Spotify has acquired The Ringer.
Spotify has purchased The Ringer, Bill Simmons’ sports and culture site, the companies announced today (February 5). The move follows the streaming service’s expansion into podcasts. (The Ringer has 30 podcasts.) The Ringer, which was previously in partnership with Vox Media, also has a video network, film production division, and book imprint, as The New York Times notes.
Simmons, the former ESPN commentator who founded The Ringer in 2016, said in a statement: “Spotify has the unique ability to truly supercharge both content and creator talent across genres. We spent the last few years building a world-class sports and pop culture multimedia digital company and believe Spotify can take us to another level. We couldn’t be more excited to unlock Spotify’s power of scale and discovery, introduce The Ringer to a new global audience, and build the world’s flagship sports audio network.”
I know I’m probably not like most casual podcast listeners, but the moment any of this content goes behind any kind of Spotify exclusive wall, I’m out on the shows. Neil Cybart’s take on why Spotify spent the money here feels right to me. The economics of streaming music isn’t great and they’re betting on sports radio/talk and podcasts.