Along with its Q4 2019 earnings today, streaming music giant Spotify has announced it’s “entered into a definitive agreement” to buy The Ringer, one of the most popular sports and pop culture websites and podcast networks.
The Ringer was created by the veteran sports journalist Bill Simmons in 2016. It quickly gained wide reader- and listenership, with some reports saying the young network has more than 14 million monthly unique visitors.
Spotify to acquire The Ringer. Read the press release to learn more about how we’re elevating the sports podcasting game here: https://t.co/ouZZkvVDUJ
— Spotify News (@SpotifyNews) February 5, 2020
On the audio side of things, The Ringer offers 30 podcasts including the popular series The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Rewatchables, and The Ryen Russillo Podcast. And though The Ringer doesn’t only deal in podcasts, it’s likely those were one of the main things that attracted Spotify’s interest.
Spotify has put recent emphasis on becoming the largest streaming platform of all audio content—not just music. And in today’s earnings report, Spotify boasted their podcast listening hours were up 200% year-over-year. Announcing The Ringer’s acquisition, Spotify said:
With this acquisition, Spotify continues to deliver against its goal to become the world’s leading audio platform. The Ringer will bring to Spotify its industry leading sports and entertainment team, podcast catalog and website, further expanding Spotify’s content offering and audience reach. With its popular show lineup, The Ringer also offers new opportunities for monetization along with a continued focus on deepening audience engagement and innovating formats within Spotify’s business model. Not only has Simmons been a podcast pioneer in sports, he has also been a dominant force in the podcast pop culture arena.
It’s unknown how much Spotify is paying for The Ringer, but the company says it expects its acquisition to close by the end of this quarter.