Updated June 16, 2023 at 10:19am EDT
Spotify has ended the podcasting deal with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the two announced Thursday, with only one season of Markle’s podcast “Archetype” being produced, and Spotify restructuring its podcast division to cut headcount. The two announced that they had ended their multi-million dollar partnership after it led to . at the company earlier this month.
Spotify, Prince Harry and Markle’s audio production company, Archwell Audio, said in a statement that the two sides “agreed to part ways and are proud of the series they created together.”
Prince Harry and Markle, known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, originally signed a deal with Spotify in December 2020, a deal the company says will “raise an underrated voice.”
As a result of the podcasting deal, Markle will have only one podcast series, The Archetype, which will air for one season beginning in August 2022, featuring Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, Mindy Kaling, Paris Hilton, Trevor Noah, and more. An interview with a guest was broadcast.
Archetypes became the top podcast on Spotify after its debut and won a People’s Choice Award in December, citing sources. variety Spotify said it expects more content from the podcast deal.
Other sources cited variety Prince Harry and Markle want to “find a new home” for audio content, a representative for Markle’s talent agency WME told the paper. wall street journal The Duchess of Sussex “continues to develop more content for archetype audiences on different platforms.”
The announcement comes days after Spotify said it would lay off about 200 people as it restructured its podcasting division, according to people familiar with the matter. variety He said the termination of Prince Harry’s contract with Markle had nothing to do with the restructuring.
About $20 million. The podcasting deal with Archewell Audio and Spotify is worth it, according to the company. journal. According to industry insiders, the exact figures are unknown. forbes It was previously valued at $15 million to nearly $18 million, with other reports putting it at as high as $25 million. Sources cited by the paper said the Sussexes had failed to meet the “productivity standards” required to receive the full amount from the contract by the time the contract ended. journal.
Spotify ended another high-profile podcasting deal with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s media company Higher Ground in April 2022. variety At the time, Spotify said it had refused to renew its contract, and the Obamas reportedly wanted the content not to be exclusive to the platform. Higher Ground then signed a new deal with Audible.
The Sussexes stepped down as active members of the royal family in early 2020 and moved to California following continued conflicts with the palace and concerns about their privacy. The Spotify deal is part of a broader pivot to media content in the couple’s post-royal life, including a $100 million deal with Netflix and the publication of Prince Harry’s controversial memoir. It was spare. Archewell’s termination of Spotify’s deal comes at a time when the podcasting industry is facing a moment of liquidation as a result of growing interest, with chartr data released in February showing that the number of new podcasts has increased over the past year. It turns out that the number has decreased by 80% compared to the previous two years. According to Insider Intelligence, podcast audiences in the US will only grow by 5% in 2022. Spotify’s latest layoffs come after the company previously canceled 10 original podcasts in October 2022 and laid off a reported 38 podcast employees in the same month.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle terminate podcast deal with Spotify (Wall Street Journal)
Meghan Markle’s podcast ‘Archetype’ overtakes Joe Rogan for top spot on Spotify (Forbes)
Here’s what we know about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s $135 million deal (Forbes)
How Much Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Worth? Surprisingly Not That Much (Forbes)
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