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Unhappy with content output

Meghan signed the $20-million deal in 2020. The Archetypes podcast launched two years later with the goal of using the platform to have conversations that “investigate, dissect and subvert the labels that try to hold women back.” Episodes featured celebrity guests like Mariah Carey, Serena Williams and Mindy Kaling.

But after releasing just 12 episodes (plus one special), Archetypes hasn’t released any new content in almost a year. That’s even after the show won a People’s Choice Award in December for “Podcast of 2022.”

And the one series is all that was produced for the platform. That’s where Simmons, head of podcast innovation and monetization for Spotify, takes issue. He believes the company should have ended the deal ages ago due to the limited amount of content produced.

“‘The F—ing Grifters’ — that’s the podcast we should have launched with them,” Simmons said on his own podcast. “I have got to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help hone in the podcast idea. It’s one of my best stories.”

Simmons’ opinion certainly carries some weight at Spotify. He was picked up by the company back in 2020 when he sold his show “The Ringer” for $196 million. He was then given an executive role to help monetize the streaming service.

But his stance on this appears to be influenced by factors beyond straightforward business matters. Back in early 2022, Simmons said on his podcast that he was “so tired” of Prince Harry in reference to the royal's then-upcoming memoir Spare, as well as the Netflix documentary on Harry and Meghan.

“I’m so tired of this guy. What does he bring to the table?” he said. “You just sell documentaries and podcasts and nobody cares what you have to say about anything unless you talk about the royal family, and you just complain about them.”

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The couple brings followers

Simmons may have a point that the podcast’s output might have been thin, but it’s certainly not true “nobody cares what [the couple has] to say about anything.”

Whether millions of eager consumers find the couple equally aggravating, they’re still tuning in or shelling out for each new project in droves.

The couple’s Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan came in as the second-highest ranked documentary by the company of all time. During the fourth quarter earnings report, Netflix management revealed that the company gained 7.7 millions subscribers during the period the documentary was released.

This came at a time when Netflix had increased its monthly fee.

Spare also came out of the gate strong, with Prince Harry’s memoir becoming the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time, earning it a place in the Guiness Book of World Records.

So while Simmons and perhaps the rest of Spotify may feel jilted, it’s clear consumers are still hungry for Harry and Meghan content. Whatever the couple's next project may be, it seems primed to attract a big following — and a big payday for everyone involved in the deal.

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About the Author

Amy Legate-Wolfe

Amy Legate-Wolfe

Freelance contributor

Amy Legate-Wolfe is an experienced personal finance writer and journalist. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Toronto, a Freelance Writing Certificate in Journalism from the University of Toronto Schools, and a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University. Amy has worked for Huffington Post, CTVNews.ca, CBC, Motley Fool Canada, and Financial Post. She is skilled at analyzing trends and creating content for digital and print platforms. In her free time, Amy enjoys reading and watching British dramas on BritBox. She is a mother and dog-mom to a Wheaten Terrier.

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