A Breakdown of Popular Podcast Platforms

April 28, 2020

Alison Osborne | January 2020

Where are you listening?

The majority of podcasters are aware of the battle between two major players in the audio space, Spotify and Apple. These two platforms are still competing for the majority when it comes to where podcast audiences are listening. And they have no intention of slowing down in 2020. 

We’ve watched Spotify make major strides in 2019 through its acquisition of Anchor and Gimlet Media while also framing themselves to be much more than just a music streaming service. These strategic moves towards the podcast industry have definitely impacted their success with listeners. 

 At the end of 2019, Pandora still holds the majority of US market share at 30%, while Spotify follows second at 25%, and then Apple at 11%. With the major swings made by Spotify in 2019, It’s not a surprise that Spotify has taken the lead over Apple, and it’s a clear sign that Apple needs to step up their game to compete with the rising podcast trends. James Cridland, Editor at Podnews points out that: 

“Apple Podcasts will continue to decrease in market share unless they make significant changes to their service. We may see some exclusive Apple programming, but I’d like to see Apple’s micropayments being made available, allowing podcasters to create subscription podcasts and lessen the reliance on advertising. For this to work best, Apple would launch Apple Podcasts on Android phones, too. Will they take it seriously enough?”

Intriguingly, it’s predicted that Apple and Spotify won’t be the only kids on the block. Conal Byrne, President of iHeartPodcast Network told podcasters to look out for platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and of course, YouTube. With gigantic user bases already supporting these brands, it’s likely that they will create audio-specific products that make it easy for audiences to listen to podcasts directly on their platform. 

What exactly to expect from this? We’re not sure yet, but we’re definitely excited to see what some of these platforms will be coming out with in 2020.

So that ends us with one last question, where are you currently listening to your podcasts? Let us know with the hashtag, #OMHPodcast2020!

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!