20 Most popular Public Podcast Hosting Providers in April 2021

podcasting for employee communication and engagement

There are approximately 908,325 podcasts currently listed on iTunes podcast directory. Yes, that is correct, we are approaching a major milestone to break through a million mark. As part of our ongoing research on this field and out of curiosity, we analysed 5887 (the top 0.5%) most Popular Podcasts currently listed as popular on https://podcasts.apple.com/ from each category. This is how the hosting providers rank. This analysis is based on the iTunes rss feed currently exposed and popularity ranked by Apple. There is no official list provided by apple other than the webpage which is a directory of podcasts.

Libsyn remains the most popular provider hosting 21% of the top podcasts. Blubrry ranks 20. Surprisingly 417 (7%) podcasts were self hosted and anchor.fm (acquired by spotify) hosts 878 (14%) of the shows.

Libsyn hosting is relatively more affordable, plans start at $5/month and anchor.fm is free. You either add their logo on your podcast-picture, or you allow them to add an anchor ad at the end of each episode, which the creator can opt-out optionally.

Podcasts are being listened to by more than 60 million american households. It remains as one of the quality, niche and passive sources of information. 31% of the most popular podcasts are hosted either on free or heavily discounted hosting platforms which indicates the unfortunate but sad state of podcast monetization which still remains uncertain. Apple announced Podcasts Subscriptions in May 2021 which allows hosts to offer premium subscriptions to listeners, giving them new ways to monetize their podcasts. This is part of an ongoing commitment by both Apple and Spotify to make an impact on the podcasting industry. Yes, Spotify also confirmed its plans to launch paid podcast subscriptions on its platform. Competition is good for the business to sustain, we support any effort in this field.

Explicit fact: 21% of shows were marked as explicit. There isn’t a clear definition of what constitutes explicit content according to Apple's classification, but this is a good indication that the shows were produced for adult listeners. Each podcast hosting has a fair share of explicit content being hosted on them.

Following is a complete breakdown of the service data;

Rank Hostname No of Podcasts
1 libsyn.com 1042
2 anchor.fm 878
3 buzzsprout.com 458
4 megaphone.fm 456
5 podbean.com 377
6 simplecast.com 256
7 omnycontent.com 159
8 acast.com 143
9 spreaker.com 140
10 feedburner.com 128
11 art19.com 108
12 transistor.fm 67
13 captivate.fm 61
14 audioboom.com 60
15 redcircle.com 54
16 soundcloud.com 50
17 rss.com 37
18 pinecast.com 37
19 podcastmirror.com 32
20 blubrry.com 28

Disclaimer - this analysis includes a subset of all the podcasts currently listed on Apple. There may be podcasts that are not listed on apple podcasts and we only look at a small sample of data currently available. You should use the data and our opinions only for reference and do your own research while deciding which platform or approach to choose for your next podcasting show.

Unlike the hosts listed above which are more public facing primarily, CastDesk is a Secure Enterprise Podcasting Platform. Companies can create their own internal podcasts for employee communication. With CastDesk, you’re able to whitelist it completely by adding your own logo, theme, customizing the user interface so the application becomes an integral part of the company, and launch your own mobile-first podcast app.

If you need a trial just ask us at https://castdesk.com

Source: https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/podcasts/id26?mt=