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Bill Simmons. Photo: Mike Windle / Staff/Getty Images

Spotify disclosed in an SEC filing Wednesday that it is paying up to $196 million for The Ringer, a sports media company founded by former ESPN personality Bill Simmons.

Why it matters: It's a solid payout for The Ringer, which was created just four years ago. The Ringer's podcast revenues surpassed $15 million in 2018, and the company says it's profitable.

Details: Spotify said it entered a deal with The Ringer to pay between €130 million and €180 million (roughly $140 million and $196 million), subject to closing costs as well as deferred payments.

  • The deferred payments are based on contingencies, like performance and whether executives from The Ringer stay with Spotify after the deal closes for an unknown period of time.

The big picture: The acquisition speaks to Spotify's massive investment in podcasting over the past year, as the company aims to expand its offering solely from music to audio, including podcasts.

  • Spotify spent nearly $400 million to acquire podcast companies last year, after committing to spending at least $500 million on podcasting at the beginning of that year. This acquisition means Spotify has exceeded its upfront commitment.

Go deeper: Spotify acquires Bill Simmons' "The Ringer" to boost podcast business

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.