Anchor alternative for podcast hosting

Now called "Spotify for Podcasters"

Transistor Team

7 min

Many people start their podcast on Anchor (recently renamed Spotify for Podcasters) but later want to upgrade to a more professional solution. Generally, folks switch for these reasons: the ability to start and manage multiple podcasts from one account, more detailed analytics, better customer support, and the ability to create private podcasts.

I originally created a podcast on Anchor. The main reason I switched to Transistor was the ability to host multiple podcasts. I just migrated my Anchor podcast over to Transistor. Now, I have two more podcast ideas I want to try out.

Why do people switch from Anchor to Transistor for podcast hosting?

Most people switch to Transistor from Anchor for one of the following reasons:

Why Transistor is a good alternative to Anchor

In his Anchor review, Scott Hastie describes why folks end up leaving Anchor:

If you’re serious about starting a podcast for personal brand or business reasons, then Anchor probably isn’t for you. When podcasting with Anchor, your content will be heavily branded by them. Because it’s free, they’ll take the opportunity to promote themselves anywhere and everywhere your content can be found. That’s the trade off.

Anchor makes it easy to record and publish a podcast but it comes with some downsides.

Customizing your podcast website

Many Anchor users switch to other solutions because of the web page Anchor provides for your podcast. "Anchor's podcast site is rather terrible, in terms of usability, for the average listener," said one user. Here's what the Anchor podcast website looks like:

Transistor gives you much more control over your podcast's website.

Alexis Ohanian Reddit podcast

We offer two options:

Furthermore, websites hosted on Transistor can integrate with your email newsletter (MailChimp, Drip, and ConvertKit). You can collect email signups from your podcast's homepage and episode pages.

Want to use your custom domain name ( Anchor doesn't support custom domains, but Transistor does! 🙌

Anchor's Apple Podcasts submission cheat

One of the hardest parts about starting a new show is submitting it to Apple Podcasts manually. This typically means signing up for a new Apple ID and waiting for Apple to review your submission.

On their website, Anchor promises to automatically "distribute your podcast to Apple Podcasts." But it's not automatic; they're submitting to Apple using their account!

Scott Hastie explains:

Anchor submits your show to iTunes/Apple Podcasts through their own account, which means you don’t “own” your show’s listing in the biggest podcast directory in the world. You also won’t be able to access your Apple Podcast stats because of this.

In the podcasting world, your Apple Podcasts account is your key to many of the other directories. Overcast, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Castro, Listen Notes, and others scrape the Apple Podcasts directory. It's kind of like the master copy.

You lose control over your podcast's future if you don't control your Apple Podcast listing. Scott continues:

The issues with Anchor heavily branding themselves over your content, as well as effectively owning your show in places like iTunes, means that they really aren’t an option if you want to create a serious and long-term podcast.

Transistor's automatic podcast submission

One advantage Anchor used to have is that you could click one button and submit to eight players (Apple, Spotify, etc).

Transistor now has one-click submission to 12 major podcast apps. Plus, we'll show you how to submit to Amazon, Stitcher, Deezer, TuneIn, RadioPublic, Pandora, iHeartRadio.

The podcast player

Anchor's current podcast player lacks a lot of control. Here's how it looks:

Anchor's embedded podcast player

Note: we had to remove Anchor's embed code because it was too much slowing down this page. It adds over 800 KB of JavaScript and slows the page down by 34%.

Transistor's podcast player looks like this:

The Transistor player allows you to:

  • Display your latest podcast episode on your website (like we're doing above) with a special embed code.

  • Rewind, fast-forward or adjust the playback speed.

  • See more info about the podcast.

  • Subscribe to the podcast.

  • Embed full episodes on Twitter and other sites.

  • Embed your whole season of episodes. (Example)

Our player also has great sharing tools; hover over the player and click the "Share" link. (Incidentally, I couldn't get Anchor's share icon to work).

Transistor podcast analytics vs Anchor's stats

True to its mission, Anchor provides simple, easy-to-read stats for its users.

Transistor's podcast analytics go into more detail:

Chart: see podcast stats for subscribers and listener trends over time

Our podcast stats will show you:

  • Average downloads per episode, organized by "first 7, 30, 60, and 90 days."

  • The number of subscribers you have (estimated based on past download history).

  • Listener trends over time.

We'll also give you a complete episode breakdown. You can order your episodes by total downloads, date, and average downloads:

Table: downloads per podcast episode

In Transistor, you can also track how many people are listening on each podcast app (Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Overcast):

Chart: what are the most popular podcast player apps?

You can also see a map of where your listeners are from, worldwide:

How can I see a map of my podcast listeners?

Should you host on Anchor? Other deal-breakers.

In addition to what we've mentioned above, there are other reasons you might want to think twice about creating your show on their platform.

Anchor automatically puts ads in podcasts

When George Kao created his show on Anchor, he noticed a big deal-breaker:

Anchor puts an advertisement about their platform into the beginning or end of every podcast episode that you create/upload with their platform.

After getting criticism about the practice, Anchor modified this slightly: their post-roll ads are still turned on as a default, but you can now "opt-out" in your advanced settings.

Anchor automatically puts their logo on your cover art

Similarly, you'll notice most shows on Anchor have their logo embedded in the show art.

Again, this is turned on as a default and has to be manually turned off.

On Transistor, you can host multiple podcasts from the same account

On Anchor, you can't host multiple shows from the same account. But on Transistor you can:

Don't limit your creativity! Transistor allows you to host unlimited shows on the same account, for one monthly price. (Making more shows is one of the best ways to increase the number of listeners you get each month).

Should I use Anchor to host my podcast?

It depends. If you're starting your podcast for fun, or out of personal curiosity, it might be a good fit for you.

But if you're looking to build "a serious and long-term podcast" (as Scott says), you should use a professional podcast platform like Transistor.