The Ringer

Marciano490

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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?!
This is one of the best things I’ve ever read.
 

johnmd20

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It is unbelievable what Simmons has done in the last 5 years. I guess getting canned by ESPN was the best thing that happened to him.
 

johnmd20

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First Barstool and now the Ringer. Turns out you can make money on the web, if you are excellent at podcasts.
 

kenneycb

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Curious what this means from Spotify's POV as a multimedia company. They're already trying to own podcasts / non-shitty podcast advertising and this is another step in that direction, but this gives them a strong brand in the digital media/reporting arm and a nascent video arm.
 

The Social Chair

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I wonder how long Simmons is contractually obligated to stay at The Ringer now. This deal is pretty worthless without him. Chris Ryan seems pretty valuable too.
 

luckiestman

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I wonder how long Simmons is contractually obligated to stay at The Ringer now. This deal is pretty worthless without him. Chris Ryan seems pretty valuable too.
Spotify has to know this so he must be getting his compensation in ways that mean he is incentivized to stay...one would think
 

B H Kim

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Gimlet podcasts are still available in third party podcast apps. I hope that will be true of Ringer podcasts going forward. None of the Ringer podcasts are so important to me that I’m going to subscribe to Spotify or use the Spotify app to play them.
 

johnmd20

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Spotify has to know this so he must be getting his compensation in ways that mean he is incentivized to stay...one would think
One would have to assume Simmons is getting a chunk of Spotify stock, (possibly restricted stock and maybe stock options, too) as part of this deal. And a contract to work there for a certain amount of years. I wonder if the key employees (Ryan, Rubin, Jason C) will be getting some options, too? Probably.
 

kenneycb

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Spotify had about 2B Euros in revenue last year. Assuming the acquisition is in the ballpark of the $250M, that roughly translates to 225 Euros, so a little over 10% of revenue. Given that, I assume the acquisition is material enough to have to disclose. The press release says it's expected to get done sometime in Q1, so it's likely a waiting game to figure out the finer details via the always easy to read SEC filings.
 

The Gray Eagle

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NYT also reporting.
View: https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1225061309164802048

Spotify announced that it will buy The Ringer, the popular website and podcast network created by Bill Simmons, a former ESPN commentator and sports personality https://nyti.ms/2umUhxl
Are we still doing phrasing? The way they wrote that-- not “a sports personality and a former ESPN commentator” but the other way around-- makes it sound like he’s also a former sports personality. Which, depending on your opinion...
 

nattysez

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So this'll (eventually) be the end of Ringer podcasts being available on other surfaces, right? This is akin to Howard Stern moving to SXM.
 

Hoya81

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As I understand, Spotify hasn’t paywalled episodes from the other networks they’ve purchased as of yet. Eventually I think they move episodes more than a few months old behind the premium tier. I know the Earwolf pod network (How Did This Get Made?, Comedy Bang Bang) does this already, episodes more than 6 months old are only on Stitcher Premium.
 

luckiestman

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So this'll (eventually) be the end of Ringer podcasts being available on other surfaces, right? This is akin to Howard Stern moving to SXM.
Doesn't have to mean that. It could mean that. Couldhave Spotify specific content while some of the existing are used to generate ad revenue and push subscriptions via advertising
 

kenneycb

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Yeah I would assume the stuff about Woodstock '99, the Sonics, Rewatchables '99, and the like would exclusively be on Spotify while a lot of the others bring in large enough audiences where it makes sense for them not to be exclusive.
 

Mooch

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So this'll (eventually) be the end of Ringer podcasts being available on other surfaces, right? This is akin to Howard Stern moving to SXM.
Not necessarily. Approximately 70% of all podcasts are hosted on the Apple platform so Spotify wouldn't want to restrict The Ringer's audience base by siloing it to Spotify alone. They can digitally insert ads regardless of where people listen so there's not a ton of sense in firewalling all Ringer content like that. That said, will there be more "Rewatchable 1999" subscriber-only content available? I'd imagine so. But Podcasting is still an advertiser driven medium from a revenue standpoint so I think you'll see a lot of status quo for the most popular Ringer pods.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Good for him. I know there's a bunch of haters here, but let's face it: this guy has done an amazing job buiding a brand and then (after leaving ESPN) building an independent company that is beyond any credible question hugely successful. Whether or not one likes his writing or his podcasting interview style or his message board posting approach (and there's plenty in there to question or not enjoy) he has changed, developed, and evolved at a level very few in the media ever do.
 
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Mooch

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To clarify my statement (original was typed during a conference call) - 70% of all podcast listening comes via Apple's platform.
 

nattysez

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Good for him. I know there's a bunch of haters here, but let's face it: this guy has done an amazing job buiding a brand and then (after leaving ESPN) building an independent company that is beyond any credible question hugely successful. Whether or not one likes his writing or his podcasting interview style or his message board posting approach (and there's plenty in there to question or not enjoy) he has changed, developed, and evolved at a level very few in the media ever do.
Not to mention having the balls and foresight to lean into podcasts after ESPN told him they couldn't be properly monetized. He's made some excellent business calls over the years.
 

tbb345

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Good for him. I know there's a bunch of haters here, but let's face it: this guy has done an amazing job buiding a brand and then (after leaving ESPN) building an independent company that is beyond any credible question hugely successful. Whether or not one likes his writing or his podcasting interview style or his message board posting approach (and there's plenty in there to question or not enjoy) he has changed, developed, and evolved at a level very few in the media ever do.
Agree with this 100%. I'm pretty much off the Simmons train completely (I'm 30 and considered him somewhat a hero up until about 5 years ago. At this point, I think his podcasts are aggravatingly stupid). But regardless of that, you have to give him a ton of credit for what he did with Grantland and The Ringer. Congratulations to him and the entire staff
 
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As I understand, Spotify hasn’t paywalled episodes from the other networks they’ve purchased as of yet. Eventually I think they move episodes more than a few months old behind the premium tier. I know the Earwolf pod network (How Did This Get Made?, Comedy Bang Bang) does this already, episodes more than 6 months old are only on Stitcher Premium.
this would be a problem for me since I am still listening to October 2016 episodes...
 

Mooch

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For those of you who have been following his family story since the middle of last year: Kevin O'Connor just announced on Twitter that his Dad passed away yesterday.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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That was quick: just saw a new podcast on The Ringer that had a preview up. "Music Exists" with Chuck Klosterman and Chris Ryan, exclusively on Spotify. Looks like the difference with the Broken Record podcast (to name a popular one), is that they will be topical about the "music experience" featuring talk of various artists and the show won't be a focused one-on-one type interview with a musician or band.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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They announced their first Spotify-exclusive podcast today (other than the short one from months ago). Ryan and Klosterman on music.
 

nattysez

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So Bill likely pulls in $100M personally. Damn. Good for him.
Is that sourced? Keeping more than a 50% share in the company while taking outside investment and presumably paying some top contributors in equity would be pretty impressive.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Really enjoyable run down memory lane from Haley O'Shaughnessy's latest column, in the the vein of "what the hell were these GMs/owners thinking?" Also made me sad that Rick Pitino could not be termed a flameout since the Celtics let him run the team for THREE PLUS years.

This was my favorite entry:

Quinn Buckner, 1993-94 Mavericks
Record: 13-69
Buckner played in the NBA for 10 seasons from 1976 to 1986, but came to Dallas with no previous coaching experience when owner Donald Carter hired him. Later, Carter said that Buckner had “burned bridges” with his players because he gave terrible advice. Buckner was unusually upbeat about the entire thing: “We had a great run. It was fun.” Sixty-nine losses is Nice, but it’s not fun.


What happened next? Buckner never coached again. He also, thankfully, never wrote an advice column.
 

johnmd20

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Vision Quest rewatchables was one of the best ever. Multiple laugh out loud moments and they covered the movie quite well. Loved it.

Note, they cover this in the pod but that movie has some really weird moments. And some perfectly epic moments, too. The 80s, man.
 

luckiestman

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Kilborn is on Russillo. It is damn funny. I know some didn’t like him on Simmons (I loved it) so pass if you don’t like him, but if you like him at all, this is spectacular.
 

Sir Lancelotti

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Vision Quest rewatchables was one of the best ever. Multiple laugh out loud moments and they covered the movie quite well. Loved it.

Note, they cover this in the pod but that movie has some really weird moments. And some perfectly epic moments, too. The 80s, man.
Russillo's riff on Modine doing the lat pulldowns and how cinematic prison weightlifters don't lift heavy enough to be intimidating had me doubled over in the office. I've seen VQ, but I'm at the point where Rewatchables is must listen even if i haven't seen the movie. One of the best pods out there, and i feel like they have been getting better now that there is a loose structure in place to guide the conversation.
 

luckiestman

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Russillo's riff on Modine doing the lat pulldowns and how cinematic prison weightlifters don't lift heavy enough to be intimidating had me doubled over in the office. I've seen VQ, but I'm at the point where Rewatchables is must listen even if i haven't seen the movie. One of the best pods out there, and i feel like they have been getting better now that there is a loose structure in place to guide the conversation.
If you like Russillo, he is in all his glory with Kilborn. I’ve never heard him so happy.
 

JCizzle

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Kilborn is on Russillo. It is damn funny. I know some didn’t like him on Simmons (I loved it) so pass if you don’t like him, but if you like him at all, this is spectacular.
Russillo is the best. He was a great hire for them.
 

kenneycb

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FYI Vision a Quest is streaming for free on Vudu. As was King of New York as of a couple weeks ago.

I’m trying to watch a bunch of the movies now before listening to the pod. Figure it makes it that much more entertaining.
 

jmcc5400

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Russillo is the best. He was a great hire for them.
It was such a throw away, but he cracked me up during the Dwight Howard "Book of Basketball" podcast. Simmons and House rail on the unoriginality of Howard's Superman schtick and they start rattling off other superheroes he could have claimed and Rusillo slips in something along the lines of "there's the guys from Alpha Flight, I don't think anyone's taken them. . . " He's great - particularly with Bill.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I do like the idea of the "flawed" rewatchables, it allows them to review classic movies after acknowledging the elephant in the room. For Vision Quest it was sexual assault, maybe some other ones are racist/sexist stereotypes, a supposedly realistic plot with obvious holes, etc. Like "this had the makings of a good movie overall, but this one aspect of it is really F'ed up."