Podbean Review: Is This the Right Podcasting Platform for You?

By Jeff Cobb.  Last Updated on December 24, 2023

If you’re looking to start a podcast, you need a one-stop shop that caters to all your podcasting needs. That’s where Podbean comes in.

This hosting service allows you to upload all your podcast episodes, and it also has features that go way beyond podcast publishing, including solutions for distributing, monitoring, promoting, and monetizing your show.

This is a world-class podcasting solution that’s ideal for users who want an affordable and easy-to-use platform.

Read the rest of this guide which outlines the platform’s most prominent features to help you determine if this is the best podcast hosting software for you.

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What is Podbean?

Podbean is a podcast hosting and monetization platform that’s been around since 2006. The podcast host is built for your success and comes with integrated features to cater to podcasts of all sizes.

You can create a podcast for free by signing up on the website, and you get access to all the platform’s core features that allow you to host and manage your podcast, live stream audio shows, promote marketing campaigns and customize your podcast show page to match your brand.

You can also integrate social media channels to facilitate engagement with Podbean audience comments. All in all, this platform provides you with an easy and powerful way to run your podcast from a single dashboard.

Who is Podbean Best For?

Podbean is ideal for anyone who wants to host and grow a podcast. From podcast newbies to professional podcasters, everyone can get the tools they need to start their podcasts and reach their goals. 

As a content creator, a podcast can help you sell online courses, coaching, consulting, and other products and services.

A podcast can also help you establish your authority and solidify your brand as a subject matter expert, which can lead to more leads and sales.

For many aspiring podcasters, the goal of having a podcast is simply to make money. Even in that case, Podbean is the perfect platform as it comes with multiple avenues for monetizing your podcast from the get-go (more on that below).

You also get features like unlimited downloads and 100% cloud backup which means you can focus on creating and publishing great content without worrying about limits. 

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Podbean Features and Functionality

Podbean has an impressive suite of features that make it a superb option for podcast hosting. Here’s a closer look at some of the most prominent features on the platform.

1. Ease-Of-Use: Is Podbean Easy to Use?

There’s no point in having podcast hosting sites with all the best and most advanced tools if you’ll have a hard time figuring out how to use them. That’s why ease of use is first on our list.

Fortunately, getting started on Podbean is extremely easy, and you can have your show live in just a couple of steps after signing up for an account on the platform.

Easy Podcast Creation

Creating and publishing your podcast is a quick and intuitive process that you can do even from your phone.

As soon as you sign up, you get access to all the features to host your podcast episodes. The user interface is intuitive, and everything is designed for “point-and-click” simplicity, which means you’ll be able to figure it out regardless of your technical skill level.

Simple Podcast Publishing

Podbean has a user-friendly publishing interface. Within minutes of signing up for a Podbean account, you can have your podcast published on Podbean’s app, or embedded onto your website. As a mobile user, you can even publish your podcast right from your Android or iOS device.

The hosting is unlimited. There is no limit to the number of episodes or recording time, and users can download podcasts to their heart’s content. This is reassuring as it means you won’t have to worry about diminishing storage after publishing your first podcast.

Quick Podcast Distribution

Podcast distribution used to be a hassle, but these days, platforms like Podbean make it a breeze. Podbean has ties to some of the most popular podcast directories out there, which gives you broader exposure for your episodes.

You can submit your podcast to directories like:

  • Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher
  • Google Play and Google Podcasts
  • Apple Podcasts and iTunes
  • Amazon Music and Audible
  • iHeartRadio, PlayerFM
  • YouTube, TuneIn, iMDB
  • SHEQONOMI, Podchaser
  • Listen Notes, Podcast Addict

If you plan to grow your podcast, a platform like Podbean can be useful in helping you reach a wider audience so you can achieve your goals.

Podbean also has a powerful embedded player that allows you to embed single tracks or multiple tracks to your website or any other online page where you have editing access.

2. Create a Customizable Podcast Website

Did you know that you can build a website with Podbean? Every Podbean plan includes a customizable podcast website where you can upload all your episodes and series. This makes it easier for your listeners to check in or subscribe so they don’t miss any important episodes.

There is a selection of beautifully designed website templates to choose from, each of which is mobile responsive and expertly optimized. The templates come with built-in podcast features that you can easily customize to get the exact look and functionality you want for your show.

Podbean gives you design and customization control over your podcast website’s appearance. You can tweak options to change things such as:

  • The header image
  • Background image
  • Theme color
  • Favicon

Here’s a quick look at the settings you can change in the Podcast Website Customization tab:

red box around podcast website
red arrow pointing down to red box with edit
red arrow pointing to submit button

Once you’ve made the necessary edits, you’re ready to upload and publish your first episode.

Compared to other site builders, the Podbean podcast editor has limited design options. But, it’s a convenient way to get your branded site up and running without having to mess with HTML or CSS.

By default, your Podbean website is a subdomain, which means your URL will be “yoursite.podbean.com”. However, you can change the subdomain settings to use a custom URL for a more professional look. You’ll find a helpful guide on Podbean’s website on how to add your own custom domain.

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3. Reliable File Hosting

As a podcaster, the one thing you should never compromise on is the quality of your audio. The good news is that Podbean offers high-quality audio and checks all the boxes in terms of compatible file formats, lossy/lossless, and unlimited sizes on uploads.

Additionally, Podbean is compatible with video podcasting, as well, and you get exceptional video quality for all your uploads.

4. Multiple Podcast Monetization Options

On Podbean, you have multiple opportunities to earn from your podcast. You can experiment with different types of podcast monetization to discover the one that works best for you and your unique audience.

Here’s a look at the different types of monetization programs available on Podbean.

  • Ads Marketplace: You can join Podbean’s Ads Marketplace to earn money through sponsorships on your podcast.
  • Patron Program: This is a seamless way for fans to support your podcast directly. The patron program allows you to receive recurring monthly revenue from listener support.
  • Paid Content: You can easily deliver bonus content to your patrons and enjoy a seamless donation process with in-app and site donation buttons.
  • Apple Podcasts Subscriptions Integration: This monetization feature lets you effortlessly create and manage exclusive episodes from your Apple podcast subscribers directly from your Podbean dashboard.
  • PodAds: You can use Podbean’s dynamic ad insertion technology to insert and manage your own ads.

5. Built-In Promotional Tools

waves demo
episdoes section
images with play buttons

Perhaps one of the most important features of Podbean is the built-in promotion features that make it easier for you to get your content in front of your target listeners.

The promotional tools available to you include:

  • A Mobile App: The app gives new users a convenient platform to find podcast content like yours.
  • Live Streaming: You can use the audio live streaming to promote your podcast to new users online and on social media. The audio livestream app lets you take listener calls and even get real-time comments. You can also use this feature to earn virtual currency from gifts and ticket sales.
  • Video Podcasts: This feature lets you upload video content that you can promote on video-sharing sites like YouTube where you’d otherwise have a hard time generating interest with audio-only content.
  • Integrated Social Promotion Tools: You can automatically promote your new content to your followers on various social media networks using this feature. You can also auto-generate and publish social media-compatible videos for YouTube and Facebook.
  • Email Marketing: The integrated email marketing feature helps you connect with your audience base, maintain engagement, and keep them updated whenever you publish a new episode. 
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6. Integrated Website SEO Features

Podbean has built-in SEO features to help you optimize your podcast website to ensure it appears on search engines for queries relevant to your topic.

You can add metadata to your pages using a plugin like the SEO Meta Tags plugin available from the Podbean app marketplace.

red arrow pointing to get the plugin with a red box around it

Plugins like this one make it easier for you to edit the SEO settings on your main dashboard – even if you’re not an SEO pro. You’ll get suggestions for SEO best practices, as well as the meta-data, keywords, and descriptions to use on your podcast site.

For example, the plugin above will suggest something like:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”your first keyword“>

<meta name=”description” content=”your podcast description“>

All you’ll have to do is replace the words in bold text with your keywords, descriptions, etc., and paste them into the empty field in the relevant SEO settings tab and you’ll be all set.

This is a feature that you’ll find very helpful if you are not used to adding descriptions and meta-tags to your site.

7. Convenient Podcast Mobile App

The Podbean podcast mobile app is handy for content discovery. Your listeners can download it to their Android or iOS devices to start searching for the shows or episodes they want to listen to.

As a Podbean user, your podcast will be shown as a suggestion for the relevant topics and categories. This way, you’ll be able to continue to grow your audience of listeners on autopilot.

In addition to providing convenience to your listeners, Podbean’s app also benefits you, as the podcaster.

Install the app on your mobile device and use it to record and edit video or audio content right from your phone. When you’re done, publish your video or audio in a single step.

You can even add background music and sound effects. You also have additional options to split, merge, and edit sound clips from your device.

Podcast Player App Podbean spotify install screen

Now you can publish your episodes no matter where you are. You can capture any moment, anywhere with professional-quality live streaming. Moreover, the tools to promote your episodes are all available from the same place.

In short, there’s never a reason to not make compelling podcasts from wherever you are when using this all-in-one podcast hosting system.

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8. Analytics and Reporting

Podbean has built-in IAB-certified podcast analytics and reporting tools to help you track and analyze the performance and effectiveness of your podcast. There’s also the option to integrate a third-party app for more comprehensive podcast analytics (more on integrations below).

You can measure metrics such as:

  • Downloads by Time of Day: This will give you an idea of the days and times your audience listens to your episodes. You can use this information to help you establish the best time and date to publish an episode.
  • Downloads and Trends: You can see how many downloads each episode gets, together with previous trends.
  • Listener Geographies: This metric helps you figure out where the majority of your listeners are from, and it can be quite useful if you’re looking for podcast advertisers with a target demographic.
  • Top 10 Episodes: This metric will tell you which of your episodes are in the top 10 for a specific date range.
  • User Agents: Use this information to learn which devices and apps are used by your audience to listen to your show.
  • User Retention: A simple metric that helps you understand how attractive or relevant your content is to listeners by showing you how many listeners you retained over the past few weeks.

All of this is available to you through intuitive charts that are easy to read so you can glean important information at a glance.

stats page with 4 colored boxes up top with downloads and chart in middle and map of world to show where audience comes from

This podcast analysis report provides valuable information that can prove pivotal to your podcast’s success.

By reviewing these and other metrics, you’ll know which episodes work to bring in and keep listeners. This makes it easier for you to plan your content to ensure that you stay ahead of your competitors.

9. Lucrative Affiliate Program

As a Podbean user, you can get rewarded for promoting the world’s leading podcast publishing platform.

To start earning, simply sign up on the platform and use the resources provided in the comprehensive affiliate marketing toolkit to start promoting the platform on your website or social media.

There are three types of Podbean Affiliate Programs:

Hosting Affiliate Program

On this program, you’ll earn $25 for each referred user who signs up for a Podbean Unlimited plan. Also, each person you refer will receive a one-month free trial of Podbean, which allows them to experience the platform firsthand. This is a win for everyone – Podbean, you, and those you refer to the company.

Business Plan Affiliate Program

In addition to the hosting affiliate program, there’s also a business plan affiliate program that allows you to elevate your earnings. You’ll be paid a $100 commission for every person referred who signs up for Podbean’s Network Plan. Your referrals will also enjoy a free one-month trial when they sign up.

Advertising Affiliate Program

With over 10,000 podcasts in the advertising program, advertisers of all sizes are enjoying the benefits of this partnership. When you refer an advertiser to the Podbean ad marketplace, you will receive 10% of all sales for the first six months. The advertiser gets up to $100 credit for podcast advertising.

This is a great deal for online services, small businesses, and podcasts that wish to do promotions on similar shows.

10. Standout Feature: Video Podcast Support

Subscribers to Podbean’s higher-tier plans can upload video podcasts. While most podcast listeners are happy to listen to conversations without any visuals, uploading videos helps you appeal to an even broader audience by adding a whole new perspective that podcast lovers can explore.

As a content creator, it also gives you more flexibility to share moments that you just can’t capture when using only audio.

With the video uploads feature on Podbean, you can also promote your podcast on YouTube and other video streaming platforms to help generate more interest in your content. You can even add links to your Podbean website to bring in more traffic to your website.

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Pros and Cons of Podbean

Like all other podcast hosting platforms, Podbean has its own unique set of pros and cons.

Here’s a quick look at some of its most prominent benefits and drawbacks so you can have a better understanding of the platform’s capabilities, and its limitations.

Pros: What We Like About Podbean

  1. Easy to Use: Thanks to the self-explanatory interface, anyone can create a Podbean account and start podcasting right away, even if they’ve never launched a podcast before
  2. Unlimited Storage: Podbean offers unlimited storage on all its premium plans which means you don’t have to worry about paying for additional storage as your show grows.
  3. Mobile App Support: The platform offers mobile app support which is a convenient way to help customers exactly while they are using your app.
  4. Built-In Revenue Generation Tools: You can monetize your podcast in a number of ways, including PodAds and Premium Podcasting for additional revenue.
  5. Live Streaming: Podbean also supports live streaming which makes it easy for you to share your video and audio episodes online.
  6. Marketing Tools: Choose from a wide range of marketing tools to help you better promote your show and amplify your visibility online.
  7. Video Upload Support: Podbean offers video podcast support, which is a unique feature that you won’t find on many podcast hosting solutions.

Cons: What We Don’t Like About Podbean

  1. Limited Free Plan Features: The free plan has extremely limited features, which means serious podcasters will have to upgrade to one of the premium plans. For example, the Patron Program and PodAds monetization options are only available to users on higher-tier plans.
  2. Few Customization Options: Although Podbean provides you with beautiful, editable templates for your podcast website, there isn’t much you can do in terms of customization.
  3. Basic Analytics: The platform only provides analytics for the most basic metrics for your podcast show.
  4. No Automatic Audio Enhancement: Podbean does not come with a built-in feature for enhancing your audio, which means you have to integrate a third-party app.
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Podbean Alternatives

It’s clear from the features outlined above that Podbean has a lot to offer. The platform offers all the core features you’d expect from a leading podcast host, including unlimited hosting for podcasts, live streaming, and automatic listing on leading directories and social platforms.

However, if Podbean’s hosting service still doesn’t check all the boxes for you, here are three of its top competitors to consider as alternatives.

You can also read more about our top podcast hosting platform picks.

Podbean vs. Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout is designed to make it as easy as possible for beginners to get their podcast shows online. It has an intuitive user interface and built-in features to help you manage and grow your podcast with ease.

No technical expertise is required, and uploading your episodes to multiple directories is as easy as clicking a button. You’ll be able to instantly publish each episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Alexa, among many other directories.

You can embed Buzzsprout’s podcast player on your website and use it to publish single episodes or entire playlists in the same window. You also have the option to create topical markers within each uploaded episode to further enhance the listening experience and boost engagement on your site.

Listeners can click on markers to jump to relevant topics, which is particularly helpful if you post lengthy podcast episodes.

Buzzsprout also provides in-depth user analytics, a definite edge over Podbean’s analytics which are somewhat basic. This is a crucial feature because in-depth analytics help you gain insights into your audience’s behavior so you can see how listeners engage with your podcast series. This can help you produce better content that resonates more with your audience.

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Podbean vs. Castos

If you’re a WordPress user looking for the easiest way to get your podcast show online, then Castos is a Podbean alternative worth considering. It’s a podcast hosting platform built for WordPress that allows you to easily host high-quality podcasts without having to worry about the technical aspect of things.

As many WordPress users will tell you, trying to manage multiple apps can quickly become frustrating. But thanks to the seamless integration of this WordPress podcast hosting platform, you never have to worry about any technical hassles.

You get unlimited storage and bandwidth which means you can host as many shows as you want with no fear of hitting the account limit. A standout feature of Castos that gives it an edge over its rivals is the ability to publish private podcasts for premium subscribers.

This allows you to create content exclusively for customers who opted into your shows, and it can be a handy tool to help you grow your online course, coaching, or consulting business.

Castos also provides detailed analytics to give you a clearer view of how users interact with your website and content. You can customize your podcast website to match your brand, and you get built-in podcast SEO settings, as well as episode transcripts, and one-click podcast distribution to all major directories.

Try Castos for Free

Podbean vs. Spreaker

Spreaker is a one-stop shop that offers all the tools you need to create, manage, distribute, and monetize your podcast.

One thing that sets it apart from the other competitors on this list is that all these features are offered on the platform’s generous free plan. You also get data analytics tools with more metrics than most other podcast analytics in the industry.

Monetize your show with the platform’s programmatic advertising features. No need to wait until you hit some arbitrary threshold of listeners. You can start earning from your show from the first day.

Moreover, Spreaker has built-in tools to help connect you to relevant podcast sponsors who are aligned with your listeners’ interests. This way, all your content remains on-topic and provides real value to your audience.

This one-stop podcasting shop distributes your podcast to all the popular directories, and you get a fully customizable podcast website on which you can add a description of your show/sessions and optimize for search engines to drive even more targeted traffic to your site.

Try Spreaker for Free

Podbean Support

Podbean has a wealth of documentation and resources to help its users succeed. If you need to contact support, you can do so using the form on the website’s Contact page. You’ll get a prompt response from the customer support team. Alternatively, you can get instant support by using the live chat in your Podbean dashboard.

Here are some additional ways Podbean strives to help its users succeed:

  • Support Center: The Support Center is where you can submit a ticket or search through the vast database of articles and video tutorials to find answers to your questions.
  • Knowledge Base: Here you’ll find detailed tutorials on topics like how to start a podcast, how to livestream, how to monetize your show, and the best promotional tactics to get your show in front of more listeners.
  • How-To Guides: If you want to start a podcast but don’t know where to begin, you’ll find plenty of helpful resources on Podbean on how to start, monetize, and grow a podcast.
  • Free Webinars: Join the free weekly webinars and podcast events hosted by the Podbean Academy to help you build a successful podcast.
  • Podbean Blog: The blog is packed full of articles on every conceivable podcasting topic, with new posts being added every week.

Podbean Pricing

pricing chart wiht 4 columns

Podbean prides itself on having simple podcast pricing, so you get no surprises down the line. You can choose the best hosting plan to fit your needs from four growth-focused plans which are as follows:

  • Basic Plan: $0/Month: This is the podcast starter plan. It’s always free and allows you to get your podcast online as quickly as possible. The plan comes with five hours of total storage time and 100GB monthly bandwidth. You get basic podcast stats, podcast website themes, and distribution to all major podcast apps. This, and all other Podbean plans come with the mobile app and embeddable podcast player.
  • Unlimited Audio: $9/Month: This audio podcasting plan has no limits. It includes everything in the Basic plan, together with free unlimited audio, unlimited storage space and unmetered bandwidth. This plan also comes with advanced custom design and the ability to map your own domain. You get access to all the monetization options, except for the Patron Program, which is only available on the higher-priced plans.
  • Unlimited Plus: $29/Month: This plan is ideal for video podcasts and podcast monetization. It has all the features in the Unlimited Audio plan, and you also get video podcasts, full custom design, multiple podcast channels, and access to the Patron Program which allows you to easily deliver bonus content to your patrons and receive recurring monthly revenue from listener support.
  • Network Plan: $79/Month: This plan is best for multiple public broadcasts and large podcast networks. It has all the platform’s features and offers up to 50 admins, unlimited podcast channels, and live chat support. You also get a professional network page, which is a dedicated site for all your network’s podcasts. This makes it easier for your listeners to discover and access all your shows from one convenient place.
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Podbean Integrations

Podbean comes with a range of built-in features for creating, promoting, and monetizing your podcast. You also have the option to integrate additional third-party tools into your podcast to help you run everything smoothly.

To do so, simply head over to apps.podbean.com, where you’ll be able to choose from a range of powerful plugins, features, and services for your podcast.

These include:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Analytics
  • SEO Meta Tags
  • Episode Tags
  • Mailchimp
  • LemonSpeak
  • Launchsoft
  • Koolio.ai
  • SocialAgency360
  • Podcast Value

Wrapping Up: Is Podbean Worth It?

Hopefully, this guide has helped you determine if Podbean is the right solution to meet your podcasting needs.

Podbean is among the most popular hosting platforms for podcasts, and it comes with an impressive range of features, including a mobile app, video uploads, built-in promotion features, and perhaps most importantly, easy monetization features.

What’s more interesting is that many of these monetization features are virtually maintenance-free, which means once you set them up, you can then run your podcast as normal, and you will continue to make money on autopilot.

Try Podbean for Free

Podbean FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which is the best podcast hosting platform?

A: A quick search of the best podcast hosting platforms shows that Podbean is always near or at the top of the list – and with good reason. The platform is easy to use and comes with ample storage and bandwidth. You can distribute your podcast to all major podcast directories with a click, and there’s a host of other built-in and integrated tools to help you run a successful podcast.

Q: Is Podbean really free?

A: Podbean’s podcast hosting service allows you to start a podcast for free. You’ll get access to the Podbean podcast app to record, publish, and livestream a podcast for free. The paid plans offer more advanced features and additional storage and bandwidth resources.

Q: Can I use Podbean for advertising?

A: Yes. Podbean comes with built-in ad tools so you don’t have to look for advertisers on your own. The Ad Marketplace connects advertisers to relevant shows so they can reach millions of targeted listeners. Both advertisers and podcasters can hand-pick which ads appear on their shows, making it easier to offer content that stays on point.

Q: Is Podbean monetization worth it?

A: Podbean certainly is worth it for anyone who is new to the process of publishing, distributing, and monetizing their podcast because it offers built-in, easy-to-use tools to start making money from your show with the very first episode. But it’s important to note that most of the monetization features are only available on the higher-tier plans.

Q: What is the best Podbean alternative?

A: One of the best Podbean alternatives is Buzzsprout. Like its competitor, it offers generous features and resources, including up to 250 hours or 2GB of storage space on its free plan. It’s easy to use and comes with built-in tools to host, promote, and track your podcast from one place.

Q: How Do You Use Podbean?

A: There are virtually no limits to the ways podcasters can use Podbean. The hosting platform also serves all your podcast publishing, distributing, monetizing, and scaling needs.

Q: Does Podbean own your content?

A: No. Podbean doesn’t own your podcast episodes or website content. It’s simply a hosting platform that you can use to distribute your podcast episodes and series to other platforms like Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, and Spotify.

Try Podbean for Free
Head shot of Learning Revolution Founder Jeff Cobb

Jeff Cobb, Founder of Learning Revolution

Jeff Cobb is an expert in online education and the business of adult lifelong learning. Over the past 20+ years he has built a thriving career based on that expertise – as an entrepreneur, a consultant, an author, and a speaker. Learning Revolution is a place where Jeff curates tips, insights, and resources to help you build a thriving expertise-based business. Learn more about Jeff Cobb here.

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