Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have announced another high-profile split.The couple’s lucrative deal to produce podcasts for Spotify has come to an end, both parties revealed Thursday.“Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together,” the audio streaming giant and the production company launched by the Sussexes said in a joint statement.The development comes after the couple produced just one series, “Archetypes,” a podcast launched in August 2022 and hosted by Meghan that sought to “investigate, dissect, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back,” under their Archewell Audio podcast imprint.
A representative for Spotify said the decision meant that Meghan’s “Archetypes” podcast would not be renewed for a second season, as was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.The representative confirmed reporting that executives with both companies had previously discussed a second season of “Archetypes” given the first season’s success, but producers of the show have been told that a second will not move forward.Representatives for Harry and Meghan did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.”Archetypes” saw celebrities including Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, Mindy Kaling, Constance Wu, Jameela Jamil and Paris Hilton featured. In December, “Archetypes” also won the top podcast award at the People’s Choice Award in Los Angeles.
Calling the podcast a “labour of love,” Meghan had written on the Archewell website at the time of how much she “loved digging my hands into the process, sitting up late at night in bed, working on the writing and creative.”“And I loved digging deep into meaningful conversation with my diverse and inspiring guests, laughing and learning with them,” she said.The royals’ deal with Spotify was reported to have been made in 2020 for a reported $20 million. NBC News was not immediately able to verify that figure.The Spotify spokesperson did not confirm the cost of the deal, but said that recent layoffs at the company had “no relation” to the decision to end the deal with Harry and Meghan.
When their deal with Spotify was first announced, Harry and Meghan had written in a joint statement: “What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction.”“With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are,” they said, in an apparent reference to the difficulties brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may live in California, but the power of their voices rests in their status as citizens of the world,” Dawn Ostroff, then Spotify’s Chief Content and Advertising Business Officer had said in a news release at the time.“We are proud to partner with The Duke and Duchess and look forward to listeners hearing directly from them and the other creators that they will be elevating via our global platform,” Ostroff had said.