The Sussexes have separated from Spotify, Deadline has confirmed.
As part of their reported $20M deal with Spotify, inked back in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had the podcast Archetypes, which the latter hosted. The podcast, which explored labels that held women back, and touted such guests as Trevor Noah, Mariah Carey, Mindy Kaling and Serena Williams, won’t be getting a second season despite talks.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are rethinking their deals to find better homes and partnerships for content. There’s also a chance that Archetypes could wind up elsewhere, we hear. At the end of April, the Duchess of Sussex signed with WME with the agency also repping Archewell, her content creation label with Prince Harry. Building the duo’s film and TV production, brand partnerships and overall businesses is the priority at WME. Markle’s team at WME includes Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and brand rep Brad Slater.
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Out of the gate, Archetypes launched at the top of Spotify’s charts last August, and notched a People’s Choice Award and was also No. 1 internationally when the podcast debuted.
The news today comes as Spotify has hit hard times. Last week, they laid off 200 employees, notably audio engineers, with podcasting being a deficit when juxtaposed with their music streaming service. The cuts followed a larger staff reduction earlier this year when 6% of their total workforce (then at 9,800) were shown the door. One big exit was TV vet and former Condé Nast Entertainment Dawn Ostroff who was key at Spotify in signing pricey and prolific talent deals. During her tenure, Spotify shelled out more than $1 billion acquiring podcast assets and locking up exclusive deals with such talent as Joe Rogan and Dax Shepard. At the end of April, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said that the streaming audio corp was going to be “very diligent” in assessing future investments in podcasting as several of the company’s rich talent deals come up for renewal.
Despite adding a reported 83M monthly users worldwide last year, Spotify saw losses mushroom by 10x with a net loss of $470M U.S. off revenues of $12.8 billion.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the news of the Sussexes exit from Spotify.
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