The whispers of Spotify's interest in The Ringer were well-founded as this morning Vox's Peter Kafka reports a deal has been struck. Though the terms were not disclosed, it's safe to assume there is some serious money changing hands. Bill Simmons' sports-and-pop-culture site is popular and his podcast empire expansive.
“With the Ringer, we’re basically getting the new ESPN,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told Recode in an interview after the deal was announced. “What [Simmons] has accomplished in just a few short years, it’s nothing short of extraordinary... It’s not just his own podcast, but his whole network that’s doing really well. He’s a talent magnet.”
The biggest piece of news is that Spotify intends to take on all 90 of Simmons' employees and keep the website running. There have been questions in recent weeks regarding what the makeup of a post-sale Ringer would look like, with experts forecasting that those who do audio would be far more valuable than the potentially expendable print side.
Unionized workers went public with their concerns about the lack of transparency from management.
Finally, it appears those questions have been answered. And on the face, this appears to be positive news for those who were worried about future employment.
Of course, if the last several years in media has taught us anything, it's to never spike the football because things can change quickly.
Here's hoping everyone who works at The Ringer continues to do so under new management.