Spotify executive doesn't hold back when criticising Harry and Meghan’s cancelled podcast

Spotify executive doesn't hold back when criticising Harry and Meghan’s cancelled podcast
Duchess Meghan's Archetypes podcast won't be renewed as Spotify deal ends
Bang Showbiz/VideoElephant

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s venture into the world of media production – after stepping back from royal duties in 2020 – has suffered a pretty big setback now that their company, Archewell Audio, has mutually cut ties with streaming giant Spotify and ended their $25m partnership.

And some strong words from the platform’s head of podcast innovation and monetisation on Friday didn’t exactly help, either.

As a recap, it was announced this week that the deal ended after just one series of Meghan’s podcast Archetypes was released on Spotify – which saw the actor interview the likes of tennis star Serena Williams, singer Mariah Carey and comedian Trevor Noah.

The twelve episodes – released between August and November - sought to “investigate, dissect and subvert the labels that try to hold women back”.

The series won a People’s Choice Award last year, but that wasn’t enough to see it renewed for a second series, with the Wall Street Journal citing insiders who claim the couple failed to meet the benchmark of productivity required to receive their full payout agreed back in 2020.

A joint statement released by both Spotify and Archewell Audio read: “[We] have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together.”

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However, comments made by one podcaster – who also happens to be a leading executive at Spotify – have offered a possible insight into some of the feelings behind the scenes.

On his own podcast, creatively titled The Bill Simmons Podcast, Bill Simmons said he wished he had been involved in negotiations between Spotify and the Sussexes.

“’The F***ing Grifters’, that’s the podcast we should have launched with them.

“I gotta get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It’s one of my best stories,” he said.

For now, at least, said Zoom call remains under wraps, but it’s yet more hassle being thrown in the direction of the duke – who’s currently dealing with a court case against the publisher of the Daily Mirror over alleged phone hacking (which the company denies).

Claiming the tabloid press played a “destructive role” in his growing up, the prince told the court: “More than thousands, maybe millions of articles have been written about me since age 12 … because it’s 20 years ago, I simply cannot speculate how I was and whether I saw these articles at the time.

“Unfortunately, stories that I’ve only shared with one or two people within my inner circle, ends up front page of a newspaper or any page, your circle of friends starts to shrink and diminish rather rapidly.”

The trial continues…

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