Free Hosting Service Closes Shop

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If you’ve been listening too many of the long-time podcasters over the past year, you’ve heard them say free isn’t always the best way to go when choosing a hosting service. This month, after four years in business, free podcast hosting service ZCast announced they are closing shop at the end of this month.

CEO Raz Yalov told PBJ last night part of the reason he had to shut down was the success of one his shows, Missing Alissa. The show became wildly successful, and that means a lot of downloads. And, as a hosting company, delivering content to listeners is not free, so the cost adds up. The more you stream the more you pay. And, at the end of the day those bills need to be paid and it’s harder to make the numbers work if you’re not charging a monthly fee.

In a company statement, Yalov said closing shop was not an easy decision and it was not taken lightly. “Over the years we have seen thousands of creators starting their way on our platform, growing from an idea to successful shows, with a few highlights like Missing Alissa who made it to the Top 10 charts on iTunes, and Hightec in Traffic that become a show on a real radio station. Unfortunately, startups are sometimes unpredictable and things change in rapid speed, at times for the best, but too many times for the worst.”

Here is the ZCast shutdown timeline and how to get your shows moved to a new hosting company.
– ZCast will run in minimal capacity between now and the end of January 2019, and will then shut down indefinitely.
– If you have any content you recorded on ZCast that you wish to download, they have enabled the download feature to all users.
– To download any episode you own, go to your personal ZCast page (https://zcast.co/my) (authenticate if needed), and use the ••• button next to each episode to locate the “Download MP3” option.
– For those who have an entire RSS feed, please start by choosing a new hosting provider for your podcast, and look for their instruction on how to import an existing RSS feed into their platform. Most, if not all, of the major podcasting services have this feature, or if not, have some instructions on how to do it (but frankly, if they don’t have an import feature, you probably want to keep searching for a different hosting provider).
– To find your old RSS link on ZCast, open the RSS menu on your MY CASTS page (again authenticate if needed) and click to copy your RSS feed.

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