Why I Still Think Anchor is One of the Worst Media Hosts

For years I have been saying how there are better options when it comes to media hosts than Anchor.fm but people have been blinded by the price of free, and the ease of use or recording into your phone.

Free is a Bad Business Model

Podcast Coach In Your PocketLet's review. Here are the companies that have tried the whole “Free hosting, and if you get sponsors, we will split the money” business model.

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

– Podango 9/2006 – 12/2008 (27 Months)

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

– mypodcasts.com 2007 – 2011 (estimated 48 months)

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

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

– Zcat 1/2016 – 1/2019 (36 months)

– Whooshkaa 6/2016-5/2021 (53 months)

– Red Circle.com 4/2019 –

Libsyn Studio 2/2022 – 12/2023 (10 months)

– Anchor – Purchased by Spotify after 41 months.

Anchor Caused Lots of Hardships

They would submit your show “For you” to Apple, Google, and Stitcher, and “Forget” to mention that by having them do this “for you” you lost access to additional stats. I helped TONS of podcasters move from Anchor and IT WAS ME that had to console them when they found out they had given away access to stats. IT WAS ME that held their hand and walked them through getting back their control.

So Anchor doesn't do this anymore, and I thought, “It's not fair to dislike a company for something they no longer do.” In taking a longer look at Anchor I see they still have a habit of keeping things confusing.

New Reasons I Don't Like Anchor.fm

Spotify announced, “You can play music in your podcast!!!!” and forgot to mention that this is after they approved each episode. Also only paying customers of Spotify and only on their phones.

Spotify announced, “Videos have come to Spotify.” As long as you upload the files via Anchor. Also, that video only appears on Spotify and only in the app. The video is not in the RSS (more on the RSS feed in a bit)

So you want one of those exclusive paychecks? According to the Co-creator of How to save the planet (a Gimlet show) said, “Spotify invested zero in building the show’s audience, then forced us to go exclusive to Spotify, and then canceled it b/c it didn’t build a big enough audience…” she tweeted on Saturday. source

To summarize, you grow your audience, and Spotify pays you to put it behind a walled garden. Your audience doesn't want to follow you into the walled garden because, well, it's a walled garden, and people like choices. Spotify did zero to promote the show, and now is upset that your audience didn't follow you into the walled garden and fired you. That seems fair.


You have to enable your RSS feed. If you're new to podcasting there are two things you need, a microphone and an RSS feed. You are not a podcast without one. So while they don't lock you into the walled garden, where other media hosts make it SUPER easy to submit your show to other platforms, Spotify does the bare minimum of creating a feed for you to use. I find this mind-boggling. This would be like starting a radio station and having someone say, “so did you want a frequency with that?” How are people going to tune into your station without one? The same goes for podcasting. Nobody can follow/subscribe to your show outside of Spotify if you don't have a feed.

And after you implement the RSS feed and think you'll distribute your video podcast to all the directories, think again. Only audio goes into the feed. Only Spotify will display the video.


The co-founder of Anchor has said that RSS (the technology that Podcasts use and keep it open) is holding Podcasting back – while the actual spec of RSS is being updated AS YOU READ THIS. This again just shows how Spotify only looks at Spotify and could care less about any other technology (that could benefit their customers).


Multiple people in an Anchor.fm user group have mentioned that even though Spotify mentions as soon as you reach a level, you will have sponsors. These people have met the criteria and have no sponsors (one has 275,000 downloads and still has no sponsor).

We do need to remember that just because its is on the Internet doesn't mean it's true, and this is only one side of the situation.


They made an easy-to-use app, and it's free. However, go look at the top podcasts. How many of them were created using their phone? I hear so many podcasts with a horrible sound that are either caused by someone not knowing how to use a Blue Yeti microphone correctly or it is someone putting their phone on speaker and recording their podcast.

Even if you recorded your episode in decent software and uploaded it to Anchor, the only advertisement I've ever heard for myself or in the Facebook groups, are ads for Anchor. Speaking of those, when I started trying Anchor, I was paid $10 per 1000 downloads. Now it's down to $7 (and I don't remember being notified) . So if you get 150 downloads per episode, you would get $1.05

Want to Peak At Some Decent Media Hosts?

I have a free class that demos Libsyn, Captivate, Buzzsprout and Blubrry at schoolofpodcasting.com/freeclasses

All of those hosts charge for their service (what a concept) if you really have zero budget, and have decided instead of getting a job you want to podcast, Red Circle is a better bad choice than Anchor

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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.

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