to make a custom domain name for your podcast.
However, Pinecast issues several gift card options to those that want to take some money off their paid plan. You might want to ask for one from a loved one to help you upgrade.
Add-Ons for Your Podcasts
If you have the Starter plan, you can take advantage of Pinecast’s affordable add-ons. These podcast hosting add-ons let you unlock even more useful features. For instance, for an extra $10 per month, you can get access to even more analytics for your podcasts. The Crew Add-On is also $10 per month and lets you add other users to your podcast as collaborators.
There’s a lot to love about Pinecast. From insightful podcast analytics and an easy-to-use dashboard to the ability to create a podcast website, it has everything you need to grow your podcasts. Best of all, it’s super affordable!
Considering how inexpensive Pinecast is, it’s going to lack some features that other podcast hosting platforms have. For instance, it doesn’t have monetization options nor advanced marketing features for your podcasts.
Final Review: Should You Use Pinecast to Host Podcasts?
Pinecast makes it easy for anyone who wants to create podcasts. The podcast hosting platform is affordable, intuitive, and will help grow your show.
Thanks to the Free plan (no credit card required!), you’ve got nothing to lose. Try Pinecast today!
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