If you are looking for the simplest yet feature-rich podcast hosting platform, you could have certainly come across Buzzsprout.

It was founded in 2008, and is one of the earliest podcast management tools.

As you can see in the below Google trends report Buzzsprout really started to pick traction in 2020 when the podcast trend was picking up.

It aims to simplify podcast management, distribution (across dozens of directories), and monetization.

The unique selling propositions of Buzzsprout are its simplicity, ease of use, and affordability.

But, is it the right tool for you?

Does it offer you enough flexbility?

Let’s see in this review of Buzzsprout.

FeaturesBuzzsprout
Free plan available?Yes
Premium pricing starts at$12/month
Has a mobile app for podcasters?No

Quick review

👍 What we like about Buzzsprout

  • Simplicity: Buzzsprout is one of the simplest podcast hosting platforms. It is suitable for beginners to intermediate to advanced users. It doesn’t need any learning curve.
  • Magic Mastering filter: With this unique feature, you can process and edit the audio without the need for any external tools. You just need to input the audio file, Buzzsprout handles all the editing work and makes the audio file sound professional.
  • Transcription integration: For the transcription of episodes, Buzzsprout has integrations with services like Temi and Otter.ai.
  • Automatic file conversion: You can upload your podcast episode to Buzzsprout in any audio format. Buzzsprout will automatically convert the uploaded audio to MP3 format and encode it in 96K mono, which is the industry standard. This process also helps Buzzsprout save money on server storage.
  • Podcast website: Buzzsprout has launched a podcast website, removing the need for platforms like WordPress or Wix. You can now manage your website on Buzzsprout, gaining more flexibility and improving SEO.
  • Affiliate program: Buzzsprout offers an affiliate program to promote brands and services on your podcasts and earn money.
  • Affordable pricing: Buzzsprout offers affordable pricing plans that cater to podcasters of all levels. Its free plan allows you to host up to two hours of content per month, while its paid plans start at $12 per month for up to 3 hours of content per month.

👎 What we don’t like about Buzzsprout?

  • No mobile app: Unlike its competitors like Spreaker and Podbean, Buzzsprout lacks a mobile app for both listeners and podcasters. For listeners, this will not be an issue as they anyhow have Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
  • Lack of Post-production tools: It doesn’t come with the ability for you to replace audio file, trim, split or edit the audio after you publish.
  • Lack of Ad Campaign Manager: Unlike Spreaker, Buzzsprout lacks a dedicated ad campaign manager. You need to manually review, manage, and track each of your campaigns to analyze their performance.
  • Limited affiliate marketplace: The built-in affiliate marketplace just offers 2 brands for you to promote. As a result, you will spend more time searching for affiliates to promote on your podcast.
  • Fake free plan: Buzzsprout offers a free plan that allows you to upload up to two hours of audio content per month. However, the content will only be hosted for 90 days. Essentially, their free plan is like a 90-day trial plan!

Upfront bottomline✨:

If you are a beginner and are looking for an easy-to-use tool, Buzzsprout would be the best bet. With its one-click podcast distribution, you can distribute your podcast to 18+ platforms.

The best thing with Buzzsprout is its magic mastering feature. With this, you can edit and process the audio files eliminating the need for third-party services.

It comes with all the necessary features so that you don’t get overwhelmed and can focus on the growth of your podcast, rather than the technicalities.

But, this is not a complete replacement for premium audio editing tools.

Because it doesn’t come with post-production audio services like replacing the audio file, trimming, or editing the audio after publishing. If you need these features right inside of the podcasting tool you can consider tools like Simplecast.

Explore BuzzSprout

Latest updates 🎈

  • Cohost AI: Buzzsprout announced Cohost AI, a tool that integrates AI into your podcasting workflow. It generates show notes, transcripts, and social media posts for your podcast episodes, saving time and effort.
  • Buzzsprout Ads a powerful way to promote podcasts on the 114,000+ active shows it hosts.
  • It has released a new share page for your podcasts. You can view your podcast online everywhere from this single page.

User interface and ease of use

Buzzsprout’s interface is veryminimal.

You can find all the tools right inside the dashboard and access them within 3 to 4 clicks.

buzzsprout user interface

Buzzsprout has logically arranged the features and made it super easy even for beginners to use this tool.

Also, the Buzzsprout interface loads quickly. There is no delay in page loading.

As you can see in the screenshot, the interface badly needs a major overhaul as it’s lacking some modern touch to it.

A note on podcast migration

Creating or importing Podcast BuzzSprout 28129

If you already have a podcast hosted on another platform, migrating it to Buzzsprout is a relatively easy process.

Simply search the podcast on Apple Podcasts, or obtain the RSS feed link of your podcast.

Buzzsprout will import all of your previous episodes, including the audio files and episode details, eliminating the need for manual importing.

episodes copied into buzzsprout

Once the migration is complete, it is important to update the podcast RSS feed on popular podcasting platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify to reflect the new RSS feed link provided by Buzzsprout.

During this time, I advise you to monitor the analytics section of Buzzsprout to ensure that the performance has not been negatively impacted by the migration.

Additionally, it is recommended to keep your podcast hosting account active to allow subscribers enough time to update their subscriptions to the new feed.

It’s relatively simple to switch podcast platforms. You don’t have an lock-in effect, as everything is RSS feed based.

Creating podcasts in Buzzsprout

As a first step, you can either create your podcasts from scratch or import the existing ones from other podcast hosting sites as well.

podcast title and description

While creating your first podcast, you need to enter the podcast title, description, and add the cover artwork as well.

In the description, you can include the target keywords to increase the search engine visibility of your podcasts.

After this, you need to start uploading your episodes.

Buzzsprout supports almost all audio types like Mp3, OGG, AAC, M4A, AIFF, etc.

episodes in buzzsprout

For each episode, you can add custom artwork and episode web page, episode summary, add tags (for easier search and categorization), etc.

buzzsprout episode details

If you are on the free plan, you can upload only 2 hours of content. But note that, the free plan hosts the episodes only for up to 90 days. So, it is recommended to switch to the paid before you make the podcast live.

Buzzsprout gives you unlimited bandwidth and unlimited storage on all its paid plans. The plan varies depending on the uploading time you need. Will see about this later.

Editing the podcasts

Buzzsprout offers good features to edit podcasts and makes it easy for the audience to consume the content.

You don’t need to use any external tools to edit your audio files.

Buzzsprout comes with a magic mastering feature (sold as an addon at $6/month) where it optimizes your raw audio files to match the industry standards.

magic mastering in buzzsprout
Audio leveling done by Magic Mastering

This tool automatically removes the unwanted noise and sweetens the audio with the appropriate dB filtering, hum reduction, etc. It eliminates the need for tools like Auphonic.

If you want to know more about how it processes your audio, you can refer to this guide.

But it doesn’t offer post-production audio services like replacing the audio file, editing or trimming the audio, etc. If you need these features you can consider tools like Simplecast.

Also, Buzzsprout has a built-in audio optimization feature. You just need to upload the file, Buzzsprout will convert the file to MP3, encode it to mono or stereo, and add ID3 tags.

AI features

The Buzzsprout rolled out co-host AI feature that enables you to simplify the podcast creation process.

It comes with the following features:

  • Automatic transcription: Cohost AI uses AI to convert podcast audio into written text, with the ability to understand various accents, speakers, and subjects.
  • Editable transcripts: Users can edit the initial transcript generated by Cohost AI to ensure alignment with the original audio content.
  • Episode title ideas: Cohost AI generates episode title ideas based on the provided content.
  • Draft episode descriptions: Cohost AI drafts episode descriptions based on the provided content.
  • Define chapters: Cohost AI defines chapters based on the provided content.
  • Cohost AI Summary: After processing, users can review the Cohost AI Summary on the episode details page, which breaks down all the information provided by Cohost AI for adjustment or removal.

When you upload a new episode to Buzzsprout, if you have AI feature enabled in your account, it will instantly start processing the episode.

First it’ll tranribe, and add chapter titles.

Buzzsprout AI processing

It will also allow you to generate title ideas and also episode descriptions.

Buzzsprout episode AI

Depending on your time value for money, you may need to spend some money on this addon.

However, there are already free tools available that are based on the OpenAI Whisper (open-source model). These tools can transcribe your podcast with 99% accuracy for free.

Episode transcription

Adding a transcription for episodes helps in increasing search visibility by search engines. This means, your podcast will more likely appear in SERPs when people type in search engines. This way you can get more audience to your podcasts.

As I’ve told you, they recently introduced Cohost AI.

If you don’t want to pay for this addon, Buzzsprout provides integration with Otter.ai and Temi. This service is only available on paid plans.

buzzsprout and temi integration

If you are using Otter.ai, first you need to transcribe the episodes inside of Otter.ai and then import the file to Buzzsprout.

You can also use Temi, which will transcribe your episode(s) for $0.25 per minute.

Chapter markers

Now once the transcript is ready, you need to add chapter markers.

buzzsprout chapter markers

You can add chapter markers to the episodes making it easy for listeners to navigate your podcast.

Buzzsprout chapter markers

This way, listeners will be aware of what’s upcoming and they can skip to the sections they want to hear.

It is important that you need to add chapter markers before making the episodes live, as after downloading the files listeners cannot access them.

Visual soundbites

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Buzzsprout supports audiograms i.e. visual soundbites.

With this, you can create small video bytes to share on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

This is a great way to repurpose the content and share it on multiple platforms.

Buzzsprout soundbites

While sharing the audiogram, you can add the link to your full episode.

People can subscribe to your podcast if they like your clip, and listen to more.

Podcast player

Buzzsprout offers three types of players: individual episode players, single episode players, and multiple episode players.

You can access both the single-episode and multiple-episode players from your account’s player page. These players can be customized according to your needs.

It also provides an embed code that can be used to display the player on platforms like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more.

buzzsprout podcast players

You can also create custom players using tags for easy listening. For example, if you want to embed only the coaching-related episodes on your website, you can add a custom code to display all the episodes with the tag “coaching”.

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buzzsprout player features

For the users, the Buzzsprout podcast player gives these features:

  • Rewind 10s
  • Forward 30s
  • Speed controller
  • Download the episode
  • Episode description, episode no, season no.
  • Share the episodes on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Subscribe to the podcast.

However, there are no features available to add custom Call-to-Actions (CTAs), such as “Join the newsletter” and “Join the community”. If desired, you can manually add these links to the episode descriptions.

Additionally, for the listener on the front end, the player appears to be very simple, without too many distractions.

Storage and hosting

In all of Buzzsprout’s paid plans, there is unlimited storage available.

However, it does not support unlimited content uploading.

The pricing plan varies based on the uploading time. You can only upload 3 hours of content per month on its lowest plan, which costs $12 per month.

If you need more upload time, you need to pay an extra fee i.e. $4 per hour.

When it comes to bandwidth, there are no restrictions available. It handles unlimited traffic on all its paid plans.

Monetization

Buzzsprout provides various monetization strategies like podcast ads, affiliate marketplace, show support links, and sponsors.

Let’s discuss them one by one.

Podcast sponsors

podcast sponsors in buzzsprout

Buzzsprout integrates with Podcorn to help you find the right sponsors to promote your podcasts.

If you already have sponsors, you can add them within the Buzzsprout dashboard.

Podcorn tracks sponsorships, downloads, number of listeners, and conversions for you.

Podcast Ads

The best thing with Buzzsprout ads is that you will find the ads at a cost as cheap as $100 and it goes up to $1000.

buzzsprout dynamic content for ads

You can automate the process to add ads as pre-rolls, mid-rolls, or post-rolls.

You can process the audio as needed, add voice effects, and control how the audio should transit in the beginning and at the end.

Support show links

Buzzsprout allows you to add support show links in your podcasts where your fans can donate to the content they are consuming.

support show links in buzzsprout

As you can see in the above screenshot, you can add links to your Patreon pages, PayPal, Cash App, Podfan pages, etc.

The links you add will appear on the Buzzsprout public web pages and in the players as well, making it easy for users to access them.

Affiliate marketplace

Buzzsprout has an affiliate marketplace where you can promote the brands and products that are relevant to your niche.

buzzsprout affiliate marketplace

For this Buzzsprout has partnered up with Instacart and Allswell. Apart from these, you can promote other custom brands as well.

Bottomline: Buzzsprout offers various ways to monetize your podcast – like dynamic ads, affiliate marketplace, donation pages, and Patreon programs. Unlike Spreaker, it doesn’t have a dedicated ad campaign manager, but it is not a big deal. If you want to know more on this, you can refer to my Spreaker review post.

Analytics

Buzzsprout provides detailed analytics for you to analyze how your podcast is growing over time.

buzzsprout podcast analytics

The stats give data on episode downloads, devices, apps used by listeners, geolocation, etc.

buzzsprout podcast analytics based on geography

When it comes to episode downloads – you will get data on the number of downloads for the first 7 days, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and all time.

buzzsprout episode downloads
buzzsprout analytics based on devices

The apps and the technology data give you insights such as the top app your listeners are using, the device they are using, and the category of the device (mobile/desktop, etc.).

Herre’s the downside though.

Currently, Buzzsprout does not provide user retention graphs. These graphs are useful for understanding how users engage with your podcasts and what percentage of the podcasts they listen to. If these graphs are important to you, you may want to consider using Podbean.

Podcast distribution and integrations

Buzzsprout allows you to distribute your podcast to other platforms with its RSS feed.

buzzsprout podcast distribution

With this, you can distribute to almost all the major podcast sites like Google Podcasts, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music, and much more, with just a click of a button.

Distributing the podcast to Apple Podcasts, automatically distributes it to – Overcast, Castro, Castbox, and Podfriend.

Along with this, with Buzzsprout you can also share the episodes on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, right inside the tool.

Pricing

Buzzsprout has three paid plans. The lowest pricing starts at $12/mo, while the highest plan costs $24/mo.

The pricing plan varies depending on the uploading time. If you are on the free plan, you can upload only 2 hours of content each month.

Also, on the free plan, the episodes will be hosted only for up to 90 days. So yeah, before making your podcast live, you need to upgrade to any of their paid plans.

You should note that Buzzsprout’s highest plan only supports 12 hours per month. If you have episodes that are 2 to 3 hours long with guests, such as deep dives, even their highest plan may not be sufficient for your needs.

I want to note that all the pricing plans of BuzzSprout only support hosting one podcast show. If you have multiple shows, you will need to have multiple accounts, which can be inconvenient for people hosting multiple shows.

👉 Additionally, pay attention to the increase in pricing of addons as the AI needs to process more content.

Customer support

The customer support provided is not satisfactory.

They provide generic replies, and it takes at least 3-4 messages to get the issue resolved.

I encountered a problem with my account’s referral stats and when I contacted them via email, I’m not sure if they properly read my initial message.

Many others have also complained about the subpar and slow response from their customer support.

However, since it is a fairly simple platform with good documentation, you don’t encounter many issues.

Buzzsprout alternatives

Buzzsprout vs Spreaker

Buzzsprout is a very user-friendly podcasting platform, while Spreaker has a slight learning curve, especially for beginners.

One key differentiator when choosing between these two platforms is that Spreaker provides mobile apps for both listeners and podcasters. This allows you to record, edit, and broadcast episodes on the go.

In comparison to Spreaker, Buzzsprout offers unique features such as a magic mastering filter, integration with Canva, and a brand new podcast website, which are not available in Spreaker.

Buzzsprout vs Podbean

Buzzsprout is a user-friendly tool that is easy to use, unlike Podbean, which has a learning curve to get started.

Podbean stands out with its unique features, including:

  • Podbean apps that support selling premium podcasts with in-app purchases.
  • Over 18+ free plugins and services that enhance the tool’s flexibility.
  • Integration with Alexa, making your podcast available on all Alexa devices.

Both of these tools offer a variety of strategies for monetizing your podcasts.

Wrap up

Buzzsprout is a feature-rich podcast hosting platform that comes at an affordable price. It has unique features like magic mastering, integration with Canva, and integration with Otter.ai and Temi for transcribing the episodes.

The recently introduced Co-host AI functionality helps you to natively do automated transcription. It gives you episode title ideas, it helps you create chapters and even the podcast episodes summary.

Also, Buzzsprout offers various monetization strategies like show support links, affiliate marketplace, sponsor ads, and much more.

Buzzsprout offers all the necessary features to manage a successful podcast. However, it lacks a mobile app for podcast creation on the go and basic editing features such as splitting and trimming.