Spotify is planning to purchase the podcast website The Ringer, the website’s owner Bill Simmons confirmed Wednesday.
Simmons assured his followers that The Ringer, which features more than 30 podcasts, would remain the same “in every respect.”
“They appreciate what we do and they want us to be us,” he posted in a Twitter statement.
This morning we announced that @spotify is acquiring The Ringer. Couldn’t be more excited to work with @eldsjal and his phenomenal team.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 5, 2020
More details to come down the road... but @ringer will remain @ringer in every respect. They appreciate what we do and they want us to be us.
Simmons founded the website, which includes popular podcasts like “The Bill Simmons Podcasts” and “The Rewatchables,” in 2016 after ESPN did not renew his contract the year prior, The New York Times reported. The Ringer started out on Medium before moving to Vox Media in 2017.
Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content officer, said in a statement that the move was done in the hopes of expanding the company’s “global sports strategy.”
"We look forward to putting the full power of Spotify behind The Ringer as they drive our global sports strategy,” Ostroff said. “As we set out to expand our sports and entertainment offerings, we wanted a best-in-class editorial team.”
The Writers Guild of America, East, the union representing The Ringer employees, said it looks forward to working with management. The union reportedly had expressed concerns about the potential Spotify deal because not all of the site’s employees are involved in audio, The Wall Street Journal reported last month.
The Ringer also posts original articles and has a video network, film production division and book imprint.
“We anticipate a productive relationship with new management for all Ringer staff members: podcasters, writers, editors, illustrators, fact checkers, copy editors, social media editors, and video and audio producers,” the union wrote in a Wednesday statement.
On Wednesday morning, the Ringer Union and the Writers Guild of America East learned that Spotify has purchased The Ringer. pic.twitter.com/dvNvpKnPMa— Ringer Union (@RingerUnion) February 5, 2020
The Ringer employees unionized in August 2019. Before the Spotify buy, the union held three bargaining sessions, and a union representative said management has indicated that it would allow three bargaining sessions scheduled in February, March and May, according to the Times.