They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but what about free podcast hosts? Look for these 7 things to see if free, is actually too expensive.
Unlimited storage–If you have to delete old episodes, you’re missing out on a segment of the audience that wants all the old content and will download it all when they find it.
No preroll or in-content ads–If you are required to have ads and you lose control over the content of those ads, it could be bad news, even if the content isn’t inherently bad.
Your choice of license–What if you get permission to distribute something that you don’t own. If your free podcast host requires you to use a creative commons license, when you don’t have the right to do so (for that content you got permission to include), you could find yourself in trouble.
Full podcast feature support (including byte range requests)–There are some features that are kind of obscure, like byte-range requests, but could cause problems if you don’t have them. Make sure any free podcast host supports all the features of a podcast.
Feed portability–Your feed is your link to your audience. Make sure you can take it wherever you go at any time, for any reason. Without it, you could lose your audience because you had to or wanted to move.
A proven business model–Occasionally, you’ll hear of a new free podcast host which says they’re paying for the service with banner ads. Since 2005, every free podcast host I know that’s tried this has failed. Until one figures out the secret sauce to do it, I wouldn’t trust them.
Long track record–Being a podcast host for a month or even a year doesn’t mean they’ll be here for the long haul. All things being equal, I’d trust Libsyn or Blubrry over even Soundcloud because they (unlike soundcloud) have a long-term record.
So, what have I left out? What features are absolutely required for you to use a company as a podcast host? Which of these do you think you would sacrifice to get free hosting?
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