Podcast CDN Rankings by Episode Share (Sept 2021)

This is an archived version, the current version is here.

In our third and final installment observing the current state of the podcast world, as measured by number of new episodes produced in September 2021, we wanted to take a look at which underlying CDNs serve which episodes, and which podcast hosting companies use which network.

See our earlier analyses of podcast hosts by episode share and podcast trackers by episode share

In general, every podcast episode has a single url that tells the podcast client app what to play. However, this episode-level url might redirect several times in the course a single download request, through various first and third-party trackers, before ultimately landing at the internet host responsible for serving the audio file byte payload.

This last entity in the chain is what we are interested in for this analysis. Bandwidth costs are still non-trivial for hosting providers, hence most of them use a third-party content delivery network (CDN) to minimize this cost, and also to provide lower-latency global distribution.


We started with our universe of every single new podcast episode published (about 1.9 million in September 2021), and mapped the underlying host of the last entity in the request chain to a known CDN or network provider. We were able to identify the underlying network for 96.85% of the universe.

Below are the top 20 podcast content delivery networks ordered by share percentage of new episodes published during the month of September 2021.

If significant, we also list the top podcast hosting companies using each CDN, and the percentage of their own episodes allocated to the network.


1. Amazon Cloudfront · 43.66%

Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) operated by Amazon Web Services with over 275 edge locations on six continents.

For episodes that used Amazon Cloudfront, here are the top underlying podcast hosts, and percentage of their own episodes allocated to this network:

  1. Anchor 100%
  2. Spreaker 100%
  3. Soundcloud 100%
  4. Simplecast 100%
  5. Acast 94%
  6. RSS Podcasting 100%
  7. Blubrry 56%
  8. Whooshkaa 100%
  9. Audiostart 100%
  10. RedCircle 100%

2. Cloudflare · 12.97%

Cloudflare is an American web infrastructure and website security company that provides content delivery network (in over 250 cites in over 100 countries) and DDoS mitigation services. Cloudflare’s services sit between a website’s visitor and the customer’s hosting provider, acting as a reverse proxy for websites.

For episodes that used Cloudflare, here are the top underlying podcast hosts, and percentage of their own episodes allocated to this network:

  1. Buzzsprout 100%
  2. SermonAudio 100%
  3. Transistor 100%
  4. SoundOn 89%
  5. Castos 100%
  6. Pinecast 99%
  7. Podomatic 56%
  8. Fireside 100%
  9. PodServe.fm 100%
  10. Cogeco Media 100%

3. Highwinds · 8.99%

Highwinds CDN was acquired by StackPath CDN, which is powered by over 45 edge locations around the world.

For episodes that used Highwinds, here are the top underlying podcast hosts, and percentage of their own episodes allocated to this network:

  1. Libsyn 100%
  2. Megaphone 100%
  3. Captivate 100%
  4. Podcast.co 99%
  5. OnePlace.com 100%
  6. Omny Studio 16%

4. OVH · 3.81%

OVH is a French cloud computing company which offers VPS, dedicated servers and other web services. As of 2016 OVH owned the world’s largest data center in surface area.

For episodes that used OVH, here are the top underlying podcast hosts, and percentage of their own episodes allocated to this network:

  1. Podbean 75%
  2. RAC1 100%
  3. Zeno.FM 100%

5. Akamai · 3.65%

Akamai is a global content delivery network (CDN), cybersecurity, and cloud service company, providing web and Internet security services. Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform is one of the world’s largest distributed computing platforms.

For episodes that used Akamai, here are the top underlying podcast hosts, and percentage of their own episodes allocated to this network:

  1. Radio France 100%
  2. Voice of America English News 98%
  3. Deutschlandradio 100%
  4. NPR 81%
  5. Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty 100%
  6. Feedpress 61%
  7. BBC 100%
  8. ABC Australia 100%

6. CDN77 · 2.93%

CDN77 provides a solid set of content delivery products and solutions all over the world, with 33 PoPs on 5 continents.

For episodes that used CDN77, here are the top underlying podcast hosts, and percentage of their own episodes allocated to this network:

  1. iVoox 99%
  2. Ausha 92%
  3. Podcastics 85%
  4. Megafono 100%

7. Triton Digital · 2.61%

Triton Digital, formerly Triton Media Group, is a digital audio technology and advertising company based in Los Angeles.


8. Hetzner · 2.04%

Hetzner Online GmbH is an Internet hosting company and data center operator based in Gunzenhausen, Germany.

For episodes that used Hetzner, here are the top underlying podcast hosts, and percentage of their own episodes allocated to this network:

  1. Podigee 100%
  2. iono.fm 100%
  3. Kabbalah Media 100%
  4. podcaster.de 100%
  5. hearthis.at 100%
  6. LetsCast.fm 100%

9. NETRACK Russia · 1.88%

NETRACK is a Russian company established in 2011, based in Moscow, providing a wide range of services in TIER-3 level data centers in Moscow. They specialize in services for high load clients - TV companies (broadcast television over the Internet), media companies, payment systems, online gaming companies, banks.

For episodes that used NETRACK Russia, here are the top underlying podcast hosts, and percentage of their own episodes allocated to this network:

  1. PromoDJ 100%

10. Fastly · 1.72%

Fastly’s CDN service follows the reverse proxy model, routing all website traffic through their own servers instead of providing a ‘cdn.mydomain.com’ address to store site-specific files. It then fetches content from the point of presence nearest to the location of the requesting user, out of nearly 60 worldwide.

For episodes that used Fastly, here are the top underlying podcast hosts, and percentage of their own episodes allocated to this network:

  1. ART19 100%
  2. Squarespace 100%
  3. Atresmedia 100%
  4. Freecaster 100%
  5. COPE 100%
  6. RTP 100%
  7. JW Player 62%
  8. Wistia 100%
  9. Supporting Cast 100%

11-50.

  1. Internet Archive · 1.22%
  2. Cogent · 1.21%
  3. Amazon S3 · 0.98%
  4. Hivelocity · 0.94%
  5. Edgecast · 0.66%
  6. Google Cloud · 0.60%
  7. Tata Communications · 0.51%
  8. Unified Layer · 0.49%
  9. Hurricane Electric · 0.48%
  10. Amazon EC2 · 0.46%
  1. Alibaba Cloud CDN · 0.44%
  2. Level 3 Communications · 0.34%
  3. GTT Communications · 0.33%
  4. Scaleway · 0.32%
  5. EmpireStreaming · 0.30%
  6. Deft · 0.25%
  7. GoDaddy · 0.21%
  8. IONOS Cloud · 0.20%
  9. DreamHost · 0.20%
  10. SWAN · 0.18%
  1. Automattic · 0.15%
  2. MasterDC · 0.14%
  3. DigitalOcean · 0.14%
  4. Mediactive Network · 0.12%
  5. AXIANS · 0.11%
  6. Wasabi · 0.11%
  7. Infomaniak · 0.10%
  8. CacheFly · 0.10%
  9. QUANTIL · 0.10%
  10. Advanced Hosting · 0.10%
  1. Intergrid · 0.09%
  2. Avensys Networks · 0.09%
  3. Strato AG · 0.09%
  4. SWISS TXT · 0.08%
  5. Linode · 0.08%
  6. Latnet · 0.07%
  7. APA Tech · 0.07%
  8. GMO Internet Group · 0.07%
  9. Liquid Web · 0.07%
  10. Microsoft · 0.06%

Analysis by John Spurlock

Thanks to the Podcast Index for crawling every podcast, and giving us a signal of when to check for new episodes.

Also thanks to the Open Podcast Analytics Working Group for maintaining a list of media url patterns and analytics services patterns. We’ve incorporated these patterns along with some of our own to come up with the host and analytics service identification and metadata for this ranking.

And thanks to folks working at various networks to help us identify each one as accurately as possible.


Updated 2021-10-21: Was showing the top 20, now showing the top 50, added thanks about feedback from networks.


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