TL; DR: Buzzsprout is an intuitive podcasting platform that empowers users to host content, attract listeners, and analyze progress. The company offers tools and educational resources suitable for users with a range of skill levels, including free, entry-level podcast websites and advanced social media players. With detailed best-practice guides and YouTube tutorials, plus a private Facebook community and attentive customer support, Buzzsprout makes it easy for podcasters to get their voices heard.
Are you well-acquainted with a nagging inner voice that makes you doubt your professional competency? If so, you’re likely dealing with imposter syndrome — and you’re not alone.
An estimated 70% of the population deals with the psychological phenomenon, which makes even high-achieving individuals feel like frauds.
Imposter syndrome is especially rampant within creative communities, and according to Alban Brooke, Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout, podcasters are no exception.
“We service podcast professionals of all kinds, and most of them are dealing with incredible cases of imposter syndrome,” Alban told us. “Our goal is to remove layers of complexity and gatekeeping around the industry, so people don’t think they’re not intended to participate in it.”
Buzzsprout aims to provide users with the fastest and most straightforward route to becoming a professional podcaster through its multifunctional platform. The easy-to-use technology contains all the tools necessary to host, promote, and track a podcast, whether you’re just getting started or have years of experience.
The company also strives to educate the podcast community through free videos and guides intended to help podcasters connect with their audience through the spoken word.
“If we can make our potential customers successful, then we will be successful,” Alban said. “We put out two YouTube videos, three podcast episodes, and a podcasting guide every week, all focused on how to become better podcasters. We hope these resources will encourage prospects to sign up with us, but if they don’t, that’s OK — we still made someone’s life a bit easier.”
From Nonprofit Site-Building to Complexity-Free Podcasting
Buzzsprout started its journey in the late ’90s by offering a website builder to a client base of nonprofits and churches. “If someone were overseas doing missionary work or trying to attract members of their church, we would help them get a website up and running quickly, so they could move on with their goals,” Alban said.
Around 2006, a number of clients began asking for help getting recorded sermons and donation videos online. As the team members worked through those issues, they realized that what their clients really needed was a podcasting platform. At the time, podcasting was rapidly gaining popularity due to the advent of portable audio devices like the iPod, which was first released in late 2001.
“We said, ‘Podcasts have really taken hold in the last two years, so the best way to achieve your goals is probably not with our little website builder,’” Alban said. “We knew we needed to build a separate product.”
The team set out in 2008 with the mission to build a platform that would remove as much complexity as possible from the process of starting a podcast.
“We built it with our client base in mind,” Alban said. “If you’re a nonprofit and the people working for you are 17-year-old kids who volunteer 50 hours before they apply to the University of Florida, you don’t want to be left in the dark when they leave.”
The team officially launched the platform in 2009 and is now one of the longest-running podcasting hosts on the market.
A Focus on Education, Confidence, and Shared Success
The popularity of podcasts has soared since Buzzsprout released its platform 12 years ago. Over the past four years, in particular, the number of Americans listening to a podcast each week has grown 120%, according to Edison Research. Today, an estimated 90 million Americans listen to a podcast at least once a month.
Buzzsprout’s user base has expanded in step with podcast popularity. In addition to religious institutions and nonprofits, the company now helps podcasters from all walks of life ease the burdens of hosting, marketing, and tracking their content.
The company remains focused on providing a rich content lineup designed to provide value beyond its product offerings.
“We’re doing a lot of content marketing and just trying to attract people to the site early in the customer journey,” Alban said. “That way, when it’s time, they may not know exactly how our hosting works, but they definitely know that we’re a trusted source, we’ve been there for them, and we’ve answered their support emails even before they’d ever paid us a dollar.”
Once customers sign up with Buzzsprout, they can expect continuous top-notch customer service, as exemplified by the company’s support ratings. All support comes from knowledgeable technicians based in the United States.
“Back in the days of on-premises software, it felt like the salespeople were there every day until you signed a contract, and then they disappeared forever,” Alban said. “We take the opposite approach, providing all this free content until customers want to sign on, and then we say, ‘We’re here with you until the day you decide to move somewhere else or shut the podcast down.”
Hosting, Magic Mastering, Advanced Statistics & Transcriptions
Buzzsprout offers customers a comprehensive feature set, from hosting to promotional listings and tracking analytics, all designed with simplicity in mind.
For example, the company provides advanced but easily digestible podcast statistics that provide data on total downloads over time, apps people use to listen to the podcast (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc.), and audience location.
“A lot of other hosts charge extra for advanced statistics,” Alban said. “We don’t; we provide the full stat suite with every plan and help you get your podcast listed in all of the top podcast directories.”
Buzzsprout’s Magic Mastering is another standout feature, which the company describes as an Instagram filter for your audio. The advanced technology automatically optimizes audio files in line with industry best practices for spoken word and music-heavy productions.
“A lot of people struggle with mastering audio — they know how to edit for content and cut out the boring bits, but they’re still unsure of how to get the audio to sound a little better,” Alban said. “With Magic Mastering, you just upload your content, and we will adjust the levels, remove background noise, and make your audio sound better, in general.”
The team also recently added dynamic content to its list of platform functionalities.
“If you want to record an intro at the beginning of each episode, instead of going back and adding that to 200 audio files and reuploading them, you can now just click ‘Apply this to the beginning of all of my episodes,’ and boom, it’s there,” Alban said.
A True Partner in Podcasting
The Buzzsprout team, based in Jacksonville, Florida, currently consists of about 20 people and is focused on aligning its product with its customers’ needs.
“We aren’t on a mission to host every podcast in existence on our platform,” Alban told us. “Our goal is to form connections with the customers we can serve best.”
Alban said that, ultimately, Buzzsprout’s success depends on the success of its customers’ podcasts.
“And sometimes that means helping them be successful by recommending a competitor’s platform,” he said. “If there are companies that will be a better fit, we will always be honest and help out the customer.”