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Buzzsprout Review 2021 – Is this Podcasting Hosting Really Good?

For more than a decade, Buzzsprout has been hosting podcasts. In the last several years, Buzzsprout has helped thousands upon thousands of podcasters launch their careers. It has very reasonable price and a user interface that is quite easy to use.

New features have been continuously added to Buzzsprout as the service has grown. Both novice and experienced podcasters will find the platform to be amazingly effective.

The finest possible design, a comprehensive collection of features, and a platform that is simple to use are all important considerations for anybody considering Buzzsprout. The value is excellent, the podcaster can host many programs, and the tools provide everything a person getting into podcasting will possibly ever need.

Okay, now that you have a quick introduction, let me walk you through the review in details.

Buzzsprout Features

Buzzsprout has several features that any budding or advanced podcaster will need. In fact, Buzzsprout covers everything you will need to run a successful podcast and earn money from it.

Here is a quick list of features that the platform has to offer:

A customizable website

When you sign up for Buzzsprout, you are entitled to get a website for all your podcasts. The website is mobile-friendly, meaning that it will look great even when viewed on any mobile device. This ensures that people do not miss out on your shows when they are on the move.

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You can customize the website to suite your needs. However, do remember that customization is pretty limited. The most you can do is change the color of your website and set a background image. That is all! There is no more customization available.

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Still, that very basic site is good enough to get you started. In case you have your own site, you can use it separately. Alternatively, you can use their website with your custom domain name, which will, however, require some advanced setup including CNAME setup.

They do have step-by-step guide available for GoDaddy and Register.com, but if you are using some other domain registrar, you have to figure out the steps by yourself.

Embeddable Players

Your podcasts are essentially audio files. You need to put them in front of your readers in a playable manner. What do you do? Add a player!

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Buzzsprout will allow you to add your podcasts to your website in the form of an audio player. There are two options available. You can go for a single episode embeddable player, or you can go for a multi-episode embeddable player.

The embed code is available right from inside your Buzzsprout dashboard.

Directory Submission

Unless you can place all your podcasts in all famous podcast directories, it is pointless to run a podcast. Podcast directories help in podcast discovery. People must be able to find your podcasts.

The easiest way of doing that is to ensure that all your podcasts are listed on different podcast directories including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and so on.

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Buzzsprout makes sure that your podcasts are listed in the directories of your choices. The company offers directory submission to 15 famed podcast directories. The full list can be found directly inside your account dashboard.

Advertisements

Let me get it clear. Unless you are a nut-head who does not care about making money, advertisement will always be on the top of your mind. You will want to earn from your podcasts and convert it into a revenue generating source for yourself.

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There is no point going for a podcast host that does not give you the means to monetize your podcasts. Buzzsprout does that brilliantly! You can bring your own sponsors, or you can find advertisers from their affiliate marketplace.

The affiliate marketplace is not a big one. There are only three affiliates and one of them is Buzzsprout themselves.

If you want to find a sponsor, Buzzsprout allows you to do so using Podcord. It even allows you to add a support link from Patreon, Podfan, Buy Me a Coffee, PayPal, and CashApp.

Statistics

Of course, you will want to know how your podcasts are performing. You can get important information about your episodes from Buzzsprout’s statistics segment that you can access from inside your dashboard.

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You can get an overview, or you can opt for episode-wise download data. You can also see downloads by apps and devices or location.

The stats area will not show data unless you have episodes available. That’s no brainer!

Buzzsprout Dashboard

All the features that you read above are a part of the account dashboard you will get when you signup for their services. Here is how the dashboard looks like:

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What you see in the image above is the dashboard for the free account they allow. You can upload up to 2 hours content a month for free.

The dashboard is simple, clean, and easily navigable. However, it does lack the modern feel to it (but may be that’s just me). However, do not forget that what you need is right in front of you. So, just how the dashboard looks and feels should not be a big concern when everything else is perfectly fine.

The first thing that greets you in the dashboard is the Episodes segment. That makes sense because you need to start by uploading your episodes. Unless you have them in place, the rest of the things will just not make any sense.

Magic Mastering

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The company offers something called Magic Mastering which automatically implements some audio fixes when you upload an episode. The common audio fixes include volume levelling, removal of noise, hiss, and hums, and leveling the overall loudness.

Magic Mastering is available only and only for paid accounts. Free accounts will have to perform such stuff by themselves before uploading the content.

Dynamic Content

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They also have something called dynamic content that allows you to add audio files before the main content or after the main content. You can select whichever you want and upload your audio file.

Wondering what to add? Well, you can add a sponsor and give a shoutout for your affiliate products. It is essentially a great way to add revenue options. You may even want to advertise something else, like a different website that you run! It is all up to you.

What is interesting is that if you have a paid account with Buzzsprout, Magic Mastering will apply to your pre-roll or post-roll audio, too!

Uploading Content

Uploading content is easy. You can hit the upload button and select the audio file from your computer. Alternatively, you can always drag and drop the audio file to the upload segment.

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Once you upload an audio file, you can add title, description, and artwork. You can even add seasons and episodes if you want to add a whole series.

You can decide to publish the content immediately or you can leave it unpublished or schedule it for publication on a later date.

Once you upload your audio pieces, you can see the list of episodes after you hit the Save Episode Details button you see on the right (see the image above).

This is how the list looks like:

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You can edit the episode, check its stats, and even share it from the list. You can see other details including episode duration and number of downloads.

Podcast Settings

Podcast settings are available from the main menu in the dashboard. This is where you can set up your podcast title, podcast artwork, description, category and more. If you do not want other podcast hosts to import your podcasts from Buzzsprout, you can lock the feed.

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You can even add or remove team members, upgrade your plan, take backups, and cancel your podcasts altogether.

Overall, the dashboard is quite simple and effective with nothing complicated to make you spend hours to figure out stuff.

Buzzsprout Pros and Cons

Okay, now that you have a fair idea of Buzzsprout features and its dashboard, it is time to take a quick look at its pros and cons.

Let us begin.

The Pros of Buzzsprout

  • They give a free plan to help you get started. You do not have to add your credit card to use the free plan.
  • They have an affiliate marketplace. You can even get sponsors or add your own sponsors.
  • The platform allows you to submit your podcasts to multiple directories so that people can discover your content.
  • Buzzsprout offers an API that can integrate with many third-party services. Buzzsprout uses JSON for serialization and RESTful concepts. So, if you have a technical background, you can also create your custom integrations.
  • They have features for episode embedding and transcription.

The Cons of Buzzsprout

  • One of the biggest cons of Buzzsprout is that the episodes you host with Buzzsprout will be deleted after 90 days. I don’t see the logic behind that. It is like forcing a paid plan down your throat even if you are not yet able to monetize your content. They better do not give a free plan at all.
  • Magic Mastering is not free even if you are not a paid plan. You have to pay for it separately. Depending on the plan you are using, Magic Mastering’s price will vary. That’s awful.
  • Their pricing structure is very complicated. They could have come up with something simpler.

Buzzsprout Pricing

Finally, let us go through the pricing structure that Buzzsprout will give you. Here are the different tiers you get:

Free Plan

  • Episodes get deleted in 90 days
  • You get maximum 2 hours of upload a month.
  • Your podcast website will have ads and those ads will be from Buzzsprout. You don’t earn revenue out of those ads.
  • You will not get Magic Mastering even if you want to pay for it.

12 USD a Month

  • You get three hours of upload every month.
  • Episodes remain hosted indefinitely.
  • You can import podcasts from other platforms.
  • You can get Magic Mastering for USD 6 a month.

18 USD a Month

  • You get six hours of upload every month.
  • Episodes remain hosted indefinitely.
  • You can import podcasts from other platforms.
  • You can get Magic Mastering for USD 9 a month.

24 USD a Month

  • You get 12 hours of upload every month.
  • Episodes remain hosted indefinitely.
  • You can import podcasts from other platforms.
  • You can get Magic Mastering for USD 12 a month.

Notice how the price of Magic Mastering is half the price of the plan you are purchasing. May be the rationale behind this kind of separate pricing for Magic Mastering for different plans is that the more audio you upload, the more you use Magic Mastering, and hence, the more you pay.

Still, I personally did not like that kind of pricing. I strongly believe that they could have kept the price of Magic Mastering uniform considering that it is based purely on automation and various other services offer such features for free.

Conclusion – Highly Recommended

Do I recommend Buzzsprout?

Yes, I do!

You see, no platform is free of cons. Likewise, even though Buzzsprout has a complex pricing structure, and its free plan is quite disturbing, the overall features available and the simplicity it brings to the table is something you will fall in love with.

After all, you do not want a very complex platform where you keep facing technical difficulties every now and then. Buzzsprout takes off the complexity and gives you a simple interface to work with where you can focus on what is more important – your podcasts.

So, if you are serious considering getting into podcasting, I will strongly recommend Buzzsprout. It has all the tools and features you will need to run a successful podcast channel. The success, however, will depend on the content you are providing. Buzzsprout has control over your content. They will only give you the tools to put your content across to potential listeners.

I will definitely say that you go ahead and use their free plan for a few days to get a hang of their platform. You can upgrade later!