Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE:SPOT), the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service, today announced that the company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Ringer, a leading creator of sports, entertainment and pop culture content. The Ringer was founded by Bill Simmons in 2016. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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.
"We look forward to putting the full power of Spotify behind The Ringer as they drive our global sports strategy,” said Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content Officer, Spotify. “As we set out to expand our sports and entertainment offerings, we wanted a best-in-class editorial team. Bill Simmons is one of the brightest minds in the game and he has successfully innovated as a writer and content creator across mediums and platforms. The Ringer's proven track record of creating distinctive cultural content as well as discovering and developing top tier talent will make them a formidable asset for Spotify."
“Spotify has the unique ability to truly supercharge both content and creator talent across genres,” said Bill Simmons, The Ringer founder, and podcast host. “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. We’re joining one of the best media companies in the world. It’s an incredible day for us.”
The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020 and subject to customary closing conditions.
About Spotify Technology S.A.
Spotify transformed music listening forever when we launched in 2008. Our mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by these creators. Everything we do is driven by our love for music and podcasts.
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About The Ringer
THE RINGER, launched by Bill Simmons in 2016, is a website, podcast network and scripted and non-scripted video production house creating an innovative blend of sports, pop culture, politics, and tech content. The Ringer Podcast Network includes over 30 popular podcasts, featuring chart-topping shows such as “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” “The Rewatchables” and “The Ryen Russilio Podcast,” among many others.
THE RINGER also boasts an immensely successful and innovative video network including the Sports Emmy-winning show “NBA Desktop” as well as Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies after-shows, “Talk the Thrones” and “Big Little Live,” streaming live and exclusively on Twitter.
RINGER FILMS, launched in 2018, produces long and short-form non-scripted programming. Credits include HBO’s critically acclaimed André the Giant, the most-watched documentary in HBO Sports history. Additional projects include the upcoming HBO’s Showbiz Kids, a feature-length documentary about the highs and lows of children working in the entertainment industry as well as the upcoming Women of Troy, about the groundbreaking USC women’s basketball team of the 1980s.
THE RINGER also recently announced the launch of Ringer Books, including the first three titles on that imprint. The first release was Shea Serrano's Movies (and Other Things), which debuted as a #1 New York Times Bestseller in October 2019. Additionally, Cousin Sal Iacono, host of The Ringer podcast Against All Odds With Cousin Sal, co-host of FS1's Lock It In and writer and onscreen personality on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, will write a gambling guide to be released in 2020. Finally, The Ringer staff writer Claire McNear will also publish a book in 2020 chronicling Jeopardy!, following her recent feature on contestant James Holzhauer.
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