Category Archive : Guide

Eight top podcast hosting platforms

At Galati Media, we see a lot of podcasters get overwhelmed with all the options out there and love helping clients choose the best podcast hosting platform for their individual needs and podcast goals. 

If you’re scratching your head wondering what a podcast hosting platform IS and why you need one, make sure to go back and read our blog “How to Start a Podcast in 2023 (step-by-step)” which walks you through what a podcast hosting platform is and why you need one. 

In a nutshell, a podcast hosting platform/site is your podcast’s homebase. It’s where you upload and store episodes, and it magically (it’s not actually magic, but sometimes it feels like it) pushes out your new episodes to podcast listening apps right into your listener’s ears. 

Before you just select the cheapest podcast host, check out our recommendations for the eight best podcast hosting platforms and why we chose them. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing the Best Podcast Hosting Platform for You: 

Consider what’s important to you for your podcast. 

  • Do you want to be able to track analytics carefully and dive deep into listener data? Episode 9 of Listeners to Leads: “Podcast Stats: What They Mean and How to Measure Success”
  • What will be the average length of your episodes and the frequency at which you produce a show? 
  • How are you at navigating tech and how important is ease of user experience to you? 
  • What platforms do you want to ensure your show is distributed to? 
  • Will your podcast be a private, paid feed or free for public consumption? 

As we compiled this list, we paid attention to each of these areas to show you the pros and cons of various podcast hosting platforms so you can decide on the best podcast hosting platform for your needs. One of our criteria was also that the platform needed to be aligned with Podcasts 2.0, an initiative to ensure the right of free speech is maintained and allows everyday people to create podcasts. 

As a woman of color owned company, accessibility for all people to create and listen to podcasts is one of our driving values. 

Learn More About Galati Media! 

#1) Buzzsprout: Best Podcast Hosting Platform for Beginners, Hobbyists, and Thought Leaders 

We refer people to Buzzsprout often thanks to its ease of use, great user interface, reasonable pricing, and multiple dynamic ad insertion options. 

What we think makes Buzzsprout the Best Podcast Hosting Platform: 

  • Customize your podcast site with a unique domain name and your branding 
  • Buzzsprout automatically uploads your podcast to some podcast directories with a few simple clicks. 
  • They allow you to upload a transcript for your show 
  • For an additional fee, there are features to help provide better audio quality for your listeners 
  • Free visual soundbite generation
  • Includes a website optimized for hearing-disabled folks.
  • Advanced analytics
  • Affordable pricing tiers 

One of our favorite features of Buzzsprout is the ability to promote your business and offerings with dynamic ad insertions, which are ads anywhere in the show (pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll). 

Episode 89 of Listeners to Leads: Are Your Podcast Ads Actually Working For You? 

Buzzsprout is very easy to use and allows you to pay monthly, without commitment so it’s a great way to get started and still have access to in-depth analytics. 

Click HERE to sign up for Buzzsprout!* 

#2) Blubrry: Best for Backend Integration 

Blubrry is well-known for its superior, trusted analytics as one of the first podcasting companies, now serving 150,000+ podcasters with hosting, distribution, stats, and helpful listener insights. It integrates well with the backend of your website, which can be a major benefit for business owners and agencies looking to publish podcast episodes right from their website. Blubrry offers data and statistics that help you make important decisions for your show.

Listeners to Leads Episode 69 “Using Your Podcast Listening Statistics to Make Better Decisions”

Make sure to check out this episode of Listeners to Leads Episode 79 with the founder, Todd Cochrane as he shares his wealth of knowledge into the landscape of podcast and his perspective on The Future of Podcasting

#3) Podbean: Best for Podcasters Looking for a Range of Features 

What Podbean does well is offer various plans and price points so that whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned podcast pro, you can access their platform. Features and benefits vary as you move through the tiers, and the free plan does not offer many features. 

They do allow for dynamic ad insertion as well as a customizable podcast website and themes. Some clients we’ve spoken with have said that customer service is not ideal and statistics aren’t as detailed as they’d like. 

Our main beef with Podbean is that they don’t make it easy or intuitive to maximize and customize your podcast website and direct people to your website and social links. 

#4) Red Circle: Best for Growing Brands 

If you’re a podcaster who’s getting thousands of downloads a month and looking to monetize with ads that extend beyond just your own, Red Circle could be the podcast hosting site for you. Red Circle offers a myriad of features including powerful analytics, cross-promotion, and fast support, but one of its highlights is their commitment to helping podcasters monetize their podcasts through: 

  • Brand-to-brand connection 
  • Dynamic ad insertions 
  • Cross-promotion 

Red Circle isn’t for you if you’re looking to use your podcast to promote your own products or services and want your ads to lead to YOU. They also do not have as many tools to provide accessibility and aren’t optimized with all of your audience’s needs in mind. 

Not sure what kind of ads you’ll be sharing? Check out Episode 89 of the Listeners to Leads podcast Are Your Podcast Ads Working for You? 

infographic-best-podcast-hosting-site or best-podcast-hosting-platform

#5) Transistor: Best for Network Owners 

Transistor is a newer podcast hosting platform that’s beneficial for podcasters who want to produce multiple shows and host them on the same site. With Transistor, you can host both public and private podcasts, and include dynamic ads. 

While you can host multiple podcasts on all of the price plans, they offer limited downloads in each tier of their pricing and payments can increase when downloads increase. If you plan to maximize the use of hosting multiple podcasts, and bring in collaborators to your team, Transistor could be a great choice. 

If you’re the everyday average podcaster looking to host just one show, it’s an expensive choice with more features than you might need. 

#6) Libsyn: Best for a Wide Range of Budgets 

You can get started with Libsyn for just $5 a month and upgrade from there to include more features. Libsyn’s been around a long time and is the go-to for many established podcasters; however, despise being budget-friendly, the lower-level tiers have limited features. Overall, the platform isn’t great for beginners who tend to struggle navigating new tech. The user experience makes it challenging to navigate their platform and setting up the analytics properly can require multiple steps. 

Why do we think podcast stats are so important? Listen to episode 9 of Listeners to Leads Podcast Stats: What They Mean and How to Measure Success

#7) Captivate: Best for Monetization 

If you want to use your podcast to make some cash money dollars, you might enjoy this relatively new podcast hosting platform. Captivate helps podcasters make money from their show by offering a private podcast option on every plan, a podcast sponsorship kit PDF, built in calls to action, and tools that help you get sponsors. 

They give you advanced analytics, lots of podcasting resources, and quite a lot of features at every level. The plans are pricier than most (starting at $17/month) and have a cap for the number of downloads. 

#8) Best for Beginners 

We have so many thoughts on, and “free” platforms in general. Here’s a quote from PodMatch’s Alex Sanfilippo from a recent post on LinkedIn: 

“Fellow podcasters: If you don’t pay for a product, you are the product.” 

When you’re using a free podcast hosting platform or just choosing the cheapest podcast host, they’re using you in some type of way to make money as a company. 

A lot of people start out on Anchor because they want to use it and try it for free. Spotify owns Anchor and pressures podcasters to push their shows on Spotify. They also recommend ads that may or may not be aligned with your brand, heavily encouraging you to offer paid membership content or premium content that’s only available to your listeners on Spotify. Anytime you choose to focus on pushing your podcast out on one platform, you shut out a lot of your audience. 

Trust us, we love a subscription model, but it’s not right for everyone and may not be right for you. Check out Listeners to Leads Episode 65 Adding a Subscription Model to Your Podcast to learn more. 

In the case of, free comes at the cost of pressure and the reminder that you are the product.

One final reminder: You can change podcast hosts down the road, if needed. It’s not difficult, but it’s also a hassle we try to save podcasters from by helping them choose the right platform the first time around. 

To choose the best podcast hosting platform for you, take a look at your individual goals and needs for your podcast and start from there. This crucial first step will help you weigh the pros and cons of each host, so you don’t just hit “Get Started” with the podcast host that has the flashiest website or is the cheapest price. 

Listeners to Leads episodes mentioned in this blog: 

*Buzzsprout affiliate link:

This blog post contains affiliate links. That means we may make a small commission on items purchased through links in this post at no extra cost to you!

Looking for personalized 1:1 support to launch your podcast? 

Book a call with us and see if we’re the right fit for your needs!

Is it easy to start a podcast? 10 Things to consider before you take the leap!

Is it “easy” to start a podcast? 

The answer is, “Yes, and…” 

There’s a lot of communication, especially in the online marketing world, that’ll have you convinced that starting a podcast is easy! And equally as much suggesting that “everyone” should have a podcast! 

Starting a podcast doesn’t require a degree in physics or biochemistry (unless that’s what you plan to talk about in your show) but it’s not always as easy as people think to start a podcast. People often come to Galati Media with an idea for a podcast, but don’t know whether or not they should start a podcast, do something else entirely, and how to take action on starting a podcast. 

Here are ten things you should think about and consider before you start your own podcast: 

1. Determine whether or not launching a podcast is right for you! 

Starting a podcast isn’t complicated, but it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not some quick fix or hack for more business and more clients. It’s a long game and requires time at the beginning to build, grow, and plan. 

To determine whether or not starting a podcast is right for you, you first have to ask yourself whether or not you have the capacity to show up regularly for your audience, to engage in the topics you’ll be providing, and to market the show.

Ideally, your show will be produced on a regular basis with a steady stream of valuable content for listeners to learn from and enjoy. Are you able to set aside time and attention to be consistent and show up for your show?

Episode 38 of Listeners to Leads: Is Launching a Podcast Right for You? 

2. Do your market research 

Who are your ideal listeners and audience and is there a need or desire for your content? Is what you want to talk about going to fill a gap in what’s out there as far as resources and education around what you’re sharing? 

Market research involves learning about your listeners and audience as well as looking at other podcasts talking about the same or similar topics. 

If there are endless podcasts out there covering what you want to talk about, it might be an oversaturated topic and too broad. You might think of a different direction, or reconsider. There may be no gap to fill. Conversely, if there are NO podcasts out there talking about what you do, or there are just single episodes, there may not be enough to cover and it might be too niche of a topic. 

If your topic is something you can cover in just one episode, or a single workshop, starting a podcast might not be right for you. 

Another piece of market research is listening to other podcasts and learning what you like and don’t like, how you’ll do it differently or focus on a different niche, and really getting to understand if there’s an audience for your show. 

Episode 22 of Listeners to Leads: The Importance of Market Research 

3. Determine your goals for your podcast

As a podcaster, it’s important to set clear, achievable goals, and treat your podcast like you would any other part of your business so you don’t set yourself up for failure or podfade due to lack of results. 

Your podcast could have goals around building your business through lead generation, supplementing your existing content for additional support, raising awareness, connecting with guests for networking or potential client opportunities, or something else entirely! 

Looking to monetize and make money with your podcast? Make sure to check out our blog “How Can I Make Money from My Podcast” when you’re done with this one! 

Whatever goals you set, you’ll want to make sure that they are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. You also want goals that are relevant to your unique business! 

What do you want your podcast to do for you and your business? Ask yourself what your goals are for your show and get clear on that and it will make starting a podcast (and not getting frustrated) a whole lot easier! 

Episode 44 of Listeners to Leads: Creating and Keeping Podcast SMART Goals

4. Take time to map out your podcast content

We spoke to this a little in the market research paragraph above, but trust us, it bears repeating and needed its own section! Content (and you, of course) are the reason people are listening to your podcast in the first place! 

Approximately 90% of podcasts stop producing before they hit seven episodes. 

There are many reasons why this happened, but one of the most common reasons is because they run out of content. 

Brainstorm your content ideas and be really honest with yourself about whether or not you have enough content within your topic area to keep you excited and engaged as you share consistently. 

Need help coming up with Podcast Content ideas? We have tons of resources from planning and organizing to idea generation here. 

5. Determine Your Format

As you listen to other podcasts, you start to learn what you like and don’t like about how they do their shows in the content they offer, their perspectives and viewpoints, and the format as well. 

There are so many different ways to format and structure your show and the only right way is the way you decide to do it. 

Thinking about the format for your podcast is a crucial step to getting started. Ask yourself if you want: 

  • Formal or informal show
  • Solo episodes (you by yourself) 
  • Guests
  • Co-hosts 
  • Scripted vs. not scripted 

Choosing the format of the episodes will help guide you in how to move forward in starting with your show, plus help you understand better how much time you’ll need to commit to each episode. 

Episode 36 of Listeners to Leads: How to Choose a Podcast Format

6. Consider equipment 

We promise not to get too in the weeds and overwhelm you here. You will need to spend time, prior to starting your show looking at what equipment you need and how much you can afford to spend on what. 

At the very minimum to get started you need, a set of headphones, a quality microphone, recording software or platform, editing software and a podcast host (which we’ll talk about more in a minute!).

How much you’re looking to spend on your show is unique and personal to you and depends where you are in your business, what goals you have for your show, and how much you want to invest initially. 

Will you be outsourcing the many tasks and headaches of editing and producing to a podcast production company or will you be DIY-ing it?

If you’re planning to outsource, we’d love to help you get started considering these questions, and more! 

7. Choose your hosting platform

Choosing a podcast hosting platform isn’t as simple as just picking the cheapest podcast host, there are a lot of factors to consider when looking at what you need in the short term and long term for your show. 

Fortunately, we’re not going to leave you hanging here. Here’s our blog, What’s the Best Podcast Hosting Platform where we highlight eight top podcast hosting platforms to help you decide which is right for you! 

8. Branding and Artwork

Finally, the fun part, right!? Making your podcast pretty and pop visually! 

Unless it’s a hobby podcast, your branding and artwork for your podcast should align with your current business branding. Your podcast is an extension of your brand, so it’s important for the two to be cohesive and work together. 

Plus, if you’re as OCD as us, you’re not going to want clashing colors next to each other on your Instagram feed. 

The visuals you’ll need for your show depends on where you’re sharing episodes and how, but you’ll most likely need visuals for your podcast page/website, individual episodes, cover art (your show’s main graphic), and individual social media graphics for things like quotes and audiograms. 

While podcasts are mainly an audio experience, graphics still play an important role. Graphics are definitely something to think about as it’s crucial to share bold, clear podcast graphics that catch attention and are a reflection of your brand. 

Episode 96 of Listeners to Leads: How to Design Eye-Catching Podcast Graphics with Lauren Felter

9. Create your marketing plan, launch strategy, and assemble your launch team 

The more intentional you are at the beginning, the better. When you start a podcast in a thoughtful, strategic way, it can help your show be more successful from the get go, and save you a lot of frustration! 

You’ll want to think about how you plan to market your show, who to can help you share when it first comes out, and what steps you’ll need to take to share it with the world and get people listening! 

It’s really important to take time now and think about your first few weeks of content so you’re not flying by the seat of your pants when getting started. 

Listeners to Leads Episode 23: How to Create a Podcast Launch Plan

10. You don’t have to do this all alone!

The number one piece podcasters tend to hire out is editing. In addition to editing, there are so many tasks that go into the management and production of a successful podcast. 

Here are some of the things involved in producing a show: 

  • Launching strategy
  • Marketing
  • Editing and audio quality 
  • Guest booking and follow up 
  • Publishing and syndication across podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and other podcast networks and directories
  • Cover art design, promotional graphics, and branding 
  • Creation of show notes
  • Social media posts, blog posts, emails to promote the show 
  • Creation of intros and outros
  • Generating episode transcriptions
  • Repurposing podcast content into video clips, audiograms, and other social media content

The good news is, you don’t need to do any of this alone. At Galati Media, we support you in managing your show from soup-to-nuts, even the stuff not on this list (yes, there’s more!) 

We walk you through these questions prior to getting started, and help guide you in making pivotal decisions for your show. 

When we’re asked, “Is starting a podcast easy?” our answer is a confident, “Yes, if you’ve taken time at the beginning to ask yourself these questions and make a plan! And it’s a whole lot easier with us by your side!” 

Ready to start your podcast?

You’ll want to check out this blog next if so where we walk you through Step-by-Step How to Start a Podcast

The Truth about AI and Podcasting | Listeners to Leads

The 5 AI and Podcasting Tools Used by Podcast Managers 

AI is on the rise as the hottest new productivity tool, but there seems to be conflicting information about how much AI podcast tools can do. On the one hand, Podcast.AI has shared stats saying that AI-powered podcasts have grown 500% in the last year. On the other hand, Google has released a statement saying that content that is clearly written by AI will be considered spam or inaccurate and therefore penalized in search rankings. As podcast managers, we help a lot of podcasters find the right balance between saving time using AI podcast tools and keeping the human elements that your listeners connect to. Here is everything you need to know about using AI for your podcast. 

What Is AI?

AI stands for artificial intelligence. It learns from the data that humans input, including user habits, to make decisions and solve problems. We have been using AI far longer than we realize because it has been behind the scenes in the technology and programs we use. For example, diagnostic tools, smartphones, and self-driving cars all use AI technology. With the hype around Chat GPT, we have become more aware of AI tools and how they can make some tasks more efficient. 

How to Use AI and Podcasting Tools to Save Time 

Before you turn your entire podcast production over to AI podcast tools, it’s important to understand that AI works best in a supporting role. Its strength really lies in gathering and analyzing information, not in tasks that need creativity or discernment. 

So, for example, many podcast editors use AI podcast tools to shortcut simple tasks, like removing “ums” or cleaning up the background noise. This makes the editing process quicker and allows them to focus on the tasks that really benefit from human insight. For example, a human editor can make suggestions on which sections to remove to fit the ideal podcast runtime. 

Another limitation of AI podcast tools is that there have been cases of AI technology returning incorrect results. AI is only as strong as the content or data used to “train” the technology. So if that content is outdated, incorrect, or displays unconscious bias, then the AI tool will return incorrect or misguided information. As podcasters, we have a duty to our listeners to ensure that what we’re saying is accurate, so AI tools are best used for small tasks or when checked and edited by humans. 

The 5 AI Podcast Tools We Use as Podcast Managers 

We use AI podcast tools here at Galati Media to make producing podcast episodes more efficient. Here are some of our favorite AI podcast tools and how we use them: 

Otter. AI is a transcription tool that creates transcripts of our podcast episodes. It uses voice recognition to show who was speaking in each section, and we’ve had it remember guests who had been on past podcast episodes. can also create a timestamped summary of the conversation, which is really useful for adding those timestamps to the backend of Buzzsprout. 


Buzzsprout uses AI to help podcasters find the best place to place their ads. It may not be a huge task, but it is just one other thing that podcasters and podcast producers can take off their plate, and instead of finding the best place to place an ad in the whole podcast episode, you can pick the best of the suggested places to put an ad. 

Chat GPT

Chat GPT works best as an AI podcast tool for brainstorming. It is great to give you ideas or make suggestions if you get stuck. However, I do not recommend using Chat GPT to automate entire tasks. For example, Chat GPT is great for creating a list of podcast content ideas or suggesting alternative title ideas so you can pick the best one. It should be used in conjunction with human insight instead of replacing it. is a new AI podcast tool that we’ve started using to provide title suggestions for our YouTube videos. It can check if our title ideas are SEO-friendly and provide alternative options. We have found that it is not always 100% accurate, so again, this is where you need to use your human insight before posting. 

iZotope RX 9

There are a number of AI podcast tools for audio editing. The one we use is iZotope RX 9, which has different pricing tiers. We love the repair assistant because it cleans up the background noise, pauses, and “ums” really well. Then our podcast editors can make tweaks based on the repaired audio. 

I also chat about the following: 

  • AI-powered podcasts are NOT completely created by AI.
  • Ways to utilize AI in your podcast creation.
  • The AI tools the Galati Media team uses on a regular basis.
  • Why you shouldn’t rely on ChatGPT to write your episodes.

Be sure to tune in to all the episodes to receive tons of practical tips on turning your podcast listeners into leads and to hear even more about the points outlined above. Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of the episode to post in your stories and tag me! And don’t forget to follow, rate, and review the podcast and tell me your key takeaways!

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