Podcast listeners lost access to many of their favorite shows for more than eight hours on Monday night and early Tuesday morning due to a glitch in Spotify-owned podcast hosting platform Megaphone. The outage was caused by the company’s failure to renew the Megaphone’s security certificate.
“Megaphone experienced a platform outage due to issues related to our SSL certificates,” Spotify spokesperson Erin Styles said in a statement. “During the outage, customers were unable to access the Megaphone CMS and podcast listeners were unable to download podcast episodes from the Megaphone-hosted publisher. Amplifier service has been restored.”
This is a simple bug with significant consequences. Megaphones that insert dynamic ads into episodes host many of the industry’s top shows. It also distributes shows on platforms other than Spotify, including Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Spotify hosts its own licensed and owned shows, such as This Joe Rogan Experience and program from ring, on the loudspeaker. (Disclosure: Vox Media, owner edge, also publishes a podcast on Loudspeaker). Styles said the company is contacting affected publishers.
This is the second time in a week JRE Especially affected by Spotify’s technical issues. On Wednesday, dozens of episodes were removed from the show’s feed due to a glitch.
Spotify bought Megaphone in December 2020 for $235 million, making it the largest acquisition by a streaming company as it seeks to build a comprehensive podcasting tech stack (it paid Anchor about $150 million, by comparison) . The tool enables companies to make money from listening to podcasts that even happen on rival platforms. Since then, Spotify has expanded Megaphone by acquiring and integrating analytics tools Podsights and Chartable, and radio-to-podcasting tool Whooshkaa.
Spotify did not comment on why the Megaphone’s SSL certificate expired and why it took so long to fix.According to the data found, the certificate expires Monday at 8 p.m. ET Podcast News. According to the platform’s status page, the issue took another 8 hours to be resolved. Even after the Megaphone was back online before 6AM ET, the podcast experienced delays with the Megaphone CMS. As of 9:45 a.m., the company said the issue had been fully resolved.
An SSL certificate stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a data encryption tool for websites (it’s the “S” in HTTPS) that allows a server to communicate with a client (such as your computer or mobile phone), sending data that others cannot Easily modified or snooped on. While SSL certificates used to be valid for up to three years, starting in September 2020, SSL certificates are valid for up to 13 months. However, Megaphone received its two-year certificate in May 2020, seven months before it was acquired by Spotify.
Power outage annoys listeners and podcasters who turn to social media warn others the problem and Ask Spotify to fix it. Host Luke Braun Lock the Vikings and locked in the NFL, indicating that an outage could result in thousands of downloads of a show across platforms due to upload delays. Until the megaphone problem is fixed, the only platform on which he can post Tuesday’s episode is YouTube, which accounts for about 20 percent of his audience.
While Braun says he’s generally happy with the megaphone he’s been using since 2018, he’s not entirely shocked by the disruption caused by such a silly mistake. “It seemed like a brain fart,” he said.