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Acast Eliminates Identity Maintenance Costs With Auth0

The global independent power source of podcasting offloaded identity and ‘greatly increased’ user conversion with social logins

About

Acast is one of the most eminent podcast platforms, and a pioneer in the open podcast ecosystem, connecting all podcasting stakeholders to one common software infrastructure. Acast allows advertisers to efficiently target an engaged audience of listeners, while podcasters are given access to a range of monetization opportunities and the tools to expand their listener base.  The company has a global footprint, hosts more than 28,000 shows and during 2020, had approximately three billion listens on Acast-connected podcasts.

Industry

Entertainment

Region

EMEA

Acast’s global podcasting network provides hosting, marketing, and monetization services to more than 30,000 podcasts, including publishers like the Financial Times, BBC, and Verizon. In total, their platform attracts around 300M listeners per month.

To deliver their services, Acast offers a web app where content creators can check analytics, manage advertisements, and publish new content. But in 2019, Acast realized their web app’s approach to authentication was interfering with their ability to keep up with the growth they were experiencing.

“We’ve been growing rapidly every year, and we needed a better way to scale our authentication infrastructure to match that growth without sacrificing security,” Olle Lundberg, Senior Engineering Manager at Acast, explains.

“We’ve been growing nearly 2x every year, and we needed a better way to scale our authentication infrastructure to match that growth without sacrificing security.”

Olle LundbergSenior Engineering Manager

Choosing Between Building or Buying an Identity Solution

Acast’s existing authentication system was built and managed in-house, which required a lot of work to maintain and scale. The team at Acast therefore decided it might be best to buy an external solution rather than continue to build out the one they already had.

“As important as authentication is, it’s what we refer to as contextual functionality rather than core functionality,” Lundberg says. “We set out to look for a third-party solution we could integrate into the platform which would allow us to focus more on helping podcast creators monetize their content instead of managing authentication.”

Acast’s decision to look externally was also rooted in their need to provide the best security for their users, which was harder to guarantee in-house. “With our in-house solution, we had to maintain servers and make sure we had personnel with the knowledge to manage user data securely,” Lundberg explains. “So we realized it's much easier for us from a compliance perspective if we offloaded the management of user data as well.”

“We set out to look for a third-party solution we could integrate into the platform which would allow us to focus more on helping podcast creators monetize their content instead of managing authentication.”

Olle LundbergSenior Engineering Manager

Acast Integrated with Auth0’s IDaaS Platform Swiftly and Easily

After exploring multiple identity providers, Acast’s engineers chose Auth0’s platform because of how easy it was to build login flows and implement the security features their customers need.

“All of our developers basically said, ‘Auth0 provides the best developer experience for us. It's the top one of the ones we've tried,'" Lundberg explains. “We liked that implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) was so easy because it’s highly secure and some customers require that as part of their platform.”

Acast used to store usernames and passwords for their tens of thousands of podcast creators on their own servers. Migrating those accounts over to Auth0 was quick and easy, thanks to being able to integrate the existing user database. Once the migration was complete, Acast implemented social logins to allow podcasters to sign up or login with Facebook, Google, or Apple and saw user conversion “greatly increase”.

“We liked that implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) was so easy because it’s highly secure and some customers require that as part of their data platform.”

Olle LundbergSenior Engineering Manager

Acast Eliminates Identity Maintenance Work for 8 People

Now that Auth0 manages Acast’s authentication process, their development team no longer needs to maintain an identity system, which frees up the time of at least 8 people. “We would have had at least six engineers plus two people in a supporting role like an EM or product manager to maintain our system in house,” Lundberg explains. “But since integrating with Auth0, the time we spend maintaining our system is basically zero every month.”

Working with Auth0 has also enabled Acast to expand its business into markets that had been difficult to reach with its in-house system. “We used to only have big enterprise customers. But Auth0 makes it easy to implement the same login flows we develop for enterprise customers for smaller customers without having to recreate access rules within our CMS,” Lundberg says. “Now we’re targeting indie podcasters for the first time.”

As the company continues to grow, Acast is confident that Auth0’s platform will help them keep their customers’ data secure as well. “Security is a core part of Auth0’s business,” Lundberg says. “We trust Auth0’s tooling and features to protect our users and us from external attacks as we scale.”

“Security is a core part of Auth0’s business. We trust Auth0’s tooling and features to protect our users and us from external attacks as we scale.”

Olle LundbergSenior Engineering Manager

About Auth0

Auth0, a product unit within Okta, takes a modern approach to identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. The Auth0 Identity Platform is highly customizable, and is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation. For more information, visit https://auth0.com.

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