Spotify ends its podcast deal with Harry and Meghan

The company did not renew Meghan’s 'Archetypes' podcast, which ran for 12 episodes.

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Spotify and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they’ve “mutually decided to part ways,” ending a deal for Harry and Meghan to produce podcasts for the company. The agreement, which the two sides reached in 2020, was said to be worth $25 million.

Meghan hosted a podcast called Archetypes. It sought to confront female stereotypes through conversations between Meghan and the likes of Serena Williams and Mariah Carey. The show ran for 12 episodes last year and it was the only podcast that the couple’s Archewell Audio business made for Spotify.

While Spotify and Archewell Audio said they were “proud of the series we made together” and the show won a People’s Choice Award, the former has opted not to renew Archetypes. Meghan is “continuing to develop more content for the Archetypes audience on another platform,” an Archewell spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal.

The Spotify deal was one of the major commercial agreements Harry and Meghan struck after giving up their royal duties. The couple sought media deals in the hope of becoming financially independent but have seen mixed results. Netflix canceled an animated show created by Meghan before production was complete, but a docuseries on the couple hit the streaming service late last year. Harry & Meghan quickly became one of Netflix’s most-watched documentaries.

Meanwhile, Spotify recently shifted its podcast strategy. Earlier this month, it laid off 200 people from its podcast teams and merged Gimlet Media and Parcast into a new division, Spotify Studios. The company will continue to produce some original podcasts via Spotify Studios and The Ringer. However, it appears to be more focused on expanding deals with high-profile podcasters from around the world (like Joe Rogan and Call Her Daddy host Alex Cooper) and supporting amateur creators in the space through tools such as Anchor.

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