This morning (Aug. 18), WWE announced a new partnership designed to raise their profile in the booming podcast business. The company’s content will move to Spotify, as part of a new network created with Bill Simmons’ The Ringer.
WWE’s been producing podcasts from The New Day, Corey Graves, and others for a while now. It sounds like those will continue, but become Spotify exclusives. In addition to those, The Ringer’s existing wrestling show will be re-branded for the new network. Offerings will expand to include a new show from The Bump’s Evan Mack, and a Simmons-produced show which focuses on big moments from WWE’s past.
Live recordings from SummerSlam this weekend in Las Vegas will kick off the new partnership.
Here’s the press release:
The Ringer and WWE Launch Exclusive Audio Network
Spotify Becomes Exclusive Home for WWE Podcasts
Partnership Kicks Off this Week at SummerSlam with Live Recordings from MGM Grand in Las Vegas
NEW YORK and STAMFORD, Conn. (August 18, 2021) – The Ringer, a Spotify Studio (NYSE: SPOT), and WWE (NYSE: WWE) will launch an exclusive audio network as part of a multi-year audio content partnership, the companies announced today. As part of the deal, The Ringer and WWE will also collaborate to develop new, original audio content exclusively for the Spotify platform and Ringer website. In addition, existing WWE audio programming, which offers a unique look at the world of WWE both in the ring and beyond, will become available exclusively on Spotify.
The Ringer will be expanding its existing wrestling coverage. The current feed for the The Masked Man Show hosted by David Shoemaker and Kaz, will rebrand to The Ringer Wrestling Show and will continue on that feed, alongside new programming from WWE personalities. Together, The Ringer and WWE will collaborate on new original podcast series, including a series from WWE personality Evan Mack, MackMania, and a narrative series produced by Bill Simmons. Utilizing Spotify Greenroom, hosts will be going live after every major WWE pay-per-view event with the final rooms becoming podcasts for The Ringer Wrestling Show.
To kick off the partnership, The Ringer will be on-site in Las Vegas leading into WWE’s biggest event of 2021, SummerSlam, taking place this Saturday, August 21. This includes new episodes of The Ringer Wrestling Show with David Shoemaker, Evan Mack making his Ringer debut, and Spotify Greenroom live conversations. On site, there will be a co-branded footprint in the MGM Grand where fans will have the chance to get free Ringer/WWE SummerSlam merch and a photo opportunity.
“The Ringer is the premier destination for sports fandom, and WWE has used amazing storytelling and iconic characters to establish a global audience of loyal and passionate fans, making this partnership a perfect match,” said Bill Simmons, Founder of The Ringer. “As a lifelong WWE fan, I couldn’t be more excited to work with them to take a fresh perspective on their most iconic moments and superstars, and leverage Spotify’s global scale to share content that we believe everyone will enjoy.”
“Bill and his team at The Ringer consistently find ways to create premium content that drives conversation and appeals to fans of sports, entertainment and pop culture,” said Nick Khan, WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer. “We believe this collaboration will deliver a podcast slate that excites existing fans while also introducing WWE content to the millions of Spotify listeners.”
In 2020, Spotify acquired The Ringer, a leading creator of sports, entertainment and pop culture content founded by Bill Simmons in 2016. With The Ringer-WWE partnership, Spotify continues to deliver against its goal to become the world’s leading audio platform. Today, Spotify is the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with a community of more than 365 million Monthly Active Users and 165 million Premium Subscribers. With a presence in 178 markets, and 2.9 million podcast titles, it has transformed the way people access and enjoy music and podcasts.
WWE has a substantial social reach with more than 1 billion social media followers across all platforms. After returning to live event touring in July, SummerSlam will take place from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas this Saturday, August 21, marking the first time the annual event has been held at an NFL stadium. The event will stream live at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.
Gonna give the new network & its shows a listen?