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Choosing A Hosting Service For Your Podcast October 9, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Academy, Podcast and Portable Media Expo, Podcast Hosting, Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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I started researching hosting services for podcasting and found about 85 different hosting services that I would say were established (nice website, many users, answered the phone when I called customer service, etc.). There were about 35 more that you could tell were newbies. I didn’t find an exclusive list, but I found two lists that were helpful:

http://www.okaytoplay.com/podcast-hosting/

http://evhead.com/hodgepodge/podcast-sites-alexa.html

You have to watch what list you’re looking at because a lot of them come from the host themselves who get a neutral domain name, put out a review of everyone, and make themselves look better than they are. The second link that I show is from odeo, but they do an okay job of being fairly neutral.

Based on what I learned from Podcast Academy and the Expo I attended a few weeks ago, I knew to look for things like:

  • the ability to use your own domain name
  • no ads
  • unlimited bandwidth
  • statistics
  • and other things…

So, I narrowed the list down to 10: Akamai, Big Contact, Genetic Hosting, GoDaddy, Hipcast, Libsyn, Odeo, Ourmedia, podOmatic, and Podshow. After that, I did further investigation of their service offerings, costs, and extra costs / software / etc. that you need in order to really get things done. Some offer ‘free’ hosting, only to find that if you want to do anything serious, you need to pay extra for their client software or premier package (some of which have a very large cost). I’d rather find a place that told you strait out, here’s what we have and do, and this is how much is costs (even if it is a lot).

Thinking about the extras idea above and using the tips collected from all those sessions at the Academy and Expo again, I narrowed my list of 10 down to three. Genetic Hosting integrates Podkive into their offering which is a great archival and management system for podcasts (saw them at the Podcast Expo). They also are very open about their costs. Libsyn appears to do somewhat of the same (archiving), and they have a pretty good attitude/nature overall as a business. They have also just released a pro version that caters more to businesses and schools who are looking to do multiple podcasts under one roof. It looks to have great features and upgraded resources. Akamai is the big dog, they are used by large companies. They have it all, but they know it.

After phone conversations, demos, and playing live with all three companies / products … Libsyn is my pick for the average podcaster. Genetic is too new… they will figure it out in time, but not just yet. Akamai is for companies, large businesses, and those of you that have the cash and want it all.

Find out more: http://libsynpro.com/.

UPDATE 1 (10/13/2006): I should have given you libsyn’s main site link, the link above is for businesses and schools with multiple podcasts. The link to the free area that the beginning podcaster can use is: http://www.libsyn.com.

UPDATE 2 (11/25/2006): I took a tour of libsyn pro recently. I think schools and universities should check it out as a hosting service if they are not into hosting podcasts themselves. It allows an entity to have multiple podcast producers, but keep all the maintenance and stats in one place across all of the podcasts. Also, it would be a good solution if you had multiple podcasts that you are producing and you don’t want the hassle of different accounts for each one.

Comments»

1. businessgolf - October 13, 2006

What about ClickCaster? That is where I am cutting my teeth with the Mr Business Golf Show.

2. rexdixon - October 13, 2006

Yes, I use clickcaster.com also. I see absolutely *nothing* at the site you just linked above http://libsynpro.com/ — I mean, yeah, they have clients, such as NPR, etc… but… where are the podcasts?

Listen, I feel your pain. When I was looking for a podcast host – I went through the same trial and error. Check out my show on clickcaster – 7 Minutes with Rex Dixon – http://clickcaster.com/rex-dixon

Rex

3. Jeff - October 13, 2006

I should have given you libsyn’s main site link. Thanks for the reminder: http://www.libsyn.com.

About Clickcaster… I ruled that out right away because of the in-ability to have your own domain name. From what I’ve learned in seminars and more so from people I know who have had to switch providers… you’ll want your own http://www.mypodcastname.com so that you can always keep your subscribers. Using a front like feedburner can help with that too. I also saw the interface for Clickcaster at a conference and, though robust, I didn’t like the fact that you had to use it and didn’t have access to your files via FTP. I did like the way they did stats though, very similar to libsyn.

I’m glad you’re having a good experience with Clickcaster… both good podcasts. Mr. Business Golf… you missed the opportunity for a free plug. (Go check out Mr. Business Golf’s Podcast at http://clickcaster.com/businessgolf.)

4. businessgolf - October 13, 2006

Yes there are two of us, Rex Dixon http://rexdixon.wordpress.com and 7 minutes with Rex Dixon http://clickcaster.com/rex-dixon and myself use ClickCaster as a spring board and we link to our pods from WordPress.

I take the best of my stuff and post it on my web-site http://innovativebusinessgolf.com where I hope I can capture some traffic to sign up for my newsletter or buy my book or book me for a speaking engagement or one of my seminar/workshops….(how is that for a plug?)

But as you mentioned, as far as hitting my target market the ClickCaster does not get close to hitting any market as far as I can tell. Search engines pick up CC for podcasting, but not for what is in the site or who is in the site.

So, I am looking for a free site that hits the markets of people who would want to know about Business golf…(another shameless plug). Until the cash flow is formed I am not in shape to move off into one of the sites that deposit an arm and a leg into their bank account each day.

5. Jeff - October 13, 2006

This is getting a bit into marketing… but go check out http://www.jasonvanorden.com. He’s just released a book on podcast marketing and it may help you out. Also, see my post about on-line press release companies and consider sending one out.

PR Newswire has what they call a ‘Microlist’ where they deliver your press release directly to reporters covering niche industries. I checked Golf correspondents / magazine writers… and they have 309 different writers that they will give your press release to for $325. Who knows, you might be called for an interview, get an article in a magazine, or have your book featured in a review?

Not exactly cheap, but the one time cost may have on-going benefits…?

6. Alojamento - February 14, 2007

Check out PRWeb.com they are the leaders when it comes to submitting Press Releases.

7. Jeff - February 14, 2007

Yes, I like PRWeb.com as well. See this post: https://jdfrey.wordpress.com/2006/10/12/prweb%c2%ae-vs-pr-newswire/

8. The Church and Sermon Podcast Hosting Niche « Jeffrey Daniel Frey’s Blog - February 20, 2007

[…] want to do this, what are the options?  There are plenty of podcasting hosting services out there (see this post), but what about those services claiming to be church or sermon podcasting services.  I did a […]

9. Review HostingTops - August 19, 2007

oooh,
to host podcasts you need a lot of traffic and webspace.

i would recommend crucialwebhost or dreamhost. i had some experiences with them and they are good.

10. John Perry - September 19, 2007

I am biased, but look at http://www.k12learn.com K12 Learn is a podcast hosting solutions of K – 12 schools looking to produce podcasts for education. The reporting statistics have been great for administrators looking to justify the grant monies being used to purchase these services. I hope this helps

11. Jeff - September 28, 2007

Nice. I’m doing a lecture for the Greater Houston Education Collaboration Group (http://www.ghecgroup.net) and will bring that site up in the talk.

12. John Perry - November 15, 2007

Thanks Jeff. K12Learn is working on a contract with a district in Houston. Hopefully your lecture will help the efforts.

13. James Pell - November 17, 2007

Jeff,

You have been a lot of help in the past. I finally got my podcast Losing Weight After Baby.com up and running on Libsyn. So far we have 11 shows. I have registered it on every directly I know of. According to the Libsyn stats we get about 100 downloads per a week.
How would you increase the exposer the show gets?

Thanks again,
James

RSS:
http://losingweight.libsyn.com/rss
Itunes Link:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=264419615

14. Jeff - November 18, 2007

Good question. I think I’ll make a post out of this tomorrow.

Post to Websites, Forums, Podcasts, and Blogs:
First, I would do what you’re doing now. You posted a comment to my blog with the link to the rss feed and the itunes link. As long as you just don’t post the links, but ask something, say something meaningful, or stroke someone’s ego (i.e. “You have been a lot of help in the past.”… you won’t get spam filtered or deleted. Also, most blogs screen out more than two links, so be cautious about adding comments with three links on a blog. Find sites, forums, podcasts, and blogs about your subject. In your case, there are plenty of pregnancy sites / blogs that you could get into where the women will think about you later, and plenty of newborn sites that you could get on. Take a week and just find all of them. Dedicate yourself to posting meaningful and helpful posts on forums about your subject. Also, exchange audio promos or links with podcasters around the same subject. Just record an intro to another persons podcast, and mail it to them. Tell them you are willing to do the same on yours.

Create a Press Release:
Press releases are a great way to get picked up by online media. Companies like PRWeb or PRNewswire can help you out with that. They’ll even let you pick and choose markets and sites for the press release to be distributed to. After doing this, you will see a big influx of listeners. Make sure you have a good set of shows (11 is good), the last one is amazing, and your last 3 or 5 have been fairly consistent (or else you’ll lose that initial influx).

Distribute Content Everywhere:
I’m now seeing the huge benefits of distributing your content to as many places as possible. Speaking in general terms, if your podcast is video, put it on youtube, google, veoh, etc. If audio, make a 30 second video promo of your podcast (it could just be pictures, an explanation, etc… BUT… it’s better to do something useful) and put that promo out there for everyone to see. The last still frame should say something like “Learn more at http:…” and give them the link. If you can help 50 people out there on YouTube with a clip of something you talked about on your last podcast… do it. Then, drive them to your site by telling them where to get more help. There are companies like TubeMogul that will help you do this as well… you submit your video to them… and they post it all over the net.

I think these three things will get you started, and will get you a lot more listeners than you have now. Creating a press release is a one time thing, unless you change something drastically. The content distribution is just good practice and should become routine. I think the most time consuming, but maybe the most important, is the connections you can make with other sites, forums, podcasts, and blogs.

Good luck!

15. Arlene Pellicane - February 15, 2008

Jeff,

Whenever I have a question, you alwasy seem to know the answer. My hosting company, Libsyn is down and has riddled with technological difficulties. Two question: What happens if I switch to another hosting company? It can’t be good I have spent hours promoting my show Losing Weight After Baby.com. Second, question is who would you recommend for hosting services?

Thanks Again,
Arlene Pellicane
http://www.losingweightafterbaby.com/

16. eric@HostGator Coupon - February 22, 2009

podcasts is the new media in internet marketing and i still need to learn more. hostgator is the one that i am using for all my hosting needs, but i don;t know if they are suitable for podcasting, certainly affordable in price too.

Jeff - February 22, 2009

Though I’m not sure if this comment came from a person or a bot, I actually have folks who use hostgater and seem to like it.

17. Alojamento Sites - January 15, 2010

I think almost every services outthere can host podcasts. hostgator, godaddy, dreamhost and so on.

I would recommend a big hosting plan and lot of bandwidth.

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