Hosting podcasts does involve some technical aspects, so choosing the best hosting platform is important.
There are so many podcast hosting platforms available at the moment, and this review will focus on two of the most prominent – Podbean and Captivate.
If you intend to make your podcast episodes available to the audience once you’ve got them recorded, the podcast data and media records must be saved somewhere and released to the public via the internet. (Also see, “How To Publish A Podcast“)
A podcast hosting provider is a platform that provides media hosting services. A podcast hosting company also provides an RSS feed for podcasts, allowing content creators to submit their shows to various podcast directories.
So, let’s see below how Podbean vs Captivate platforms compare and what are each provider’s features.
With nearly two decades of experience, Podbean is a knowledgeable podcast hosting service provider, so it is certainly deserving its spot among the top podcast hosting services. (Also see, “Podbean Review“)
If you’ve ever worked with WordPress, you know how crucial extensions are to a website’s operability. With Podbean, such plugins enhance your podcast’s functionality.
To top it all off, the majority of these Podbean resources are free.
The extensions allow podcasters to instantly import important files to Podbean from Dropbox, communicate directly with their subscriber base via email, insert episode tags to label their episodes, and much more.
This function enables you to produce new podcast episodes in Podbean from beginning to end using your mobile phone. The Podbean Podcast App includes a high-quality audio recording service in addition to serving as a place for discovering new podcasts.
You can use this function to produce a podcast when on the road by simply pressing the microphone icon in the upper right corner of the smartphone app. (Also see, “Best Android Microphones“)
The podcast website is among Podbean’s most significant features. As such, if you don’t already have your own website for your podcast, you can quickly create one.
You can select from a variety of layout templates within Podbean while maintaining full control over the HTML/CSS and architecture of your podcast’s website.
Embeddable & Live Streaming Players
You can start a live podcast by tapping the “Live Stream” icon. After filling out the brief form with info regarding your podcast, simply tap “Start now” to begin a live show or to create a live show for later.
To make sure that amateurs can start podcasting in no time, Podbean offers a free version that includes several features that are very user-friendly and can make starting a podcast extremely easy. (Also see, “Free Podcast Hosting Unlimited Storage“)
This hosting platform provides several options to earn money from your podcast.
The Ads Marketplace on Podbean offers marketing tools to connect podcasts of all sizes with marketers.
The PodAds ad management and dynamic insertion platform provide content creators with tools to run their ads more effectively whilst also increasing their profits.
In addition, podcast creators can monetize even multiple shows by generating paid premium podcasts and setting a price for new episodes or the entire series for 30 days or every year.
Podcasters have complete control over price customizability. It’s free to participate in this program, there aren’t any costs or extra fees. The Podbean platform handles everything on the technical side, like customer service and invoicing.
A further way Podbean assists content creators with podcast monetization is through the Patron Program.
The Patron Program is integrated into the dashboard and is tailored to every users podcast content. For example, you can create donation categories for audiences to pledge month by month, with a different donation for each level.
Podbean Live allows the apps users to generate income by attending Live Shows and accepting digital donations from their audiences.
Whenever anyone decides to join your podcast stream, they have the option of donating to you using Golden Beans, Podbean’s gifts system. The podcasters can then exchange the reward points from the donations for money.
Captivate is even longer in the industry than Podbean, having launched in 2003 when the industry was only in its infancy.
Easy To Use
Unlike most podcast hosting service providers, the Captivate platform is a community-driven one, focusing on customized services for podcast creators.
Because of its clean and simple layout, Captivate is now simple to navigate. Since its inception nearly two decades ago, the platform has been developed and tried by 1000s of podcasters.
If you are using the Captivate platform, all you have to do is create new episodes and grow your podcast listeners rather than having to deal with the distress of interacting with intricate software.
Captivate has several add-ons for your existing website that enable you to use the service while also providing additional functionality.
BIG Captivate sync is one of those add-ons, and it enables podcast content creators to automatically update their WordPress sites. (Also see, “Best Podcast Plugin For WordPress“)
Another Captivate feature addon, Player FM Integration WordPress, enables podcast creators to submit their podcasts to the Player FM database directly from Captivate’s Distribution section. (Also see, “How To Create Google Podcasts – Submit To Google Play“)
No Time Limit for Podcast Episodes
There is no set limit because there is infinite space, which is an easy and powerful way to host unlimited podcasts. There are no unlimited downloads, sadly, but the number increases with each pricing plan. Furthermore, Captivate doesn’t support videos.
However, you can feature videos on your podcast’s official site.
This is determined by the plan you select, but the more bandwidth you get, the more you must pay. However, you can increase your download/bandwidth limit in any given month so long as you do not surpass your 2-month bandwidth limit.
Captivate analytics allows podcast content creators to use a chart to check the development of their podcast for a year.
Podcast creators can also check their listeners’ locations to know where their audience is, amongst other tracking data.
Free Website (But No Free Plan)
Podcasters can create a free, standard site with functional layouts and a landing page. Nevertheless, while this site is not self-hosted, it runs similarly to other hosting websites.
In addition to that, there are no free plan options with Captivate, which means podcasters have to pay even for the basic services.
The Bottom Line: Podbean vs Captivate Podcast Hosting Platforms
Podbean outperforms Captivate in almost everything. Moreover, the fact that Captivate does not offer a free podcast plan makes it difficult to argue in its favor. Therefore, it is best to choose Podbean!