Why do people pay for hosting services when there are free options?

Serious question, why do people pay for hosting services when Anchor exists? My podcast is derived from my YouTube channel where most of my content and audience exists so I'm pretty casual about my podcast content and mainly just post for fun as it's not monetized yet. However, as more listeners tune in I'm wondering what I'm missing out on by using Anchor?

I started sharing audio/video versions on Anchor and distributing to all of the major platforms. I see services like Podbean, Buzzsprout, etc... that cost up to $39 a month. What do you get from these services that Anchor / Free options don't offer? Forgive my ignorance here...

Ivan Martin posted to Podcast Hosting on

  • AA profile image

    about 5 months ago

    I don’t think Anchor is bad, but I do not like the idea of them submitting your podcast to different podcast players. The reason for this is controlling your RSS feed. When someone else controls your RSS feed they ultimately control the distribution of your podcast. I hear you can get Anchor to redirect your RSS feed, but I don’t trust that 100%. For instance if your podcast ends up becoming the next big thing or you develop a huge following… I don’t trust that they would easily give up control of the distribution of your show. I advise a lot of people to start of at Anchor if this a hobby… but if you ever want to make sponsorship money I would say go with a paid host. Other than that the statics on Anchor are notoriously inaccurate.

    • JA profile image

      about 5 months ago

      I love anchor. I get what I pay for, and I get: - Free distribution - Free storage I don't want to monetise because ads in podcasts are pretty my ruining podcasts. If I want to check analytics, I get them from apple and Spotify, which is where most of my listeners are. You don't need to pay. I used to use buzzsprout with my first podcast and don't see any difference .

  • NM profile image

    about 5 months ago

    It depends on your goals. For example, Anchor's listener analytics are very limited. If your goals depend on measuring analytics to improve, then you will need a paid option with better analytics. My goals don't depend on analytics for now, so, I'm happy using Anchor.

  • DM profile image

    about 5 months ago

    I’m moving from Anchor soon. It was fine to start, but my reasons are that my podcast has outgrown them already. My episodes are too big and I have to splice them to upload, a major PITA. I may want to do ads and want to go with a better host for that. I have my own website for SEO, but I wouldn’t mind also getting more from the host page as well. I want better analytics and more robust features. However, anchor was easy to start with and I think it’s fine in many cases. My issue is I’m overwhelmed with who to go with.

    • IM profile image

      about 5 months ago

      how long are your episodes? Mine are 2-3 hours and I don't have this issue with Anchor unless I accidentally export at too high a bitrate.

  • PN profile image

    about 5 months ago

    Because I know the names of, email addresses and even some phone numbers for the customer support team members. Because when I have an issue, I can get it resolved quickly. Because those paid hosting companies support podcasters at a grassroots level. Because many paid companies have staff who post and help regularly in this group. Because they will donate their time and money to help my community. Because they work hard to help make sure their customers make informed choices. Because when I’m not the customer, I’m the product. Because I’m supporting another small, scrappy business. Because they offer more distribution opportunities. Because they often offer opportunities for free advertising and promotion. And lastly, because I get to control my podcast feed outright and they’ll help transition from one host to another without losing 1 subscriber.