Meghan and Harry say goodbye to Spotify. After one season of their podcast "Archetypes" with the streaming provider, it's over again. The two announced this in a joint statement on Thursday evening. The separation was amicable. Bill Simmons, who heads Spotify's podcast innovation and monetization department, has now commented on the choice. He doesn't mince his words. In his "The Bill Simmons Podcast" he left no doubt about what he thinks of Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry.
"'The damn rip-offs'. This is the podcast we should have done with them," he ranted. Simmons said he had to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom call he had with Harry to help him with a podcast idea — "it's one of my best stories." It has been known since January at the latest that Simmons not only does not think much of Prince Harry, but extremely little. "Shoot that guy in the sun... I'm so sick of that guy," he said at the time. And asked: "What does he bring to the table? He just whines and gives interviews all the time. Who cares? Who cares about your life? You weren't even the favorite son."
The deal between Spotify and Meghan and Harry became public in late 2020. Allegedly, the couple should receive almost 23 million euros from the company for a multi-year collaboration. Then, in August 2022, the first episode of the Archetypes podcast was released, and it took two days to top the leaderboards in the US, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and even the UK. The euphoria of the fans did not last long. The podcast soon lost popularity, and in November alone it slipped to number 77 on the US podcast charts, the "DailyMail" reported. The supposed Spotify coup developed more and more into a million dollar grave.
12 episodes, lasting about an hour on average, were delivered by Meghan and Harry before the podcast was scrapped. Criticism had already been raised as to whether the podcast was worth the millions. When it was recently announced that the streaming provider would lay off around 200 employees, some media even made a connection to "Archetypes". The New York Post surmised that the cuts show "that the company is not getting the results it hoped for in the podcast space — despite pouring billions of dollars into Markle and Joe Rogan's podcasts on its platform." It was also reported that Spotify would not pay out the full million dollar amount because the couple fell short of productivity targets.
In fact, the deal with Meghan and Harry was part of Spotify's expansion plan in broadcasting. However, that doesn't seem to have caught on as hoped at the time. Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff had already left the company in January, and in June Spotify also announced a strategic realignment in the podcast segment. In any case, Markle seems to want to stick to "Archetypes". As an Archewell spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal, Meghan will "continue to create content for the Archetypes audience on another platform."
Quelle: Variety, Manager Magazin, People, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Holr Magazine, New York Post, Forbes