Spotify, the leading audio streaming platform, announced today that it will not renew its exclusive podcasting deal with Archewell Audio, the production company founded by Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. The deal, which was signed in December 2020, was reportedly worth $25 million and gave Spotify the rights to distribute Archewell Audio’s podcasts globally.
The only podcast that Archewell Audio produced under the deal was “Archetypes”, a series hosted by Meghan that explored the stereotypes and labels that women face in society. The show featured guests such as Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, and Paris Hilton, and was a hit with listeners, reaching number one on Spotify’s charts in several countries. The first and only season of “Archetypes” consisted of 10 episodes and ended in November 2022.
According to a joint statement from Spotify and Archewell Audio, the decision to part ways was mutual and amicable. “Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together,” the statement read. A representative from WME, the talent agency that Meghan signed with earlier this year, told the Wall Street Journal that Meghan is continuing to develop more content for the “Archetypes” audience on another platform.
The end of the Spotify deal is the latest twist in Prince Harry and Meghan’s media ventures, which have been marked by both successes and setbacks. The couple, who stepped back from their royal duties in 2020 and moved to California, have also signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce documentaries, feature films, scripted shows, and children’s programming. However, their first Netflix project, a docuseries about the Invictus Games, has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prince Harry and Meghan have also been involved in some controversies over their media appearances. In March 2021, they gave a bombshell interview to Oprah Winfrey, in which they made several allegations against the royal family, including racism and lack of support. The interview sparked a global media frenzy and drew mixed reactions from the public. In June 2021, Prince Harry also faced criticism for his comments on the First Amendment during an appearance on Dax Shepard’s podcast “Armchair Expert”.
Despite these challenges, Prince Harry and Meghan have also used their media platforms to advocate for causes they care about, such as mental health, racial justice, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. They have also launched their own charitable foundation, Archewell, which aims to “uplift and unite communities through compassion”. The foundation has partnered with several organizations to support various initiatives, such as providing relief for India’s Covid-19 crisis, building community centers for women in the US and UK, and promoting vaccine equity around the world.