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Spotify Is Buying Bill Simmons’s The Ringer

Peter Kafka, reporting for Recode:

Spotify is making yet another big-budget purchase aimed at getting a lead in the growing podcast industry: The streaming music company has agreed to a deal to purchase The Ringer, the 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 The Ringer’s 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’s ability to create podcasts, including his Bill Simmons Podcast, and some 30 other titles, which range from an NBA chat show to one devoted to rewatching old movies.

I remain deeply wary of Spotify’s intentions in the podcast space, but if they keep The Ringer’s podcasts as open podcasts, this acquisition really shouldn’t matter much to listeners.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020