The Podcast Network (TPN), the Australian founded global podcast company suffered a major outage over the weekend, taking show sites offline and destroying show archives.
In an email to TPN podcasters, CEO Cameron Reilly stated that the main hard drive on the network’s server in Texas suffered a “massive technical failure” and that data on the drive is unrecoverable. In a subsequent email, Reilly stated that while backups were available for show blog posts and comments, there is no backup of site architecture, stats or media; or in other words, their entire archive of podcasts is gone.
Reilly went on to say that blogs/ landing pages for each show on the network would be rebuilt, but appealed to network members for archival recordings of old shows, or “if not, we’ll have to ask the audience if they have archived copies.”
TPN has had a difficult year, with the network being hacked earlier this year due to an old version of WordPress being run, causing widespread outages and some discontent among its podcasters. A number of podcasters left the network after the earlier issues.
I’ve asked Cameron Reilly for his comment on the outage and we’ll update the post if we get a response.
From the outside though I’d think a loss of data along these lines would be a serious issue for any company. That they were not backed up externally, or that they were archived on a single hard drive to begin with may suggest that the company may have already fallen on hard times after having claimed at one stage to be delivering 800,000 podcasts a month (total downloads) on 8 million page views across the network. TPN was the worlds first podcast network, and I know I’m not alone in thinking its sad to see it in this state, and we wish Cameron the best in his attempts to survive through this difficult time.