Spotify Picks Up Bill Simmons' The Ringer to Stand Out From Music Streaming Rivals

'We have bought the next ESPN,' said CEO Daniel Ek

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The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is taking his talents—and his 90-person staff—to Spotify. 

The music streaming service today announced that it has picked up The Ringer, the sports and culture site Simmons started in 2016. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The acquisition comes on the heels of Spotify aggressively gobbling up podcasting companies Gimlet and Anchor in the ongoing seesaw between music streaming providers, like Apple and Google. 

The Ringer has 30 podcasts—and boasted of podcast ad sales north of $15 million in 2018—and a “proven track record of creating distinctive cultural content as well as discovering and developing top-tier talent [that] will make them a formidable asset for Spotify,” according to a statement from Spotify’s chief content officer Dawn Ostroff.

During this morning’s earnings call, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said, What we really did with The Ringer, I think, is we bought the next ESPN.”

The irony, of course, is that Simmons had a...



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