Buzzsprout: Podcast Hosting Review

Buzzsprout has been in business since 2009 and has grown a large community of podcasters. The hosting service includes some of the most popular podcasters in the world. 

With over 1,000,000 people using Buzzsprout, it is the easiest way to host a podcast and promote it and track viewer analytics. This podcasting service provides distribution to the top media distributors on the market and in-depth audience statistics to track how your podcast is doing.

Best for Beginner and New Podcasters

Buzzsprout is one of the best podcasting hosting services for beginners. This is because it’s straightforward to upload podcasts episodes through its helpful tools. 

These tools include a free podcast website equipped for new podcasters or WordPress users and custom-made embed players for every episode. 

To use, you just have to upload your media file to the website, and it does the rest for you. 

Integrated Plugin 

They offer a free WordPress podcast plugin that makes embeds easier. Better yet, Buzzsprout can make a website for you. All you have to do is customize your preferred website design and use a custom domain name.

Storage Limits

  • Free for a limited amount of 2 hours of upload per month 
  • 3 up to 12 hours of upload have unlimited storage 

 You can buy more storage per hour for a couple of dollars extra for each plan (see pricing at the bottom of the article.) 

Starting at 3 hours of upload a month, upload additional content for $4 per hour. Upgrade to 6 hours of upload and get access to more upload for $3 per hour. For the largest 12 hours of upload, access the option of adding more content for only $2 per hour. 

The small fee covers additional expenses that ensure the audio is in its highest quality possible. Buzzsprout has licensed advanced algorithms from Auphonic, as the audio is properly filtered, conditioned, and encoded, which must be analyzed several times. 

Bandwidth Limits

250GB of bandwidth limit.  20K plays a month per embedded episode. 

This can limit the number of listeners per episode. If you run out of bandwidth in a given month, people may not be able to download or listen to your newest content.

So ensure you stay within the limit to sustain monthly audience viewers.

Time Limits

The amount of upload time depends on the type of plan you invest in. If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended to start at the lowest paid level and work your way up if need be. 

It also depends on how long your podcast episodes are. If you need more upload time, purchase a plan to cover the hours a month your podcast needs.

Buzzsprout does not support video podcasting. However, as a podcast host, you can still include videos in the creation process. 

Statistics

Buzzsprout users have access to advanced statistics to help them measure their company’s growth through audience visitors and more. These measurements include:

  • Tracking podcast performance 
  • Number of episode downloads 
  • Apps used by viewers 
  • Listener location 

Listing/Integration into podcast directories

You can get your podcast listed in all of the most popular podcast directories. Grow your audience in:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Google podcasts
  • iHeartRadio

Including Stitcher, TuneIn, Alexa, Overcast, PocketCasts, Castro, Castbox, and Podchaser. 

Visual Soundbites

This is one of Buzzsprout’s most valuable features. You can use visual soundbites to select a short length of audio from your podcast and create a short video around it! Think of it a bit like a movie trailer, pulling new listeners to your show by offering visual representation along with a snippet of what they’ll be tuning into when they follow your show.

These visual soundbites are an advantageous way of bringing new listeners to your show through social media platforms. What’s more, it’s also effortless to do. Simply select the start and endpoints of your selected audio clip, customize the artwork, and you’re done!

Chapter Markers

This is a pretty standard feature for podcasts these days. A chapter marker allows you to divide longer episodes into ‘Chapters.’ This gives your audience control over the segments they want to listen to but skipping to a particular section of an episode.

They are also a great way of allowing your listeners to quickly find a particular part they want to share with a friend, resulting in a potential new listener.

Chapter markers are traditionally created in the editing process and still can be. But, when you use Buzzsprout, you can do this directly from the hosting platform itself, saving you time.

Distribution Features

It will come as no surprise that social media is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for advertising your show, and Buzzsprout makes this easy.

You can use the platform to create multiple accounts, which is ideal if you’ve got more than one person working on your show, and then you can simply share your show onto each social network with the click of a button.

You can even use Buzzsprout’s distribution features to generate and copy email links, which can then be used in promotional campaigns.

Auto-Transcription

No matter how much traction your show gains over time, you also need to make sure that it’s easily discoverable on search engines. The best way to do this is by transcribing each of your episodes. However, this is more editing work that you might not have time for or might find a little too technical.

By providing an auto-transcription feature, Buzzsprout takes care of this for you. It will send each uploaded file to Temi (an automated transcription system) and, once the transcription process is complete, you’ll receive an email with the entire transcription text.

The text you receive is editable, but Buzzsprout goes the extra mile by displaying it below each episode of your show on the included website. You can, of course, transcript your episodes manually if you prefer. But, for the sake of the $0.25 per minute charged by Temi, it’s a cheap, effective way of transcribing and saving yourself time.

Mastering Feature 

Magic mastering: like an HD television screen but for your podcast’s audio. Sharpens your video’s sound quality for clear and crisp listening that excels the company’s loudness standards to compete with the podcast industry’s best assets. 

Magic mastering features include:

Smart adaptive leveling. Corrects the sound level differences between speakers, voices, and music. This ensures no one is louder than the other and prevents any limitations on loudness to result in an optimal balance of all podcast audios mentioned above.

 True Peak Targeting. Apple argues that podcast episodes’ standard peak value is 1 dB FS and shouldn’t exceed this limit. Magic mastering does this for you, so you don’t need to worry if your peak is off. 

 Audio Sweetening. Ensures the audio filters out background noise or hiss sounds. It’s equipped with hum reduction to obtain clear speech. You wouldn’t want your loud background fan or AC to play in the background and have to film it all over again. It identifies the noise and cuts it out for you while you film for time-efficient editing. 

Encoding optimization. Identify the podcast type (spoken or music) to allow magic mastering to do its magic – by better optimizing the encoding. It will reduce the file size for speech to quicken download time. Music podcasts benefit from fine-tuning audio.

User Impression and Reviews 

Buzzsprout is currently rated a 4.9 from user impressions. The majority of users are quite happy with this hosting service, especially beginners. 

Users wrote it’s “a good place to get started” and “super easy to use.” Others that stood out were “will never use another service” and a “must for any podcaster.”

A review stated that Buzzsprout makes setting up as easy as possible. It has a few setup options and allows you to start small without a large learning curve. It is easily upgradeable, so you can start small and then try new things.

Another review said that they just started podcasting and researching, and It was so easy to set up. Adding new episodes is a “breeze.” They also saw a lot of recommendations for using Buzzsprout people just starting. 

A user stated that there’s not much they disliked. However, having more hours of uploading per cycle would be the only thing they would ask for.

You also have to apply to each platform you want the podcast distributed to, which is a pain; it’s not a one-button click type deal. 

Lastly, one review mentioned Buzzsprout lacks video podcasts for podcasts who prefer video recording. If it were able to do the same thing with a video that it does with audio, it would be perfect.

Monetization

One of the reasons why a lot of people get into podcasting is to make money. Even if you’re hosting a show as a hobby, there’s no harm in making a few extra dollars in the process! And, to help you along the way, Buzzsprout offers an affiliate marketplace that allows you to connect to affiliate programs.

Signing up for the program is easy, too. Simply head over to the ‘Resources’ tab on the dashboard and find sign up for the affiliate marketplace option. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to collaborate with loads of brands, including Instacart and Allswell.

There are certain approvals required, but once you’ve got them, Buzzsprout will automatically add the affiliate link into your episode’s notes. This means that they are constantly active and ready to cash in, regardless of which platform, your audience uses to listen to your show.

Current Pricing 

Start with a 90-day free trial. Free plans have 2 hours of upload per month. Paid plans start from $12 per month and have 3 hours of upload—up to 12 hours of upload time with unlimited storage.