Podcast hosting provides an excellent option for churches especially during the current pandemic where church sermons are going online. It provides file hosting and RSS feed for your church’s podcast. All you will need to do is advertise the podcast to your members. Once they are subscribed, your podcast host will share the media and audio files to the platforms that your congregation can listen to directly. These platforms could be iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, Youtube, and Stitcher, among others.
Your audio files will be bundled into one file referred to as a podcast. Podcast hosting sites allow you to store your files on their servers to give your audience the ease of accessing and downloading them.
In addition, podcast hosting sites may offer streaming compliance, unlimited bandwidth and file storage, podcast apps, and WordPress plugins. They may also provide you with a free domain name and website. It is essential to understand the pivotal role of a good podcast host when looking to start a new podcast.
Features to Look for in a Church Podcast Hosting Platform for Sermons
The ideal podcast host for your church will provide all essential podcasting features. Through the podcast, the church should be able to not only share their sermons with their members online but also reach new members.
There are hundreds of hosting providers for church podcasting. While most free things come with a requirement or two on technical knowhow, you can find plenty of free church podcast hosting services to store and share your sermons with your audience. A number of podcast hosts such as Podbean offer some hours of upload per month for free and are the go-to host if you don’t anticipate needing more than 5 hours of sermon time per month. You can read more about Podbean’s free plan here.
As a church, it is always great to produce high-quality content to spread the Gospel. You have to begin making your podcast hosting choice by selecting the private hosting platform that offers the best options to save you money as well as time.
While most churches may opt for a one-for-all hosting services, it is pretty difficult to come across. This guide will provide you with the best podcast hosting options to help you focus more on quality content for your sermons.
To tap into the ever growing podcast market and pick the right podcast host for your church, you need to consider the following questions:
- How much are you looking to spend on a podcast hosting service?
- What amount of storage is right for you?
- How much content will you be uploading each month?
- Will you require a WordPress site to align each of your episodes with a blog post?
- Which video formats can you work with?
- Which analysis would you like to keep track of?
- Will you need to add advertisements to your podcast episodes?
While not any church minister can answer the above questions, most webmasters can. With the help of an expert, consider the questions above before investing the church’s funds on the podcasting service. For instance, you might need much less storage if you are running a half-hour show three days a week. However, it is not advisable to let the prices diminish the quality of your show.
5 Best Podcast Hosting for Churches and Sermons 2022 Reviews
With Buzzsprout as your preferred church podcast host, your audience can enjoy powerful tools to track and promote the growth of the church podcast and hence the church. That is mainly due to its user-friendly outlay that allows quick sharing and download of podcasts.
When Buzzsprout says they have the easiest approach when starting a podcast, they are not lying. With their free plan, clients get two free upload hours, episodes hosting for 90 days, and an updated podcasting dashboard to manage podcasts. It provides the best way for a church to get started in podcasting while learning the ropes.
Buzzsprout is bent on revolutionizing how the church and Christians across the globe listen to the gospel. Below are a few of Buzzsprout’s podcast hosting features that make it one of the best options for churches to get the word out on the web.
- Easy setup of Google Play Music, iTunes, and Stitches
With a Buzzsprout account, your podcasts get listed on major podcast directories each time you publish a new episode for your audience. This is likely to expand your audience in a short period.
- A free mobile-friendly podcast website
Are you looking to set up a church podcast but have no website? With Buzzsprout, that does not need to be a concern. They will give you a basic podcast website immediately after you sign up. You can easily customize the images and themes on the website to match your preferred design and link to iTunes in a jiffy.
- Customizable podcast players for the church website
Buzzsprout’s embed players are easily customizable to your church website on any device. All you will need to do is copy a line of code from your podcast into your church website and your audience can listen to your sermons from your website on any device.
- 24/7 Personal Support
The Buzzsprout customer support team replies to queries fast and can easily walk you through your initial steps when setting up your podcast.
- Analysis to track your podcast’s progress
Buzzsprout avails their subscribers with powerful analytics tools of their audience including geo-location for listeners and view play counts on each episode.
- A free $20 gift card when you sign up in any of the paid plans below:
In addition to the horde of features Buzzsprout offers, you can also claim a free $20 gift card if you get started with BizzSprout.
Podbean ranks second in my list and is among the most popular podcast hosts for churches such as Texas-based Westover Hills Church that has racked over 1 million sermon episodes downloads. Podbean provides excellent tools to help church podcasters grow and monetize their podcasts. Launched in 2006, PodBean has grown into one of the largest podcast hosting services, boasting 225,000+ podcasters worldwide.
With PodBean, you can set up your account and be ready to run in under 5 minutes. Their intuitive platforms offer a simple and user-friendly interface that is a bonus for church ministries to begin a podcast for the gospel and enjoy sermon live streaming. You can read more about Podbean’s sermon live streaming here.
PodBean easily integrates with your YouTube channel using the PodBean podcast app when publishing. On their free plan, they offer 100GB in bandwidth and 5 hours of upload content per month.
PodBean hosting also provides unlimited hosting services, advertisement, and distribution on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Amazon Alexa among other major apps with 24/7 customer support. In addition to customized features suitable for sermon streaming, Podbean also has a feature that allows you to collect offerings before or after your sermon. You can read more about the fundraising feature of Podbean’s podcast hosting for churches here.
Podbean has four pricing plans, with the first being free. The free plan limits the number of uploads to 5 hours per month and has a few limitations compared to the recommended $9 plan that gives you unlimited storage and bandwidth.
Their $9/month plan offers you a detailed analysis of your listeners. I would, however, recommend their $29/month Unlimited Plus Plan for church podcasters to spread their sermons and messages online.
The $29/month Unlimited Plus Plan features a mobile app, unlimited audio hosting and video storage, ability to add your own ad campaigns to monetize new episodes, a patron program to receive recurring revenue from their audience, analytics reports, a free YouTube channel sync, and auto-posting to Facebook and Twitter.
You can see more of Podbean plans’ comparison on its website here.
With Blubrry, your church podcast has, arguably, the largest bunch of options. Some of these options let you bypass some time-consuming tasks when uploading and distributing your podcast to other directories.
Blubrry is the only IAB-certified podcast platform that fully supports Apple podcasts which is essential for podcasting. Together with firms like PodBean and Transistor (below), Blubrry is a veteran in the podcast hosting world.
Blubrry offers WordPress hosting with a PowerPress plugin for church podcasters. Powerpress allows you to easily submit your podcasts to several directories such as Apple Podcast and Google Podcasts. Their majority of active users are mostly in countries such as India, the UK, the US, Europe, and Asia as you can see a few selections of religious podcasts here. They provide their clients with great podcast management tools, manuals, tips, and advice to guide church podcasters through the podcasting process.
Blubrry has hosted over 75,000 active WordPress and PowerPress installations which are free to use maintained regularly, and offer SEO options and mp3 tagging.
Their cheapest podcast hosting plan starts at $12 per month and offers up to 100MB of storage.
They also offer a professional plan and four other paid plans, whose pricing ranges from $12 to $80 per month. These plans offer storage space ranging from 100MB to 1GB per month.
Blubrry’s customer-first approach has led them to become one of the highest-rated choices for church podcasters around the globe.
You can get started with Blubrry here.
Transistor offers all the tools necessary for a church podcaster to get an unlimited audience with unlimited episodes, podcasts analytics tools, multiple users, and sharing on popular platforms and directories on the internet.
Transistor hosting provides the best professional church podcasting and analytics tools for churches. If you are using podcasts to grow your audience, Transistor is one of the best options in the market.
Transistor currently hosts a lot of church podcasts including the renowned Cards Against Humanity, Honeybadger, and Drift among many other smaller companies.
With Transistor, you can also generate branded websites for your members with your own domain name. Additionally, you can effortlessly import your existing feed on Libsyn or Anchor in minutes.
Their cheapest plan starts at $19 per month and offers up to 5 team members and a limit of 50,000 downloads per month.
Transistor’s professional plan, which starts at $99 per month, gets you up to 10 team members and a limit of 50,000 downloads per month.
If you have some basic experience in Christian podcasting, I would recommend trying the Transistor Professional plan. With a little effort in promotion, the plan will help your church podcast steadily gain an audience as you continue scaling your podcast.
Transistor offers a 14-day trial, which can help you estimate the effectiveness of the platform before upgrading into a paid plan. What’s more, you get two months free when you choose to pay annually.
Check out the plans here before you get started.
Common in regions where Christianity and Muslim are the dominant religious practices, Captivate provides the only growth-oriented church podcast host. The regions include UK, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, US, and Canada among many other countries.
With the intelligence provided by Captivate’s tools, church podcasts can now actively grow into popular shows within minutes. Captivate makes the evolution of podcast hosting easy and worthwhile for church podcasters across the globe.
Captivate automatic podcasting website is mainly focused in actively growing a podcasts audience. To achieve this feat, Captivate features tons of great podcasting features.
Captivate plans offer a customizable and mobile-friendly website with built-in calls to action and donation support for church ministries to receive donations from their members. In addition, Captivate provides an unlimited number of podcasts, unlimited team members, a new podcast player, marketing tools, and advanced analytics tools.
Captivate also allows you to build your email list and generate new church members through their podcast player calls to action.
Captivate provides its members with three hosting plans, whose prices range from $19 to $99 per month depending on the number of downloads in the month.
- Their cheapest plan starts at $19 per month for up to 10,000 downloads.
- Their Audio Influencer plan start at $49 per month for up to 50,000 downloads.
- Their Podcast Brand Plan is priced at $99 per month and allows up to 120,000 downloads.
Due to its effective tools, flexible plans, and user-friendly interface, Captivate is already making waves as one of the most renowned podcast hosting companies for church ministries and Christian podcasters. If you are looking to grow your audience while still enjoying great analytics and distribution tools, you should consider giving Captivate a try.
You can get started with Captivate here.
Why should churches share their sermons online?
While most church ministries understand the importance of spreading the gospel, some are still skeptical about exploring the online realm. However, it is quite unfortunate that they have not realized the great potential of the internet in spreading the ministry. Here are some of the top reasons churches should consider hosting their sermons in online podcasts:
- To make sermons easily available to members
Storing sermons on a podcast means that they remain accessible to your audience at any time. Sermons even older than 5 years can easily be searched by your congregation when looking to teach others or themselves.
- Easy sharing with family and friends
Members of your congregation may move far from your city for one reason or another. If they would still love to hear your sermons, podcasts offer an excellent opportunity to achieve this.
- Getting new members
Visiting or new members may find your online sermons interesting or motivational and choose to join your audience. A podcast makes it easy for a non-member to listen to sermons and learn together with your congregation.
- For members who missed the service and would love to listen to the sermon
The takeaway here is simple. Buzzsprout and PodBean are the best podcast hosting services hands down. While this is true, Blubrry, Transistor, and Captivate offer excellent church podcasting services and tools.
As stated earlier in the article, I would recommend Buzzsprout for novice church podcasters with their easy approach to starting a podcast and a free plan. However, for professional podcasters, I would recommend using PodBean or Blubrry for their easy compatibility with popular directories and social platforms.
Transitor and Captive provide the best options for a church podcaster to build and grow their audience and monetize the podcast.
When making your choice, it is essential to consider your preferences first before looking into the platform’s features. That way, you pick the option tailored for you. Happy podcasting.
My name is Nate, a digital nomad and the founder of this blog, Nomads HQ. I am a SaaS expert with 4 digital nomad visas and 8 years of experience using 50+ different web tools ranging from podcast, web hosting, email marketing, and much more. I previously managed a team offering support services to a large conglomerate that utilized tens of software solutions. I now run this blog full-time and when I am not reviewing or testing software, I enjoy riding bikes and supporting my clients achieve internet success. You can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org