SoundCloud's pricing for hosting is really aggressive and there's a free tier for casual podcasters. Crucially, SoundCloud's platform will play nice with iTunes and podcast apps like Overcast meaning you don't have to bring your audience to SoundCloud for them to listen (a huge barrier, previously). You also get the benefits of embeddable players and in-line Twitter cards that make sharing your shows easy (while allowing you to maintain ownership and insight into play activity, unlike previous attempts by Stitcher).
On the face of it, particularly in terms of pricing and ease of entry, it seems like SoundCloud's offering could be competitive in the podcasting space. Its stat tracking tools look decent too and can generate analytics across the web, embedded players, the SoundCloud iOS and Android apps and via the RSS feed.
SoundCloud might face fierce competition from Spotify in the near future but, as long as all podcast hosts support RSS and give creators control over their content, having these big names investing in podcasting has to be good news for the medium.
However, I find it difficult to imagine a number of established podcasts taking their shows to SoundCloud at this stage, though. It makes you wonder what SoundCloud has been doing since 2011! It feels to me like they might have just missed the boat on the recent "podcasting renaissance" but their new offering might encourage some new blood to switch on the mic and hit record.