Buzzsprout Review: The Best Podcast Host?

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Buzzsprout is a great podcast hosting platform with all the top features that new and old podcasters need to focus on their podcasts and guests, without worrying about the technical side of podcasting. 

In this Buzzsprout Review, I’ll go through the features and benefits that podcasters get on the Free and Paid plans. For those looking for a feature-rich platform that’s easy to use, offers amazing value for the money, and provides a great listening experience for your audience, then Buzzsprout is the one for you. 

Let’s start the Buzzsprout podcast hosting review by understanding what Buzzsprout is. 

What is Buzzsprout?

Buzzsprout is one of the top podcast hosting platforms and considered by most as one of the easiest ways to publish your podcast online. Buzzsprout fully supports all the major podcast directories including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

As well as hosting your podcast, it features a host of tools to cover every aspect from creating and honing your podcast to promoting and monetizing it. 

Let’s get into the Buzzsprout features and see why it’s a podcast hosting solution trusted by many popular podcast hosts.

Buzzsprout Features and Benefits

Buzzsprout aims to make podcasting simple and uncomplicated, yet still feature rich. In this section, I cover the main features of Buzzsprout and discuss their benefits.

Submit to All Podcast Directories and Platforms

Creating a Podcast is one thing, getting it found is another thing altogether. Buzzsprout makes it easy with a feature that lists your podcast on all major directories.

Getting listed on directories is crucial if you want listeners for your podcast and most listeners use at least one of nine major outlets. 

Once your podcast is uploaded to Buzzsprout, you can choose to have it automatically list your podcast and future podcast episodes on all the major directories. 

  • Apple Podcasts (iTunes) – once listed here your podcast will also appear in other major directories and apps including Overcast, Castbox, Podcast Republic and more.
  • Google Podcasts
  • Stitcher
  • Spotify
  • TuneIn Radio
  • Pandora
  • Listen Notes
  • iHeart Radio
  • Amazon Alexa via Anypod

As well as all the major directories, it also has the ability to list to more niche directories via the Buzzsprout feed. The directories will get all of your episode details like episode title and episode description. 

Magic Mastering

Successful podcasts rely on listeners and downloads per episode for potential monetization. But in order to get listeners and get those high plays per month, podcasts need to have good audio quality. 

Podcast Directories like Apple Podcasts know that and they want consistency in the quality and sound levels of the podcasts they list. To achieve this they set various parameters that Podcasts should adhere to.

To help your podcast comply with the Apple Podcasts Authoring Best Practices, Buzzsprout has a powerful feature called Magic Mastering. 

If you aren’t sure about how to prepare your audio, so that it complies to these standards, then Buzzsprout has you covered with this solid feature.

This nice feature will automatically re-encode your audio file to ensure it meets the correct standards. All you need to do is tell the system whether your podcast is mainly voice or music, and Magic Mastering does it for you. 

It also uses an Adaptive Leveling Process that normalizes and smooths volume differences between segments in your podcast and even between multiple speakers. 

Dynamic Content – Automatic Pre-Roll and Post-Roll Insertions

As the name suggests this feature allows you to add Dynamic Content to your podcasts, both past and present episodes.Why would you want this ability?

Let’s say you have a podcast that is aimed at car fanatics and a Potential Sponsor wants to pay you to promote a fantastic offer for your listeners. 

With Dynamic Content, you can add pre-roll and post-roll ads to tell them about this offer. It’s not only on current and future episodes, but also on previous episodes too. That’s great because you can place these ads on episodes that the majority of people listen to, your most popular episodes. 

You can do all that without doing any editing yourself. There’s no audio editing software needed, because Buzzsprout’s interface does it all for you. 

Other ideas for what pre-roll and post-roll inserts include:

  • Announce Special Events
  • Publicize your Social Media
  • Send Holiday Wishes to your listeners
  • Promote Giveaways

Add Audio Players to Your Website

Buzzsprout lets you embed an audio player into the podcaster’s own website. They have multiple versions of the player that can be customized to fit with the design and colors of sites.

There are also three separate player options: 

  • Individual Episode Player –  This is the most basic player and will only show the individual episodes you embed. This option is useful for embedding an episode that is specific to the content on the page it is embedded and will never need to be updated.
  • Single Episode Player -- This differs from the individual episode player in that it updates to play the most recently uploaded episode from your Buzzsprout account. This option is great for having your most recent content at the forefront of your website. 
  • Multiple Episode Player –  This also updates to show your most recent content, but it can also show many episodes. You can customize it to show only specific episodes. This is useful when you may have different categories for both your website and your podcast, and want to make sure the content is relevant on sections of your site.

Detailed Analytics

Monitoring the performance and statistics of your podcasts is essential when growing your audience. Buzzsprout has a comprehensive analytics dashboard that gives you an at a glance overview of how your podcasts are performing, as well as more in-depth stats.

Some stats you have access to are:

  • Podcast Overview -- Visually see how podcasts are performing with graphs and charts that quickly give you an overview of podcast performance.
  • Episode Downloads -- Monitor the performance of individual episodes. Great for determining what episode types are grabbing your audience’s attention. 
  • Technology –  This gives you an oversight on what devices and apps your audience is using to listen to your podcasts. This can give you a valuable insight into who your audience is and how to further target them for your growth strategies. 
  • Location –  Another essential piece of information you need when targeting audience growth is their geographical location.

If your podcast is still young and having trouble attracting large sponsors, look for local sponsors. Take baby steps and target a region or local city businesses where your listeners are located. 

Episode Transcriptions

Having a podcast transcript is beneficial for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and for making your podcast more accessible. That helps for people with hearing difficulties and for users who don’t speak the language. They can use a translator to read the content of your podcast.

There are a few options for podcast transcripts. 

  • Create your own transcript.
  • Use Otter.ai, There is a discount code available through Buzzsprout
  • Use the integrated Temi service. This is charged at $0.25 per minute

Once you have created your transcript it is simply a matter of uploading to match the appropriate podcast episode. 

Promotional Tools

Ultimately, there is no magic wand for promoting you podcast. It takes hard work and perseverance to grow your audience. Many of the tools and features that we have covered so far are part of the overall strategy to promote your podcast. 

To help give your podcast a kick-start, Buzzsprout has a nifty feature called Visual Soundbite. This lets you create promotional videos that can be posted and shared on Social Media or other channels to offer a tantalizing preview of your podcast. 

Buzzsprout Visual Soundbite

They also offer a comprehensive series of guides, articles and blogs that cover all aspects of podcasting, and many of these are focused on marketing your podcasts. 

Podcast Website on Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout introduced the Podcast Website in 2019 feature now lets podcasters create their own customized podcast website within the Buzzsprout platform. This is available at no extra cost to the user, regardless of pricing plans and includes a free domain.

Wondering if a website is needed, read my Do You Need a Website For a Podcast article. Short answer is “Yes.” 

Buzzsprout’s website simplifies the process of getting your podcasts online.They have website design templates that’ll help with featuring your podcast’s artwork and episode artwork.

Ultimately, this is a great way of getting started but offers limited functionality for the longer term and you may want to create your own podcast website with a tool like the PodcastPage website builder

As your audience grows and you require more complexity and features within your website, then you can offer more options for people like forums, merchandise, and other specials.

Still, Buzzsprout’s website builder is a fantastic feature for beginners.

Monetization –  Sponsors

Advertising on your podcast is a great way to monetize your show. I’ve mentioned some of the monetization options above. But Buzzsprout has their own too. 

Buzzsprout’s affiliate program can help you get started monetizing your podcast no matter how many downloads your podcast gets.

Buzzsprout has selected a list of affiliates that will pay a percentage in cash for any sales generated through your podcast. That also includes sign-ups to Buzzsprout. 

They select affiliate companies based on four criteria:

  1. They are High-Quality Products with a wide appeal
  2. Each affiliate program pays in cash
  3. Each affiliate company has agreed to commission payments through Buzzsprout that are higher than what you can get on your own
  4. Each company has waived any download level requirements to become an affiliate

Buzzsprout Customer Service

Buzzsprout have gone to great efforts to improve the customer experience through their customer service operation. Perhaps the best way to judge any customer service is through the customers themselves. In Buzzsprout’s case this equates to a 97% approval rating over the last 30-days at the time of writing. 

Their help pages feature a comprehensive series of articles and guides designed to walk you through the podcast process from start to finish, and if you can’t find what you require then their email support is prompt and effective.

Buzzsprout’s Podcast Guides

There are so many guides plastered all over the internet that are aimed specifically at podcasting. There is so much conflicting advice that it can be difficult to know what the actual truth is. the Podcast Website offers a comprehensive list of 31 informative guides that cover all aspects of podcasting including:

  • Getting Started
  • Choosing the Right Equipment
  • Editing
  • Cover Art
  • Marketing

All the guides are simple to follow and designed to make your podcast experience as easy as possible.

Buzzsprout also has an active YouTube channel with all types of videos that help educate beginners on How to Start a Podcast

How to Start a Podcast: The Step-by-Step Guide [2021]

Buzzsprout’s Hosting Plan Comparison

Buzzsprout has 4 hosting plans with no contracts. All are month-to-month plans and can be cancelled at anytime. It’s a simple fair pricing scheme for their affordable hosting services.

Here are their pricing tiers, including the Free and Paid pricing options: 

Free

  • 2 hrs of audio per month
  • Episodes hosted for 90 days
  • Ads shown on podcast website
  • Magic Mastering not available

$12 per month

  • 3 hrs per month
  • Episodes hosted indefinitely
  • No ads
  • Add Magic Mastering for $6 per month
  • Unlimited storage
  • Additional content $4 per hour

$18 per month

  • 6 hrs per month
  • Episodes hosted indefinitely
  • No ads
  • Add Magic Mastering for $9 per month
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Additional content $3 per hour

$24 per month

  • 12 hrs per month
  • Episodes hosted indefinitely
  • No ads
  • Add Magic Mastering for $12 per month
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Additional Content $2 per hour

For episode transcription, they charge an extra $0.25 per minute. 

Buzzsprout has no limit on storage space nor downloads per month. Other podcasting hosting sites may have storage and/or download limits per month for their monthly hosting plans. 

One potential negative with the pricing structure for some people will be charging on by hours per month, instead of file size.

Competitors normally price their monthly subscription plans based on storage space used. But because Buzzsprout is more targeted for ease-of-use, they use hours per month. It’s much easier for podcasters to calculate how many episodes they can upload.

If your episodes are 30 min. or 60 min., it’s easy to calculate. But it’s more difficult to calculate how many megabytes episodes are for beginners. 

Comparisons to Others

In this section we offer a brief comparison on how Buzzsprout compares against other podcast platforms.

Buzzsprout vs Podbean

Podbean offers three paid packages and has most of the same features that Buzzsprout offers. One main area of difference is in how the pricing and storage structure works, whereas Buzzsprout restricts the users by amount of hours uploaded, Podbean restricts users on storage capacity.

They have three paid packages:

  • Advanced –  $5 per month, 100mb storage.
  • Unlimited Audio -- $14 per month, unlimited storage
  • Unlimited Audio/Video –  $39 per month, unlimited storage

Another difference is that Podbean offers support for video podcasts on their top package. Other differences are that the price drops if paid on an annual basis. Buzzsprout offers advanced analytics on all packages, while Podbean only offers it for their top two packages.

Buzzsprout vs Anchor

Anchor is a Spotify company and they have taken a unique approach to podcast hosting in that they offer a Free platform! 

Instead of taking a monthly fee from their users, Anchor has two approaches for profiting from their podcast hosting.

  1. Listener Support –  This method uses a ‘Listener Support’ button on your profile. That allows listeners to pledge a monthly fee to support your channel
  2. Anchor Sponsorships –  Available in the US market only, Anchor has paired with brands that the podcast creator then has the option of running ads for on their podcasts. 

Anchor takes a small fee from all generated income to help pay to make the hosting free for podcasters.

Buzzsprout vs Libsyn

Libsyn is another company that offers a paid service that is based on storage capacity as opposed to podcast hours. They don’t offer a free service and have 4 paid options available:

  • $5 per month –  50mb Storage
  • $15 per month –  250mb Storage
  • $20 Per month –  400mb Storage
  • $40 per month –  800mb Storage

For the basic package, you also need to pay an additional $2 per month to get full analytics. The packages all include a podcast page mini-website, although you do have to pay an extra $2 per month to use your own domain name. 

Buzzsprout vs Blubrry

Blubrry pricing packages are also based on storage capacity. They have 4 plans to choose from. 

  • Small $12 per month –  100mb Storage
  • Medium $20 per month –  250mb Storage
  • Large $40 per month –  500mb Storage
  • Extra Large $80 per month –  1000mb Storage

All the paid packages include full analytics and a free WordPress website. However, there is no free option.

Final Thoughts on Buzzsprout

If you are just setting up a podcast, then the Buzzsprout platform is one of the best options on the market to get started on. 

Especially because it’s Free to start with and allows you to get your feet wet for nothing. You’re able to start a podcast and test the waters to see if it’s for you without any subscription fees.

Overall, Buzzsprout is a great platform to host, promote and monetize your podcasts.