Choosing A Hosting Service For Your Podcast October 9, 2006Posted by Jeff in Podcast Academy, Podcast and Portable Media Expo, Podcast Hosting, Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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:
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
- 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.