Buzzsprout Review 2020: The Best Podcast Host For Beginners

Buzzsprout wants to be your all-in-one alternative to hosting, distributing, and growing your podcast! With competitive prices, superb features, advanced statistics, and a whole bunch more -Buzzsprout’s podcast hosting platform means serious business.

Effectiveness

4/5

Buzzsprout’s features cover beginner-level monetization through affiliates, podcast statistics, social media tools, and so on.

Price

5/5

Free 90-day trial, followed by affordable premium plans.

User-friendly

5/5

Buzzsprout’s platform is uncomplicated, with an easy-to-use interface that spares you the confusing aspects of starting a podcast.

Service

4/5

The team responds quickly and effectively to users on social media. Troubleshooting articles, how-to blogs are available -but no live chat option as of yet.

If you’ve only just decided to tap into the 62 million or so audiences listening to podcasts on a weekly basis -welcome aboard!

Starting a podcast itself isn’t as tedious as it may seem. However, there are a few things about the process that you definitely don’t want to mess up; namely, your podcast hosting platform.

This is going to be your podcast’s ‘home’, and where all of your episodes are stored, audience analytics can be accessed as well as other monetization and marketing efforts are readily available.

What is Buzzsprout?

Image via Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout makes all of those things possible – for a cool, affordable price. Buzzsprout is a podcast hosting platform that was specifically targeted to meet the needs of budding podcasters – or those that just want a simpler way of growing their audiences.

Operations began around 2009 for Buzzsprout. Since then, they’ve only gotten more intuitive, easier to use, and loaded on a whole bunch of features to fit a diverse set of podcasting needs.

Buzzsprout has transformed itself from just a mere hosting platform to one of the greats. From secure hosting to RSS feed maintenance, easy social media integrations, and more -it’s all you need to take off and start a brand new podcast. Since 2009, Buzzsprout can proudly boast a consumer base of more than 100k users.

What should you consider before subscribing to Buzzsprout?

Let’s talk about exactly who Buzzsprout would appeal to. We’re looking at you, newbies!

Buzzsprout’s impressive arsenal of tools is presented in a way that’s easy for anyone to start with a podcast channel. No frills, no confusing techy jargon here.

In fact, most of their marketing is focused on how easy it is for someone with no prior knowledge about podcasts at all to jump right in.

Don’t know why RSS feeds are important? They’ll break it down for you. Can’t be bothered with learning about ID3 tags or different file types You don’t need to.

Buzzsprout doesn’t want you to sweat the small stuff so you can focus on churning out awesome, engaging content that helps you get the recognition your brand deserves. Let them do all the rest.

Features and Benefits

Before you can make the decision to go with Buzzsprout, familiarize yourself with how to use their platform. This podcast host review breaks down how Buzzsprout has features such as:

a) Free Podcast Website

Image via Buzzsprout

You’ve got your podcast hosting platform. But you’re still in dire need of a website.

Starting in 2019, Buzzsprout now throws in a 100% free podcast website for all your episodes to be displayed in their glory.

Redirecting your listeners to this website allows them to see your podcast artwork, a better description of your channel and other options to lead them to their most-used directories. (like Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcast, etc.)

You can test out a live example of what I mean through their very own How to Start a Podcast page.


Of course, in no way does Buzzsprout’s humble website compare to the customization, engagement, and complexity of WordPress/Weebly/Shopify or other site builders that you can readily use as well. If anything -this is just an easy, breezy landing page to settle for while you’re starting your actual brand’s website.

b) Buzzsprout’s Visual Soundbite

Image via Buzzsprout

Perhaps one of the more fun features of Buzzsprout -the Visual Soundbite option offers something a little different from the rest. You can use the Visual Soundbite to promote your podcast on pages like Facebook in a cute, engaging video form made to attract more clicks and views.

All you need to do is to head on down over to one of your episode’s pages, set the start and end markers of your soundbite, and customize text, colors, artwork, etc. Now – you can start sharing a little sneak peek of your episodes with friends, family, and the rest of the Internet.

c) Audio Transcription

Image via Buzzsprout

Interested in racking up your online street cred too? You can start by transcribing all of your podcasts, boosting your chances of getting discovered by the search engines.

Using Buzzsprout’s transcription service is like killing two birds with one deadly, efficient stone. When you decide to transcribe your podcast, Buzzsprout immediately sends the file over to Temi -an automatic transcription service- to be transcribed. After that’s done, you’ll get an email with all of your text laid out!

Of course, you can edit this out as and when you’d like. Buzzsprout will then proudly display your transcription at the bottom of an episode’s description -in your podcast’s free website.

This service is billed at $0.10/minute. It’ll show up on your next invoice should you decide to use it.

d) Decent Monetization Efforts

Image via Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout wants to help you generate real income with their own version of an ‘Affiliate Marketplace for Podcasters’. This works with Buzzsprout connecting to you a list of potential brands, having you sign up for their affiliate program and getting paid each time a sale is made! Easy peasy.

You can find their Affiliate Marketplace in the ‘Resources’ section of your Buzzsprout dashboard.

So far, you can only find brands like Allswell, Buffy, Instacart, and just a few more, so you don’t have that many options just yet. Buzzsprout does want to expand on their selection though – so stay tuned.

Once you’ve been approved for an affiliate program, Buzzsprout adds the link straight into your episode notes. So no matter where your podcast travels -be it Spotify, Apple Podcast, etc, your affiliate link will be there.

For now, Buzzsprout wants to give you a little shove in the right direction. They might not be the best in the market for monetization features, but Buzzsprout does let you do your fair share of experimenting with affiliates before you want to get serious about making moolah.

e) A Transparent Statistics Dashboard

Image via Buzzsprout

No Buzzsprout podcast review would be complete without mentioning their easy access, modern-looking dashboard interface.

A huge chunk of podcast hosting platforms have a standard dashboard included; so Buzzsprout is not that different in terms of what they display. Stuff like the number of downloads, plays, listeners, and their geographical locations are just a few metrics you can get.

That being said, the way all of this information is presented in colorful graphics, charts, and buttons,which makes it a world easier for beginners to understand.

f) Competitive Pricing Plans

Image via Buzzsprout

While some platforms count their pricing plans based on storage and megabytes, Buzzsprout takes into account how many hours you need.

At the moment, Buzzsprout lets you choose from 3 premium plans; $12/month, $18/month, and $24/month. These plans let you upload and manage 3 hours, 6 hours, and 12 hours consecutively.

If you’re not sure about committing to Buzzsprout immediately, they also have a free trial that lasts 90 days for 2 hours of content.

After that’s done and dusted, you have to upgrade to their premium plans – or have all your files removed after 90 days. Pretty extreme? Yes. So make sure if you start with Buzzsprout, you’re absolutely sure about what they can do – or else suffer starting from scratch.

Let’s head straight to what other fellow users have to say about using Buzzsprout:

It’s worth noting that Buzzsprout is yet to have their own Trustpilot page -so we can’t give you that breakdown yet. Nevertheless, it’s mentioned on their page that they have 700+ 5-star ratings as verified on Capterra.

As you can tell – Buzzsprout’s team is also crazy active on Twitter. They make it a point to reply as many queries as they can! There’s also an official Buzzsprout community group that lives on Facebook, where other users exchange ideas, troubleshooting methods, and more.

They still don’t have a live chat option, though. Email or Twitter should be the fastest ways to reach the Buzzsprout team.

Is Buzzsprout right for you?

We’ll answer this by listing the pros and cons that come with using Buzzsprout:

PROS

  • Ideal for beginner usage
  • Easy to use dashboard, jargon-free platform
  • Features to increase your podcast’s digital cred (Visual Soundbites, audio transcription, etc.)
  • Generous 90-days free plan before subscribing to an affordable premium plan
  • Friendly, social media active support staff

CONS

  • Monetization efforts are only basic
  • Free website, but limited customization options. Not the best to go with if you’re looking to give your listeners a memorable experience

What are some Buzzsprout alternatives?

Blubrry is a podcast hosting platform that integrates particularly well with WordPress sites.

Keep in mind that Blubrry is a little more complicated to use when compared to Buzzsprout.

It does work well, however, if you already have an existing WordPress site that you plan on promoting and displaying all your episodes! Blubrry offers up its ‘PowerPress’ plugin that provides in-depth statistics on your listeners, post-type casting, various types of audio and video players to choose from, and more.

Blubrry’s pricing starts at 12/month and goes up to $80/month, depending on your podcast’s needs.

Libsyn is one of the oldest podcast hosting platforms around.

One of Libsyn’s more unique features from the rest is the option to create your very own mobile app.

You heard that right! Libsyn has a separate, special plan that allows them to work with experienced podcasters and build their own iOS, Google Play, Amazon compatible app to connect with audiences on a whole other level.

As you can probably tell, Libsyn is largely catered towards seasoned podcasters. Personas like Dave Ramsey and Gary Vee also use Libsyn Pro to host their podcasts!

Libysn’s most basic plan is an affordable $5 if you still want to experiment around with their platform. For more advanced users, you can opt for the $15-$150/month plans; or contact their team to ask about Libysn Pro’s enterprise pricing.

Compared to Buzzsprout, both Libsyn and Blubrry take some time navigating, considering they’re locked and loaded with tons of monetization features, detailed statistics, Apple Podcast optimization, file managers, and more.

Buzzsprout

Price: Free trial
$12-$24/
month for premium plans

Satisfaction Guarantee: Free 90-days trial

User-friendliness: Beginner-Intermediate

Monetization: Affiliate Marketing

Audio Transcription: Yes

Blubrry

Price: $12-$80

Satisfaction Guarantee: None

User-friendliness: Intermediate

Monetization: Premium Content

Audio Transcription: Yes

Libsyn

Price: $5-$150

Satisfaction Guarantee: None

User-friendliness: Intermediate-Advanced

Monetization: Premium Content

Audio Transcription: No

Our Recommendation

With all of this in mind, is Buzzsprout the best option to grow your new podcast? We vote a strong yes!

Buzzsprout was made with the newbie in mind. It’s easy to use and delivers well on its promise of finding your first audiences, getting your channel discovered, and gaining insight on how to scale your channel through valuable listener data – all while earning you some money on the side.

Signing up for Buzzsprout right now would instantly reward you with a $10 Amazon gift card -so go ahead and kick things off right now!

DISCLOSURE: The HUSTLR goal is to help readers navigate around the digital economy by learning digital skills to achieve their life goals. This blog post may contain affiliate link(s) and any purchase(s) made through such links will result in a small commission to HUSTLR (at no cost to you). However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair in order to help you make the best choice.

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