Pinecast began life in 2015, and its original code was made available to read and fork on Github. It was created by Matt Basta, a software engineer who would go on to work at Stripe Connect, which gave Pinecast an advantage in making it easy for podcasters to collect donations from listeners.
The service offers a flexible and highly-customisable podcast website, options to solicit feedback from listeners, exportable metrics including Spotify data, and easy submission to popular directories.
I was a Pinecast user in the early days, liked the service, and liked Matt, the founder. A good deal has changed since I used it in 2016, but there are still some signs that this is perhaps a software engineer’s product, rather than a designer’s.
If you know how podcasts and RSS feeds work, some of the onboarding decisions make sense, however if you’re new to the space, you might find it strange that you need to enter a website address for your podcast, but you can’t create one for your show until you start a paid plan, something you can’t do in the initial onboarding process.
Setting up a tip jar for donations is a simple as entering your bank account, sort code, and chosen currency. Once an episode is uploaded, submitting it to directories that support automatic submission is as simple as flipping a switch.
However, the rest of the user experience is what I can only describe as “fussy”. The UI is consistent but there’s something about the order of operations that doesn’t feel natural, and there are some weird quirks I’m unable to explain. For example, when I published my first episode, my newly-built Pinecast-powered website – which has excellent customisation options and a number of themes – didn’t update.
Pinecast’s pricing model makes it excellent value-for-money, and I like the approach of paying to bolt-on specific features. The interface is clean and not unpleasant; there’s just a feeling that it was designed by someone who has the order of operations clear in their head, but it doesn’t match mine. Maybe it matches others’.
Pinecast’s pricing starts at $10 per month, with additional add-ons. This pricing table is based on the Start plan, and the Hi-Fi and Crew add-ons respectively.
|Price||$10.00 per month||$25.00 per month||$35.00 per month|
|Number of podcasts||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Storage||48 mb||256 mb||256 mb|
|Podcast website included|
|Use your own domain|
|IAB certified metrics|
|Republish to YouTube|
|Podcast network support|
|Create soundbite clips from episodes|
|Receive Bitcoin from listeners|