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Spotify Is Buying Bill Simmons The Ringer

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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Spotify is making yet another big - budget purchase aimed at getting lead in the growing podcast industry: streaming music company has agreed to a deal to purchase Ringer, podcast - centric Media company run and owned by Bill Simmons. Spotify intends to hire Simmons and all of his approximately 90 employees. Most of those employees work on Ringers website, which covers sports and culture, and Spotify intends to keep the site up and running. But what Spotify really wants out of the deal is Simmons ' ability to create podcasts, including his Bill Simmons Podcast, and some 30 other titles, which range from NBA chat show to one devoted to rewatching old movies. The companies didnt disclose the sale price; deal is supposed to close in the first quarter of 2020. With Ringer, were basically getting a new ESPN, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told Recode in an interview after the deal was announce. What has been accomplished in just a few short years, is nothing short of extraordinary. It is not just his own Podcast, but his whole network that is doing really well. Hes talent magnet. Spotify hasnt spelt out what it intends to do with Ringers ' catalog of existing podcasts and content, but it would be surprising if it made them exclusive to streaming platform. When it purchased Gimlet Media last year, it kept that podcast companys staff available on all platforms. This is the fourth podcast company acquisition Spotify has made in the last 12 months; last year it spent about 400 million to buy Gimlet Media, Anchor FM, and Parcast. Spotify executives have argued that adding Podcast Business to its core music service will help them bring in new users, and keep existing users around longer. The company is also building up a podcast advertising business, which promises to target listeners based on their demographics and online behavior. In its fourth quarter earnings statement released Wednesday morning, Spotify said it was seeing exponential growth in Podcast consumption on its platform. Ek says adding Ringer would help boost his company's appeal to sports fans, which he describes as super engage and super loyal. It is a strong currency to have. And he said Spotify would continue to buy podcasting companies if it thinks they can grow faster inside of Spotify. When you get the chance to property like Ringer, and you see fits, and what Bill wants to do, it just makes a ton of sense. If there are other deals of that caliber, we would consider them. Spotify wouldnt say how long Simmons intends to work for his new employer, but Ek said he believed Simmons would stick around so he could continue to build the company he founded five years ago. I wouldnt have done the deal if I didnt feel that Bill was in it for the right reasons, and did want to build something much bigger. Our incentives are really align, add Paul Vogel, Spotifys Chief financial Officer.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Simmons and his podcast empire

Last year, Spotify made a splash when it bought a series of podcasting companies. Now it may be AT it again: company is in conversation to buy Ringer, podcast - centric startup founded by Sports Media entrepreneur Bill Simmons. Spotify, which spend about 400 million in 2019 acquiring three podcasting companies, Gimlet Media, Anchor FM, and Parcast, has had talks with Simmons dating back to AT least October 2019, according to people familiar with discussions. Its not clear how advanced talks are now; Spotify may also be interested in buying other Podcast companies. If Spotify - Ringer deal happen, it would signal that Spotify thinks podcast deals it did last year were money well spent and that podcasting will be an important part of music companies future. What it does indicate is what would happen to Ringers ' popular sports and culture podcasts, which are currently available for free on every platform, including Apple's dominant Podcast app. It is a decent bet, though, that Spotify would AT least be interested in getting Simmons group to create more Spotify - exclusive podcasts, like the Hottest Take series it started making for Spotify last September. Wall Street Journal first Report on talks. Reps for Spotify and Ringer declined to comment; Simmons hasnt responded to request for comment. There is some basic logic to the would - be deal: Last year, Spotify announced that podcasting would become an important part of its business, and it has been making moves to both push its own exclusive podcasts, as well as promote podcasts in general. And while Ringer has a web publishing operation and has made forays into videos and TV shows, bulk of its revenue comes from podcasting. Last year, Journal Report that company was generating more than 15 million a year from podcasts. Simmons has been immersed in podcasting since 2007, when he was a rising star AT Disneys ESPN unit. After ESPN let him go in 2015, Simmons started his own site. Hbo initially backed the site, and also hired him to create a short - live TV show he host, along with other programming. Simmons has never disclosed if he has other investors. Simmons has talked about selling his company before. Last year he discussed a sale with AT & Ts WarnerMedia, proposing a price of around 100 million, according to a source familiar with discussions. Warnermedia was already working with Simmons via its HBO unit; it also owns Turner, TV network that owns Bleacher Report, digital sports publisher it acquired in 2012. Talks between WarnerMedia and Simmons stopped before news that Spotify was buying Gimlet break. Since Spotify embarked on its Podcast buying spree, lots of Podcast - related businesses have imagined that their value has increase, so it is quite possible that Simmons feels the same. Spotify has said it wants to invest in podcasts for several reasons. It think Spotify users who listen to podcasts are more likely to pay for the premium version of Spotify and less likely to stop using the service.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Spotify's path to podcasting glory

All of this is a big deal to Spotify, which is very much in the podcasting business these days. There are a few reasons for this. For one thing, hit Podcasts are path to original content of the sort that has been such a big deal in streaming video. A Spotify - exclusive Podcast from Simmons would help Spotify differentiate itself from competitors like Apple. Spotify would also save money - in the long run, anyway - by funding or buying Podcasts that draw users listening hours away from licensed songs. Unlike Netflix and most other streaming video services, Spotify typically pays out royalty fees on a per - stream basis. If Bill Simmons fan kills hour listening to Spotify - own Bill Simmons content instead of rocking out to Dropkick Murphys ' classic 2001 Celtic punk album Sing Loud, Sing Proud, then that save Spotify some royalty payments. But it doesn't work that way for Netflix, no matter how many people choose Netflix's new Mark Wahlberg vehicle Spenser Confidential over licensed content like Depart. Most important of all are advertising implications. Spotify's Podcast success means a big leg up for the company's target advertising platform. Podcast - listening habits, as IT turns out, are more useful for building consumer profiles than music - listening habits are. Podcasts are a big help to Spotify's targeted advertising goals. Besides, advertising within Podcasts is the norm - which has allowed Spotify to get away with aiming Podcast ads even at users paying for Spotify's ostensibly ad - free premium subscription. And studies suggest that advertising during Podcasts offers better returns than advertising between musical tracks, perhaps because the former is more likely to find active listeners. All of this is why Spotify has been moving to acquire and develop original and exclusive Podcasts for months now. Acquiring Ringer will be the latest such move - and, given Simmons's podcasting muscle, biggest one.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Music to Spotify's ears

This morning, just in time for its earnings call, Spotify officially announced that it is buying Ringer, podcast - heavy digital - media company founded by former ESPN personality Bill Simmons in 2016. Word of such a deal was first reported by Wall Street Journal in mid - January, which described talks at time as early. Well, now it's official: Sports Guy will be joining Spotify, along with the sizable staff he built at Ringer. Terms of the deal were not disclose, but what has been confirmed is the detail that has been most puzzling: not only will Spotify absorb Ringers ' vibrant Podcast operation, Swedish streaming audio platform will also be bringing in the rest of the latter digital - Media operation, which has aggressively spread itself out across multiple platforms in search of diverse revenue streams. In addition to thriving audio division, Ringer has a consumer - facing website, book - publishing deal, documentary unit, and an active YouTube operation. Oh, and that does include a few podcasts that are exclusive to Luminary, somewhat troubled pay - Podcast platform, which is probably detail that needs to be sorted out. Of course, Ringer isnt just a sports - media company; it also does a lot of successful work in the pop - culture space. Furthermore, it is not just a company built around one person, Simmons, but a staff of over 90 people, many of which are very strong creatives in their own right. There is some uncertainty about how news of a complete deal will go over with staff, which is unionized with WGA East; after Wall Street Journal report came out on the existence of talks, Ringer Union issued a statement that the workforce had learnt about the deal through the press, not through senior management. So far, that situation doesnt appear to have been remedied. This acquisition comes in the midst of Spotifys hard push to become more than a music - streaming platform. Last year, it spent more than 400 million on acquiring three Podcast companies, Gimlet Media, Parcast, and Anchor and began expanding its portfolio of exclusive Podcast programming and partnerships, including one with Obama production company, Higher Ground. In November, company CEO Daniel Ek and Content Chief Dawn Ostroff appeared on the cover of Hollywood Reporter as part of an ongoing campaign to signal its intent on becoming world No. 1 audio platform. With some caveats, successful acquisition of Ringer makes a good deal of sense for Spotify. To begin with, sports - and pop - culture - heavy websites are uniquely strong in audio, with a portfolio of 30 - plus podcasts that bring in more than 100 million downloads a month. And unlike some of Spotify's other Podcast acquisitions, there is no question that Ringer is able to generate decent revenue for the company. According to another Wall Street Journal article from last January, its audio division exceeded 15 million in ad sales for 2018.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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