Castos Review: Premium Content, Transcriptions & Simplicity

Since Castos launched, this media host has become one of the most reliable and accessible choices for podcast hosting. Initially, their commitment to transcription set them apart. Over time, Castos added more integrations and features in response to user demand. Years ago, when I first tried Castos, I was impressed but not excited. Now, I’m excited. In this review, I’ll show you how Castos features and prices make this a hosting service that’s probably a good fit for your podcast.

Our Castos link is an affiliate which means we earn a small commission should you choose to sign up via it. This is never at any extra cost to you. In fact, you can get a free month on Castos by using our coupon code TPH22

Custom Website and Seriously Simple Podcasting

Castos owns the Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin, which makes it easy to manage your podcast via your WordPress site. But not every podcaster wants to make a WordPress site. Good news: your Castos account includes a website. This isn’t just a title, art, description, and episodes, either. The website includes sub-pages for: 

Host and creator profiles

Links to help your audience find your show on their favorite listening app. 

If I were making multiple podcasts and promoting a personal brand, I’d find this really helpful.

Speaking of podcast brand, yours remains unique. Castos helps you pick custom colors in a palette (there’s a difference between #f70a0a and #fa0202!). If you’ve purchased a domain name, you can use that as the URL for your Castos website.

And Castos’ website looks great on desktop or mobile devices. No pinching or zooming is required.

YouTube Republishing

The definition of “podcast” is changing, and YouTube’s got at least 2.6 billion active users. Because Google owns YouTube, posting even just highlights from your podcast there can improve your podcast’s SEO. Castos has offered YouTube republishing since the beginning, for Growth plan users. If you’re already good at making a podcast and want to add YouTube to your directory list, Castos can help. They make a video using your podcast’s audio for you. Plus, you can set it up once, and let automation take the wheel for future episodes.

Transcribe Your Podcast

Some podcasters don’t have transcripts of their podcast. But, transcripts can:

improve your podcast’s SEO

expand your audience to more people

enhance understanding of your content

make it easier for journalists to write about your show

help you re-purpose your content in the future

And you don’t pay extra for transcripts.  Each tier comes with a set number of transcription credits. You can download and manage your transcripts right in the episode details page.

That being said, Castos doesn’t transcribe until the episode is published, and the transcript will need editing. In this case, this solo podcast was mis-identified by the transcription software as having multiple speakers. Podcasters should go back in and edit the transcript for length, clarity, and accuracy.

Private Podcasting

Private podcast feeds are great for anyone who wants to share a lot of information with an exclusive group. Castos’ pricing tiers allow varying subscriber amounts. You add each name and address to manage within Castos, instead of giving out an RSS feed and hoping no one leaks it.

Plus, Castos’ mobile app feature helps private podcasts. Your audience can avoid distractions by not having to use another listening app. 

Make Money with Castos and Your Podcast

Castos Commerce enables audiences to support your show, either via one-time or recurring donations. The only fee is Stripe’s processing charge, which is thirty cents plus 2.9%. Castos doesn’t take a penny. This benefit is available to all paid Castos users. 

Not only does Castos help with crowdfunding, but they also help you earn ad revenue with, as they say, “zero setup, no minimums.” You don’t have to reach a certain number of downloads or pay for a specific tier, either. As their site says, “Castos will automatically stitch in a couple of short, brand-appropriate ads into your every episode. One at the start and one at the end.”

Castos’ Bespoke Podcast Production

And, if all of this seems like too much work, Castos offers podcast production services, too. You come up with the ideas and words. Castos does the rest.

Pricing and Feature Tiers

Castos has feature packages to cover podcasters from indie solo artists to big corporations. 

Essentials: For $19 a month, you can make an unlimited amount of podcasts and episodes. You can acquire up to 100 private subscribers and have 20K downloads each month. This tier comes with ten monthly episode transcription credits. If you’re beginning to build your audience, this tier is for you.

Growth: At $49 a month, you get everything at the Starter level, and YouTube republishing, integration with Headliner to make audiograms, up to 250 private subscribers, and up to 75K downloads per month. Plus, each month, you get 25 episode transcription credits. If you’ve built your core audience and want to expand, this could be your tier.

Pro: For $99 a month, you get all of the previously mentioned features, video file hosting, up to 500 private subscribers, and up to 200K downloads per month. Not only that, but also you get monthly transcription credits for 100 episodes. The Pro tier even has video file hosting: with the mobile app, It seems you can make a private video podcast without having to rely on YouTube. Pretty snazzy.

Castos Premium: For $499 a month, you get all of the aforementioned features, custom contracts and invoices, single sign-on, increased limits, and a dedicated account manager.

Castos Grows Through User Experience

As podcasting changes, Castos listens to what its users need. The result is that Castos enhances its features to help podcasters satisfy their audiences and grow. The direct, minimalist interface makes this a great choice for podcasters who need to manage many episodes and shows with just one laptop. Whether you want to make a daily podcast or build many shows into a podcasting empire, Castos has a solution to meet your needs.

Remember, you can get a free month on Castos by using our coupon code TPH22

Or, still shopping around? Check out our Best Podcast Hosting Services roundup.

Originally posted on February 13, 2024 @ 5:24 am

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