Spotify has reportedly terminated a lucrative contract with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s production company, citing “not enough viewers” for Meghan Markle’s podcast.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Spotify would not renew its three-year, $20m (£15.6m) deal with Archewell Audio.
Under the terms of the 2020 deal, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have agreed to produce and host “programs that will uplift and entertain audiences around the world” in the form of podcasts championing diverse voices.
The first of these is prototype, a 12-part series hosted by Markle. Guests on the People’s Choice Award-winning show included Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, Paris Hilton, Mindy Kaling, Constance Wu and more.
Less than a year after launch, the audio streaming company and Archewell Audio announced that they had “agreed to part ways and are proud of the series they created together.”
according to BBCSpotify’s decision to cut ties with Archewell Audio dates back to a Q1 earnings call this year when CEO Daniel Ek was asked about renewing contracts with billionaires.
Under the leadership of former Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff, Spotify signs exclusive content deals with celebrities including Joe Rogan, Dax Shepard, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Alex Cooper spent $1 billion on
Ostroff stepped down from his role at Spotify in January amid a company-wide layoff that affected 600 people.
When asked about renewing a high-priced celebrity podcast deal signed under Ostroff’s leadership in April, Ek said: do it.
“We will be very committed to how we invest in content deals in the future. We’ll look at the case “relative value,” added the 40-year-old chief executive.
UK crisis communications expert Mark Volkowski commented on the likely reason for Spotify ending its partnership with Archewell Audio, saying:
“If you can’t pay the bills, no one will pay the bills,” he added.
On Friday (June 16th) wall street journal reported, citing an insider familiar with the matter, that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “are not meeting the productivity standards required to receive the full amount from their contracts.”
Meghan has only aired 12 episodes so far prototype Ever since she and Harry partnered with Spotify.
By contrast, Joe Rogan, who has become the world’s highest-earning podcaster after Spotify signed a $200 million deal for exclusive rights to his show, releases three to four episodes. Joe Rogan Experience every week.
Each episode runs for 1-3 hours.
In June, Spotify announced it would lay off another 2% of its employees, or 200 people, from its podcasting division.
At the time, the company also announced its latest strategy for the business, including partnering with low-cost third-party creators and promoting investment in “always-on” programming.
Max Wilkens, a senior analyst at market research firm Insider Intelligence, suggested that Spotify’s decision to ditch Archewell Audio was a result of trying to assess “what’s a good investment.”
“They were big, big deals meant to generate buzz and grab headlines, and they did it,” he said. “Whether they made good financial sense in the long run is another matter.”
in a statement to wall street journalA spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan’s Archwell Productions said Meghan will continue to “develop more content.” prototype viewers on another platform”.
After the deal was reportedly broken, Spotify’s top executive, Bill Simmons, criticized Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, calling them “fucking scammers.”
“Fucking grifters, that’s the podcast we should start with them,” he said.
“I got drunk one night and had a Zoom talk with Harry and thought I’d help Harry with an idea for a podcast. It’s one of my best stories,” Simmons said on his podcast recently. said in an episode of
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family in 2020 and moved to Montecito, California.
Shortly thereafter, in September 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle signed a multi-year $100 million deal with Netflix to produce various types of content, including documentaries, documentary series, feature films and children’s shows. reportedly signed a contract with .
A two-part documentary will be released in January 2023. Harry and Megan Released by the streaming giant.
The termination of the deal with Spotify coincides with Prince Harry’s legal battles on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Duke recently became the first royal to be cross-examined in a British court since Queen Victoria’s eldest son testified in 1891 alleging he cheated at a card game.
The Duke, who appeared before the High Court last week, was held in the witness stand for nearly eight hours after accusing Miller Group newspapers of using phone hacking and other illegal information-gathering tactics to publish a total of 147 articles about the Duke. .
Harry’s memoirs in America spare It has sparked a dispute between the US government and conservative groups trying to find out whether he disclosed his past drug use when applying for a visa.
Additional coverage by the Press Association