Podbean Review- Free Podcast Publishing and Monetization Tool
Free Podcast hosting sites: Complete Podbean Review 2022: Feature, Plans, and Alternatives
Podbean is an all-in-one tool for new and seasoned podcasters. You can host, market, monetize, and track all your podcasts using it. Read my comprehensive Podbean review to see if it is right for you.
Ready to start podcasting but haven’t concluded on the podcast hosting platform to use? Podbean is one of the hosting services available. With premium features that allow easy publishing and podcast management, Podbean will have your podcast up and running in no time.
Podbean has been around for a long time, which can make you skeptical about choosing it as your hosting platform as it may already be out of vogue. However, my recent review of the veteran podcast host says otherwise.
To give you a headstart on beginning podcasting on Podbean, read below to see my review of its features, pricing plans, and other handy info for what to expect from the podcast hosting service.
What Is Podbean?
Podbean is a podcast hosting platform with tools that allows you to publish, promote, and monetize your podcast. It is a great place to start podcasting as it is beginner friendly and has basic and advanced tools that help podcasters flourish.
Unlike many other podcast hosting services, Podbean allows you to record your episodes in-app and has a video podcasting feature.
Podbean integrates with social media platforms for easy sharing and marketing. You can use it via the web or download the app on your iOS or Android phone.
Best for: New Podcasters, seasoned podcasters, and Businesses
Pricing: $0 -$129 /MO
Discounts: 25% to 35%
Promotion: 14 days trial on other paid plans, and Unending free plan
What We Liked About Podbean
- Simple user interface for beginner-level podcasting.
- Allows video podcasting.
- You have different options to monetize your podcast.
- Customize your podcast website.
- Hosting comes at reasonable prices.
- A free version is available.
- Add your podcast episodes to iTunes and Google play.
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth.
- Mobile app available for iOS and Android devices.
What We Didn’t Like About Podbean
- Live chat support is only available on the business plan.
- The podcast site customization option is limited.
What tools make your podcasting experience easier and more enjoyable? I am pretty sure that Podbean has them all. From creation to monetization, Podbean has some of the most amazing podcasting features ever.
See some of the unique tools I discovered while reviewing Podbean below;
Podbean Podcast Website
First on the list of my favorite features of Podbean is its website. Podbean allows you to customize a website where listeners can go to get all your published episodes and download podcasts.
You can select one of the available free themes and customize them to suit your taste. If you want more design options, upgrade to a paid plan to use the CSS editor. However, that requires you to have some coding background.
I advise that you just pick a theme and use the basic edits available to beautify your site. I found it more convenient and simpler that way.
Podbean has different tools that streamline publishing on the platform. You can record your podcast episode in-app, upload them from your device, and publish them immediately or schedule them.
The entire publishing process takes only a few steps and can be done in a few minutes.
You will not find video podcast support on many other podcast hosting sites, but Podbean avails it on a platter. In my opinion, rarely anyone needs to video podcasts, but if your show requires it, you will appreciate Podbean for including it on the platform.
If you ever need to share videos alongside your audio episodes, Podbean has that. However, you have to be on a paid plan to use the video podcasting feature.
Podbean Distribution And Promotion
Podbean allows you to share episodes on different platforms apart from your website, where your audiences can listen to them. You can easily link your podcast to popular apps like Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Tunein + Alexa, and iHeartRadio.
Podbean also has a social sharing feature where you can add your various social media accounts for sharing. Your podcasts can reach your audiences on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, and more when you link them to Podbean.
You can also integrate your email to Podbean to share your new episodes with podcast listeners when they get released.
Analytics And Statistics
Tracking your podcast progress is very easy on Podbean with its statistics feature. You can see comprehensive insights that show the numbers on crucial information needed to measure your podcast growth.
The overview shows how many downloads you have had in 1-30 days and overtime as well. You will also get other information like your listeners’ locations, download time, sources, user retention, and more.
You will also see how each episode has performed and the ones with the most listeners. All the insights will help you improve your podcast by showing what works and what doesn’t work.
If you have been looking for more flexible podcasting, Podbean is the platform to use. You can integrate with other popular apps into Podbean to make your podcasting experience a better one. Some of the apps you can add include;
- Mail chimp
- Search engine optimization meta tags
- Episode tags
- Google Analytics
- Resonate recordings
- Wavelab Elements
They range from recording and sound effects to distribution and design apps that widen your options while using the Podbean platform.
Podbean Monetization Features
There is no limit to how much money you can make podcasting on Podbean because it provides diverse options to monetize your podcast. You can generate cash inflow via Podbean through one of the three options below;
- Podbean Advertising Marketplace: You can add your podcast to the ads marketplace for free so that others can run advertisements on them.
- Premium Podcast: Your audiences don’t have to listen to your shows for free. You can attach a price tag to each episode to sell premium content on your Podbean podcast account.
- Donations From Sponsors: Use the patron program on Podbean to get cash from your show sponsors. Simply create a patron page and publish patron-only content to source for sponsors.
Audio live shows are not impossible on Podbean. You can start live shows on the Podbean app to create a whole new experience for your listeners. It drives engagement on your podcast as fans can send messages to participate in the show while live streaming.
Guests and other hosts can co-anchor your shows from different locations through the live stream feature by calling in only. You can also sell virtual tickets for your live shows to interested listeners who wish to participate.
Podbean Podcast App
Podbean is optimized to work on the web and has a mobile app for iOS and Android devices too. Your audiences can tune in to listen to your live shows and episodes on the app easily because of its simple interface.
How Does Podbean Work?
Using Podbean turned out to be straightforward for me. I signed up from the official website and followed through the rest of the podcast creation process without encountering any hitch. Follow through the steps below to begin podcasting on Podbean from scratch below;
The first thing to do is sign up on Podbean to create an account.
I signed up via the Podbean website and got redirected to a page where I could choose to import my existing podcast or start a new one. I chose the latter and went on to the signup page to register and my account was created immediately.
After signing up, your account comes with a randomly generated nickname which you have to change alongside other details. Your email has to be verified before you can edit profile details.
To edit your profile, follow the steps below;
- Click on the edit icon beside your generated nickname.
- Change your details in their respective fields.
- Choose a language.
- Select email preferences.
- Save your settings.
Setting Up Your Podcast
The next thing to do is to set it up under Podbean Dashboard. As a new user, clicking on the Podbean dashboard takes you to set up your podcast details, publish an episode, and link to distribution channels.
Proceed to the following steps to set up your podcast;
- Click on Podbean dashboard
- Choose Go to Setup
- Edit all the fields
- Click on update options
After editing your podcast dashboard, you can postpone publishing your first episode to customize your website first.
Customizing your Podbean podcast website
Customizing your Podbean podcast website may be a mouthful if you have used a host with simpler and fewer site customization options like Buzzsprout. However, your Podbean website allows more flexibility and options to beautify your site.
To customize your podcast site;
- Go to the side panel and click on Distribution.
- Select Podcast Website, scroll down, and pick a theme from the main screen
- Activate the theme and go back up to click on customize
- Click on each part of the theme to tweak it as you wish.
If you feel restricted by the customization options available, Upgrade to a paid account to have access to the CSS Editor.
Note that you need some background programming knowledge to use the CSS editor. So, unless you have a website designer on your team to help with the site, do not bother upgrading just for more design options.
Otherwise, you will have to spend extra cents to get an expert to help design your podcast website.
Promotion and Distribution
Before posting your first episode on the Podbean app, it is crucial to set up your distribution channels first so that your podcast can reach a wide audience. Podbean allows you to share your podcasts with streaming apps and social media platforms.
To add streaming apps, follow the steps below;
- Go to distribution on the side panel
- Click on podcast apps
- Click the + button beside the listed apps to add them to your distribution channels.
Linking your Podbean podcast to social media platforms is simple as well;
- Go to Distribution
- Click on social share
- Click the + button in front of the platforms listed to add them.
The embeddable podcast player under Distribution allows you to attach your podcast to other websites. That helps to reach more listeners too.
Publishing Your Podcasts
Publishing your first episode on Podbean is straightforward. The only hiccups you may have as a beginner podcaster are giving your episode a title and describing it. Apart from that, everything else is non-tasking and simple.
Follow the steps below to publish episodes on Podbean;
- Go to Dashboard from the sidebar widgets
- Click on New episode
- Upload a prerecorded episode or select from your account
- Add your Episode title and description
- Click on More Episode settings to add other details
- Click on Publish now or schedule the episode to upload immediately or choose a posting time.
You can either choose to use the Podbean free plan which is limited or subscribe to one of its paid plans to access advanced features. See all Podbean plans below;
Podbean Basic Plan
The Podbean free plan costs $0 and allows you access to basic podcasting tools. You can create a website, publish episodes, and distribute to popular sites, but cannot monetize your podcast.
The free account is only entitled to 5 hours of total storage space and 100 GB bandwidth monthly which is very limiting. If you are a binge podcaster, a free plan will not serve you much.
In the long run, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan to increase your storage space and access the monetization features.
Podbean Unlimited Audio Plan
The unlimited audio plan costs $14 per month and comes with a lot of additional features. As the name implies, you will have unlimited storage space, unlike in the basic account, after subscribing to the plan.
Other features to expect include, monetization features excluding the patron program, additional website themes, advanced stats, and more.
Podbean Unlimited Plus Plan
The unlimited plus plan costs $39 monthly and allows you to add the CSS editor and other things. You can access every feature included in the $14 plan plus video podcasts, and the patron program.
Podbean Business Plan
As a full-blown business running a podcast, you may find the other plans limiting but Podbean has just the plan tailored to your needs. The Podbean business plan has all the tools needed to run podcast networks and corporate podcasts with ease.
It has the live chat support that none of the other plans have and other features, like branding, SSO authentication, multiple admins, multiple podcast channels, and more.
Podbean vs Buzzsprout
See how Podbean performs compared to Buzzsprout, its close competitor in the table below;
Beginner + Advanced
Beginner to expert level
Beginners, Experts and Business podcasters
1. How do I make money from my Podbean podcast?
Podbean offers multiple ways to make money from podcasting. You can sell premium content and live stream tickets, use the patron program, and join the Podbean ads marketplace. Click here to learn more about monetizing your Podbean podcast.
2. Can I use Podbean for free?
Yes, Podbean has a free version that allows you to enjoy some basic features at zero cost. You can own a website, publish episodes, and distribute your podcast but cannot access any monetization feature.
3. Can I change my domain in Podbean?
Yes, you can use your domain on Podbean. Read these articles to see how to go about setting up your domain on Podbean.
Wrapping Up Podbean Review- My Personal Take
Podbean is an excellent podcast hosting service for nearly any level of podcasters. When starting new podcasts, Podbean offers the free version, which helps you to begin podcasting at zero cost.
Although limiting, the free version can still work for personal podcasters who do not capitalize on monetizing their podcast. And if you eventually need to make some money off the podcast, the unlimited audio plan costs only $14 per month to avail the monetization features.
About the Podbean website, I love that there is more flexibility to customize your site’s appearance. The only problem is that you have to upgrade to the unlimited plus plan before you can freely tweak your website to your taste.
That also requires some level of coding experience to pull off.
Overall, I would recommend Podbean to podcasters of all levels, especially business podcasters. The Podbean team provides video tutorials and resources that help you find your way around the platform.
With all the tools available and ease of operation, you can begin podcasting on Podbean in no time as a new or seasoned podcaster.