On Monday night, some Spotify users went to download their favorite podcasts and were met with an error. By Tuesday morning, the issue was resolved. What was the source of the massive disruption impacting some of the platform's biggest producers? An expired security certificate.
The SSL security certificate is what keeps a website secure by enabling encryption, giving it the "s" in HTTPS. For Megaphone, the podcast advertising and publishing platform Spotify acquired in 2020, the certificate expired Monday evening.
Shortly thereafter, publishers and listeners for Megaphone-hosted podcasts experienced service disruptions.
"Megaphone experienced a platform outage due to an issue related to our SSL certificate," a Spotify spokesperson told NPR. "During the outage, clients were unable to access the Megaphone CMS and podcast listeners were unable to download podcast episodes from Megaphone-hosted publishers. Megaphone service has since been restored."
The entire outage lasted for about nine hours, with Megaphone publishing real-time updates of the issue. Some podcast publishers took to Twitter to express their frustration business implications of the outage, according to Verge.
Megaphone boasts more than 20,000 publishers and advertisers that use the platform. Shows such as the Joe Rogan Experience and other Spotify-owned podcasts were among the affected.
The Spotify spokesperson said that the company is reaching out to the publishers that were impacted and told NPR they are working on safeguards to avoid this problem in the future. The outage did not just impact Spotify, but any platforms that use Megaphone to host their content.