Podcasts are becoming more popular with each passing day. People everywhere either stream the content online or download it to listen offline. It may be that you have just started doing your own podcasts.
In an ideal world, you’d simply have to upload your audio files onto such locations as Stitcher or iTunes. The reality is you always need a podcast hosting company to do it for you.
To further complicate things, there are over one hundred host companies, and they all offer slightly different features. Some services are free and some are not, making it even harder to make side-by-side comparisons.
One thing is for sure, however: the company you choose to store and distribute your files could have a direct impact on your podcast’s success. Let’s take a look together right now to see how this is true.
Each Host Will Have Its Advantages And Disadvantages
Fortunately, there are specialist websites that discuss the differences between the different providers. Let’s use BuzzSprout as an example. Visitors to wiredclip.com/buzzsprout-review clearly show that people want to understand what it is and how to use it. They want to learn about the platform’s features, pros and cons, and the alternatives.
The General Benefits Of Having A Podcast Website
If your fans, new listeners, or potential sponsors want to discover more about you, this will be their one-stop location. The website can be the place where people react and interact via online forums, too. Folk can find your site through making Google searches and be encouraged to subscribe to newsletters for regular updates.
All the website activities can be analyzed from a marketing angle, to help you identify your target audience and their preferences. This can be a valuable foundation for any sales you may wish to generate through adverts, downloads, or merchandise. Check out host read ads, patronage/donation programs, and automated ads.
The Limitations Of Podcast Host Websites
Captivate, Transistor and LibSyn are all class as cheap and basic options. People wishing to retain their own domain name or who are starting out may go for such providers.
Whilst you can add some basic colors and a logo, there’s not much capacity to do more for your branding and marketing.
The Benefits Of Website Builders
They allow you to use standard templates that can be customized for your purposes without the need to understand computer coding. Some examples are WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace.
The customization options come at a cost but the additional features can make your podcasts more effective.
The Advantages Of Custom Websites
This is the most costly choice but it can provide your site with the most functionality. Rather than battling with preset templates, you (or a paid specialist) can create exactly what you need.
You could also use the site to promote your other services and products if you have them, making this the best option for a serious business enterprise.
It Can Support Your Priorities
If you want to focus on your recording and content – and getting your voice out there – you may prefer the simple and cheap option.
When you’re marketing an entire brand rather than simply being a voice, the functionality of the website can be a crucial tool in your hands.
It Can Affect The Quality
Some people opt to store their podcasts on their own servers. This could result in a poorer customer experience for those who try to access and listen to the podcasts.
If your web hosting company doesn’t class your mp3s as valid web files you could exceed your disk space and potentially have your account suspended.
Speed Can Be Enhanced
If you store your files on your own website it could slow down the web pages and download times. Such time lagging could cost you, listeners and followers, because these days people want things to be ‘instant.’
Whilst a poor buffering speed would be bad news for you, it could be good news for your rival podcasters. In contrast, a dedicated host will have no problem storing your large files and making them quickly accessible to the public.
You Can Use Analytics
These tools can provide you with a mass of helpful information that can affect your success. You can discover which podcasts were most popular, and when and where they were being listened to. Did they use a PC or a smartphone? Did they stop halfway? You can find out.
With the help of your host, you can learn valuable lessons from your data and can optimize your future podcasts accordingly.
It Can Help Financially
If you’re trying to make money out of your endeavors, the financial aspect will be crucial to your operation. It costs less to upload a one-hour podcast onto a host platform than to do it yourself.
When your cloud storage is cost-efficient this will release up your funds so you can focus on the quality and quantity of your podcasts. You may need to pay your hosting service more over time, however, if your audience increases and you don’t have unlimited bandwidth.
The general rule is to produce one program a week that lasts for between ten minutes and one hour. If the quality output is something you want in order to encourage listeners and new followers, you should record it in stereo. This would effectively double your storage requirements and have a potential impact on cost.
Security And Support
If you pay your host monthly subscription fees, part of the money will be going to protect your data. Needless to say, their security system will be more bullet-proof than that on your own website.
Customer support is also something you can receive, should you experience problems. If your files aren’t working properly this could cost you both listeners and money, so this can prove invaluable.
Ultimately your choice may be dictated by your budget, or whether this is a hobby or a potential source of income. You can either go for a ‘cheap and cheerful’ option or pay for maximum functionality to support your continuing growth and success. Fortunately, there are choices to suit everyone.