The Ringer

kenneycb

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I would imagine they do more exclusive stuff with Spotify, at least to start. Think the Woodstock, Sonics, and Rewatchables ‘99 on whatever subscription service. The daily ones are way too important to growing the still relatively nascent Ringer brand to make exclusive IMO.
 

PedroKsBambino

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You may need to keep the website/writing in order to keep the podcasters. And, if You are Spotify, you are likely interested in the brand as a way to bring in more content...sports/pop culture sits well next to Gimlet but the real play is building more and more content
 

johnmd20

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I would imagine they do more exclusive stuff with Spotify, at least to start. Think the Woodstock, Sonics, and Rewatchables ‘99 on whatever subscription service. The daily ones are way too important to growing the still relatively nascent Ringer brand to make exclusive IMO.
Except for the Hottest Take, all of those podcasts weren't on Spotify, they were on Luminary. If The Ringer gets purchased, the Podcasts will go behind Spotify's paywall. It might take a little time, but there is no doubt that will be the result.
 

kenneycb

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My point was they would make more Luminary type content exclusively for Spotify but would probably need to keep the other stuff non-exclusive just to keep growing the brand.
 

kenneycb

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You have to figure if Spotify drops 9 figures for The Ringer, the podcasts will only be available to Spotify Premium subscribers.
That doesn’t any make business sense. Spotify is trying to create a non-shitty ad experience for listeners. That requires getting data. Putting things behind a paywall severely hampers that, especially for a podcast brand as popular as the Ringer with two of the three most popular sports podcasts (Simmons and Russillo, with PMT the third). Maybe they make it Spotify exclusive but I can’t imagine them putting Simmons behind a paywall nor can I see Simmons agreeing to that. Biggest question for me is if you can still download things on other podcast apps.
 

Kliq

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Everyone should just have Spotify Premium anyway, best $4.99 I spend every month.
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

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Everyone should just have Spotify Premium anyway, best $4.99 I spend every month.
I was a subscriber for years, but I switched to Apple Music about 6 months ago and went all in on the ecosystem (HomePods, Apple Watch, etc). I just bought a 1 year subscription to Apple Music. This would bring me back to Spotify.
 

johnmd20

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That doesn’t any make business sense. Spotify is trying to create a non-shitty ad experience for listeners. That requires getting data. Putting things behind a paywall severely hampers that, especially for a podcast brand as popular as the Ringer with two of the three most popular sports podcasts (Simmons and Russillo, with PMT the third). Maybe they make it Spotify exclusive but I can’t imagine them putting Simmons behind a paywall nor can I see Simmons agreeing to that. Biggest question for me is if you can still download things on other podcast apps.
That would be like Netflix paying Shonda Rimes to produce content and then letting HBO, Disney+, and Apple TV air the shows she made. It's not how it works.

It makes a TON of business sense, if you're Spotify. I don't think you have an argument. If Spotify buys The Ringer, the podcasts will be a part of Spotify premium and *only* Spotify premium. There is no other possibility. Otherwise, what's the point of buying The Ringer?
 

johnmd20

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Everyone should just have Spotify Premium anyway, best $4.99 I spend every month.
And, yes, Spotify is incredible and it almost feels like stealing for what you get. I pay 10 a month, I guess 4.99 is a student rate. Still, an album costs 10-15 dollars. I get basically every album ever made for 10 a month.
 

Hoya81

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That would be like Netflix paying Shonda Rimes to produce content and then letting HBO, Disney+, and Apple TV air the shows she made. It's not how it works.

It makes a TON of business sense, if you're Spotify. I don't think you have an argument. If Spotify buys The Ringer, the podcasts will be a part of Spotify premium and *only* Spotify premium. There is no other possibility. Otherwise, what's the point of buying The Ringer?
FWIW, when Spotify bought the Gimlet network last year, they still released the ongoing podcasts for free. I think what may happen is that new and recent episodes will still be released for free with ads, but after a time will be moved behind the Spotify wall.
 

johnmd20

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FWIW, when Spotify bought the Gimlet network last year, they still released the ongoing podcasts for free. I think what may happen is that new and recent episodes will still be released for free with ads, but after a time will be moved behind the Spotify wall.
Wow. So they are buying the Podcast companies to drive growth, via the revenue the podcasts generate, and not subscribers? I am a bit surprised. Thanks for the correction.
 

kenneycb

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They’re partly doing it for the users but mainly doing it for advertising. Podcast ads are wholly ineffective compared to other mediums because limited available data makes it near impossible to target with any degree of precision. Spotify wants to start gathering that data to change that and the best way to do that is owning the process soup to nuts.
 

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ifmanis5

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Here comes Ringer Films...
View: https://twitter.com/BillSimmons/status/1220075362412986368

HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons are teaming for a series of documentaries about the music world — taking a similar approach to what Simmons did with sports docs in ESPN's 30 for 30 series.

The six-part series will task six filmmakers with exploring pivotal moments or stretches in an artist's career, iconic albums or larger looks at the music industry. Simmons' Ringer Films will produce, with Simmons serving as executive producer along with Polygram Entertainment and Universal Music Publishing Group executives Jody Gerson and Marc Cimino.
The untitled HBO project is expected to air in 2021. No directors or subjects have been named yet.
 

Kliq

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Bill is definitley going to do a Ken Burns style 10 part series on Yacht Rock.

"Episode Six: Hold The Line"
 

nattysez

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Is this -- "while his employees are begging him to just tell them what the fuck is going on with their company" -- a reference to the potential sale? The rank and file would not be briefed in detail about what's going on with a potential sale at any company, so this criticism seems a bit much.
 
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Kliq

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The Ringer Union sent out a Tweet today about how it has been days since the rumored sale was first reported and they haven't heard anything from management. A bunch of amateur Samuel Gompers on Twitter have been hounding Bill over it.
 

Domer

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The Ringer’s negotiations with Spotify are almost certainly covered by an NDA and I’m sure the Ringer Union knows that too. What are they trying to gain by calling out Simmons publicly on Twitter besides sympathetic tweets from other unionized writers?
 

Spelunker

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The Ringer’s negotiations with Spotify are almost certainly covered by an NDA and I’m sure the Ringer Union knows that too. What are they trying to gain by calling out Simmons publicly on Twitter besides sympathetic tweets from other unionized writers?
Leverage, I'd guess.
 

JCizzle

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The Ringer Union sent out a Tweet today about how it has been days since the rumored sale was first reported and they haven't heard anything from management. A bunch of amateur Samuel Gompers on Twitter have been hounding Bill over it.
These ex-Deadspin guys drive me nuts. Always the snarky, smartest person in the room act even when I agree with basically everything they’re supporting. It's exhausting.
 

johnmd20

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The Ringer Union sent out a Tweet today about how it has been days since the rumored sale was first reported and they haven't heard anything from management. A bunch of amateur Samuel Gompers on Twitter have been hounding Bill over it.
I love how people are like, "The employees need to know what's going on. They should be kept in the loop."

As if any company merger or sale needs to be cleared by and approved by the employees. That's not how it works. And in most cases, it's likely illegal, too, because it's material non public information.
 

tmracht

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Yeah I'm mean it's probably pretty shitty to work in such a close knit group and hear through twitter you're company is being dangled to a bunch of companies. But I don't blame Bill or the Higher Ups around him for not spreading the news either. I've been on in this situation a few times in my career. Once hearing that there is a sale imminent, that were were gonna party, then the next week it fell through and morale sank and people started leaving thinking there job is toast or unstable anyways. Another time I found out after the deal was done and had a week to make arrangements for the transition team.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I think the facts that they’re a pretty small company whose leader/founder is extremely tied to the brand and who, along with the other management figures like Rubin, has a persona as ‘the boss sure but really just one of the crew’ makes this a lot more personal and fraught for everyone involved.

Where I work, 99 percent of employees have no real relationship with the people who would be involved in these kinds of decisions/discussions, so it feels highly impersonal and out of our hands. There’s no illusion that we have a seat at the table.
 

Kliq

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I guess my take is that we the public know very little of the relationship between Ringer management and Ringer staff, in fact I don't even know who counts as management and who counts as staff, outside of Simmons clearly being management. The union sends out one Tweet, and there are suddenly a bunch of armchair labor experts out to paint Simmons and management as corporate tyrants. It is indicative of how quick people are willing to jump onto a narrative before any real information comes out.

The staff could end up being right, and management should be working with them and instead they have been total dicks; but at this point no one outside of The Ringer office really has any idea of what that relationship is like.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Have we heard actual Ringer people complaining about this, or just bitter, jealous people from failed competitors?
 

PedroKsBambino

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Thanks---that's definitely relevant!

I generally agree with those who note that you don't broadly engage employees in these kinds of discussions. But, in a unionized shop and particularly when there's an obvious workforce implication possible I think here one does have to ask what engagement is appropriate. That is a tricky question (NDA, scope of deal, etc.)
 

Silverdude2167

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I have no issue with management not sharing details, but I would hope that once the story broke there were some internal communications about what was happening.

Even just a yes this is ongoing and we are in preliminary stages and will let you know more information when we are able too.

If they have been completely silent that is just bad management.
 

kenneycb

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I'm sure there are ways they can do it from a very high level but I honestly have no idea. Whenever you need lawyers to tell you what you can/cannot say, I think it's reasonable to err on the side of caution.
 

nattysez

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An NDA regarding an acquisition like this is undoubtedly very tight. When there are M&A deals at my company, everyone working on the deal is told not to share any information about the deal with anyone but those working directly on the deal.

An argument could be made that a great manager would address his folks with a statement like, "We're always looking for opportunities to make The Ringer better and bigger. Being acquired by another company would be one way to do that. But informing you of every conversation we have about an acquisition would be like a GM telling the press every time he offers a guy in a trade -- it increases the chances of scaring off your partner and it decreases the possibility of getting the best return possible. So that's where things are."

However, if the expectation is that the acquisition will not result in any short-term personnel changes, then Simmons is not morally or legally obliged to say anything to anyone.
 

Marciano490

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It’s crazy to me Simmons may end up being worth 9 figures.

I’m not a huge fan anymore, but good for him.
 

luckiestman

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Bill can print money right now. He is in the zone. I’m listening to the “re Heat” Rewatchables podcast right now and I thought going in ...how good can this be? I already listened to them talk about Heat once. Well, it’s great.
 

InstaFace

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I love how people are like, "The employees need to know what's going on. They should be kept in the loop."

As if any company merger or sale needs to be cleared by and approved by the employees. That's not how it works. And in most cases, it's likely illegal, too, because it's material non public information.
Doesn't have to work that way. In Germany, for example, unions routinely have a seat on the board or even multiple. Giving them a vote on things and a chance to shape the transaction with their needs in mind. Of course, then it's the union leaders who know (and are under NDA), still not the rank and file. But I'd argue that's a better way to do things than what's typical in the USA - probably leads to better multiples, too, if labor unrest is known to be not a factor.
 

InstaFace

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I'm sure there are ways they can do it from a very high level but I honestly have no idea. Whenever you need lawyers to tell you what you can/cannot say, I think it's reasonable to err on the side of caution.
There's ways to do it if they want to address it at a high level. If both sides' boards agree, the lawyers can craft language that doesn't run afoul of securities laws. It's not hard, but it's something you have to first decide to care about.
 

The Filthy One

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Bill can print money right now. He is in the zone. I’m listening to the “re Heat” Rewatchables podcast right now and I thought going in ...how good can this be? I already listened to them talk about Heat once. Well, it’s great.
Your premise -- that Bill Simmons can get people (including me) to listen to just about anything -- is exactly right, but I was disappointed in the Re-Heat. This is one instance in which I think Simmons and Ryan needed someone with new insights to join them. They've now spent something like 4 hours talking about Heat, and they haven't really gone beneath the surface of what Heat is about. Heat, while obviously a crime drama, is a movie about work, specifically what we sacrifice for work, how work isolates us, and how it affects the people around us. This mostly plays out with the male characters at the center of the story, but even characters like Edie touch on this (she doesn't like LA because she's lonely and finds it hard to meet people, but she's "mostly there for the work"). Justine literally lives in the output of her ex-husband's job (his dead-tech post-modernistic bullshit house). That theme has aged really well in an era in which most of us carry around a means to "stay connected" to work 24/7. It's a shame they didn't explore it all.

Anyway, rant over. This is a longwinded way of saying "why didn't they ask me to take part?" ;)

Edited to add: And who doesn't know that Haysbert's boss at the diner is Bud Cort, from Harold and Maude?!
 
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luckiestman

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Your premise -- that Bill Simmons can get people (including me) to listen to just about anything -- is exactly right, but I was disappointed in the Re-Heat. This is one instance in which I think Simmons and Ryan needed someone with new insights to join them. They've now spent something like 4 hours talking about Heat, and they haven't really gone beneath the surface of what Heat is about. Heat, while obviously a crime drama, is a movie about work, specifically what we sacrifice for work, how work isolates us, and how it affects the people around us. This mostly plays out with the male characters at the center of the story, but even characters like Edie touch on this (she doesn't like LA because she's lonely and finds it hard to meet people, but she's "mostly there for the work"). Justine literally lives in the output of her ex-husband's job (his dead-tech post-modernistic bullshit house). That theme has aged really well in an era in which most of us carry around a means to "stay connected" to work 24/7. It's a shame they didn't explore it all.

Anyway, rant over. This is a longwinded way of saying "why didn't they ask me to take part?" ;)

Edited to add: And who doesn't know that Haysbert's boss at the diner is Bud Cort, from Harold and Maude?!

That’s for “The Three-Heat”; contact them with these insights. (Actually you don’t have to, those Ringer fucks read this forum, I’m almost certain of it”