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2:00 PM ET, February 5, 2020


 Top News: 
Peter Kafka / Vox:
Spotify will buy The Ringer, the podcast-centric media company run and owned by Bill Simmons, and plans to hire Simmons and his approximately 90 employees  —  The Ringer CEO Bill Simmons in 2015 |  Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair  —  It's the fourth podcast deal Spotify has done in a year.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Spotify reports Q4 revenue of $2B, up 24% YoY; 271M total MAUs, up 31% YoY, as paying users rise 29% YoY to 124M; 16% of its MAUs engage with podcast content  —  Streaming music now accounts for more than 80% of all music consumption in key markets like the US, and one of the big leaders in the field is reaping some of the rewards.
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: DOJ reached out to more than a dozen publishers, ad agencies, and ad tech rivals of Google as its online ad tools become a focus of antitrust probe  —  Antitrust enforcers have reached out to more than a dozen publishers, ad tech rivals and ad agencies
Kayleigh Barber / Digiday:
Verizon Media launches a new, millennial-focused personal finance site called Cashay  —  Verizon Media is launching on Wednesday a new personal finance site for Generation Z and millennials called Cashay.  —  The site will feature a mixture of content, including original stories …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Disney says Disney+ will roll out to Western Europe in March and India on March 29 through Hotstar; Disney plans to launch Hulu internationally as soon as 2021  —  Hulu will finally expand outside of the U.S., likely as soon as next year.  This tidbit of news was confirmed by Disney Chairman …
Emily McCormick / Yahoo Finance:
Disney beats analyst expectations for Q1, reporting $20.86B in Q1 revenue, up 36% YoY, 26.5M subscribers for Disney+, and 30.4M for Hulu, up 33% YoY
Kaitlan Collins / CNN:
President Trump awarded Rush Limbaugh with the Medal of Freedom during Tuesday's State of the Union  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday in an unprecedented move during the State of the Union address.
Kevin Roose / New York Times:
Source says The Epoch Times has spent more than $1M on YouTube ads, with its spending increasing sharply in the months after Facebook's August ban on its ads  —  The paper, started by practitioners of Falun Gong, has turned to the video platform for an advertising blitz.
Esther Kezia Thorpe / What's New in Publishing:
Bauer tests bundled app subscriptions with Bikes Unlimited, an app that includes all six of Bauer UK's motorcycle titles, for £7.99 a month or £89.99 per year  —  Digital magazine apps have had a hard time over the past decade.  Promises of rich multimedia iPad editions fell flat …
Discussion: @estherkeziat
Sources: Instagram generated ~$20B in advertising revenue in 2019, making up more than a quarter of Facebook's revenue  —  - Unit brought in about $20 billion in 2019, people familiar say  — Photo-sharing app has gained in importance since 2012 purchase
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 More News: 
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
UK government launches a public consultation on proposals to stop prosecuting people for non-payment of the license fee
 Earlier Picks: 
Christine Sun Kim / New York Times:
Fox failed to show the full American Sign Language performance of the national anthem at the Super Bowl on TV or online, making it inaccessible for the deaf