Spotify Drops Duchess of Sussex's 'Archetypes' Podcast: Prince Harry & Meghan's Podcasting Deal Ends

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/16/2023
After a highly-successful 2.5-year partnership, the streaming giant has parted ways with Archewell Audio - the audio production firm founded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. In a joint statement, the companies happily confirmed that they "mutually chose to part ways and are proud of the content we created together." While early reports suggested that the WSJ's Archetypes wouldn't return for a second season, no details have been shared on the future of the streaming deal overall.

Sources have revealed that despite negotiations for a second season months ago, the producers of the show were recently informed of its termination. The show had tackled the issue of restrictive labels placed on women.
While the Sussexes had agreed to a total of roughly $20 million from a deal made with Spotify at the end of 2020, they only produced a podcast under the arrangement. According to insiders, the couple failed to meet production standards required to receive full compensation for the program.
This decision is indicative of the current corrective pressure in the podcast market, a favored listening format that has posed profitability challenges to Spotify and other streaming services.

The Archetypes team is still delighted with the podcast they produced for Spotify. According to a spokesperson from WME, the talent agency that recently hired Markle, Meghan is creating additional content for the Archetypes audience on a separate platform.
Sources have revealed that there are ongoing discussions about potential new hosts for Archewell material.
Last week, Spotify laid off around 200 employees including numerous audio engineers. The company announced a new podcast strategy which involves extending episodes to other platforms and shifting the focus from producing original content to providing creation tools for podcasters.
"Archetypes" ranked highest in Spotify's most-listened-to podcasts during its debut week. It featured famous guests such as comedian Mindy Kaling and Trevor Noah, singer Mariah Carey, tennis star Serena Williams, and media personality Paris Hilton.

After the success of the debut season, Spotify and Archewell allegedly explored the prospect of a second season of "Archetypes". However, weeks turned into months, and those discussions showed no progress. It was only recently when Spotify informed the production crew of "Archetypes" that they would not be producing a second season.

Before abdicating their royal titles and moving to the USA in 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex secured content agreements with Netflix and Spotify. Last year, the streaming giant released the "Harry & Meghan" docuseries, featuring the couple discussing their relationship and the circumstances surrounding their break from the royal family.

Harry's autobiography, "Spare," which he published earlier this year, included details of the prince's life in the royal family, including learning about his mother's passing and having abrasive conversations with his father and brother about how his wife was handled in the media.

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