When starting a podcast, one of the terms you will come across is hosting platform. What is a hosting platform and why do you need it?
A hosting platform is a website where your podcast content such as the audio file, artwork, and notes are stored.
A normal website would not have the capability to do this because they don’t have the storage or bandwidth needed for large audio files, therefore, a hosting platform is specialized.
A hosting platform will also enable you to distribute your podcast to other podcast directories. Distribution means your podcast will be shared to other directories by submitting your RSS feed. When you upload an episode on your host platform, the new episode will also reflect on the other directories, therefore all your listeners will be up to date.
A hosting platform can also well help you grow your followers by providing the capability for your listeners to be able to follow or subscribe to your podcast.
These are the reasons why it would be ideal for you to host your podcast with a hosting platform rather than doing it yourself with a regular website.
What do you need to consider when choosing a hosting platform?
Hosting platforms offer different features and benefits and with this, they also range in terms of prices. There are a few free options such as Afripods and Anchor as well as those that have monthly costs depending on the size of storage and downloads.
Understanding your podcast statistics and analytics allow you to make informed decisions to monetize your content and track your listener behavior trends. For example with great analytics you can make informed decisions on when is the best time and date to publish an episode, when your listeners stop listening to an episode and how many downloads/streams you get per month. Afripods has an industry leading statistics dashboard that enables you to analyze the following;
- Downloads - This is the number of times an episode has been listened to
- Listeners - This is the number of unique listeners aggregated on a daily basis
- Likes -The number of times listeners have liked your podcast
- Followers - The number of listeners who have followed/subscribed to your podcast
- Top episodes - The top 10 episodes in terms of number of downloads
- Geolocation - A breakdown of the cities and countries where your listeners are tuning in from
- Downloads by time of day - A breakdown of the time and day your episodes are listened to
- Source distribution - Where your listeners are tuning in from in terms of browsers, platforms and devices.
A lot of podcast platforms allow you to monetize your podcast through advertising. In comparison to traditional advertising, podcast ads can be very targeted which makes it a very effective way for brands to win new potential customers. Examples of advertising include; mentions where the host reads a script, or pre-recorded audio that is placed in the pre -roll, mid -roll or post roll slot for ads.
When it comes to the average ad rate, the most commonly used pricing structure is the Cost Per Mille model, also known as CPM. With this model, a fixed price will be charged per 1,000 listens of an episode, therefore the more listeners and subscribers a podcast has, the more they can charge for an advertisement. Afripods is working diligently to provide monetization for African creators.
Choosing a platform that is user friendly will be important for your podcasting journey. You don’t want to spend unnecessary time trying to figure your way around a platform.
User friendly platforms aspects to look out for that are also available on Afripods include;
- Easy submission and migration process
- Simple steps to creating a podcast
- Clean website that’s easy to navigate
Storage is one of the main factors in making a podcast host decision. This is because with podcasting, you’ll be handling large files. Platforms have different options based on the storage you would require. The prices also differ depending on the storage option chosen, however there are platforms which are free and do not have a storage limit such as Afripods.
Storage features to consider are;
- Cost per mb
- Annual cost
- Number of episodes that can be downloaded per month
- Free trial period/Free plan for a number of days
- Number of team members on one account
Having multiple podcasts under one account is a big advantage as you only need one login to access different shows. Finding a platform, such as Afripods, that has this capability will make things easier as you won’t need to log in to multiple accounts.
Once you have put the above information into consideration, you’ll be in a better position to choose a hosting platform that will serve your needs best.