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Podcasting: The Netflix of Radio?

What tools should you use for podcasting? In the latest session from The Marketing Lab, we tried and tested a number of podcasting tools so you don’t have to!

Advertising, Social Media, The Marketing Lab

Here’s what you need to know about podcasting tools

The poor relative of content, podcasting is sometimes undervalued, but is seeing a rise in popularity in Ireland. It is an excellent platform for bloggers or brands who are looking for a multimedia approach to their existing content plan.

While this post is about the tools that can help you create and distribute your podcast, our overall conclusion is that the quality of the podcast itself is the most important thing. Note that we tested the free versions of the tools, as we figured you’d want to be able to set up a thriving channel for free!

Tips for creating a podcast:

  1. Be conversational. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. It can help to have more than one person talking, whether that is discussing a topic fluidly or having more of an interview-style podcast.
  3. If you are going solo, imagine you are talking to thousands of people. Be prepared but not scripted.
  4. Get some good kit. We’ve got some excellent tips below on best budget kit from longtime podcaster, Brian Greene.

Tools We Used:

1. Audioboom

It’s the Fisher Price podcasting tool and lets you do all you need to do in a simple way. It doesn’t have much in terms of tracking and is therefore quite basic.

Key Features:

  • Suggest content based on listening history
  • Two hours of your favourite audio available offline daily
  • Compile all your favourites into a playlist
    Categorized to make it easy to navigate global posts
  • Record, edit and upload audio straight from app
  • Follow friends, favourite podcast creators etc., so you never miss out

What it’s good at
It’s got a simple and easy to user interface and is ideal for someone starting out, particularly as you can record, edit and upload straight from the app. It’s ideal for short sound bites. It offers iTunes integration, but you must have a pro account to do this.

What it’s not so good at
It doesn’t have any tracking, so you can’t see how many people have listened to your podcast. You can also only record up to 10 minutes on the free version.

2. Podbean

Podbean is also useful if you are getting started with podcasts. It’s very straightforward to get started, and when you set up an account, Podbean encourages you to find, follow and download podcasts from other channels.You record a podcast easily from your profile page and distribute easily.

Key Features:

  • Follow other podcasters
  • Free to listen & record podcasts
  • Good experience from mobile
  • Follow people, like episodes (favourites) download episodes, create playlists
  • Interest-based search is helpful

What it’s good at:
Recording podcasts on the fly that need no editing from mobile. The good search function means you are more likely to be found and can provide inspiration as you start recording podcasts. It has basic stats showing you how many followers you have, how many times your podcast has been download and your top ten episodes. $9 per month can get your more advanced stats.

What it’s not so good at
There is no editing functionality, so it may be easier to use this for shorter podcasts. There is no way to take down your podcast. Any online help content is from an older version of the platform, and is outdated. There is also no ability to edit and so there is very little control. Desktop application is not that intuitive.

3. Soundcloud

Soundcloud is a well-known music distribution tool that has a podcasting section to it. It appears most people upload pre-edited podcasts. It has an easy-to-use user interface, and it’s easy to set up an account. It could be called a platform agnostic device in that you can listen to soundcloud content on itunes and on Twitter. In fact, Soundcloud is partnered with Twitter which means podcasts/music can be played within the Twitter feed as users scroll through their feed. Users can subscribe (or follow) your channel and will see any new podcasts you have submitted on their home screen (or ‘stream’) when they logon. They can add you to a collection as well.

Key Features:
Upload podcast
Creating a Podcast: – Select different permissions for your podcast (e.g. can users comment/download the podcast)
Track your podcast
Share on Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr directly from the platform
Record your podcast directly

What it’s good at
SoundCloud is great for creating a channel ( if you are hosting multiple podcasts. It has a simple user interface and allows you to upload a podcast easily enough. Soundcloud sorts podcasts and music quite well, which means if you tag your podcast well, you should be relatively easy to find. It’s important to remember SoundCloud is used for music as well as podcasts, and music may have more of a preference in the charts. It’s a platform agnostic listening device.

What it’s not so good at
Soundcloud will come heavily down on you if you use unauthorised music, even just if you’re using it as a short audio bed.

4. Spreaker

To get yourself started with Spreaker, open an account using your email or social media account, download Spreaker Studio App either on your desktop or mobile, describe your podcast and start broadcasting live or record offline and publish later. You may also upload your content. The walk-through screens before starting to use the Spreaker Studio App come in handy for showing the app’s features. In addition, Spreaker has the option of podcasting live via web-based console but it has a limited functionality compared to the app and a poor user interface. The free version allows you to store up to 10h. There is no audio editing capability. Besides embedding and sharing your podcasts via social media channels you can promote your content throughout the platform via ads costing €2 per 1000 impressions.


  • Live audio streaming
  • Upload your content
  • Follow other podcasters
  • Podcast from mobile app, desktop app or web console
  • Mobile app is super easy to use
  • Live chatter
  • Auto-publishing to Soundcloud, Tumblr, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter
  • Enable to download your podcast for your listeners
  • Create your own app to distribute your channel exclusively for €89.00 / app (one-off payment)
  • Get your podcast transcribed
  • Export your podcast anytime to platforms such as Soundcloud, iTunes, Sonos, YouTube, iheartradio (only with paid plans)

What it’s good at
It has good tracking with overall stats on the number of plays, downloads, likes and followers available with the free version. Geolocation, demographics, play details available on the paid plans.The ease of use of the mobile app is amazing. It takes no time to start podcasting. Distributing content to other platforms to maximise the reach; Ability to promote your content throughout the platform.Spreaker also allows auto-publishing to Soundcloud, Tumblr, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter available with the free version, but for exporting (anytime) to Soundcloud, iTunes, Sonos, YouTube, iheartradio paid plans are necessary.

What it’s not so good at
The web console has a poor user interface. The free version doesn’t allow you to export to other distribution channel anytime (only auto-publishing allowed).

5. Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout is great for beginners, with a really quick onboarding process. It’s a plug in and play option with a small trial period. You can upload pre made podcasts very simply and then distribute to the relevant channels. A stand-out piece of functionality is that it is very simple to embed on your site.

Key Features:

  • Audio optimiser
  • Gives you a mobile ready site for your podcast
  • Plug in and play for your site
  • Great import tool for existing podcasts
  • WordPress plugin

What it’s good at
It’s really easy to get started and just do what you love. The simple options that are presented well, give loads of clarity to show you what is working. It’s really simple to sign up for using your email or one of your social media accounts. You can get a 90 day free trial and during this you have 2 hours of episode time to play around with. It is very simple to upload to and useful for new podcasters.

There is a great measurement panel that goes into a huge amount of detail for your podcast. It shows you how many people have viewed it over the last number of days, weeks, and months. It shows if you’re trending up or down. In addition, you can see which of your podcasts are doing the best. The analytics show which device your podcast was played on, by time and percentage this is a great way to tell what way your podcast is being consumed. It will also break down location right down to city level.

What it’s not so good at
There are no clear hangups on this app, its great! Be aware that the model is freemium: You can Upload 2 Hours Each Month for free. This allows you to host your podcast for 90 days. If you want to ake it a little more seriously you can start with $12 monthly. This will get you 3 Hours of recording a month with excess costing just $4 a month. Then up from this you can Upload 6 Hours Month and it costs $18 with excess charged at $3 per hour. With any paid version you get your content hosted indefinitely. $24 if you want to go to the top level.


What Podcasting Tools We Tested


Experts Corner – What’s The Best Microphone?

Brian Greene shares his insights with the Marketing Lab team as to what microphones one should use when recording a podcast. You can listen to his excellent gardening podcast.

“Two microphones tips that will repay their cost over the months not years are:

1. iRig HD

Nobody sits at a PC anymore and records a Podcast, right? nobody but me that is. You have a smartphone so why not record on that, it is probably more powerful than your last PC!

Well you might think the mic is a bit poor for audio recording and the answer is that internal smartphone mics are just about good enough to do the job but never the best for all kinds of situations including wind.

Adding a decent mic to a phone will not break the bank and you can be up and recording in minutes. The iRig is for iPhones and iTouch and even some of the iPad range.

Priced at ~ €45 online it has good sensitivity in loud environments like the street. It plugs into the headphones socket but you don’t lose your headphone socket as it has a dual mini-jack connector allowing real-time monitoring on headphones. iRig HD is popular with the (MoJo) mobile journalists, used with Filmic Pro (available in the app store) your vlogging (video podcasting) will look amazing. An Android alternative to Filmic Pro is Cinema FV-5 (available in the Play Store). iRig HD wont work on Android but see the next tool tip for an Android solution.

2. iRig PRE

You don’t own a Zoom or a Marantz recorder? Ok so you are not an audiophile or a professional recordist but you want to use a good mic. If your microphone has an XLR cable (standard microphone connection) you will want to get your microphone connected to your phone. Here comes the solution. Use the iRig PRE. Costing around €35 online it can take a regular XLR mics or a mic that needs 48 volt phantom power. Now you are ready to record on Android or iPhone. iRig provide free recording apps to get you set up and running.

So what kind of mics would I use? I use 2 x Sure Beta58a microphones (around €160 each). These vocal microphones will work just about everywhere and are really useful if there is a sing-song involved. I recorded 12+ interviews for podcast at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last week. Having two mics means interviewer & interviewee have a mic each and the recordist (that’s me) can be up to 5 meters away taking the obligatory photo shots / videos / vines of the interview, or just taking a selfie :)”

Who attended The Marketing Lab?

Maryrose Lyons, Founder of Social Media Consultancy Brightspark

Felicity McCarthy, Founder of

Laurynas Binderis, E-commerce Manager at Online Office Supplies Retailer

Sasha Kinch, Digital Campaigns Executive, Independent News and Media, read her blog here.

Tristram Dyer, Head of Social Strategy at Leading Social

Special thanks to Brian Greene in our experts corner. Check out his excellent gardening podcast.

Sasha Kinch

Sasha Kinch

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