Leaving LibSyn

02 April, 2023 09:00AM ยท 3 minute read

I joined LibSyn for Pragmatic back in 2014 when I left FiatLux/Constellation to take the show Indie. Between 2015 and 2017 I left LibSyn and tried BluBrry, then hosted my own files on a server, before returning to LibSyn again.

I originally left due to cost concerns. LibSyn required that you have subscription for every unique podcast however with 6 separate podcasts at that point, many of which I wasn’t producing content for regularly, just maintaining them and following LibSyn’s rules was costing a fortune.

At the time I was still taking sponsorships and advertising and frankly, LibSyn’s statistics were the best and met my needs at the time. When I returned however I restored Causality and Pragmatic, and cheekily added audio files from all other shows as direct download files incrementally to Pragmatic…risking LibSyn’s wrath were I to be caught out. They didn’t call me on it in the end.

Ultimately though I wasn’t using any of their RSS Feed functionality after a failed flirtation with the “Causality App” they were hyping at the time. I was using LibSyn essentially for statistics and file storage - nothing more.

Three things happened over the space of 2 years that made me decide to finally pull the pin on LibSyn, and likely any podcast host in future:

  1. The new User Interface (LibSyn Five) no longer included a File for Download Only option - everything had to be linked to an episode.
  2. A fluffy reason: LibSyn’s attitude about having been the longest-running podcast host was wearing really thin. Some of their senior leaders were proving they weren’t nice people either, and really rubbed me up the wrong way. (I’ll let you Google that yourself)
  3. Statistics could now be openly and professionally tracked using the OP3 project. Causality Stats

I’m not normally one to include “fluffy-feely-reasons” but the trend I’ve seen in LibSyn’s behaviour on “The Feed” podcast led me to stop listening back in 2021, and their attitude of having been the longest-standing podcast host meaning they understood the landscape the best, was less and less true with every passing week. It was frankly becoming embarrassing to even mention their analysis of pretty much anything.

The LibSyn product (interface) was being redesigned in v5 to compete with others in the marketplace insofar as it was more aimed at newbies/non-tech users (which is fine) and that wasn’t for me. Increasingly this is the case for all podcast hosts - the more technical of podcasters need not apply. That’s not a judgement, but it is a trend.

Finally if I could choose to spend about $10USD/m on hosting/statistics then I’d rather support an open project and file storage of my own choosing/control than to continue to support LibSyn.

Having spoken with my friends in the PC2.0 space, I shifted my Media to an S3-compatible storage bucket, backed by CloudFlare’s CDN and tested to confirm download speeds were as fast as LibSyn. Those tests ended a few weeks ago and now I’ve left LibSyn - this time for good.