Spotify Exec Slams Harry and Meghan: 'F--- Them'

Bill Simmons calls royal couple 'grifters' after Spotify deal falls through
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
Updated Jun 19, 2023 10:05 AM CDT
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Leave Spotify
FILE - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave after a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral in London, Friday, June 3, 2022.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool, File)
UPDATE Jun 19, 2023 10:05 AM CDT

The joint statement that announced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's $20 million deal with Spotify is kaput noted the entities were "proud of the series we made together." Now, new comments from a top Spotify exec suggest things may have been a little more ... tense. "The Fucking Grifters. That's the podcast we should have launched with them," Bill Simmons, Spotify's head of podcast innovation and monetization, said on his own podcast Friday, per the Guardian. "I have 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." Simmons then added, "F--- them," before repeating the "grifters" insult. The Independent says Simmons' rant is "no surprise," as he'd gone off on Harry in January. "Shoot this guy to the sun," Simmons said at the time. "Who cares about your life? You weren't even the favorite son."

Jun 16, 2023 12:30 AM CDT

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are breaking up with Spotify. Markle hosted the Archetypes podcast on the streaming service as part of a $20 million deal the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made with Spotify in 2020, but the podcast isn't getting a second season, Deadline reports. "Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together," the two entities say in a joint statement. Sources say the Sussexes are, per Deadline, "rethinking their deals to find better homes and partnerships for content" and that Archetypes could be re-launched elsewhere. It was the only podcast to come out of the deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, and its sources say Harry and Meghan won't receive the full payout since they didn't meet "productivity benchmarks."

The Journal calls the series' cancellation "a sign of the continuing correction in the podcast market," as the shows are popular with listeners but difficult to monetize for streaming services. Spotify has seen significant revenue losses even as monthly users increase, and it has laid off a significant percentage of its staffers this year. The company also, per the Journal, "announced a revamped approach to podcasting that includes making shows available on platforms outside Spotify and a shift to focus on offering creator tools to podcasters rather than making original content." Markle's talent agency says she "is continuing to develop more content for the Archetypes audience on another platform." (More Prince Harry stories.)

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