Podcast listeners, no matter what app they use, were unable to access shows hosted on Spotify’s Megaphone on Monday night and early Tuesday. Among them are The Joe Rogan Experience and podcasts from The Ringer and Gimlet Media. Worst of all, the problem appears to have been completely avoidable – it was due to an expired security certificate.
“Megaphone experienced a platform outage due to an issue with our SSL certificate,” Spotify spokeswoman Erin Styles told The Verge . “During the outage, customers were unable to access the control panel and podcast listeners were unable to download podcast episodes from megaphone-hosted publishers.”
A valid SSL certificate is required to establish a secure connection between the server and the browser or application. It appears that the Megaphone certificate expired around 8pm GMT on Monday and the service was not back online until just before 6am . It took a few more hours before the problems were fully resolved.
Megaphone-hosted, which dynamically inserts ads into podcasts, is a key component of Spotify’s podcast ambitions. It bought the company for $235 million in 2020. Spotify boosted the service when it bought Whooshkaa, which can turn radio shows into podcasts, last December. It also acquired two other ad technology companies, Chartable and Podsights, earlier this year.
Neglecting to renew the certificate is a bad omen for Spotify, which as a tech company you should know better. While listeners may not be able to download episodes of their favorite shows overnight.
However, Spotify is not the only major tech company that has dealt with such problems. In 2020, Microsoft Teams crashed for a few hours after someone apparently forgot to renew an SSL certificate.