Learn, connect, and grow together in a new space for purpose-led podcasters. Find out more

About Captivate

Captivate.fm was formed in 2018 by Mark Asquith and the team behind Podcast Websites. It quickly grew, backed by a strong brand and a focus on podcast marketing.

The content management system is easy to use – with its UI getting a big facelift in the spring of 2021 – and it boasts IAB certified metrics. Each podcast includes a reasonably-customisable website, and for those using WordPress, a plugin that makes integrating podcast content into an existing website easier.

Where Captivate differentiates itself in its messaging and, to some extend its toolset, is around podcast growth. Trackable subscription links make it easier to share your podcast and push listeners to follow your show in their favourite apps, and the CMS can generate press kits you can use to pitch your podcast to newsletters and other media outlets.

If monetisation is on the horizon, you can generate a “one-click sponsor kit”, and rely on those IAB certified metrics to give your advertisers confidence your numbers are legit.

About Fireside

Built by long-time podcaster and developer Dan Benjamin, using the years of experience he gained running 5by5.tv (both content and infrastructure), Fireside is a solid service for those who take their podcast seriously.

Along with audio hosting, analytics and a website for your podcast, Fireside also provides rich show notes, allowing for the addition of host and guest bios, and a blog. If your podcast has multiple hosts who aren’t on every episode, you can specify the hosts that appear on a per-episode basis, and visitors to your website can see who hosted which ones.

For Benjamin, podcasting means going live-to-tape, and having show notes with lots of links, so Fireside has tools that make it easy to gather links to the topics you discuss, while you record.

If you’re relatively new to podcasting, or you just like badges, there’s a lightly gamified element to the Fireside content management system, that lets you earn achievements for reaching important milestones.

Captivate Personal vs Fireside Starter

Captivate offers the ability to host more podcasts. You can upload more episodes with Captivate too. Captivate is also more generous in its bandwidth. You can also hook up a custom domain to your website. They also offer IAB-certified stats, whereas Fireside doesn't. You can create a podcast network on Captivate. However, Fireside's plan is cheaper.

Captivate Fireside
Price $19.00 per month $9.00 per month
Number of podcasts Unlimited 1
Episodes Unlimited 5 per month
Downloads 12,000 per month 10,000 per month
Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Podcast website included
Use your own domain
IAB certified metrics
Republish to YouTube
Podcast network support

Captivate Professional vs Fireside Standard

Fireside's plan is cheaper. They're also more generous with bandwidth. However, Captivate offers IAB-certified stats, whereas Fireside doesn't. You can create a podcast network on Captivate.

Captivate Fireside
Price $49.00 per month $19.00 per month
Number of podcasts Unlimited Unlimited
Episodes Unlimited Unlimited
Downloads 60,000 per month 75,000 per month
Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Podcast website included
Use your own domain
IAB certified metrics
Republish to YouTube
Podcast network support

Captivate Business vs Fireside Professional

Fireside's plan is cheaper. They're also more generous with bandwidth. However, Captivate offers IAB-certified stats, whereas Fireside doesn't. You can create a podcast network on Captivate.

Captivate Fireside
Price $99.00 per month $49.00 per month
Number of podcasts Unlimited Unlimited
Episodes Unlimited Unlimited
Downloads 150,000 per month Unlimited
Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Podcast website included
Use your own domain
IAB certified metrics
Republish to YouTube
Podcast network support

Other considerations

Fireside attempt to protect against feeds being imported into other providers without your consent. Fireside allows you to designate portions of your episodes that can used to create audiograms in apps like Headliner. Fireside works with apps that support Bitcoin donations.