Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Part Ways with Spotify After 1 Season of 'Archetypes' Podcast

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle no longer have a podcast deal with Spotify.

via THR:

In a joint statement, representatives for Spotify and Archewell said the two have “mutually agreed to part ways” and are “proud” of Archetypes, the podcast hosted by the Duchess of Sussex that served as the first and only series released as part of Archewell’s podcast deal with Spotify.

Archewell retains the IP rights to the Archetypes podcast and existing episodes of the series will remain on Spotify, according to a Spotify spokesperson, but it’s not immediately clear if Archewell plans to release those episodes wide on all major podcast platforms.

The end of the Spotify–Archewell relationship was announced late on Thursday after the Wall Street Journal first reported earlier in the day, and The Hollywood Reporter confirmed, that the audio company did not renew Archetypes for a second season.

Prior to Spotify and Archewell jointly announcing the end of their relationship, a representative for WME, which represents Markle and Archewell, had told the WSJ that the Duchess was “continuing to develop more content for the Archetypes audience on another platform.”

Archetypes premiered last August and featured guests like Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, Mindy Kaling, Constance Wu, Paris Hilton, Issa Rae and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez across its 12-episode first season. The series also had the highest first-week streams at launch for a podcast in the U.S., according to last year’s Spotify Wrapped list.

The podcast was released as part of Archewell’s multiyear exclusive dealwith Spotify, which was first announced in late 2020. In the years since then, the partnership has resulted in just the one season of Archetypes and a holiday special released in December 2020, around the time of the deal announcement.

The end of the partnership was in part due to Archewell’s low output of content, given that Spotify typically requires multiple series or multiple episodes of a show released on a regular basis for its exclusive podcast deals, a person with knowledge of the matter told THR.

Archewell is the latest high-profile podcast departure for Spotify, which ushered in a short-lived era of high spending for podcast deals beginning in 2019 as the company sought to expand its podcasting business. But as the market has slowed and Spotify has faced pressure to turn a profit on its audio business, the company has pulled back on its audio spending and has become more judicious with its expensive talent deals over the past year.

Other creators and studios whose deals have lapsed or have otherwise exited to other companies include Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground, Brené Brown and Esther Perel. Jemele Hill’s exclusive deal with Spotify is also expected to end later this summer.

Earlier this month, Spotify cut around 200 jobs in its podcast division and merged its in-house studios Gimlet and Parcast into a single brand, Spotify Studios.

We’re sure they’ll find a new podcast home in no time — if they haven’t already.

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