Captivate is a podcast hosting service where you can upload your podcasts for your subscribers to quickly download and enjoy a lot of other features. One of the biggest attractions is the access to Captivate Growth Labs, where you can learn how to create and grow your podcast-selling business. The platform comes with advanced analytics and intelligence features such as unique listener data, geographic analytics, and episode performance comparison to give you a detailed insight into how your podcasts are doing. But still, the platform has some flaws that you may need to check.
Top Features of Captivate
Captivate has a ton of features, so we picked the best to highlight in our review. Let’s dive in!
Podcast Creation and Distribution
Our first area of concentration is the basics of hosting your podcast on the platform. You get the following features to stand out from the crowd.
- Unlimited Podcast Hosting – The most significant benefit of this platform is unlimited podcast hosting. You don’t need to count the podcasts you are uploading, which is a great relief for creators out there. With unlimited storage, you won’t ever need another platform to switch.
- Podcast in Third-Party Apps – Your podcasts aren’t only limited to the platform. Hosting your podcasts on the platform makes them available on Apple, Spotify, and other podcast apps. So, your audience can easily listen to these podcasts without any extra hassle.
- Smart Feed – The podcasts you host on the platform will appear on an intelligent feed so that the audience can find the right podcast they need. Plus, the way of organizing the podcasts on the feed is quite helpful for beginners. Though it seems a bit difficult at first, things will be easier over time.
- Transcription Support – Getting transcription support from the podcast hosting platform can reduce a lot of stress for creators. Though the transcription feature needs a lot of improvement, it is a decent place to start.
- Captivate Growth Labs Access – In all tiers, users get access to Captivate Growth Labs. This allows users to take a detailed look at all the nitty-gritty of the platform to make the best podcasts possible. It is especially beneficial for beginners. But accessing everything altogether can be overwhelming for a few.
Analytics and Intelligence
Analytics is one of the most powerful features of the platform. Its advanced analytics makes Captivate stand out from the crowd. Creators can access unique listener data, geographic analytics, episode performance comparison, trend analysis, web player consumption, and a lot more.
They can even track what apps the audience uses to listen to these podcasts. Detailed insights into your podcasts’ performance and the audience’s behavior allow you to plan your podcasts accordingly. Significantly, the episode performance comparison is constructive for getting an overall idea of how impactful the previous podcasts were.
Team and Collaboration
As a podcaster, working alone on the platform might be too difficult for users. Captivate lets users bring their team members or collaborators on board. So, the work required to publish your podcasts can be shared with teammates to speed up the process. And that’s not the only good thing.
You can also assign different roles to your team members or collaborators so that they can handle different levels of tasks. But the inter-team communication interface didn’t seem so good to us. Our expectation wasn’t that high, but Captivate failed to meet that expectation. Assigning roles and sharing thoughts should be much more straightforward.
Besides publishing your podcasts for a public audience, you can also upload podcasts for private subscribers. Though the total number of podcasts allowed to publish privately and the number of private podcast subscribers depend on the pricing tier, this is a handy feature to have.
Captivate does really well in this regard. It has an embeddable website player for podcasts. Embeddable social players and playlist players are also available. So, making your podcasts visible to your audience and making them easily accessible on your website, for example, is super easy.
Besides custom playlist collections, podcast players on this platform are fully customizable. You can design these players on your own to make a signature style and customize links to make them more presentable. Unfortunately, the designing process of the player isn’t that intuitive and beginners might face a learning curve.
Podcast Website and Promotion
Most podcast hosting platforms come with an automatic website. The same happens at Captivate, but the website you get is much more customizable. You can even use your own domain name and customize the website to look like your own.
And promotion is a big part of the process. You get web player CTA buttons to drive traffic to your website. Besides offering promo links, you can use email marketing tools integrated with your account. But the available tools for integration didn’t seem to perform great during our test. The range of integration should be better.
Another notable feature is the sponsor pitch creation. It requires just one click to create the sponsor pitch, saving a lot of time and making the podcast production process faster.
A bunch of automation tools makes using the platform a notable experience. You can use captive Omni-search and Zapier automation to streamline the workflow. Reusable show note templates are also available.
But the most exciting feature is the ability to set default to publish times. This way, you can set your desired time to publish podcasts, and they will be published without manual intervention. You also get Descript integration here to take the workflow to the next level.
Creating your podcast network is possible on the platform. Though the number of networked podcasts may vary depending on which pricing plan you choose, it is still a worthy feature. Aggregated network analytics is another good feature for users that lets you have a detailed look at how things are going on.
Besides having network websites, you can link custom network domains for free. And you can have unlimited network team members in all tiers. Captivate even offers API so that you can build necessary integrations if you don’t find the required integration on the platform.
Pros & Cons of Captivate
Though the platform has many intriguing features, there are also drawbacks to be aware of.
- Unlimited podcast hosting with unlimited storage in all tiers
- Creating podcast networks and diversifying podcasts is extremely easy
- In-depth analysis of the performance of podcasts, audience profiles, and more
- Embeddable media player on websites and social media makes it easier to promote
- Customizable podcast website with own domain name
- Highly streamlined management of podcasts with unlimited team members
- Directly recording on the platform isn’t possible, but you can use Descript integration
- No monetization through the platform
- Doesn’t support video podcasts
Captivate Plans & Pricing
Pricing plans on this platform work a bit differently. You get available features in all tiers, but the pricing varies depending on the number of downloads. Let’s give look at a quick overview:
- Personal – starting at $17/mo
- 30,000 downloads per month
- Unlimited podcasts
- Unlimited storage
- 1 private podcast
- 3 networked podcasts
- Professional – starting at $44/mo
- 150,0000 downloads per month
- Unlimited podcasts
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited team members or collaborators w/ customizable team roles
- 2 private podcasts
- 6 networked podcasts
- Business – starting at $90/mo
- 300,000 downloads per month
- Unlimited podcasts
- Unlimited storage
- Dedicated, international support
- IAB certified analytics
- Unlimited team members and collaborators w/ customizable team roles
- 3 private podcasts
- Remove Captivate branding
- Unlimited networked podcasts
Alternatives to Captivate
While Captivate is a solid podcast hosting tool, here are some others to consider:
Our Take on Captivate
Captivate is one of the best podcast hosting services that offers unlimited storage to upload unlimited podcasts. This can be an excellent benefit for podcasters with a massive collection of podcasts waiting to be published. You only pay for the downloads here. Detailed analytics helps you have a clear understanding of how the podcasts are doing and the behavior of the audience. Dynamic podcast delivery on the feed allows listeners to get the right podcast at the right time. Unfortunately, you can’t directly record podcasts on the platform. And there are no ways of monetization on the platform. But you can build podcast networks, and Captivate offers customizable websites where you can use your own domain name. You also get email marketing tools to grow your audience. The pricing is quite competitive, starting at $17 per month, with almost all the features available on the platform. The cost increases depending on the number of downloads per month.