Looking for the right podcast hosting platform for your show? In this article, I’m comparing Podbean vs Libsyn – two of the top-rated & trusted hosts with a long history and big communities.
Today, podcasting is one of the most straightforward approaches for creators to expose their ideas out into the world, and it can also be highly profitable. But in order to profit from podcasting, or even just to get your voice heard, you need listeners. And for this reason, you must choose your hosting site carefully. After all, it can make or break the success of your show.
Podbean vs Libsyn
Pricing plans comparison
I’ll start my Libsyn vs Podbean review with the bit that all podcasters are interested in – the prices.
Both platforms offer plenty of options to cover the needs of different user categories – from beginners and hobbyists to professionals and enterprises. However, in my opinion, Podbean provides clearer hosting plans.
Podbean has five tiers – Free, Unlimited Audio ($9-14/mo), Unlimited Plus ($29-39/mo), Network ($79-99/mo), and Podbean Pro (contact manager for details). The Free plan gives you access to all basic podcast hosting services and up to 5 hours of storage space with 100GB of monthly bandwidth. All paid Podbean packages provide unlimited storage and bandwidth as well as sophisticated features and tools that improve with each next package. That’s where Podbean outshines Libsyn with its limited storage on all plans.
Libsyn’s plans are significantly more expensive than Podbean’s, starting at $5/month for 50 MB of storage capacity. In addition, there are monthly fees of $15, $20, $40, $75, and $150. However, even the most costly plan does not provide the infinite storage that Podbean boasts. Sure, 3000 MB per month (the amount accessible to $150/month members) is undoubtedly more than enough for most people, but if storage is your primary concern, spending $150/month for 3000 MB is just not comparable to receiving limitless audio space for only $9/month. But what I like about Libsyn is that you have the option to personalize your tier. For instance, you can add statistics to your $5 plan for an extra $2/month, get the bespoke mobile app for $10/month, and even purchase extra storage space.
Podbean pricing plans
Libsyn pricing plans
Comparison of statistics and analytics
When comparing Podbean and Libsyn, I didn’t find a significant difference between them in terms of analytics and statistics – both platforms provide creators with all the necessary information for tracking their progress and developing the project. Moreover, both Libsyn and Podbean have received IAB certification, ensuring that their analytics are up to par with those of other leading platforms.
So, what’s the difference, then? Podbean’s free plan includes basic stats, while all paid subscribers can access advanced features. I appreciate that this host treats all its paid users equally well. In addition, Podbean offers a valuable add-on tool for measuring listener engagement – Engagement Intel – it lets you know if people are dropping off or finishing episodes.
Libsyn’s $5 plan only gives users stats snapshots, while the $5+$2 and $15 plans offer basic analytics. For more sophisticated stats, users will need to sign up for the $20 plan or higher.
Podbean statistics and analytics
Libsyn statistics and analytics
Distribution and directories comparison
When it comes to podcast directories, both hosting sites allow you to submit your podcast to all the major streaming platforms (iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, YouTube, etc.). However, Libsyn has the edge over Podbean here because it offers more than just the major streamers. For example, it also includes smaller, niche directories (e.g., Gaana, Deezer, JioSaavn) that can help you reach a specific audience. Plus, you may change the release timing so that paid app users get episodes before unpaid listeners.
Podbean, on the other hand, allows you to organize your episodes by number. This can be useful if you have a serial program and want to keep track of which episode is which.
Podbean distribution and directories
Libsyn distribution and directories
We continue our podcast host comparison, and now we’ve reached a very important point. A good podcast website makes it possible to create better interactions with your followers and provides quick access to all content related to your show.
Luckily, both Libsyn and Podbean offer free websites to all their users. However, many podcasters complain that Libsyn’s site looks a bit outdated and might be challenging for new users to navigate. I checked it out, and I can agree with them. In contrast, Podbean delivers a beautiful, customizable, easy-to-use site. You can choose from a selection of designs to match your brand’s style; each template is mobile-responsive and works with custom domains. Additionally, the service allows you to receive alerts for new followers and comments.
Podbean website creation
Libsyn website creation
Podbean and Libsyn have attractive, customizable, and user-friendly players that are easy to incorporate into your site and link to a single episode or multi-tracks. But while Podbean’s player is rather basic, Libsyn provides creators with a multifunctional HTML5 media player.
Podbean audio player
Libsyn audio player
Newsletter and sharing
Both Libsyn and Podbean allow you to share your content with followers on various social media platforms, including YouTube. However, Podbean is more generous here. It offers the ability to include badges on your website that direct listeners to your podcast page. Additionally, Podbean’s Mailchimp integration sends newsletters and email blasts to your loyal audience, notifying them of the latest episodes and posts. Great features to keep in touch with your listeners!
In terms of promotion tools, Podbean clearly outperforms Libsyn! Pity, but the latter doesn’t offer any options for promoting and popularizing podcasts. At the same time, Podbean really helps to get exposure through the following services:
- Promotion on the Podbean app – your logo will appear on the banner that runs the top of the Podbean’s homepage, bringing it to the attention of everybody who accesses it.
- Cross-promotion – market your podcast by paying to get it featured on similar shows.
- Facebook community – meet other creators and introduce yourself.
Podbean promotion tools
Libsyn promotion tools
In the battle between Podbean and Libsyn, it may be hard to know which one is better for monetizing your podcast. Both platforms offer different options for ads, but Podbean seems to have the edge when it comes to features and customization.
With PodAds, you can target your audience more specifically, and the Ad Marketplace gives you more control over the ads that are played on your show. Podbean Patron is also a great way to support your show financially, and lastly, Premium Podcast gives access to exclusive content for your subscribers.
On the other hand, the Glow feature on Libsyn is an excellent paid membership program that provides listeners with premium material and other incentives. Advertise Cast marketplace is also a nice monetization tool that lets you deal with more than 1500 advertisers. However, this tool has one significant drawback: in order to use it, each episode must have at least 5000 US downloads within a month of its release.
Whichever platform you choose, make sure to carefully consider your monetization options to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck!
Comparison of supported files and formats
Here, Libsyn and Podbean have more similarities. Both platforms allow you to submit literally any file format. But Podbean offers this kind of flair only for paid users, while its free plan supports only .mp3 and m4a.
Both Podbean and Libsyn have extensive feature sets, but the tools they offer may differ. Therefore, I created a table so that you can determine which tools and features will help you achieve your goals more quickly.
|Video podcasting – a lot of podcasters do not make videos, but it’s great to have the choice.||Podcast application – if you reach the $20 tier or higher and pay an additional $10, your program may have its own app, which your fans may download. As a result, more individuals will be able to view your content from the device they rely on the most, their mobile.|
|Mobile app – it allows you to easily manage your episodes, record them directly from your phone, or upload previously generated content.||Podcasting 2.0 Namespace locked tag – prevents piracy.|
|Audio live streaming – this tool allows you to speak to your audience in a more personal manner. Interact with them in real-time and share raw content with them.||Host multiple podcasts – each of your shows will have its own account, which may be managed from a single device.|
|Transcription and closed caption tool – it aids in search engine optimization (SEO) and makes the show’s material easy to find and access.||Text Expander tool – it makes your show notes workflow more effective.|
|Private podcast – it is offered as part of the Business plan and provides for the exchange of internal correspondence, messages, video training, and so on.||Audio and video podcasting – the fact that Libsyn lets you make podcasts with both audio and video is a big plus.|
|Integration with Canva – Libsyn collaborates with Canva, letting you utilize its powerful design tools to create one-of-a-kind episode artwork.|
|Effective customer support – Libsyn has its official podcast, “The Feed,” its own knowledge base and friendly & helpful customer service.|
Which is better, Podbean or Libsyn?
Finishing my Podbean vs Libsyn review, I want to assure you that both platforms are very reliable – they’ve already cemented their places in the podcasting world. Either Libsyn or Podbean will definitely help your show grow, evolve and generate revenue. Your choice between these two hosting services should be determined by your needs, financial limits, and the features and tools you need.
Advantages of Podbean over Libsyn
- Smooth, straightforward-to-use platform
- Has free plan
- Provides more options for monetization
- Excellent website
- Great promotion tools
Advantages of Libsyn over Podbean
- Has a wider selection of plans
- Provides efficient customer support
- Effectively protects your podcast against piracy
- Has a better player