All podcasters agree that they need an effective, reliable yet straightforward-to-use podcast hosting site to store and deliver their programs to the listeners’ ears. However, it’s a challenging task to find a solution that meets all those needs! That’s why I’ve decided to create a Simplecast podcast hosting review, where I share some insight on my favorite all-around platform.
So, what is Simplecast?
In short, it’s a safe home for your shows! Here are some reasons why many podcasters, including me, love it:
Simplecast podcast platform was established in 2013, making them a solid player in this field. Many world-recognized brands and companies (Mariott, Facebook, TechCrunch, Harvard University, etc.) successfully use this service for publishing and distributing their podcasts. Simplecast delivers about a billion audio streams every year! Furthermore, it boasts an exceptionally clear, intuitive interface, efficient analytics, and modern audio tools – everything podcasters need to grow and connect better with their audience.
As I mentioned above, Simplecast is incredibly easy to use – podcast management is a breeze thanks to the following:
- The whole show collection can be managed with a single account.
- You can easily arrange and categorize your programs by themes – new listeners will quickly discover them.
- You don’t have to publish an episode immediately – save it as a draft if you need to finalize the material.
- Choose any episode type – full, trailer or bonus – to add to your listeners’ experience.
- No worries if you’ve discovered an error or uploaded the wrong file – replacing an audio file for a published episode is easy peasy!.
Still not sure whether this podcast hosting is suitable for you? Just keep reading my Simplecast review for more details!
Simplecast offers 3 main pricing plans for independent podcasters – Basic, Essential, and Growth, their prices range between $13 and $85 per month.
From the Basic plan onwards, Simplecast provides unlimited storage capacity and uploads, distribution to all platforms, listener statistics and reports, Recast, email support, and a personalized themed show website.
Depending on the tier, the platform sets a soft restriction on the total amount of monthly downloads for your program (Basic plan – 20,000, Essential – 50,000, Growth – 125,000). However, they won’t immediately cut you off as soon as you reach your maximum. At the beginning of my career, I used a Basic plan, and when I hit my limit, a very friendly and helpful manager contacted me about an upgrade. Of course, I agreed since I wanted my podcast to grow and evolve! Love their customer service!
As for the other 2 higher tiers, you may add more teammates to your account, use more embed players (with color personalization), and get more advanced analytics and insights.
Simplecast also offers 2 mind-blowing plans for professionals & enterprises. In addition to standard features, these plans include literally everything a serious podcast business may require, e.g., various types of analytics, improved API, personalized customer support, and more.
And last but not least, for those who hesitate, Simplecast offers a free 14-day demo!
Statistics and analytics
Podcast analytics reporting is a vital tool for better understanding the audience, which is critical to the success of any program. So, whatever host you choose, do pay attention to this feature!
Simplecast analytics boasts IAB certification, meaning it provides super-precise data and is one of the most powerful in the industry! You’ll be aware of where your listeners are and where they’re listening to your show – at home, work, transport, or elsewhere. Besides, you’ll be able to analyze episode trends and discover things you didn’t know previously about what parts of your show are shared the most.
If you are nerdy for numbers and want to track every move in your podcast, Essential, Growth, and Pro plans will totally satisfy your strict requirements! You’ll get access to interactive maps, learn what gadgets your audience uses for listening to your podcasts, view completion rates and episode drop-off spots, etc.
Distribution and directories
Podcast distribution is a breeze with Simplecast! Your episode will immediately reach listeners worldwide, thanks to brand-new, simplified workflows and forthcoming episode templates. You only click a button to get your show to all available platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, TuneIn Radio, and more.
It’s highly recommended to have a website to go along with a podcast. Thanks to such a tandem you’ll be able to connect with your audience on a more personal level and provide more details about your show as a result. Moreover, you can monetize your podcast by placing advertisements on your website.
When I only started my business, I thought about creating a third-party site for my show. Well, it was a pain for many reasons! Luckily, Simplecast provides an easy-to-use site builder, so it took the hard work off my shoulders.
When making your site on Simplecast, you can even set up and use a custom domain. Adjusting, creating extra pages, and other processes are really straightforward – Simplecast lives up to its name! Plus, your site will be mobile-friendly and SEO-optimized, which is also a big bonus.
All podcast hosts provide an audio player, but not all players are created equal. Simplecast’s players are intelligent and high-performance, plus, they look beautiful. Of course, their functionality depends on your tier. However, even a standard player available on the Basic plan can boast plenty of helpful features, for instance:
- Responsive, mobile-friendly design.
- Straightforward customization.
- Four playback speeds.
- Fifteen sec. forward or rewind.
- Share and Subscribe buttons (they can be removed).
Essential plan and above also offer Mini Player (for sharing private episodes and placing under show artwork) and Show Player (for displaying all published episodes in your RSS feed).
Pretty generous, huh?
Newsletter and sharing
There are no newsletters, however, Simplecast offers a unique sharing and discovery instrument – Recast. Bellow, I’m dedicating a separate paragraph to provide you with details on this powerful tool.
Simplecast doesn’t include promotional tools. As for me, this is where the platform needs to be improved – I would definitely try to promote my shows through other podcasts!
Unfortunately, Simplecast lacks monetization functionality for Basic, Essential, and Growth plans. Only Pro and Enterprise tiers currently have access to the MAE dynamic audio suite that allows delivering advertisements and host-read content.
Files and formats
You can only upload mp3 file types with 128 or less bit rate, then your audio file will be kept in its original form. In case you submit .m4a or .wav files, Simplecast will automatically convert them to mp3.
Talk to the support team if you need a higher bit rate for your files – they are very flexible, and chances are they’ll help you stay at, let’s say, 192kbps. However, 128kbps is totally enough even for podcasts with music and stereo mix.
We’ve already discussed plenty of valuable features Simplecast has to offer, but there’s more to come!
- Cutting-edge Simplecast software provides an excellent infrastructure that 24/7 watches your podcast’s back so that you never lose listeners to any issues.
- You can invite several team members (the number depends on your plan).
- Adding a transcript to your episode page has never been easier.
- Growth plan and higher offer Simplecast API 2.0 – the sky is the limit to your podcasting experience with this feature! It enables you to build your site, instruments, app, and even analytics dashboard.
- You can produce private episodes and distribute them as premium content on the Patreon platform, for example.
- You’ll move on and off Simplecast in a couple of clicks without disrupting your podcast.
Simplecast takes pride in its super user-friendly public social sharing tool called Recast. It enables you to make short videos for the social media promotion of your podcast. Recast is simple to use and intuitive, and I appreciate that it’s already integrated into the system – no need for third-party tools to make video soundbites.
There are plenty of podcast hostings out there, but not all of them can boast a unique combination of simplicity and advanced technologies. Simplecast managed to do just that!
If you are serious about data and analytics, want to understand your podcast performance deeply, but at the same time need an intuitive interface and straightforward operation, Simplecast is a perfect solution for you!