When it comes to creating a podcast you need to use a podcast media host. A web host may advertise “Unlimited band and storage” but that is for web page (not media files)
Here is my criteria for a podcast media hosting:
1. Don't mess with my file. What I upload is what I want people to download.
2. Give me the ability to have an unlimited back catalog (unlimited storage)
3. Don't limit my audience size (unlimited bandwidth)
4. Don't control my feed, and make it easy to leave if I choose to do so. I need to be able to put in an iTunes redirect script.
5. Give me support.
6. Charge me for your service so you can stay in business
7. Give me stats so I can see what's working. It would be nice if they were accurate.
8. I need to own my content and control how it is used.
9. Be 100% Apple compatible
Here are some popular options
Libsyn.com (get a free month using the coupon code sopfree )
Blubrry.com (get a free month using the coupon code sopfree )
Podbean (get a free month using the coupon code sopfree )
What about spreaker.com, Pinecast.com? Simplecast.com?
Simplecast re-encodes your file, “If encoded as a 128kbps or less MP3, we will not re-encode or transcode the audio. If an audio file is over we will encode it to 128kbps in MP3 format.” Now I realize if you export at 128 this isn't a problem (it does add a small amount of time to publishing as you wait for it to re-encode your file). There are some music podcasters who want to export at a lower bit rate (case in point Marc Maron). Podcaster should be able to export in whatever format they want source
Spreaker does not offer an unlimited back catalog
Pinecast does not offer episode numbers for Apple podcast unless you have configured your show to be serial (I guess episodic shows don't have episode numbers?)
Soundcloud – Does not offer all of the Apple fields, and their stats are not recognized by many services as you can purchase plays (and are not reliable)
Squarespace – While they make pretty websites, you miss out on some great syndication options
Anchor.fm – This free service has HORRIBLE terms of service and enables people to do whatever they want with your content. They also offer to submit your show to Apple “for you” and forget to inform you that they then own your show in Apple. Most free media hosts go out of business after three years (see more information)
What Is Your Favorite?
I was a Libsyn custom for 10 years. I love their syndication option, their flexibilty, their ability to make a smartphone app for me, as well as syndication into iHeart Radio, Spotify, LinkedIn, and many other options. I can sell my back catalog, or even create a private podcast for my business.
Here is the problem. I became an employee two years ago, and now people call my credibility into question. They think I will always say that Libsyn is the best (even though I have 10 years of me saying that they were the best in 400+ episodes before I became an employee). So Libsyn, Bluburry, and Podbean are not band choices. There are others mentioned here that are not horrible. I always tell people I don't say Libsyn.com is the best because I work for them. It's the opposite because Libsyn.com is THE BEST, I chose to work for them when I found myself unemployed.
What Media Hosts to Stay Away From
If you are shopping for a media host, be sure to ask them if they follow the above criteria. ESPECIALLY the ability to do a 301 redirect. If they don't do that, and you want to leave, they own your audience. For me the ones I steer people away from are
squaspace.com (for your podcast)
As I said before, use my criteria and make sure they pass (they should)
If you have any questions, please contact me