Bill Simmons was said to be seeking $200 million for The Ringer—and just-filed documents show Spotify could pay nearly that much for the digital media company, whose portfolio offers more than 40 podcasts. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Spotify tells investors that it will pay between $141 and $195 million for The Ringer. A portion of the purchase price will be deferred, although the company has not yet spelled out the specific terms. It’s likely, however, that the final price tag will be dependent on whether The Ringer hits certain performance goals in the coming years.
The SEC filing also reveals Spotify has signed licensing agreements with podcast creators and music labels and publishers that will see it pay out $200 million in minimum guarantees during the next three years. Spotify didn’t reveal which companies the agreements are with.
Even though The Ringer price tag is less than what had been reported earlier this week, it still pushes Spotify past the $400 to $500 million range it told investors last year the company would spend. Spotify had already spent $402 million in a series of deals last year to acquire Gimlet Media, Parcast and Anchor. That’s in addition to striking several high-profile content deals, such as the alliance with Higher Ground, the production company created by Barack and Michelle Obama, to create podcasts.
The Ringer was founded by former ESPN commentator Bill Simmons in 2016 and the company says it now has more than 100 million downloads per month, led by “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” which is hosted by the company’s founder. Spotify expects the deal to close in the first quarter.