- Spotify will spend nearly $US200 million over the next few years to acquire The Ringer, an online publication for sports and pop culture, according to an SEC filing.
- The purchase, which Spotify confirmed last week, is the streaming platform’s latest move to grow its presence in podcasting, and follows nearly $US400 million in recent purchases of Gimlet Media, Anchor, and Parcast.
- The Ringer, which has nearly 40 podcast titles, was founded in 2016 by ESPN sports journalist Bill Simmons.
- Simmons’ exact ownership stake in The Ringer isn’t known, but the deal is expected to be a huge payday for the media founder.
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Sports media founder Bill Simmons scored a massive payout from Spotify, who purchased Simmons’ publication The Ringer for nearly $US200 million.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, Spotify could pay out nearly $US200 million in cash over the next few years to acquire The Ringer, an online publication for sports and pop culture. Spotify disclosed it will between €130 million and €180 million: Part of that payment is deferred and based on some contingencies, one of which requires Simmons to stay at the company for an unknown period of time.
This is Spotify’s latest move into the podcasting space in the past year, following nearly $US400 million in recent acquisitions of podcast networks Gimlet Media, Parcast, and Anchor. The Ringer has nearly 40 podcast titles under its belt, including a number of popular sports shows featuring Simmons that Spotify will now own.
Spotify confirmed the acquisition last week after The Wall Street Journal reported on purchase rumours in January, but the deal price was not known at the time. Citing a source with knowledge of the deal, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Spotify would pay an initial $US200 million to acquire the company, with another $US50 million to be paid later.
Spotify has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
The $US200 million acquisition likely represents a huge payday for Simmons, specifically, who is the company’s largest shareholder, though his exact stake isn’t known. The entertainment company HBO also owns a 10% stake in The Ringer.
Simmons, a former ESPN journalist, founded The Ringer in 2016. As part of the acquisition, Simmons – as well as The Ringer’s estimated 90 employees – will have jobs at Spotify. According to Bloomberg, the deal includes protections for Ringer employees to ensure much of the staff isn’t cut.
Spotify has only started investing in podcasting recently, although the streaming service was founded in 2006. In a recent blog post, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek said he had no idea at the beginning that “audio – not just music – would be the future of Spotify.”
“What we really did with The Ringer, I think, is we bought the next ESPN,” Ek said in a Spotify earnings call in early February.