Spotify is in talks to acquire ‘sports and pop-culture outlet’ the Ringer, founded by ESPN exec Bill Simmons in 2016.
That’s according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported on Friday (January 17) that ‘discussions are early’, and that its sources ‘cautioned’ that the talks are still at such an early stage that a deal might not even happen.
SPOT first hinted at its intention to establish itself in the sports world last February following the acquisition of podcasting content business Gimlet Media and distribution service Anchor for $343m in total.
Around that the time, the firm was advertising for a Sports Lead, Spotify Studios and said it was planning to launch a “sports content portfolio” based around audio podcasts.
A report from Bloomberg on January 8, citing people familiar with the matter, suggested that Spotify is now ‘developing several daily sports shows’ as part of its original content drive.
The potential acquisition of the Ringer would help amplify Spotify’s expansion into original audio programming and sports content specifically.
The Ringer publishes around 30 podcasts, which are reported to be attracting a total of 100 million downloads per month and earned revenues of more than $15 million for the company in 2018.
Spotify reported that in Q3 2019 (the three months to end of September), podcasts were consumed by 14% of its 248 million Monthly Active Users [MAUs] (approximately 35 million people).
Total podcasting listening hours on the platform were up by 39% quarter-on-quarter.Music Business Worldwide