Where you choose to host your podcast has a tremendous impact on shaping your podcast — your content, growth strategy, and eventual growth. The more than dozen podcast hosting services — like Podbean, Spreaker, Libsyn, Buzzsprout, and Captivate — determine your podcast’s performance. Among these, two have emerged as frontrunners for launching a scaleable podcast — Buzzsprout and Captivate.
The Buzzsprout vs Captivate debate has been ongoing, with arguments for and against both. This post selects a definitive winner based on six essential criteria pivotal to your podcast’s success and longevity.
Related: Best Podcast Hosting.
Buzzsprout vs Captivate: Customization
Branding is critical to defining your podcast in the early stages. Whether you can use a custom domain, build a website, remove the branding of your host, and
With Buzzsprout, customization is possible but lacking in every way that matters. You can customize your domain for free, provided you have an existing domain, and you can customize the colors of your landing page, but that’s it.
Captivate offers significantly more customization options. You can choose from the website layouts, change the colors of individual components, improve the site’s on-page SEO, configure the domain, and use third-party email opt-ins
If you want your branding to be cohesive and want to improve your ranking on search engines, Captivate is the better choice of the two.
Buzzsprout vs Captivate: Episodes/Hours of Content
The number of episodes or hours of content you need will depend on your uploading schedule. While Buzzsprout throttles the number of hours of content or episodes you can upload each month, Captivate gives you unlimited hours of content and uploads each month, regardless of your tier.
If you have a robust upload schedule, Captivate is the clear favorite.
Buzzsprout vs Captivate: Distribution
Most listeners will choose to listen on their preferred platform; placement on these directories is necessary to grow your audience. Captivate distributes to 12 directories, compared to Buzzsprout’s 11.
Captivate and Buzzsprout have most influential directories in common, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Spotify.
Captivate doesn’t distribute with iHeartRadio.
Buzzsprout vs Captivate: Downloads
Downloads have become part of the modern podcast as many listeners prefer to download episodes in preparation for a long drive or in instances where their data plan may have limitations. Whatever the reason, expect about 1 to 2 percent of your listeners to download each episode. Buzzsprout offers unlimited downloads. Captivate limits your downloads depending on your pricing tier. Smaller podcasts won’t feel the pinch as much as larger podcasts.
Unlimited downloads mean — regardless of the number of listeners — those who choose to download your episodes. While this may be a fringe portion of your audience, those who prefer downloading episodes will appreciate the feature.
Buzzsprout vs Captivate: Support
Support is rarely a consideration when choosing a podcast hosting service until you realize you need assistance. At that point, you don’t want to deal with a vendor that has lackluster support. To contact Buzzsprout, you’re limited to the pesky contact form. Captivate offers live support 24/7.
Live support will always be a preferred choice.
Buzzsprout vs Captivate: Pricing
Buzzsprout pricing tiers range from free to $24/month. The company also only charges a monthly fee, whereas Captivate has a free trial available for the first seven days of any tier. Their pricing ranges from $17/month to $90/month, billed annually.
On the surface, Captivate is far more expensive than Buzzsprout, but it’s the more cost-effective choice when you consider all the extra costs you’d have to cough up for Buzzsprout.
What is The Best Platform to Host Your Podcast?
Captivate is miles ahead of Buzzsprout. Despite the recent launch date — 2018 — the platform has managed to offer the features that matter and reduce the need for dozens of other subscriptions with third-party services.
Related: Anchor vs. Buzzsprout: Which Podcast Hosting is Better?