If you’re looking for a comprehensive Libsyn review, look no further! In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at this popular host and see if it’s the right fit for your show. We’ll cover everything from pricing to features and customer support, so you can make an informed decision.
Created in 2004, Libsyn is still one of the world’s most popular podcast hosting and distribution platforms. This is because it puts the needs of podcasters first, offering plenty of features that make hosting and distributing a breeze. Libsyn also offers monetization options, making it easy for podcasters to make money from their shows. And thanks to its large user base, Libsyn is a great platform for promoting a podcast brand. Many well-known podcasters choose to host their shows on this platform. Mike Rowe’s The Way I Heard It, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, and Joe Rogan’s The Joe Rogan Experience are all hosted on Libsyn.
Do you still hesitate? Then let’s discuss Libsyn’s features in detail!
One of my favorite things about Libsyn is that it offers six different pricing plans to cater to all users’ needs. It makes this platform outshine most of its competitors with only a few tiers.
Libsyn’s lowest plan, at $5/mo, includes 162 MB of storage and basic yet sufficient podcasting features for newbies (e.g., unlimited bandwidth, basic social promoting, free website, customizable player, monetization tools, and stats snapshots).
If you need more storage and better tools, you can upgrade to a higher plan. The highest tier, at $150/mo, includes 3000 MB of storage and all the features of Libsyn’s $20-plan (sophisticated analytics, social promotion scheduler, etc.).
In addition to varying storage levels, the platform also offers standalone features that you can pay to add to certain subscription plans.
Unfortunately, Libsyn doesn’t provide a free tier. The host requires a monthly commitment of at least $5 from users.
Statistics and analytics
Attempting to build and commercialize a podcast without a solid understanding of the audience is like putting the cart before the horse. So, let’s see what Libsyn can offer here.
Libsyn offers a variety of analytics and statistics packages, ranging from simple stats snapshots (for $5-plan) to in-depth data exports that can be used for detailed analysis (for $20- to $150-plan).
Their basic package, available for $15 and $5+$2 tiers, provides episode, daily, and all-time statistics, while advanced stats include geographic data and exports.
Such flexibility makes Libsyn a great option for professional podcasters and media companies who need detailed information about their audience’s behavior, as well as for hobbyists who just want to get an idea of how their show is doing.
Distribution and directories
Libsyn offers a comprehensive distribution network that allows podcasters to distribute their content to various streamers. In addition to the major platforms like Apple and Spotify, Libsyn also has destinations for Gaana, Deezer, and JioSaavn. Moreover, it allows podcasters to publish episodes directly to YouTube.
This platform’s flexibility in accommodating platform-specific preferences is among its many strengths. For example, you can adjust release time so that your paid app listeners hear episodes sooner than unpaid ones. This is important because podcasters may now create unique episodes for each streamer.
Libsyn provides its users with a personalized website where they may showcase their podcasts. You can publish episodes, write blog posts, and share visual content to go along with your show on this website. This is a great way to get to know your fans on a more personal level, plus the site can help listeners put a face to the voice they hear on their favorite program.
However, many creators have said that Libsyn’s website looks dated and may be hard for beginners to figure out how to use. This is probably one of the few disadvantages of the service that should be worked on and improved.
At all pricing levels, Libsyn offers a unique HTML5 media player. You can completely personalize it and make it work on mobile devices. The size, color, and other attributes are all customizable. Along with selecting the particular time code at which it begins playing, you can also select whether it plays a playlist of episodes or just one at a time. Finally, you may choose your media player’s playback orientation by selecting whether to play the most recent or oldest episodes first.
Newsletter and sharing
Although Libsyn doesn’t provide a newsletter feature, it offers super convenient social media sharing. You can schedule posts to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or LinkedIn from within the platform’s dashboard.
Some platforms provide paid or free options to promote and popularize podcasts (e.g., cross-promotion). Pity, but Libsyn doesn’t offer such tools. It’s another disadvantage, but after removing it, the company will be able to reach a new level of quality.
Podcast monetization can be a great way to make some extra money from your program. Libsyn offers 2 different options for monetizing your show.
The first is Glow, which is a paid membership program that gives listeners exclusive content and other benefits. Podcasters have several options for providing value to their fans, including ad-free, longer episodes and supplementary content. Members-only episodes are available through the listener’s chosen podcast app.
The second option is the Advertise Cast marketplace which allows you to work with 1500+ paying advertisers. You can select which episodes you want to have host-read or programmatic ads, and you have full control over which advertisers you want to work with. However, there is one big downside – to use this tool, you must have at least 5000 US downloads for each episode within a month of its publication. Therefore, this option will most likely be unavailable to beginner podcasters.
Files and formats
In order to make audio files more manageable, many podcast hosts make adjustments to them. This might lead to a decrease in audio quality, which podcast listeners generally dislike. But Libsyn does not change the file in any manner. As a result, your content gets across with the quality you intended, which is a huge plus.
Many podcasters, including me, love Libsyn because it offers a variety of effective features and tools that help creators grow their audience and improve their podcasting experience. Some of these features include:
- Podcast application – your show may have its own dedicated Android or iOS application, which followers can download after you reach the $20 tier or above and pay +$10. This makes it possible for more people to access your content on gadgets they use the most – phones.
- Host multiple podcasts – each program requires its own account, which you can administer from a single device, though. This enables you to maintain the organization and order of all of your programs.
- Audio and video podcasting – the fact that Libsyn allows for both audio and video podcasting is a significant benefit. It’s important not to undervalue the possibility of doing so without moving hosting services, even for podcasters who haven’t yet dabbled in video podcasting.
- Customize all of your audience-facing layouts – to optimize brand consistency and fortify the reputation of your show, Libsyn gives you the option to brand and customize your embedded player, podcast site, and phone app.
- Integration with Canva – Libsyn works with Canva, allowing you to use its strong design tools to create unique episode-level artwork or social visuals.
- Text Expander tool – it enhances the efficiency of your show notes workflow. With the touch of a simple key, you may populate repetitive and ongoing portions of your liner notes.
- Support of Podcasting 2.0 Namespace locked tag – it helps protect your program against piracy.
- Efficient customer support – customer service works on weekdays from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. They are really helpful and friendly. Besides, Libsyn provides a separate premium subscription support email for premium subscribers.
- Knowledge base – it explains how the site works and how to fix common issues for first-time visitors.
- Libsyn’s official podcast, “The Feed,” – this program is essential for keeping up with the latest advancements and the greatest practices in the podcasting industry.
I must admit that Libsyn is not the most user-friendly platform, especially if you’ve never used one previously. Having said that, it is worthwhile to become acquainted with! The reality is that they just have a lot to give to their users.
Concluding my Libsyn podcast hosting review, I would recommend this platform to anyone serious about podcasting. If I wanted my show to take off, I would definitely use this host!