Podcast on a budget – Publishing your podcast

This is the sixth of a multipart series on podcasting for publication staffs.

Now that your podcast is completed you’ll need to publish it.

What you’re looking for, in its most basic form, is a place to upload and store your podcast files. That creates a feed that you can publish and begin attracting listeners. You will also need to embed individual podcasts to your newspaper website as well as link for sharing to social media, for promotional purposes.

When choosing a site to host your podcasts you’ll need decide on what is most important to you. What’s important could include cost, storage capacity, monthly bandwidth allotment, statistical information on listeners, site customization, reliability of the service, and audience engagement. Another factor you may want to look for, perhaps, is the availability of apps for cell phones and pads?

There are numerous sites to publish podcasts. Below are a few of many available to podcasters. I chose those below because they’re well known and cost is minimal.

An internet search revealed many more that seem excellent and seem directed at the heavy demands of professional users — complete with hefty fees — that would likely put them out of the reach of school newspaper programs.

Shown is part of The Magnet Tribune’s home page on Podbean, a podcasting site the paper has used since fall 2013.

I’ll start with what The Magnet Tribune uses, Podbean.

Back when we started creating podcasts using audio equipment in fall 2013 I chose what I thought would work best, Podbean. (Before that we recorded podcasts on video then published to SchoolTube.)

While Podbean has a limited free plan, I have been paying a very modest yearly fee for 100GB of bandwidth monthly. There are also three paid options, all of which offer unlimited storage and bandwidth. In checking my account recently, I’m not sure if the plan I’ve been paying for is still available, or at least I didn’t see it listed.

Uploading is simple and easy. The site is easily customizable, and overall I have found it is very easy to use. I have it linked to an iTune account, and embeds are easily made to The Magnet Tribune’s website.  

The Magnet Tribune’s Podbean site is linked to iTunes, so content published on both sites.

Your account also allows you to create a simple app that can be downloaded to your phone or tablet.

Podbean creates a simple app that can be downloaded onto cell phones and tablets.

In addition, there is an easy-to-understand support section, and response time to queries is excellent.

Podbean also allows those who want to monetize their podcast to do so.

This is not an endorsement of Podbean; this is the podcasting site I’m familiar with so it gets the most explanation. But I have considered making a change in podcast hosts. See below for more information.

Now for a short sampling of other podcasting sites. I chose the last two because they’re well known.

AnchorFM is the podcast host used by SNOsites, the school newspaper network.

1) AnchorFM. It’s free, and the one SNOSites, the student newspaper network, uses.

On its home page, AnchorFM states, “Create and host unlimited episodes, distribute your show everywhere, and make money. All in one place, all for free.”

I’ve considered making the switch to AnchorFM but there’s always the “what if” in the back of my mind, the “what if” being: what if their money runs out?

Other features AnchorFM states on its home page are unlimited free hosting, the ability to monetize podcasts, analytics, easy distribution to podcast sites, and easy recording and assembling of podcasts when people who recorded them are not in the same room.

AnchorFM also states it makes switching your podcasts to its site an easy task, or at least in theory it seems easy enough.

My staff’s only experience with AnchorFM is an interview SNOcast did with one of my columnists on Oct. 31, 2018, “titled Creepy and Unexplained.”

While Soundcloud is known mainly a music-oriented hosting-publishing site, there is no reason it cannot be used to host and publish podcasts.

2) SoundCloud At first glance, you find out that SoundCloud is a platform for publishing original music. But then, under Creator Guide, one finds Podcasting.

According to the guide, “creators” (SC’s term) can link up to iTunes and social media easily and keep track of the audience via available statistics.

There’s also a helpful section on SoundCloud’s copyright policies.

There is a limited free level of service and two higher levels with different pricing, which, of course, offer more services.

My impression is that SoundCloud looks at podcasting as an adjunct to promoting music. But I don’t see why it couldn’t be used for publishing and promoting podcasts using the same tools that “creators” have available for their music.

Podomatic is another popular site used to host and publish podcasts.

3) Podomatic. Right at the top of the home page are the logos for Google Play, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Underneath are four easy steps for using Podomatic: record, upload, publish, and promote.

Like the others, statistics and an app are available, and podcasts can be monetized.

The limited free plan offers 500 MB of storage, 15GB of bandwidth monthly, basic statistics on listeners, and no expiration, ever. As the Podomatic states, “Simply ’till the end of civilization as we know it.”

There are also four paid plans that offer more bandwidth and storage capacity than the free plan.

The local daily used Podomatic for about 2 years to announce headlines, but that practice stopped with the editor who came up with the idea left the paper.

If you’re not sure what to pick, do your research and decide on a podcast host that you think will best fit your program.

Up next: Part seven will discuss ways to promote podcasts.

Mark Webber

Mark Webber, CJE, who retired at the end of May 2019 after 40 years as a classroom teacher, was a founding faculty member of Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts in Laredo, Texas, a school district free-standing magnet school program, in 1993. He founded the print journalism program and taught it for 26 years and added the creative writing staff to his 5th journalism block class for his final three 3 years of teaching. His former students produced The Magnet Tribune print and online newspapers and Revelations literary magazine. (The school’s publications program has since been terminated.) He stays active in scholastic journalism as a JEA-certified mentor and critique judge, a Texas UIL journalism events judge, and as a member of the JEA’s Mentor Committee.

Mark Webber has 12 posts and counting. See all posts by Mark Webber

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