LOS ANGELES - Spotify has been dipping their toes into the waters of the podcasting industry for some time now, but they have just made their biggest leap forward so far in their efforts to dominate one of the ever-growing audio industries in the world. To do so, they have purchased The Ringer, a website and podcast network that was founded in 2016 by Boston's own Bill Simmons.
Simmons worked for ESPN years ago, but that marriage ended in extreme strife. With the help of Medium and HBO, Simmons founded The Ringer, which has steadily grown to become highly valuable to Spotify, the world's top music streaming service. The podcasting branch of the website, the aspect that Spotify is most interested in maintaining, has been said to be the big earner, with an estimation of roughly 15 million dollars in ad revenue per year. However, growth has been consistent enough to support the recent claims that Simmons was looking for 200 million dollars to purchase the website, per Vox.
The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but they could be released when the acquisition is finally inked at the end of this quarter. The deal has also been confirmed by Simmons on his official Twitter page, where he wrote, "The Ringer will remain The Ringer in every respect. They appreciate what we do and they want us to be us." This sentiment was likely meant to assuage the speculation that the podcasts would be placed behind a paywall or that the blogging aspect of the site would be shut down. This element was also addressed by the recently-formed Ringer Union.
On Wednesday morning, the Ringer Union and the Writers Guild of America East learned that Spotify has purchased The Ringer. pic.twitter.com/dvNvpKnPMa— Ringer Union (@RingerUnion) February 5, 2020
The Ringer will likely be the biggest asset in podcasting for Spotify to date. In addition to Simmons' main podcast, The Bill Simmons Podcast, the network also features a number of sports league-exclusive casts (like The Ringer NFL Show and The Ringer MLB Show). Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald host The Watch, Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins host The Big Picture, Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion host Binge Mode, and a rotation of guests appears on The Rewatchables. Each podcast is massively popular.
Image via Wikimedia Commons