Spotify Reportedly Paid $250 Million for Podcast Platform The Ringer

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Spotify’s recent acquisition of The Ringer, a sports and pop culture website and podcast network, cost approximately $250 million. 

Exact sales figures are expected to be publicly released in an upcoming SEC filing. According to an anonymous source spilling the beans to Bloomberg, however, Spotify will provide $200 million upfront, and the remaining $50 million will be paid at a later date.

It’s unclear at this time if special conditions will need to be met before the latter payment is issued.

Per the deal’s terms, The Ringer’s staff members, including founder Bill Simmons, will continue to operate out of their existing offices while occasionally coordinating with Spotify higher-ups to meet long-term goals and benchmarks.

Late last month, The Ringer’s employees learned of Spotify sales talks via an article published in The Wall Street Journal. Predictably, the platform’s writers, editors, and social media experts were unpleasantly surprised by the news, believing that they could be let go by the music streaming and podcasting service. 

As mentioned, Spotify has retained all existing Ringer workers; it’s worth noting that these individuals unionized in August 2019. 

Spotify has already invested a king’s ransom on original podcasts and podcast-focused acquisitions. 

Michelle and Barack Obama, Kevin Bacon, and an array of other high-profile figures have signed multimillion-dollar contracts with the streaming giant. Evidently, podcasting will play a major role in Spotify’s 2020 business model — with both Apple Podcasts and the entire traditional radio industry a target.

According to Spotify’s Q4 2019 earnings report, 124 million individuals subscribe to the premium service, and about 153 million users stream through the free version. Though both figures have jumped significantly from the same time in 2018, and overall revenue increased, fourth-quarter losses surpassed $84 million. 

On a monthly basis, an estimated 15 million people visit The Ringer’s website, and its many podcasts are downloaded a total of 35 million times.