As a podcaster, your hosting options up until recently might have only been the usual names like Amazon S3, Buzzsprout, Blubrry, Podbean, Libsyn, Podomatic and Spreaker. Now, SoundCloud is a very serious Podcasting hosting option that you can seriously consider.
Below, we will list the pros and cons of hosting your podcasts on SoundCloud.
Pros and cons of hosting your podcasts on SoundCloud
For starters, SoundCloud has hit a podcaster sweet spot in an area that really matters: pricing. With so many podcasters out there “trying” to make a living with podcasts, it is very important that the hosting platform they rely on be cheap.
Soundcloud does fantastically well here, especially when compared to its competition. At just $0.0021 per MEG of data, SoundCloud is significantly cheaper than the next closest competitor in Podbean which charges about $0.03 per MEG.
This is another area where SoundCloud’s player blows the competition’s player out of the water. Though most of SoundCloud’s player’s listeners are music lovers rather than podcast listeners, there is no denying the fact that the actual player itself has been vouched for, millions of times, over several years.
The only drawback with SoundCloud’s player is that it doesn’t allow you to play a file in a new window. But, when it comes to social sharing right from the player, nobody has it set up as easy as SoundCloud’s player.
This is an area where SoundCloud isn’t all that great for podcasters. As a podcaster, you already know stats are vital to growing your audience in a targeted manner and it will also help you acquire sponsorships, as you will be able to show your potential sponsors who listens to you, from where. Unfortunately, SoundCloud’s stats only gives you basic information, with the most advanced data point being geographic location of the listener.
However, if you do sign up for the paid plans, you will be able to see better data points like from which cities your listeners come from.
SoundCloud has a massive listener base. With over 175 million people actively using SoundCloud, it is technically the largest hosting platform that a Podcaster can attempt to use. But, you must understand that the vast majority of those 175 Million users are those who will listen to music as opposed to Podcasts. Podcast hosting is something new to SoundCloud and it remains to be seen if it will become a mainstream platform, accumulating millions of Podcast listeners as well.
SoundCloud’s Podcasting Hosting Plans
The free SoundCloud Podcasting hosting account will allow you to upload 180 minutes of free audio uploads. Chances are that you are going to use this up pretty quickly, if you are an actively managed Podcast station. But, you can use it as a pilot account to see if it is a good fit for your Podcasting at SoundCloud.
Basic stats included in the free account are just number of plays, likes, reposts, comments and downloads.
Please note that using the Free account for Podcasting on SoundCloud will mean that you will not have the ability to turn off comments and that you will also not have the ability to turn off visibility of public stats related to your Podcast plays.
Pro at $7 a month
The Pro account gives you 360 minutes of upload time, essentially doubling the upload time you get from a free SoundCloud account.
The Pro account gives you all the basic stats like plays, likes, reposts, comments and downloads and also an additional stat in the form of plays by target country. The Pro account also gives you the ability to pin your favorite tracks, playlists or your podcasts to your profile, using Spotlight.
Pro Unlimited at $15 a month
The Pro Unlimited account gives you unlimited upload time. In addition to all the stats that you see in the free and Pro account, you will be able to additionally see in which cities your plays are coming from. An additional data point that you will see in statistics when you choose the Pro Unlimited account is that you will begin to see the web pages or apps where your Podcasts were actually played on the Internet.
Tips for promoting Podcasts hosted on SoundCloud
Whether you are using the Free, Pro or Pro Unlimited accounts to host your podcasts, it always helps to know a few techniques that will allow you to get your Podcast episodes more number of plays.
SoundCloud has a feature called Stations that primarily serves Podcasters at SoundCloud. You will have the ability to create Stations where you can include other Podcasters. You will of course be able to add your own Podcasting station when you create these stations. If your list of stations is very well put together, there is a chance that it will be listened to by a few hundred, thousands, or hopefully even millions of SoundCloud users on the Internet. This increases your chances of being discovered as a Podcaster who is similar to similar but much more famous Podcasting channels on the Internet.
Including popular Podcasting stations on the stations you create might cause other Podcasters to take notice of you. They might also see that you have included their channel in a popular station you created and will want to reciprocate the favor for you, including your channel in the stations that they created.
Another great way to give your Podcast some steam when you first put it out on SoundCloud is to give it some SoundCloud plays or followers. If you didn’t know already, SoundCloud is open to its uploaders spending money on acquiring paid followers or plays, as long as it is done by a service provider that gets those plays and follows from real SoundCloud users. Very few service providers offer this as a legitimate and working service, with BuySCPlays being one of them.
The SoundCloud player makes it incredibly easy to share your Podcast episodes on any social network, particularly Twitter. If you were using another platform before, you will notice that your Podcasts get a lot more social activity than before, when on SoundCloud, thanks to the user friendliness when it comes to sharing with SoundCloud’s excellent Player.
If you already have your Podcasts going on SoundCloud, you might also want to sign up for their SoundCloud Premier program. Signing up for their Premier program will allow you to monetize your Podcast station and all your episodes, by earning advertising revenue. However, SoundCloud Premier is still in pre-launch mode but you can sign up for its waiting list here.
Checkout some of the Podcasts to Listen to on SoundCloud below: