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Spotify Is Said to Be in Talks to Buy the Ringer in Sports Push

Lucas Shaw

(Bloomberg) -- Spotify Technology SA has considered an acquisition of the Ringer website and podcast network, according to people familiar with the situation, part of a broader push into sports content.

Spotify has held talks about a deal, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. But it’s not clear whether the transaction will happen or how much the music-streaming giant might spend.

The Ringer, backed by former ESPN analyst Bill Simmons, has built a following with sports and pop-culture coverage -- both on its website and collection of more than 30 different podcasts. That could help accelerate Spotify’s ongoing expansion into sports. The company is developing several daily shows on the topic, people familiar with the plans told Bloomberg last week.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the talks with the Ringer, describing the discussions as early.

Sports is one of the most popular genres in traditional radio and podcasting, making it a priority as Spotify builds out its slate of original and exclusive shows. The company hired Amy Hudson earlier this year to oversee sports and has talked with Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, about making shows, the Information reported previously.

Spotify first signaled its interest in podcasting last February, when it acquired GimletMedia, a boutique podcast studio, and Anchor, a podcast technology platform. The company has also hired former TV executives to develop new shows.

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