Another free podcast hosting company has bitten the dust.

Opinion podcast app launched in November of 2015 and today they launched a free podcast media hosting. Reviews and descriptions went like this on the next web website, “I’ve seen nothing as simple and straightforward for getting started in podcasting as Opinion. It’s still iOS-only, which is something the Seedcamp-backed startup will need to address, and editing lacks finesse (no ability to fade music out, for example) but there’s a really great product coming together here.”

So I reached out to them with my criteria.

  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage.
  • Stats
  • Support
  • The Ability to do a redirect and take my subscribers with me (very important).

The co-founder replied. Here is the exchange:

here is an e-mail exchange I had with the co-founder:

Dave: I'm working on a story for mobile podcasting, and I found your site. If someone joins your site, and later wants to leave do you offer a 301 redirect so they can point their old RSS feed to their new RSS feed?

Tor Rauden Källstigen (CEO and co-founder): Hi! Thanks for reaching out!

We don't offer 301:s at the moment, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem since iTunes Connect is allowing users to change their RSS-feed nowadays:

Dave: Wow, that's a shame. This means your customers have no way to migrate to another host.

Hosting platforms like Libsyn.com, Spreaker, Blubrry, podbean, all offer ways for people to migrate off their platform.

If they leave your platform, they leave their subscribers. When you change your feed in iTunes connect,

your subscriber base is still looking at your old feed (they never get the note that you moved).

This is really bad.

Tor Rauden Källstigen (CEO and co-founder): Yes, that's the case unfortunately, but on the other hand our service is free compared to the other examples.

Dave: How do you guys stay in business with a free business model?

Tor Rauden Källstigen (CEO and co-founder): Hi! We have a (very cheap) in-app purchase for unlocking audio recording longer than 10 minutes.

Surprised they made it three years

What You Can Learn From That Email

  1. Advising someone to change their feed in podcastconnect is about as good advice as giving a toddler a fork and sitting them in front of an electrical outlet.
  2. When companies refuse to redirect your feed, you are stuck using their service or losing your audience if you leave.
  3. You get what you pay for.

For those that stuck around, you are losing your audience anyway.

Don't Be Fooled

In 2017 they were voted:

Best iPhone and iPad app by Wired and Wired UK

Forbes listed them as 10 Marketing Tools Your Agency Won't Tell You About

Macworld UK – 12 iPhone Only Apps to make Android Jealous

Featured on Mashable's Can't Miss List

Best new app according to Next Web

Gizmodo's app of the week

Best new app in the app store

Why Didn't Opinion Podcast App Work?

On April 6th 2016 they stated, “We felt that podcast discovery has remained broken over a decade now – and this is our answer to that. Curated editorial playlists, supported by great machine learning powered recommendations.” The problem with a company focusing on the “discovery problem” is for the end user, there is no discovery problem. The people who think there is a discovery problem are podcast creators because there are already 200 Fantasy Football shows, and when you type in “Fantasy Football” there show doesn't show up. The end user has no problem finding a show. In my opinion, the discovery problem is finding a good show. So you focused on a problem that doesn't exist.

When a company uses a free blogging tool for their blog – that's a RED FLAG. It doesn't build confidence in your brand.

Free Media Hosting has been tried multiple times, and if someone gets big enough to get sponsors – they leave. The thing that the hosting companies plan on making money (a cut of sponsorship) they never see.

Bandwidth is not free. So when you brag that you had 700 hours of content put out in one day (for 100,000 users, that is .42 minutes) that bandwidth is not free. Someone needs to pay for that.

The company (in my opinion) jumped on podcasting because it was “hot” and tried to make a buck with a bunch of programmers who OBVIOUSLY didn't understand the front or backend of podcasting. This is like hiring a football coach who has only played soccer. Similar field, but different game.

Are You Listening Anchor.fm Users?

Anchor is free. They say in the future they will split the profits. Forgive me for being a stickler on math, but 50% of free is still 0.

While they do provide redirects, they OWN YOUR FEED. So when the new statistics come out later in 2017, you won't be able to see them. They are not a real podcast host.

Anchor.fm may be a fun way to interact with your audience, but I WOULD NOT build my podcast on Anchor.fm. I would give them another two years before they fold.

How Long Does Free Last?

Opinion Podcasting 11/2015-10/2017  (23 months)

Audiometric.io 11/ 2012 – 8/2014 (21 months before being purchased by panoply and taken off the market)

Podango 9/2006 – 12/2008 (27 Months)

wildvoice.com 7/2006 7/2009 (36 months)

Podshow/Mevio 8/2005 – 4/2014 (116 months – 38.8 million dollars spent)

mypodcasts.com 2007 – 2011 (estimated 48 months)

The average is 45 months. Take Podshow and their 38 million out of the picture and that drops to 31 (which is close to my typical answer of three years or 36 months)

Better Podcast Media Hosting Solutions

My favorite hosts are

Libsyn.com 

Blubrry.com

Spreaker.com

Podbean.com

Use the coupon code sopfree to get a free month at any of the above.

(In that order). For more information go to www.podcastmediahosting.com

Full disclosure, after being a customer for 10 years, I am now an employee of Libsyn. People say, “Oh you think libsyn is the best because you work for them.” To that I answer, “No, because Libsyn.com is the best – I work for them.”