Podcasting is a great way for a creative to get their thoughts and ideas out into the world from the comfort of their own home or studio.
A podcast is similar to the radio shows of the past; one or more individuals record themselves speaking. It can be simple, or it can get really complex with audio editing and special features.
To get started in the podcast industry, you’ll need a high-quality podcast hosting platform to support your show and send your episodes to the destinations you want them to land.
Beyond finding a hosting platform, getting into the world of podcasts really has no barrier to entry.
This means that selecting the best podcast site for your creation and the journey you’re about to embark on is incredibly important. The podcast hosting market is rich with options, so it can become hard to distinguish the good from the not-so-good.
Below, we’re comparing two of the top contenders and putting them head to head to see which comes out on top. By comparing Libsyn vs Podbean, you’ll find out which one suits your needs better so you can get started with your podcasting project.
How to Choose a Podcast Host
When it comes down to it, all podcasting hosts do the same thing and serve the same purpose: getting your podcasts to the listeners you’re trying to reach.
At the beginning of your journey, it may not matter much which host you end up choosing. But down the road, you might be interested in some of the features or extra bells and whistles that certain options provide over the others. It’s important to think about the future of your show before you settle on your hosting choice.
Here are some additional questions to keep in mind as you shop and compare the options:
- Is it easy to use?
- What does it cost?
- Does it integrate with your site?
- What are the features?
- How good are the analytics?
Libsyn as a Podcast Host
Libsyn, which is actually short for “liberated syndication,” is one of the largest podcast hosts in the game. Established in 2004, this platform got into the podcasting world when it was still green and new.
Today, Libsyn’s podcasting feels updated and fresh, with new tools and posting options constantly being added. This host might not necessarily be the easiest to use, but after putting a little time in to learn the platform, you’ll be up and running in no time.
If you’re planning to stay in the podcasting industry for a while, Libsyn is a great host to choose. Even with the learning curve, the endless resources and support options make up for it. It’s perfect for those who want to grow in the industry and are interested in utilizing a lot of features.
There are tons of great features on Libsyn that podcasters can use to polish their shows, attract an audience, create an app, and much more.
OnPublish is its unique publishing tool. This, along with the Libsyn RSS feed connects users to their audience on just about any platform channel, app, or service you can think of.
The RSS feed makes it easy to get your content out to a large number of people. It has a number of tools that can help you save time and get to know you audience better.
- Removal or addition of new content to the RSS feeds quickly
- Customized delivery to the destination
- Advanced reporting, and scheduled publishing
With these free features, you will have complete control of your analytics and distribution. Not every podcast has a built-in tool like OnPublish to make your job so much easier. Although, this tool requires patience and time to master.
The Libsyn Player is a podcast player that is super easy to add to your website or play on a mobile device. It lets users create playlists of their favorite episodes, direct playback, choose colors and start times, and much more.
Libsyn lets podcast creators make their own custom mobile apps to go along with their show. It offers apps for podcasts of any levels, end-user support, assistance through the building process, and customization. Creating your own app like this is a great way to create a consistent, recognizable presence on every platform.
You can also listen to podcasts that are hosted through Libsyn on their directory, which offers premium podcasts and special apps.
The Pro tools function as account management and advertising campaign management features for podcast hosts. Pro allows unlimited uploads, phone and concierge support, private podcasting, and exclusive custom mobile apps unavailable elsewhere.
The Pro version is best for brands, personalities, and major networks.
One thing that stands out about Libsyn is its own marketing and podcasting. It has its own podcast titled the feed, hosted by two podcast experts, Rob Walch and Elsie Escobar. This podcast covers tricks of the masters and ways to get ahead while also serving an advertising purpose for the company.
Pros and Cons
To keep things simple, let’s take a look at a pros and cons comparison for this hosting service.
- An expert brand
- Fresh, updated interface and tools
- Customer support is accessible, friendly, helpful
- Cutting edge posting features
- Not the easiest to use for beginners
- Not self-explanatory, some terminology might be confusing
- No free plan, all plans are priced between $5-75 per month
How Good is Libsyn?
Libsyn is a top contender for best podcasting host. It’s long presence in the industry positions it as a market leader, with new tools and features pushing the envelope even further.
Libsyn is a great choice for those who are really serious about podcasting and want to pick a host that they can grow with. Those who choose this option just need to be prepared to pay and face a somewhat steep learning curve at first.
Podbean as a Podcast Host
Podbean is a podcast site geared towards beginners that offers comprehensive podcasting services and tools. Whether you’re new to podcasts or are just looking to switch up your hosting companies, Podbean should be a contender on your list.
At its core, Podbean is a hosting company that’s easy to use. However, it also offers several features to help users attract new listeners, monetize episodes, and build a basic website around your show.
Podbean has been in the industry since 2006 and has published over 7.5M podcast episodes since. Podbean is good option for both aspiring and existing podcasters, with 4 different plans to choose from based on your needs.
When you sign up for a Podbean account, a free subdomain also comes along with it. You can build this website page out to hold all of the important information relating to your podcast.
While there’s not a ton of customization available, you can still choose your theme and make a few stylistic choices. Still, if you’re looking to create a full web presence from podcast hosting companies, Podbean might not be the best choice.
Optimizing podcasts for podcast search engines like iTunes or Google Play is an important marketing tactic. By adjusting title, description, and meta tags with Podbean, you can better position your show to pop up in search queries.
Podbean has its own highly-rated mobile app available on both Android and iOS. The app was made with the listener in mind, but there are still core publishing features on the app so creators can get their content out there.
While it’s possible to record your podcasts directly through this one app, the quality isn’t incredible so it’s not recommended.
Video Podcast Support
Unlike Libsyn, Podbean offers video podcast support in addition to its audio support. Video isn’t a must for every podcast show, but certain audiences enjoy seeing the podcasters on their screen while they listen. If you’re hoping to build a personal brand and amass a loyal following, a video podcast feature is a great addition.
Marketing & Money
Many people are now looking to market their podcasts so they can collect money from their show. With the marketing and monetization features that Podbean provides, you can get earnings from the work you put in on your podcast. These features include automatic social sharing, advertisements, and easy embedding.
Podbean accounts come with a decent amount of analytics based around your podcast’s performance. You can see how many downloads you got each day along with your listener retention rate. You can also use the free Google Analytics plugin and connect it with your Podbean account for further insights.
Pros and Cons
It’s easy to see just what Podbean has to offer when it’s laid out with pros and cons.
- Easy to publish your content to popular hosting platforms
- Great for beginners with user-friendly setup
- Free hosting options are available
- There is no guarantee of the uptime
- Security features for Podbean are limited
How Good is Podbean?
Podbean is a great choice for those who want to podcast for free. With no fees, it’s simple to create your very own podcast and get it out to those who want to hear it. Its user-friendly interface, marketing and monetization tools, and insightful analytics make it the best free podcasting host for those just getting started.
Podbean vs Libsyn a Direct Comparison
We have now covered why you need a podcast host, what makes a good one, and what both Libsyn and Podbean have to offer. Let’s put these two podcast site options head to head and see how they compare in different areas.
Libsyn distributes through the RSS feed and its podcast page. Podbean can distribute to a personalized site, RSS, or network pages for a higher price.
Libsyn offers storage between 50MB and 1500 MB. It does not offer unlimited storage. Podbean’s storage ranges from 100MB monthly all the way to an unlimited storage amount.
Libsyn can publish to multiple different aggregators at once. It also offers flexible pricing plans. Podbean offers unlimited hosting, a personal site, and a well-designed interface that’s easy to use.
Libsyn’s additional features like mobile app, statistics, and storage cost extra. On the other hand, Podbean has very limited customer service available.
Libsyn does not offer any free plans. It’s prices start at $5 per month, but go all the way up to $75. Podbean offers a limited free package in addition to paid plans between $3-$99.
What is the Best Podcast Hosting Platform?
The best podcasting host platform really comes down to what your needs are and where you are in your podcast journey. But many people are still wondering things like, ‘Is Soundcloud a good podcast host?” or “What if I need extra features?”
Here are some of the top hosting companies out there and what they’re known for doing best:
- Soundcloud: Best podcasting hosting platform for audience interaction
- Blubrry: Best for extra features
- Castos: Best for simple podcasting
- Spreaker: Best for getting your words out there
- Squarespace: Best for creatives
Final Verdict: Libsyn vs Podbean
It’s hard to compare Libsyn vs Podbean, as they are both strong contenders for the best podcast hosting site. Each brings something slightly different to the table and maybe more suitable for certain people.
- Libsyn is a great option for those looking to grow into their podcast. Its rich features and fresh, updated system make it easy to distribute your podcast and connect with your audience all the way.
- Podbean is a better choice for those who are just getting started, are looking for something simple and easy to use, and prefer more flexible pricing plans. Its features like personal web pages and distribution options make it easier to customize around what you want.
At the end of the day, the best choice will be based on the unique goals and needs of your and your podcast. We hope this review made your decision a little bit easier.