A podcast host, like PodServe.fm, is the homebase for your podcast. After you create and record your podcast, you will then need to upload it to your podcast host. Once it is uploaded to the host, you will need to tell all the different directories (eg. Apple Podcasts/iTunes or Spotify), "Hey my podcast is located at my podcast host, anyone who wants to listen to my podcast can find it there!" The way to do this is to let the directories know where to find your podcast by giving them the URL to the RSS feed your podcast host provides.
Podcast directories, like Apple Podcasts/iTunes, don't actually host your podcast. They just play podcasts that are hosted on podcast hosting websites. One way to think about it is that Apple Podcasts/iTunes is like Google, and your podcast host is like a website you get to from Google. Google doesn't actually host websites, they just point people to the websites they are looking for. That is the same way Apple Podcasts/iTunes works. People search for your podcast on their app and when they click play, it will play the podcast located on your podcast host.
The same way that you would have to pay for website hosting if you wanted to have a website, you will need to pay for podcast hosting in order to have a podcast.
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What Does A Podcast Host Do?
Host Your Podcast
As the name implies, the podcast host will first and foremost host your podcast MP3s. The host will take your MP3s and store them securely in the cloud. When someone wants to listen, it will deliver them quickly to the listener. The podcast host will also provide an RSS feed that lists all of your podcasts details as well as where to download each episode.
A good podcast host will provide download analytics so that you can see how well your podcast is performing. Every download or stream of your podcast goes through your host, so they will know when and where every download or stream is coming from. A good podcast host will give you lots of data about listens, so you can tell how well your podcast is performing.
Provide Customer Service
A great podcast host will not only provide the technical aspects of hosting, but will also provide great customer service. Starting a podcast is complicated and your podcast host should be your guide. You should be able to ask them questions and get a timely helpful response.
If you have any questions about podcast hosting that I didn't cover here, just chat with me using the orange button to the bottom right.
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