Podbean Reviews of 2020

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Our Verdict: #1 Option for Easy Podcast Hosting

One of the most important steps of setting up your podcast is choosing a hosting platform.

Unlike typical web hosts, which focus on hosting websites, podcast hosting platforms specialize in hosting large media files like podcasts. They are built to provide the high amount of bandwidth and storage that podcasts need for their listeners to stream or download episodes quickly and reliably.

When it comes to podcast hosting, you won't be able to find a much better option than Podbean.

What makes Podbean an ideal host for your podcast? We'll take a closer look at the pros (and cons) of this podcast host below, but the main things we like are its easy-to-use interface, detailed analytics, and built-in monetization tools. Podbean offers both free and premium plans, so there are options for just about every podcaster's needs and budget.

You can use any of the special discount links on this page to get amazing Podbean deals.

And if you don't think Podbean is a good fit for your hosting needs, then check out our post on the best web hosts.

What is Podbean?

Podbean is based out of Wilmington, Delaware, and they've been offering podcast hosting since 2006.

In that time, over 250,000 podcasts have been hosted on Podbean.

About Podbean

Podbean is user-friendly and offers just about every service that a podcaster might need, so it's a good option whether you're just starting out or already quite experienced with podcasting.

Podbean's core service is podcast hosting. This means you can upload your podcast episodes to Podbean, and when someone wants to listen to them, they'll download or stream the data from Podbean's servers.

You'll be able to publish your podcast to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play, but those platforms don't host the episodes for you. They essentially just link back to your podcast host (Podbean in this case).

On top of hosting, Podbean also provides features to help you get new listeners, monetize your podcast, and even create a basic website.

Does Podbean own your content?

No, Podbean only hosts your content and has the right to distribute and promote it. You (in addition to any co-hosts) automatically own the content. The only way Podbean would own your podcast content is if you explicitly gave or sold it to them.

Podbean Free and Paid Plans

There are four hosting plans offered by Podbean. The table below breaks down the main differences between these plans:

BasicUnlimited AudioUnlimited PlusBusiness
Free$9/month$29/month$99/month
>5 hours total storage
>100 GB monthly bandwidth
>Mobile app & embeddable players
>Podcast site
>RSS feed & iTunes support
>Unlimited storage
>Unlimited bandwidth
>Mobile app & embeddable players
>Podcast site
>RSS feed & iTunes support
>Ad marketplace
>Premium sales
>Unlimited storage
>Unlimited bandwidth
>Mobile app & embeddable players
>Podcast site
>RSS feed & iTunes support
>Ad marketplace
>Premium sales
>Patron program
>PodAds dynamic ad insertion
>Unlimited storage
>Unlimited bandwidth
>Mobile app & embeddable players
>Podcast site
>RSS feed & iTunes support
>Ad marketplace
>Premium sales
>Patron program
>PodAds dynamic ad insertion
>Multiple admins
>Live chat support

The basic plan is best for new podcasters who just want to learn and don't expect many (if any) people to listen to their podcast yet. Remember, you can always upgrade later.

Podcasts that already have a following should consider the Unlimited Audio or Unlimited Plus plan, which includes unlimited storage/bandwidth as well as advertising and marketing tools.

Finally, the Business plan is a good fit for podcasts that are successful enough to have a team of employees, as it allows you to have multiple people work on your podcast from your account.

Customer Support Features

Live chat and ticketing (email) support is available, but there's no phone support.

Their best customer support resource may be the Podbean knowledge base, which contains hundreds of articles and video tutorials to help you overcome problems.

Podbean Support Center
Podbean offers an array of customer support avenues.

Money-Back and Uptime Guarantee

Not having an uptime guarantee is a point of concern for a host.

While there is no mention of a money-back guarantee on Podbean's site, in their Terms of Use it's clearly stated that all new customers have a 7-day grace period where they can be refunded if unhappy.

There's no uptime guarantee. Unlike many other hosting providers, Podbean won't compensate you if your site ever goes down.

Pros and Cons of Podbean

Podbean offers hosting for podcasters of all levels and is reasonably priced.

If you're looking for podcast hosting, here are the major pros and cons of Podbean in my opinion:

ProsCons
>Beginner-friendly setup means you can get started quickly
>Easily add your episodes to podcast apps like iTunes or Google Play
>Even the free plan lets you create an attractive site for your podcast
>Built-in monetization options
>Limited security features
>No uptime guarantee
>No backup feature
>Limited refund period

Podbean provides an "all-in-one" solution for podcasters that's easy to use.

How to Use Podbean

It only takes about 20 minutes to set up your Podbean account. Here are the main steps:

1. Pick a Custom Subdomain

After entering the basic information for your account, pick your custom subdomain (which you can later point to a custom domain):

Podbean Default Domain
Setting up your Podbean custom subdomain.

Within seconds, your basic site will be created with the default theme:

Podbean Basic Site
My quick setup podcast site on Podbean.

2. Change or Customize Your Layout

In your account backend, you can change the layout to any one of several theme options.

Podbean Themes
Podbean provides a variety of themes to choose from.

They all have responsive designs, which is important since many of your visitors will be on mobile devices.

3. Upload and Publish Your First Episode

From there, you're ready to upload your first episode.

After the upload is complete, you'll be asked to decide on the:

  • Title

  • Episode description

  • Monetization options (if any)

You can get unlimited audio storage on the $9/month plan.

And then hit "publish" when you're done. Filling out this information will usually only take a few minutes.

4. Your Podcast Is Ready To Be Listened To

From there, visit your subdomain and you'll see your podcast's RSS feed at the top. This is what you'll submit to podcast apps like iTunes.

Other Podbean Features

Now that you know how to set up your podcast on Podbean, let's take a look at some of their other features:

Podbean Customization

All Podbean accounts come with a free subdomain of your choice, provided it's not already taken (e.g. CoolPodcastName.podbean.com).

This page contains all your podcast information, and this is where visitors can listen to your episodes.

There's not a lot you can do in terms of content beyond that. It's not designed to be a blog or large website with many pages.

You are, however, able to choose a theme and then edit some basic styling options, such as:

  • Header image

  • Background image

  • Theme color

  • Font color

  • Link color

  • Title color

  • Font size

  • Font style

  • Podcast player location

  • Audio player color

  • Video player color

Overall, this is a good basic web presence for your podcast but isn't enough to build a full online business on.

Podbean Edit Theme
The theme editing dashboard of Podbean.

Also, a podcast that's generating revenue should have its own custom domain. You can buy one from any domain registrar and then forward your Podbean website to it in your account settings.

SEO Features

Google's SEO algorithms change and develop rapidly.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your content in order to help people find it through search engines.

In the case of podcasts, you shouldn't be too worried about optimizing for standard search engines like Google and Bing (although that's a plus). Instead, you want to optimize for podcast search engines.

Podbean has their own search engine (you can type in a podcast topic on their site's search bar to test), and so do all the other major podcast directories like iTunes and Google Play.

These search engines primarily use the titles and descriptions of podcast episodes to determine the results for any given search query.

Podbean SEO Apps
Podbean offers various plugins or "widgets".

Podbean also includes an SEO Meta Tags plugin that will allow you to add basic tags for these search engines.

By optimizing your titles, descriptions, and meta tags for search engines, you'll be able to attract many more listeners to your podcast.

Podbean's Mobile Apps

Podbean has highly-rated mobile apps on both iOS and Android.

These are designed mostly for listening, but they also have all the core publishing features.

Podbean App
The Podbean mobile app has an appealing and user-friendly interface.

You can record directly through the Podbean app (although I wouldn't recommend this in most cases), and you can upload episodes through the app as well.

Video Podcast Support

In addition to audio podcasts, certain Podbean plans support video podcasts.

Think about it - can your podcast do without video?

This isn't needed for most podcasts, but depending on your topic it may be useful.

If your audience might enjoy seeing you or your screen during episodes, keep this in mind when picking your plan.

Video podcasts are generally good if you're trying to build a personal brand (so now people can see the person behind the voice), or for topics where body language and demonstrations are useful.

Marketing & Monetization

Podbean Ad Calculator
Podbean's monetization calculator.

Starting a podcast without a marketing plan is a recipe for disaster.

While Podbean won't hold your hand and do everything for you, they do offer several helpful marketing features:

  • Automatic social sharing: Once you connect your major social profiles, you can tell Podbean to automatically share new episodes through them.

  • Easy embedding: You can copy and paste the provided embed code for each episode into WordPress, any social media network, or any website you own to share episodes.

  • Featured opportunities: Podbean features new podcasts in their search results to users they think would like them. This isn't a reliable way to find new listeners, but it could be a nice boost.

  • Monetization: Podbean makes it easy to add advertisements to your podcasts, even if you're not big enough to get a sponsor. You can also sell premium content or set up a patron system on certain plans.

Analytics and Statistics

Your Podbean website comes with a decent level of analytics built-in, with higher tier plans getting more advanced data.

The basic statistics show you how many downloads you get per day as well as your listener retention rate over time.

Podbean Stats
Podbean's analytics chart is simple to follow.

Additionally, you can connect the free Google Analytics plugin to your Podbean account for even more metrics.



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Interested in Podbean?
Use our special discount link to get the best deal on Podbean plans. Includes mobile app and your own podcast site.




Other Hosts to Consider

While I think Podbean is a solid podcast host, there may be a better one for you to consider based on your personal situation.

Podbean is certainly an outstanding choice for podcast hosting. But if you're looking for a more fully-featured service at a budget price, we recommend Siteground. They have great performance and technical support, and they're currently offering 70% off all plans.

Bluehost is another good alternative. They offer a free domain name when you sign up for hosting and are a great choice for beginners.

Here are some additional alternatives to consider along with their most affordable paid plans compared side-by-side:

PodbeanA2 HostingBlubrryLiquid Web
BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited10 TB
Podcast Player EmbeddingYesNoYesNo
Podcast AnalyticsYesNoYesNo
Price per Month$9$3.92$12$59

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting is mainly a web host, but they also offer podcast hosting. This makes them ideal for integrating your podcasts into WordPress or another content management system.

A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting offers a variety of user-friendly solutions.

They have a 99.9% uptime commitment, anytime money-back guarantee, and excellent security measures.

Blubrry

Blubrry is another popular and established podcast host like Podbean. They offer WordPress integration and other powerful features.

Blubrry
Blubrry also offers many helpful features.

However, it's also relatively expensive.

Liquid Web

Liquid Web is a premium web host that offers immense storage and incredible speed. Although they're not designed for podcasts specifically, their plans can easily handle serving one. However, they are significantly more expensive than your other options.

LiquidWeb
Liquid Web's plans are more suited for those in need of premium resources.

Using this provider makes a lot of sense if you already have a podcast generating money and want to grow a website alongside the podcast.



web hosting deals

Ready to try Podbean?
Use our unique discount link to get the best deal on Podbean plans. Includes mobile app and your own podcast site.



Podbean Review Conclusion

Overall, I'm happy to recommend Podbean to new podcasters in particular, although it's still a good option for experienced podcasters looking to quickly get another show up and running.

If you'd like to give them a shot, start with the free plan and see if you agree with my review. You can just click on the red button to the right to go check out Podbean.

Extra content by Dale Cudmore. Edited by Marko Csokasi.

Podbean Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 1 Reviews by Podbean Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Mark Hawkins avatar
Mark Hawkins awesomeshow.podbean.com
Apr 19, 2018

Podbean has an excuse for a support team. Online chat people were in educated as to how the site works, and thru their tampering deleted valuable files. No direct contact.

If you have a problem or question you are continually referred to tutorial sites that have missing steps and fail to function. They are quick to act if you threaten payment or ask for credit, but have no problem leaving problems fester for months.

Visit Host Now →

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KeriLynn Engel

About KeriLynn Engel

KeriLynn has worked as a freelance writer for various websites. She is an advocate for domestic abuse victims and has way too many hobbies.

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Garry Smithers

September 14, 2019

Help is sparse. Responses to app problems are lame and push for unreasonable further testing by me. The Android app support team seem to have little idea how the app is supposed to work

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