I’m going throw in a spoiler for this Podcast.co review right at the very beginning: I’m really happy with the service.
My TL;DR is that I highly recommend Podcast.co, whether you’re looking to start your first podcast or searching for a new distribution partner.
To silence the cynics before I begin, I should emphasise that I’m a genuine paying customer for Podcast.co. I use it to host and distribute the HomeWorkingClub podcast. There’s no false praise nor ulterior motives here, and I’ve not been paid to write this review!
So, with that out of the way, let’s get straight into my Podcast.co review.
What is Podcast.co?
Podcast.co is an online solution for publishing and distributing podcasts. As well as automating publishing on all the major podcast platforms (such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify), Podcast.co includes a bunch of additional features such as podcast transcription, listener analytics and players that you can embed on your website.
(You can see an example of the player on my own podcast page).
Is Podcast.co Legit?
Podcast.co is a completely legitimate service, delivered by a team split between the UK and US.
What does Podcast.co Include?
Podcast.co is a one-stop service that includes everything you need to get a podcast off the ground and accessible to listeners. It includes:
- Hosting for your podcast audio files and show notes.
- Distribution to most of the major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
- Podcast players for standalone use, or for embedding on your website(s).
- Analytics (to examine at your listener data).
- Transcription and audiogram facilities.
Podcast.co is sold on a monthly subscription basis. As with many products of this nature, there’s a discount for those willing to pay for a year up front. The discount is equivalent to two free months in each year.
The cheapest “Starter” package costs $29 per month (or $290 per year.) This is for a single show with up to 10,000 monthly downloads. “Pro” at $49 per month (or $490 per year) allows for 20 shows and 50,000 monthly downloads. For those with extensive needs, the “Business” package ($99/mth) supports unlimited shows and up to 100,000 monthly downloads.
Anybody just starting out in podcasting will be fine with the cheapest package; 10,000 monthly downloads is a lofty goal for any new podcaster.
Podcast.co Review: Our Experiences
I discovered Podcast.co by accident when I saw it promoted on Appsumo, a sale site for applications. (If you’ve not come across AppSumo before, it’s well worth checking out for some great time-limited deals on all kinds of software).
I was in the early stages of planning a podcast for HomeWorkingClub, and the product looked like it removed all the technical complications of getting a new broadcast out into the world. All the Podcast.co reviews I looked at seemed positive, so I decided to jump in and buy it. I didn’t regret it.
Podcasting is relatively easy to get into, but there is some technical stuff to get the hang of. You need somewhere for the audio files to live, and you need to work out how to make your show available on all the popular platforms.
The “manual” way of doing this is learning all about podcast RSS feeds and manually submitting the podcast to each platform. Podcast.co does all this for you.
After feeding in the basics of my podcast, such as its name and logo, all I had to do was upload my first completed audio file. (There’s a little on the other software and equipment I use at the end of this review). You also input your show notes and a few other details, such as the season and episode number.
Distribution of the very first podcast can take several days (after that it’s almost instant). This is due to a manual review process on some services, such as Apple and Google.
In my case, the podcast found its way to some services straight away, and I experienced the anticipated wait until it showed up everywhere.
As well as putting your podcast on the popular platforms, you also have an automatically generated page for the podcast, complete with subscribe buttons, and an attractive player. You can see mine here (and there’s a screenshot of it below).
Everything is extremely easy to understand. There are some basic options for the design of your podcast page and your subscription buttons, but nothing too challenging. Most importantly, everything works.
As a first time podcaster, I’ve had plenty of questions to ask, and I have to say I’ve been delighted with the support service available.
A live chat option is prominent across the Podcast.co back-end dashboard. It’s perhaps because I’m in the same timezone as the company’s team, but I’ve never waited more than a few minutes for a through, detailed and friendly answer to any query I’ve had.
There’s also a decent self-service knowledge base on the website, as well as some tutorial videos. These come to you by email as you’re getting started and are well worth watching.
Once you’ve launched your podcast, you’re sure to be desperate to know who’s tuning in.
Podcast.co’s analytics are simple but effective. You can see how many people are downloading episodes, where they’re listening from, and which platforms they’re using.
I WOULD like to see more detail on these, and I seem to recall reading that an enhancement is promised. If the data is available to find out how MUCH of each podcast people are listening to, that would be of particular interest – but I don’t know if that’s feasible.
The analytics are perfectly adequate. But I’m sure that fellow data junkies will agree that there’s no such thing as too much!
Transcription and Audiograms
Although it’s not essential, I’ve always been keen to provide a full text transcription of every one of my podcasts. Not only is this helpful to the hearing-impaired, it also gives those who prefer to read the option to do so.
In theory, a full podcast transcription also has SEO benefits for your website, because it makes the content easily searchable by Google. To be honest I’ve not noticed anything tangible on this score yet. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by how many people visit the transcriptions and read them – in some cases almost as many people as listen to each episode.
To request a transcription, you simply click the option and specify the language of the podcast (which can include a particular variant of English, such as American, British or Australian.)
The transcriptions are clearly automated, and are usually ready within 10 minutes or so. I’d liken the quality to the performance of something like Google Translate. In reality, it’s unlikely you’ll simply be able to copy and paste these onto your website. See below for an example.
I’ve opted for a middle ground here; I make use of Podcast.co’s transcription, but then send it to a (fantastic) virtual assistant who polishes it and prepares it for publication. While I was initially disappointed that the output wasn’t ready to go, with hindsight it was never realistic to expect that for something bundled into an all-in package. The transcription functions are still useful.
Audiograms allow you to grab a snippet of your podcast, and prepare a quick and easy extract video – perfect for sharing as a teaser on social media.
The audiograms are delivered by a third-party service called Headliner, which is actually free to use in standalone format anyway. It’s a cool little add-on, and I’ve been able to quickly create teaser videos. However, the web-based interface for this is a little clunky and feels less smooth to use than Podcast.co itself.
Even while I’ve been working on this Podcast.co review I’ve noticed new features coming on line.
Podcast.co advertises additional features to promote and monetise your podcast. There’s a “MatchMaker” service to put you in touch with potential guests, or to offer yourself up as a guest for another podcast.
There’s also (apparently) the potential to be introduced to possible advertisers.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that these elements of the service are in their infancy at the time of writing. It may just be that my own podcast is very much in its fledgling stages, but I signed up for MatchMaker some months ago and have yet to see anything come of it. This is only my personal experience, but it’s what I have to go on.
I’m not dismissing these features. From what I’ve seen of Podcast.co, the developers are working hard to constantly evolve the product, and I’m confident that there’s more to come. However, I wouldn’t buy Podcast.co for these features specifically. Not yet anyway.
It’s probably little surprise that I’ve going to end my Podcast.co review on a very positive note.
I’ve enjoyed every minute of using Podcast.co, and definitely now see myself as a loyal customer. The quality of the support available really helps here, especially as the learning curve for podcasting can be quite steep without a service like this.
It really was genuinely impressive how quickly I could confidently tell people that they could find our podcast on all major platforms.
There are definitely some areas that could improve, especially in terms of more advanced analytics. But I have confidence that with a team this caring, they probably will in time. As it stands, Podcast.co is already a great one-stop-shop podcast solution, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Podcast.co Pros and Cons
- Simple to use.
- Supports all the key platforms.
- Excellent, helpful support.
- Well priced.
- Some features still feel like they are at an early stage.
- Transcription is machine quality, not human quality.
- Analytics fairly basic.
Other Podcasting Software and Equipment
The great thing about podcasting is that you need very little to get up and running. As well as using Podcast.co, I’ve also been helped by:
- Camtasia: Primarily a video editing package, I’ve actually ended up using it to edit the final audio files for the podcast. The volume levelling and noise reduction filters are perfect for what I need, and very easy to use.
- The Blue Snowball Microphone: My co-host and I have one of these each. We’ve had decent results when recording, both solo and conference-room style, and the mics are very affordable.
- So you Want to Start a Podcast: An interesting book on the subject that’s provided plenty of inspiration and some good guidance on interviewing guests.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.