Podcasting is insanely popular these days. And if you’re just starting out, one of your most pressing concerns will be, “Where can I host my episodes?”
SoundCloud is one of the best places to host your podcast, so we’re going to run through all the pros of the platform and why it’s perfect for your needs.
1. SoundCloud Offers Brand Recognition
One of the biggest draws is the brand recognition of the platform. How many times have you scrolled through Twitter to see a viral tweet that ends with, “Check out my SoundCloud”? How many times have you read about upcoming musicians who made a name for themselves through the platform? It’s a big deal.
With tags dedicated to podcasts, SoundCloud makes it incredibly easy to reach a large userbase in just minutes. Once they find you they can follow, create playlists, and listen to your episodes like they do on Spotify or iTunes.
2. SoundCloud Is Affordable
The second most pressing thing on a podcaster’s mind is the price of hosting their podcast. As a podcaster myself, this expense is always front and center whenever my team and I make a financial decision. The good news is that hosting costs on SoundCloud are minimal.
For $12 dollars/month with a Pro Unlimited account, you’ll gain access to SoundCloud’s creator controls and maximum storage space. This allows you to upload as many episodes as you need.
The low price point is especially important if you’re trying to tabulate your sunk costs. You probably won’t be pulling in any profit yet, and it will likely be a couple of months before you can start monetizing.
3. SoundCloud Offers an Easy-to-Use Interface
The next best thing about SoundCloud is the platform’s easy controls. You may know the basics of recording, but what if you’re not “tech savvy”? What if your schedule is just really busy, and you want something that is easy to maintain?
SoundCloud maintenance is as low as it gets, with a streamlined profile and a step-by-step upload guide. After you’re done uploading your episodes, your tools to communicate with your audience are just as simple.
There’s no learning curve, and while it does take a few minutes to upload your file you won’t be stuck figuring out the basics. There are also some free SoundCloud desktop apps for Mac that make the platform even easier to use.
4. SoundCloud Is Customizable
Sometimes when you aim for accessibility, you have to compromise the overall “look” of your platform. Not so with SoundCloud.
You’re able to upload headers to your channel to keep your branding consistent across multiple platforms. You can also upload album art with each episode you post, and you can choose your channel icon.
Additionally, you can customize the links that you display along the side of your profile. You can customize your playlists and how the tracks are ordered. This means that whenever people visit your page, they will see the information you want them to see in the order you choose. If you’re big on brand control, this will make you happy.
5. SoundCloud Is Awash With Statistics
Another reason to host your podcast on SoundCloud is that it has good metrics for tracking your audience engagement.
Apple’s iTunes—while it is ubiquitous in the podcasting world—does not give you in-depth information on your audience stats, which can be frustrating when you’re just starting out. Without those hard numbers to show you how you’re doing, how can you be sure anyone is listening at all?
Fortunately SoundCloud sheds some light on this.
By going into your Stats channel, you can see how many overall plays you have in a given timeframe plus individual episode stats. It will also tell you what countries you have the most listeners in, and how many listens you get through various RSS feeds. This includes iTunes, which opens a window into how you’re doing on that platform.
6. SoundCloud Helps You Engage With Your Audience
Finally, the personal touch that makes SoundCloud a great tool for podcasters is that it allows you to directly connect with your audience.
Engagement is an article unto its own, but the quick-and-easy answer is that it’s especially important in the early stages of your podcast. You want your audience to feel personally invested in the product, and you want them to feel like they’re part of the team.
This need for engagement plays directly into your metrics, but instead of talking about the hard numbers we’re talking about the surface-level stuff. SoundCloud has a robust commenting tool where listeners can comment on specific timestamps within the episode. This lets you know exactly which part of the show they’re referencing.
Of course there are spammers, too—because this is the internet—but SoundCloud makes it easy to deal with them. Do you have a spammer clogging up your comments? Simply click on their profile icon, click Report “User Name”, and they’ll be banned from your channel.
Try SoundCloud for Your Own Podcast
Now that we’ve gone through the pros of the platform, you can try out SoundCloud and see if it works for your podcast.
If you’re still not convinced, have no fear. The great thing about the platform is that you can upload your first episodes on a free account, to see if you like it. When you run out of space, if you’re happy, you can upgrade to a Pro account, and if you’re not happy, you can move to another service.
Do you have other questions about podcasts and podcasting? Are you looking for advice on the technical aspects of your show? Then our guide to the best podcast equipment for starters and enthusiasts is a good place to start.