Harry and Meghan: Spotify ends podcast deal with couple

Source: BBC

Spotify has ended its lucrative deal with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the couple to produce podcasts.

A joint statement from Harry and Meghan’s company and the streaming giant said they had “mutually agreed to part ways”.

Spotify confirmed it was not renewing Meghan’s podcast Archetypes, which ran for 12 episodes from August 2022, for a second series.

The contract was estimated to be worth $25m (£18m) in late 2020.

The podcast deal was one of the major commercial agreements the couple entered into after quitting royal duties and relocating to the US in 2020.

When it was announced in late 2020, the prince said it would “bring forward different perspectives and voices that perhaps you haven’t heard before”.

Archetypes saw Meghan speak to high-profile figures like Serena Williams and Mariah Carey about stereotypes levelled against women.

A statement from Spotify and Archewell Audio, the couple’s content creation label, said they were “proud of the series we made together”.

In December, Archetypes won the top podcast award at the People’s Choice Award in Los Angeles.

At the time, Meghan wrote: “I loved digging my hands into the process, sitting up late at night in bed, working on the writing and creative.

“And I loved digging deep into meaningful conversation with my diverse and inspiring guests, laughing and learning with them. It has been such a labour of love.”

The Wall Street Journal quoted an Archewell spokeswoman as saying Meghan was “continuing to develop more content for the Archetypes audience on another platform”.

When the agreement with Spotify was first announced, it was billed as a relationship which would produce several series – but in the end, only one materialised.

American media reports suggest the royal couple failed to meet the productivity benchmark required by Spotify, and therefore wouldn’t be receiving the full value of the contract.

Since splitting from the royal family, Harry and Meghan have looked to capitalise on their global fame in order to become financially independent.

That has included a multi-million dollar content deal with Netflix, and Harry’s huge contract with Penguin Books, which has already produced his autobiography Spare.

It follows Spotify’s announcement last week that it was cutting 200 jobs in its podcast division after a period of heavy investment in the medium, saying it was embarking on a “strategic realignment”.

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