Buzzsprout is one of the leading podcast hosting services available in the market. The hosting service has been around since 2009, and as of February, the hosting service has 93 million monthly downloads, 162 thousand new episodes, and 111 thousand active podcasts.
More than 50% of its users come from Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and 87% of its listeners are on mobile. Buzzsprout offers several highly rated features available for their podcasters to use, and probably the most enticing reason for everyone to use Buzzsprout is that you can start using their services right now for free.
Top of the Line Features
Buzzsprout claims to offer everything that somebody needs to start their own podcast from hosting, promotion, and even analytics tracking. Let’s explore if these claims are true or not.
Buzzsprout offers a wide network of podcast directories which includes top platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more. This is extremely important for anyone who’s thinking of starting their own podcast, for the potential to reach a wide range of audiences is readily available.
Episode optimization and transcription
Buzzsprout offers automatic episode optimization for all of its users. If you don’t know things about technical bits such as file format, bitrate, and ID3 tags, don’t worry, they got you covered. You only have to upload your audio file, and Buzzsprout will automatically get it done for you.
Buzzsprout also aims to be more user-friendly through its transcription option. Users can transcribe their episodes within Buzzsprout itself to make it more accessible for every type of listener around.
Suppose you are into technical stuff and want things more customized for yourself. In that case, Buzzsprout offers an API that makes it easy for third-party applications to be integrated into your podcast. Podcasters can directly connect through the Buzzsprout API, and the full documentation can also be accessed through GitHub.
One premium feature that Buzzsprout offers is Magic Mastering. According to them, It’s “Like an Instagram filter for your audio.” This feature automatically spices up your audio files and optimizes them to match the practices of the industry for any type of music-heavy production.
Growth and Marketing tools
It is essential for all types of content hosting services to have a set of growth and marketing tools for their creators. Apart from the availability of top podcast directories, Buzzsprout offers a variety of tools to help its creators in growing and marketing their podcasts.
Advanced analytics tracking
Feedback is crucial to get some sort of idea on how to grow your brand as a content creator. Through Buzzsprout, creators have a better way of tracking their analytics and numbers, and they can see details such as download time, where, and how people are listening to their podcast.
Custom website and embedded players
Buzzsprout helps its creators to build their own beautiful websites for their podcasts. These websites are fully customizable to match the creator’s branding of their podcast. Buzzsprout also offers website integration through their custom embedded player. You can either create a single blog post for one of your episodes or create an entire page dedicated to all your episodes for people to listen to, all directly from your website.
For those people looking into making a reasonable amount from podcasting, Buzzsprout has programs to help their creators fund their podcasts. Currently, there are two programs for creators to apply to, the Affiliate Program and the Creator Program.
In the affiliate program, creators can earn $25 for every paid account they’ve referred to Buzzsprout, and the referred person will also get $20 in Amazon gift card, so they’re enticed to use the creator’s link.
Meanwhile, in the Creator Program, podcasters receive free podcast hosting on Buzzsprout, one conference ticket for conventions (Podcast Movement, Podfest, Multimedia Expo, etc.), and a monthly stipend depending on their influence level. These three levels are the following; Creator, Coach, and Adviser.
Buzzsprout offers four tiers of hosting plans. It doesn’t require a credit card, can be canceled anytime, and has No contracts. All tiers include advanced tracking and unlimited team members. All episodes are hosted indefinitely for paid memberships but only 90 days for free memberships.
2 Hours: Free
3 Hours: $12 per month
6 Hours: $18 per month
12 Hours: $24 per month
There are also additional payment options for paid memberships (in order: $12, $18, $24) which include;
Magic Mastering: $6, $9, $12 per month respectively
More Content Upload: $4, $3, $2 per hour respectively
Transcription: $.25 per minute
Pros & Cons
If you’re looking to host your podcast on Buzzsprout, here are the Pros and Cons for you to consider.
• The basic plan is free.
• Has a wide range of podcast directories, including the top directories in the industry.
• Great features such as episode embedding and transcription and Magic Mastering.
• Buzzsprout API for 3rd party software integration.
• Award-Winning Customer Care.
• The basic plan only lasts for 90 days.
• Additional costs for premium features instead of directly charging it in the payment plan.
• Complicated pricing structure.
On the other hand, we have Simplecast. Simplecast is also one of the leading podcast hosting services in the industry since 2013. The hosting service powers some of the world’s best-known creators and brands — Facebook, Twitter, Shopify, and Harvard, just to name a few. Simplecast aims to provide independent podcasters and creators access to the same tools powering shows from some of the largest brands in the world. Podcasters interested can start using their services whenever they want to with a free 14-day trial of any of their plans.
Simplecast claims to have the easiest way to publish their creator’s audio and podcasts to their listeners with a single click.
Just like other podcast hosting services, Simplecast also offers a variety of podcasts directory such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and any other platform the creators want to share their content in. Their “streamlined” approach of sending the creator’s episodes from post-production straight to the listener’s ears, near instantly, remains one of the best in the industry. This allows their creators potentially to have a greater reach to audiences around the world.
A framework built for audio
At the core, Simplecast remains to be a podcast technologies company. They operate under the best and most robust audio streaming infrastructure, which provides millions of audio content to listeners every single day. Simplecast has been perfecting this technology for 7 years, and they guarantee that their creators wouldn’t have to worry about problems and outages.
Simplecast API 2.0
The Simplecast API 2.0 claims to be the most advanced audio publishing and distribution available to date. Simplecast lets its creators build and integrate whatever they want into their podcasts freely.
One-account, Multiple shows
Managing multiple shows and podcasts can be tedious for some creators. This is not a problem with Simplecast; creators can manage multiple shows comfortably under a single account.
Growth and Marketing tools
It is essential for all types of content hosting services to have a set of growth and marketing tools for their creators. Simplecast offers multiple ways to help its creators grow and thrive in the podcasting industry.
Audience by Simplecast is an audio analytics platform unlike any other. It compares episode trends and freshly gathered data and information into what parts of the creator’s show have the most interactions. Additionally, this technology is IAB Certified.
The data provided to the creators are audited and approved by the IAB Tech Lab. This enterprise-scale analytics technology is made affordable to creators anywhere in the world.
Recast is a podcast sharing and discovery tool from Simplecast that allows listeners to share customized clips of podcasts completely optimized for social media sharing. It is the industry’s first listener-powered audiogram tool that offers insights into listeners’ sharing habits.
Unlike other forms of media, podcast listeners aren’t as attractive for advertisers. Currently, there’s only one way to monetize your content in Simplecast, Affiliate Marketing.
In affiliate marketing, affiliate links are created for creators. These links are for products or services appended with a code so that all traffic coming in can be traced back to the creator’s referral. Promoting these products and services can get creators around 4-5% commission-based earnings.
Current Hosting Price
Simplecast currently has three paid plans available for creators interested in the hosting service. It starts with a 14-day trial and doesn’t require a credit card.
Basic – $15 per month
This plan includes unlimited storage and uploads, Basic analytics, and all of Simplecast’s premium features. Remember that this has limited to 2 team member seats.
Essential – $35 per month
The plan includes everything in the basic plan plus additional essential tools. It is limited to 4 team member seats.
Growth – $85 per month
The Growth Plan includes everything in the essential plan plus additional collaboration features and in-depth analytics. This time, it is limited to 9 team member seats.
There are also professional, and enterprise plans, but the costs must be discussed with the sales team first.
Pros and Cons
If you’re looking to host your podcast on Simplecast, here are the Pros and Cons for you to consider.
• Easy to use.
• Highly detailed analytics.
• Great tools such as Recast® and Audience.
• Moderately high monthly cost for more advanced tools.
• Reviews reported that it can sometimes be glitchy.
Buzzsprout vs. Simplecast
If we take all of this into consideration and compare both podcast hosting platforms side by side, Buzzsprout would easily come out on top.
Buzzsprout is rated higher than Simplecast on multiple podcasts hosting review sites. This alone already speaks for itself. And probably the best selling point of Buzzsprout is that it’s more affordable than Simplecast — the best thing is that the basic plan is completely free.
Considering that both hosting services offer nearly identical tools and features, Buzzsprout might be better mainly because of its price point. If you’re just starting out in the podcast industry, you can easily learn the basics of the platform through the free basic plan. If you think that your creativity is being limited by the restrictions of the plan you’re using, you can simply upgrade to any of the better plans anytime.