Last week’s announcement that Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, had acquired the podcasting app Pocket Casts led many digital publishers to wonder whether now is the right time to launch a podcast. For publishers who run their websites on WordPress, these podcasting plugins can simplify the process of creating, managing, and promoting all different types of audio content.
Over the past decade, podcasting has grown from a niche medium to a global phenomenon. According to Reuters, 36% of adults listen to podcasts each month and around 15% listen to at least one news podcast. In the United States alone, 90 million people listen to podcasts – a number that’s doubled since 2015.
Digital publishers are generating real revenue through podcasting, thanks to successful advertising partnerships and subscription programs. The opportunities for monetization were made even more abundant this past February, when the Spotify-owned app Anchor announced a partnership with WordPress.com that allowed publishers to turn blog posts into audio content. The feature relies on text-to-speech technology, and the speed and ease of turning written articles into audio podcasts has never been easier.
Here at Web Publisher PRO, we’ve covered how to start a local news podcast. Now, let’s dig in and talk about some of the best podcasting plugins you can use to get your podcast up and running.
Top Podcasting Plugins for News Publishers
PowerPress by Blubrry is a plugin that news publishers can use to quickly launch a podcast on a Wordress website. Podcasts can be distributed on all the largest platforms, including Spotify, iHeart, Apple, and Google, with rich show notes and multiple audio and video players to choose from. With the WordPress plugin, publishers can instantly post their podcast episodes onto their websites with an embedded player. Publishers can use the PowerPress plugin on any WordPress site as long as they are on the Blubrry Business Level plan.
To make podcasting easier, the developers of Buzzsprout created a WordPress plugin that pulls podcast episodes directly into the publisher’s own website or blog. Adding the Buzzsprout plugin drops a new icon onto the “Upload/Insert” toolbar in the WordPress CMS, which publishers can use to select which podcast episodes to include within each article or post. Podcast episodes can easily be moved around on a webpage, so they appear wherever the publisher selects within an article.
3. Simple Podcast Press
Simple Podcast Press’ WordPress plugin is useful for publishing podcast episodes directly on your website. Each podcast episode gets its own unique page, with a mobile-friendly audio player that appears alongside full episode descriptions and any images from the podcast feed. The Simple Podcast Press plugin can also be setup to import episodes as drafts, so you have the opportunity to update content before it goes live on your website. This WordPress plugin works best for publishers that use Libsyn, SoundCloud, Spreaker, PodBean, Buzzsprout, or Blog Talk Radio to generate their podcast feeds.
4. Seriously Simple Podcasting
Built by the team at Castos, Seriously Simple Podcasting is one of the most popular podcasting plugins used by WordPress publishers today. The plugin generates an RSS feed that is fully compliant with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Publishers are guided through the process of selecting their podcast’s title, description, category, cover art, and copyright information. The plugin offers a way to manage all updates to a podcast’s RSS feed from within WordPress, and changes are automatically synced with the podcast hosting provider. The Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin supports video podcasting and includes a free analytics add-on.
5. Podlove Podcast Publisher
Podlove Podcast Publisher was developed to save podcasting publishers time and money. The open source solution is built on WordPress, with modular features that publishers can tailor to their own requirements and custom templating that makes it easier to build podcast pages for readers. Most publishers will want to use the plugin to create compatible podcast feeds. It comes integrated with a web player plugin that’s fully HTML5 compatible. Analytics features are also included to show how many people have listened to which podcast episodes and which clients are most popular among existing listeners.
6. Podcast Player
The Podcast Player plugin is a podcasting companion for digital news publishers. The plugin is used to create searchable podcast episode lists that display on any widget area of a website and podcast player blocks that display searchable podcast episode lists on any post or page. With Podcast Player’s widget, publishers can easily give visitors access to each podcast episode from any page on their websites. Key features include the ability to modify fetched details from a podcast, the option to show or hide individual player elements, and a self-adjusting layout based on the width of the podcast player.
Cincopa is one of the top podcasting plugins for publishers that want to embed a podcast player on their WordPress websites. Just choose an audio template, customize the personal options, and preview the podcast player you’ve created on your own website. Once you’re ready, you can upload your podcast through your CMS. The Cincopa plugin will handle the automatic transcoding and conversion of all media, and it will provide you with embeddable code for your podcast that you can place anywhere on the web.