Anchor has pivoted… again.
Anchor started out as the Twitter of Audio.
You could create audio status updates and interact with other users with audio messages instead of text. It was initially popular but didn’t see a lot of growth over time.
Then they pivoted to Anchor 2.0 and added the ability to record longer form audio and to create short video clips out of your audio recordings in order to promote your podcast or blog.
This attracted podcasters to the platform.
Anchor was surprised by the large influx of podcasters and looked for ways they could better serve the podcasting space.
They discovered that creating podcasts was still difficult. You need expensive equipment, audio editing software and more. They decided they would simplify the process and offer this new service to podcasters.
The new Anchor would eliminate the need for complicated audio editing software, expensive microphones, mixers, encoding software and wasted production time.
Simply press record right within the app and your podcasting without needing anything else.
Now Anchor has become a podcast hosting company.
They are offering a simple to use web application along with mobile apps to record, publish and host podcast episodes.
They make it easy to move your existing episodes over to Anchor from your existing podcast hosting company and to redirect your podcast RSS Feed to Anchor.
They also offer podcast analytics and reporting.
I checked out the new service and it looks pretty cool. And how much are they charging customers… nothing.
The service is completely free.
While looking around in Anchors new web application I couldn’t find a way to redirect your Anchor feed if you decide you want to leave.
And I couldn’t find any specific details about how they handle your audio files. Do they re-encode/compress your mp3 files? Do they change the file names of your episodes? Do they insert ads in your show? Is there Anchor branding embedded in the show?… probably.
I sent them an email to find out and I’ll update this post when I get an answer.
Free hosting has not always been a good thing though.
There have been hosting companies that have gone away in the past because free doesn’t pay the bills.
Yup… free is an “out of business” model. And they put their branding at the end of each episode… So if you have a popular show it would be better to sell that spot and pay $20 – $40 per month for hosting anyway.
— Andrew McGivern (@podcasthero) March 2, 2018
It isn’t fun to be told you have to move all your files within a week or you will lose all your content.
And some podcasters have been held hostage at hosting companies that refuse to re-direct RSS Feeds.
It looks like it could be a viable option for some podcasters. It is free and after a recent funding round, it looks like Anchor will be around for a while anyway.
What do you think of the new Anchor?