What Is The Anchor App For Podcasts?

All about the platform for podcast creators

A businessman standing near the subway listing to a podcast on his smartphone.

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Anchor, occasionally referred to as Anchor FM, is a popular podcasting platform that offers free podcast recording, editing, hosting, distribution, and monetization tools to the general public.

Using the official Anchor apps or website, anyone can import an existing podcast to take advantage of its tools or create a new audio project from scratch. The Anchor apps can also be used for downloading and listening to podcasts created by others.

Here are Anchor's primary features and services.

  • Podcast hosting. Anchor offers free hosting for an unlimited number of podcast episodes with no limits on data usage or file sizes.
  • Podcast recording and editing. The Anchor apps and website can be used to directly record and edit podcast episodes.
  • Podcast distribution. Users can use Anchor to publish their podcast onto multiple major podcast and audio platforms simultaneously.
  • Podcast monetization. Anchor can connect sponsors with podcasters in addition to offering a paid subscription feature.
  • Podcast listening. Anchor can be used for listening and subscribing to podcasts.

About Anchor's Free Podcast Hosting Service

Anchor can be used to host an unlimited number of podcasts and podcast episodes. There is no limit to the number of episodes that can be hosted on the platform, nor are there any restrictions when it comes to bandwidth or web traffic.

Hosting your podcast on Anchor can be a good alternative to hosting it on your usual website hosting service as podcast episode downloads by listeners won't affect your site hosting traffic limits. Anchor's hosting option is also completely free.

Hosting a podcast on Anchor is completely free and there are no tiers or data plans to worry about.

What Podcast Platforms Does Anchor Support?

Anchor can be used to distribute podcasts to a growing list of popular podcast apps and services such as Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

Here's the list of podcast platforms that Anchor supports.

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Breaker
  • Castbox
  • Google Podcasts
  • Overcast
  • Pocket Casts
  • RadioPublic
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher

One of the benefits of using Anchor to distribute a podcast to other platforms is that its listings on all of the above services can be updated all in one place within your Anchor account. There's no need to create accounts on other podcasting platforms.

In addition to distributing a podcast on other platforms, Anchor also provides data on which service is the most popular and how many times episodes are listened to. This is a feature that few other podcast services provide.

Distribution of a podcast on other platforms isn't compulsory, though, and this option can be disabled from within a podcast's settings. Anchor does not gain any rights to your content either way.

Are Anchor Podcasts Different?

Podcasts created on or hosted on Anchor aren't any different than those made with other apps and distributed elsewhere. In fact, most of the podcasts found on Anchor are available on other platforms such as Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

Podcast listing within the Anchor FM iOS app.

Listening to podcasts on the iOS and Android Anchor apps does offer some additional functionality however. For example, the audio output and playback speed can be manually changed from within the app while listening to an episode and a variety of share options are available.

Podcast listening features within the iOS Anchor app.

Each podcast episode page also lets you interact with a series' creator. Tapping the applause button to lets the creators know that you're enjoying the episode while tapping the Message icon allows you to record a personal message and send it to them directly from within the app.

Many podcasts on Anchor only accept voice messages via the Anchor app.

Some Anchor podcasts play listener audio messages in their episodes, which creates a greater sense of community between the creators and their audience.

All About Anchor's Free Podcast Transcription Service

While many companies charge for transcribing audio, Anchor actually offers this service for free. By default, all podcasts uploaded to the Anchor platform are automatically transcribed into English, Furthermore, video versions of podcasts are created using the episode's audio and the generated script.

Anchor's episode transcriptions are computer generated so it can be worth proofreading them before sharing as they may contain errors.

These videos can be downloaded, shared via email or a cloud platform such as OneDrive, or shared on social media networks like Instagram, Vero, Twitter, and Facebook. Podcast episode videos can also be uploaded to video platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer.

How Podcasters Make Money With Anchor

Anchor provides two options for podcast monetization with its monthly donation model and sponsored advertising.

The donation feature works in much the same way as Patreon does by letting a podcast listener sign up for a recurring monthly donation to the creator.

The advertising service connects podcasters with sponsors directly. Once selected by a sponsor, the podcaster must record a short promotional message and insert it into their podcast episodes using the Anchor website or app's editing features. Sometimes a script must be read verbatim while at other times a podcaster may be given more freedom in how they promote a product or service.

The number of sponsors connected to a podcaster and the price they're willing to pay will depend on the number of podcast episodes currently made, how many subscribers it has, and how engaged the audience is.

Anchor users can withdraw their earnings at any time. Anchor charges a flat rate of $0.25 for each withdraw request and deducts 30% from all sponsored promotion payments.

How Are Anchor And Spotify Connected?

In February 2019, Anchor FM was acquired by Spotify. While the two services remain separate on the surface, it was implied in the official announcement that Spotify would help fund the development of more podcasting tools on Anchor which in turn could offer these features to users on Spotify.

Spotify and Anchor accounts are completely separate and the two services have no surface level relationship beyond the fact that one owns the other.