Spotify is buying Bill Simmons’ The Ringer as part of its podcast expansion plan.

This isn’t the first time you will seeing a headline confirming Spotify’s interest in the multi-billion dollar podcast market. But I’m sure this particular acquisition – the fourth podcast deal in the last 12 months stamps the company’s game plan to dominate the streaming industry. The Ringer, a podcast-centric media company founded by Bill Simmons produces over 30 podcasts, covering sports and pop culture and garners over 100 million streams monthly.

Spotify spent over $400 million to acquire Gimlet Media, Anchor FM, and Parcast in 2018. It currently boasts of a catalog of over 700,000 podcasts, and notes that the business grew by over 200% in the last quarter.

We have bought the next ESPN.”

CEO, Daniel Ek.

Next Moves..

Spotify intends to hire Simmons and all of his approximately 90 employees. Most of the team work on The Ringers’ website, which covers sports and culture, and Spotify intends to keep the site up and running. Simmon will specifically focus on putting sports at the centre of the company’s strategy.

“Spotify has the unique ability to truly supercharge both content and creator talent across genres,” said Bill Simmons, The Ringer founder, and podcast host, in his own statement. “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.”

Spotify’s Chief Content Officer is excited about what both companies can do to drive the streaming giant’s global sports traffic. “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.” He said in his statement.

Details of the deal are currently undisclosed, as the transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020.

Richard Ogundiya

Journalist & Techpreneur. Africa, communications and data.

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