A recent announcement has revealed the termination of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s multi-million dollar podcast deal with Spotify. The couple, who signed a three-year contract with the streaming platform, produced only 13 episodes before the split. While the news garnered attention worldwide, it was met with criticism from a Spotify executive who labeled the Sussexes as “grifters.” This development sheds light on the challenges faced by both parties and the shifting dynamics within the podcasting industry.
The Spotify Executive’s Critique:
Bill Simmons, head of podcast innovation and monetization at Spotify, publicly condemned Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on his podcast shortly after the split was announced. Simmons, who had previously expressed his disdain for the British Prince, referred to the couple as “f–king grifters” and expressed his regret at not being involved in the negotiation process. His remarks reflected a long-standing dissatisfaction with being affiliated with Harry and highlighted his skepticism regarding their contributions.
Reasons Behind the Split:
The termination of the podcast deal came as a surprise to many. Although Archewell Audio, the couple’s content creation label, confirmed the split and acknowledged the mutual agreement, it was reported that the Sussexes had not met the productivity benchmarks required to receive the full payout from the deal. This revelation aligned with Spotify’s decision to scale back its podcasting ambitions and focus on profitable ventures. CEO Daniel Ek stated that future content deals would be approached diligently, with underperforming projects not being renewed.
Archetypes Podcast Success:
Despite the premature end of the Archetypes podcast, hosted by Meghan Markle, it enjoyed considerable success during its airing from August to November 2022. The show, which aimed to challenge societal labels imposed on women, featured notable guests such as Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, Mindy Kaling, and Paris Hilton. Archetypes topped Spotify’s podcast charts during its premiere week, gained critical acclaim for its compelling content, and even won a People’s Choice Award for pop podcast of 2022. Markle’s hosting skills were also recognized with a Gracie Award for top entertainment podcast host.
Archewell Audio Seeks a New Platform:
Although Spotify decided not to continue the Archetypes podcast, Archewell Audio is actively seeking a new platform for its content. A representative from the talent agency William Morris Endeavor (WME), which recently signed Markle, confirmed that she is working on developing more content for the Archetypes audience. This indicates the couple’s commitment to delivering engaging and thought-provoking material beyond their collaboration with Spotify.
The Lucrative Ventures of the Sussexes:
The podcast deal with Spotify was just one of many lucrative content projects the Sussexes embarked upon following their departure from the Royal Family in 2020. Their endeavors include a four-book deal with Penguin Random House and a reported $100 million contract with Netflix. Their Netflix documentary, “Harry & Meghan,” shattered viewership records, while Prince Harry’s memoir, “Spare,” became the fastest-selling nonfiction book of all time.
The end of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s podcast deal with Spotify has sparked debate and raised questions about their partnership and the podcasting industry’s challenges. While criticism from a Spotify executive reflects a clash of perspectives, the success of the Archetypes podcast demonstrates the couple’s ability to engage audiences. As they seek new platforms for their content, it remains to be seen what exciting projects the Sussexes will bring forth in the future and how their ventures will continue to shape the media landscape. Moreover, the termination of the Spotify deal serves as a reminder of the ever-evolving nature of the media industry and the need for continuous adaptation and innovation to remain relevant and successful.