Let’s be honest – podcasts have taken over the internet and are currently one of the best ways of reaching out to your audiences, capturing their attention and retaining it.
There are many reasons for this and one of the major reasons is that people can listen to podcasts while doing other things such as driving home from work, doing the dishes, or even taking their dogs out for a walk!
According to recent statistics, there are more than 850,000 active podcasts with 30 million episodes in over 100 languages. The most popular podcast categories include society and culture, business, comedy, news and politics, and health.
You might be wondering – wouldn’t it be great if I could start a podcast and connect better with my brand’s audiences or my own social media followers? Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to get started with podcasting in 2020 as there are many dedicated podcasting services available today that are not only easy to use but also quite affordable.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at one of such services – Podbean. You can find everything you need to know about podcasting on Podbean in this review such as its features, its prices, and an overview of the service as a whole.
Why use Podcast Hosting Services?
Podcast hosting services are hosting services that are dedicated to storing and serving large media files that are typically used for podcasts. Just like you need a web hosting service to ensure everyone in the world can access your website quickly, you need a podcast hosting service to do the same for your podcasts.
While it is technically possible to host your podcast files on web hosting services too, you wouldn’t really want to do that if you’re serious about podcasting. Podcast files are generally huge and using the same host for your website and your podcast is a recipe for disaster and server crashes.
Any podcast with a decent number of listeners requires a lot of bandwidth from the hosting service and in some cases, such as shared hosting, the hosting service will simply shut down the requests for your podcast files and will not allow people to download or listen to your podcast.
This is where dedicated podcast hosting comes into play. These dedicated hosting services are meant for storing and serving large media files that are used for podcasts. They also offer a lot of bandwidth with some plans even offering unlimited bandwidth to ensure your podcasts are always available, regardless of the number of listeners you have.
Podbean is mainly a hosting service for podcasts but also offers a few additional features that make it pretty useful for both new podcasters and novice podcasters who are looking to create a more structured system for promoting and monetizing their podcasts.
The primary selling point of Podbean is that it is extremely user-friendly. The service also comes with features other than hosting which makes it a powerful platform for all types of podcasters.
Podbean also allows you to distribute your podcast to major platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play. While these platforms are great for publishing your podcast and increasing your reach, they do not provide hosting and instead link back to a podcast host like Podbean where the files of your podcast are actually stored.
Some other features of Podbean help in marketing your podcast, in monetizing it and in building the online presence of your podcast (but only to a certain limit). More information about the features provided by Podbean is given in the sections below so you can make an informed choice when deciding whether to use this podcast hosting service or not.
How trustworthy is Podbean?
Podbean has been around since 2006 and more than 250,000 podcasts have been hosted on the platform. Boasting over more than 5.9 billion downloads, Podbean is a pretty reliable platform that you can definitely trust.
Podbean Review: Features
Podbean can be considered as an “all-in-one” solution for your podcasting needs. What this means is that you get a ton of features when you use Podbean as your podcasting platform. You might just be thinking of experimenting with podcasts for a while and some of these features would be overkill for you at the moment but it is always good to know that you can scale up if needed.
The features provided by Podbean to its users, other than hosting, are the following:
1. Website Builder and Custom Themes
When you create an account on Podbean, you have to pick a custom subdomain for your account. For example – yourname.podbean.com. This will be a page that will contain all the information about your podcast. Your listeners can also listen to your podcast simply by going to this page.
While the free page offered by Podbean can never substitute the value of having a custom domain and website for your podcast, it is still pretty decent for new podcasters who want to have an online presence.
There are a number of customization options available that can help you in changing the look and feel of your podcast’s web page. For example, you can pick the theme colors, use custom images, change font sizes, etc.
Of course, you can only customize this page to a certain extent as it is not a full-fledged custom website. But if you’re starting out with podcasting, you can very quickly have a decent looking web page for your podcast without needing any web development skills at all.
2. Basic tools for SEO
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is something that most people need to focus on if they want traffic or viewers for their content. In a very basic definition, it is the process of optimizing your content so it ranks better organically on search engines.
SEO for podcasts is not about ranking high on Google but rather ranking high on the search engines used by popular podcast platforms such as Spotify and iTunes. You ideally want your podcast to rank high so more and more listeners can find you organically through search.
Podbean offers some basic tools for SEO that can be used to make your podcast rank higher. Most of them are free plugins that you can use to add titles and meta tags which helps in the SEO process. These plugins are very easy to use and you don’t really need any technical skills to use them and if you want your podcast to be popular, you definitely should use them.
3. Mobile App
As mentioned at the starting of this blog, people usually listen to podcasts while doing other things such as driving home from work. Keeping this in mind, it is vital to ensure they can access your podcasts on the go.
Podbean has an excellent mobile app for both android and Apple users. Even though the app is targeted more towards listeners, it also provides most of the publishing tools you need allowing you to manage your podcast from anywhere and on any device. It is also possible to record your podcasts using the phone directly but I wouldn’t recommend doing it as the quality of any decent level dedicated microphone will be much better than the quality of a microphone on a cellphone.
4. Video Podcasts
Video podcasts are, as the name implies, podcasts that also have a video along with the audio. For some podcasts, it might not be necessarily a good thing to have a video while it can be a great thing for others. At the end of the day, the content creator should decide whether their podcast should be an audio-only podcast or should also include video.
In case you do want a video podcast, you can still use Podbean to host and distribute your video podcast. Do note that video podcasts are not allowed on the cheaper plans on Podbean (keep reading to find out more about the different plans and pricing of Podbean’s services below).
5. Marketing and Monetization Features
If you really want to be successful at podcasting, you need to think of a marketing plan for your podcast. While Podbean will not help you with marketing the podcast itself, it does provide a lot of features that can be useful when it comes to marketing and monetizing the podcast.
Some of these features include automatic sharing to your social media channels once you upload the podcast, easy embedding that can be used to post your podcast to various social media platforms and your own website, and tools that you can use to monetize your podcast.
6. Analytics and Statistics
From a marketing point of view, your podcast’s analytics and statistics are vital. They help significantly in ascertaining how well your podcast is performing. While you get access to advanced analytics only on the higher-tier plans, you can access basic statistics like your listener retention rate and the number of downloads even on basic plans.
In addition, you can also use the free Google Analytics plugin to connect your Podbean account with Google Analytics and get more detailed statistics that can be used to optimize your podcast and make it perform better in terms of reach and listener retention.
7. Live Streaming
Lastly, Podbean also allows you to go live with live audio streaming. If you would like to take user calls and engage with your audiences in real-time, this feature is a godsend as you can start streaming live audio from the Podbean platform itself!
Podbean Podcast Hosting Pricing Plans
Podbean currently offers 4 tiers of plans – Basic, Unlimited Audio, Unlimited Plus, and Business. The pricing for the plans on the platform range from free for the basic plan to $99 per month for the business plan. Let’s take a look at these plans a bit more in detail:
- Basic (free): Podbean offers its basic plan for free which is ideal for people who are just starting out with podcasting. While a lot of advanced features are missing in this plan such as the monetization features, you still get a custom subdomain and podcast page with basic themes, 5 hours of storage and a bandwidth of 100 GB per month. While the storage and bandwidth limit is pretty low, it is still great considering the fact that you’re getting it for free!
- Unlimited Audio ($9 per month): The unlimited audio plan offers unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth for your podcasts at just $9 per month. You also get access to other features such as the ability to connect your podcast site to a custom domain, advanced customization, and monetization features such as access to the Ads marketplace and the premium sales monetization feature.
- Unlimited Plus ($29 per month): The Unlimited Plus plan has all the features of the Unlimited Audio plan but also supports video podcasts, along with unlimited storage and bandwidth. You also get access to advanced monetization features such as the patron program and PodAds, an advanced SaaS for Podcast Advertising which allows you to use Podbean’s dynamic ad insertion technology.
- Business ($99 per month): The business plan is meant to be used by podcast businesses and comes with all the features provided in the Unlimited Plus plan. It also allows you to have multiple podcast channels, multiple admins, the ability to remove Podbean’s branding, and much more!
Podbean Discount Code
They’re many blogs making false claims of:
- Podbean Discount Code 2020
- Podbean Discount Code
- Podbean Discount
- Podbean Coupon Code 2020
- Podbean Coupon
- Podbean Coupon Code
The truth is that Podbean does not offer any coupons! However if you click the link below you can get 1 month free of hosting!
How to use Podbean Podcast Hosting
The entire Podbean platform is designed to be extremely easy to use so that podcasters with no technical knowledge can quickly set up their podcast page and start distributing their content. Let us quickly walk through the steps that you need in order to get your podcast up and running on Podbean.
1. Create an account and pick your subdomain
The first step is to create an account on Podbean and enter the necessary details. In the end, you will have to choose a subdomain for your podcast page that isn’t already taken. Once you’re done with that, your podcast page will be instantly created.
2. Customize your page
You then have the option of customizing your page using ready-made themes and templates that are responsive so they look good when viewed on any device.
3. Upload your first episode
Once you’re happy with how your page looks, you can start uploading the first episode of your podcast. You’ll have to enter details such as the title of the episode, a description of the episode, and select your monetization options if you’re using the higher-tier plans. Once the upload is completed, all that’s left to do is to press the publish button.
4. And your podcast is up and running!
Once you’ve published your podcast, it would be available to everyone visiting your podcast page. You’ll also find the RSS feed of your podcast on the top which can then be copied and submitted to podcast streaming platforms like iTunes.
Podbean Security and Backup
Even though Podbean is a huge platform and is considered to be safe, the website or the help section of Podbean doesn’t talk a lot about its security measures in detail. In addition, there is also no option for automatic backups.
It is a good idea to keep these points in mind if you’re using Podbean because while the chances of losing your data on Podbean is very low, you should still maintain your own backup if you’re using Podbean as your podcast hosting service.
If automatic backup and transparent security features are absolutely important to you then it can be a better idea to look at other options available to you when it comes to hosting your podcast.
Podbean Customer Support
Honestly, it can be fair to say that customer support isn’t a top priority for Podbean. You can still find a somewhat decent customer support system on the platform as it provides both live chat and a ticketing system to provide support. If you’re using the business plan, you do get priority customer support which is better than the average quality of customer support provided on the platform.
Additionally, Podbean also has a “knowledgebase” webpage where you can find a number of video tutorials and articles that can help you with issues that you might face while using the platform.
The knowledge base covers a lot of the basic topics such as advertising, monetizing, basic features, advanced features, the android app, the iOS app, and more. However, as extensive as their self-help platform may be, it still cannot replace the quality of customer support that you can get from an actual person.
The lack of high-quality customer support is still not a huge problem when you consider the low pricing of the platform though.
Lastly, the terms and conditions of Podbean provide for a 7-day grace period for new users during which they can ask for a refund if they’re not happy with the services. It is still a better idea to use the free plan to test out the platform before buying a higher-priced plan so you do not have to deal with all that hassle.
Pros and Cons of Podbean
Now that we’ve covered all the features of Podbean, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of Podbean as a platform:
Is PodBean right for your needs?
At its core, Podbean is a simple podcast hosting service that can be used by anyone to create a podcast and distribute it to listeners all over the world. With the free plan, you can experiment with the platform and if you want advanced features, you can always opt for a higher tiered plan as you scale up.
While there are cheaper alternatives to Podbean, it is still one of the most affordable podcast hosting services and provides great features for its price. If you are okay with a less than perfect customer support system or are just starting out with podcasting, there are very few podcast hosting services that are better than Podbean.