- author, Natalie Sherman
- role, New York Business Reporter
When Spotify struck an exclusive deal with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2020, said to be worth around $20 million (about £15.6 million), the royal couple were taking their first steps into the world of commerce and podcasts were just booming. It has become.
On the same day, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the brand would use less gel on some people’s eyes, and Spotify reduced its reliance on big-name celebrity signatures and expensive original content to squeeze revenue.
Meghan Markle’s podcast, which became one of the most high-profile victims of the week, announced that Spotify and the Duke and Duchess of Urshwell would come to a mutual decision.
It comes after Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company’s deal with Spotify ended last year.
Spotify has laid off hundreds of staff since then, hitting its sprawling podcasting division, a hodgepodge of podcasting companies it acquired for another $400 million just a few years ago.
In a conference call with financial analysts earlier this year, Spotify’s chief executive Daniel Ek said the company has an additional $1 billion in spending to establish itself as a major player in the industry in 2019. In it, he agreed that the company had made several mistakes.
“It is natural to criticize overpayments and overinvestments,” he said.
“We will be very diligent about how we invest in future content deals,” he added. “And the ones that don’t perform well, of course, we’re not going to update.”
“And if it performs well, it is clear that we will look at performance on a case-by-case basis based on relative value.”
Spotify is clearly still unhappy with the expensive partnership. Last year, the e-bin will reportedly receive $200 million in 2020 for resisting calls to cut ties with controversial star Joe Rogan, giving exclusive rights to streamers. .
However, Oga Logan’s show does offer several multi-hour episodes each week and is said to average 11 million pipo viewership.
In contrast, Meghan aired just 12 episodes of the Archetype podcast last year.
In a joint statement announcing their split, the Sussexes and Spotify said they were “proud” of the music they created together.
And some accolades show why.
Archetypes’ first shoe topped the Spotify charts in six markets last year, including the US and UK. “The Day Show,” in which Meghan interviews celebrities including Serena Williams, Mariah Carey and Mindy Kaling, also won a People’s Choice Award.
But crisis communications guru Mark Volkowski said the show was never compelling enough when Spotify reviewed the numbers.
“It’s always about content, obviously enough content for the audience,” he said. “If you’re not fit to pay the bill, no one is going to pay.”
Borkowski said there is little doubt that the Duke and Duchess still have value as media brands. But it may not be what it used to be.
Earlier this year, a Newsweek poll suggested that the couple’s popularity in the United States had waned following the electrifying publicity of the Netflix documentary series and the publication of Harry’s memoir Spare. The Newsweek headline reads, “As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Talk More, Americans’ Favorability Declines.”
Oga Borkowski said the couple, who are stepping down as royals in 2020, will have to “think hard” about what they can offer in whatever they do next.
“It’s one thread that’s been pulled from the brand,” he said of Spotify’s breakup. “If they want to stop unraveling the case, they will think hard.
The biggest question is whether they will learn from setbacks or simply ignore them. ”
A Hollywood talent agency representative told The Wall Street Journal this week on behalf of the duchess.
“Meghan continues to develop more content for archetype audiences on other platforms.”
Insider Intelligence senior analyst Max Willens said Spotify was the only tech giant to spend big on talent deals in recent years, failing to deliver on the promises implied in its money-making mandate. ing.
Rising economic sentiment and falling stock prices put an end to turbulent days last year.
But as Spotify’s stock continues to grow users, and investors welcome Oga Ek’s promise to continue to focus on “efficiency,” the podcast catalog jumps to more than 5 million people, and 90 this year. increased by nearly a percent.
In announcing the “next stage” of its podcasting business earlier this month, the company said it would invest more in “always-on” programming while hiring low-cost third-party creators.
“The platforms we entered [podcasting] Guts took some time to realize if this Wechin was a good investment,” said Ogre Willens. She claims that the decision to part ways with Spotify is “an understandable and natural part of the data process.”
“Big deals are painstakingly designed to generate buzz and garner headlines, but they haven’t achieved that. Whether they have the long-term economic sense is another matter. “