Spotify CEO Dishes On The Collapse Of Meghan Markle’s Failed $20 Million Podcast Deal

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The CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, has opened up on the termination of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's podcast deal.

He suggested the contract wasn't renewed because the podcast failed to make consumers happy. Another Spotify exec, Bill Simmons, previously called the couple "F------ grifters."

Their podcast had 12 episodes and high-profile guests like Serena Williams and Mariah Carey. Despite losing the podcast, Meghan still tried to file a trademark, which has been rejected. 

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Daniel Ek, the co-founder and CEO of Spotify, recently granted an interview with BBC News. During the chat, he gave a rare insight into why Meghan Markle's podcast was terminated and admitted that some of his streaming company's innovative ideas didn't work out according to plan.

Ek noted, "We thought we can come in and offer a great experience that both makes consumers very happy and allows new creators new avenues."

He continued: "And the truth of the matter is some of it has worked, some of it hasn't. We're learning from those, and we are moving on, and we wish all of the ones we didn't renew with the best of success they can have going forward."

Daniel Ek at the 2018 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

Ek isn't the only Spotify exec to comment on the podcast deal, as Bill Simmons, Head of Podcast Innovation and Monetization, addressed the collapse. 

In an episode of his podcast, Simmons slammed Harry and Meghan, saying, "The f------- grifters. That's the podcast we should have launched with them."

He added, "I've got to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It's one of my best stories."

Harry and Meghan never publicly commented on the end of their multi-million dollar Spotify deal.

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Spotify Podcast Deal 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In June, news broke that the Duchess of Sussex's $20 million Spotify podcast deal would not be renewed for a second season. 

At the time, reports claimed that Prince Harry and Meghan's Archewell company had made a "mutual" decision with Spotify not to continue with the podcast.

According to Daily Mail, sources close to the deal have since revealed that it was terminated because Harry and Meghan failed to produce enough content for their total payout.

The couple's podcast was one of several casualties from the streaming giant, as they also ended their deal with former President Barack and Michelle Obama's production company.

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Tried To Trademark The Podcast

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After the collapse of the Spotify deal, Harry and Meghan tried to trademark the podcast name "Archetypes." However, reports from late September confirmed that Meghan had withdrawn her application to the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The trademark application was first rejected in January this year because of the "likelihood of confusion" with other trademarks currently existing with the same name.

Meghan's "Archetypes" podcast had 12 episodes in total and featured high-profile guests like Serena Williams, Issa Rae, and Paris Hilton. The aim of the podcast was to "examine and subvert the labels that seek to limit women." 

During its brief run, "Archetypes" took home the People's Choice Award for Pop Podcast of 2022.

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Are Still Going Strong

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walking and smiling

Despite losing their Spotify deal, Harry and Meghan still have a mega-million contract with Netflix. They are also working on their first major Hollywood project for the streaming giant.

The royal couple acquired the film production rights for a best-selling romance book, "Meet Me At The Lake," by former journalist Carley Fortune.

The storyline and characters from the novel are allegedly very similar to the Duke and Duchess's experiences together. It also features multiple "steamy sex scenes" and "drug use" and is set in Canada, the same city Meghan lived in when she met Harry.

"Meet Me At The Lake" is the latest project from their partnership with Netflix. They signed the agreement about six months after resigning as senior royals from the British royal family and moving with their kids to California.

The Royal couple recently put on a heavy display of flirting and public affection at the Invictus Games in September. It was their first official public outing as a couple since May when Meghan received a Women of Vision Award in New York.