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The lucrative deal Prince Harry and Meghan Markle inked with Spotify in 2020 is over. Nearly three years and one Archetypes podcast later the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the platform have opted to “part ways.” Now more than ever, Harry and Meghan need certain “people” around them, according to a commentator. 

Spotify executives comment on the end of the Harry and Meghan deal

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's, whose Spotify deal end signals a need for 'criticial' friends, according to a commentator, look on
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Archewell and Spotify are no more after the listening platform, as well as Harry and Meghan, confirmed they’d “mutually” decided to “part ways” in a June 15 statement.

In the aftermath, multiple executives from Spotify, both current and former, have spoken out on the dissolution of the partnership that resulted in Meghan’s Archetypes podcast and a one-off 2020 holiday special

Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, admitted the company’s been “overpaying and overinvesting” and is now re-evaluating how “content deals” are done. 

“We’re going to be very diligent in how we invest in future content deals,” Ek said (via BBC). “And the ones that aren’t performing, obviously, we won’t renew. And the ones that are performing, we will obviously look at those on a case-by-case basis on the relative value.”

Meanwhile, Spotify exec Bill Simmons described Harry and Meghan as “f****** grifters” in the June 16 episode of his eponymous podcast. 

“I wish I had been involved in the Meghan and Harry leave Spotify negotiation,” Simmons, Spotify’s head of podcast innovation and monetization, said. ‘The F****** Grifters,’ that’s the podcast we should have launched with them.”

“I gotta get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry, trying to help him with a podcast idea,” he continued, calling it “one of my best stories.”

Meanwhile, Will Page, Spotify’s former chief economist, told Britain’s Radio 4 the Duke and Duchess of Sussex out-earned the platform’s most-streamed song. 

“I don’t know the figures in terms of audience, but I did a quick bit of maths before coming on your show,” Page told The World Tonight (via Newsweek). 

“The reported £18m that they walked out with meant that Harry and Meghan earned more than ‘Blinding Lights,’” Page continued. By The Weeknd, “Blinding Lights” is “the most streamed song ever on Spotify.” It’s “not bad for 12 weeks work,” Page concluded. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘need critical friends’ to ‘challenge them’ after Spotify deal ‘failure’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who need 'critical friends' after end of Spotify deal, look on
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/WireImage

What Harry and Meghan need right now isn’t necessarily a reputational boost. According to PR consultant Mark Borkowski, people who are honest with them could prove invaluable at this stage.

“They need good people,” the Improperganda author said (via Newsweek). “Above all, they need critical friends. They need someone to challenge them and hold the truth out.”

“I don’t get a feeling that they’ve got that in their camp,” Borkowski added. “It is their way or nobody’s way from what I’ve been hearing. And I think this leads to a disastrous inconsistency. To be successful in this world, you have to be consistent.”

Were Harry and Meghan to move forward after the end of their Spotify deal without making changes, it could prove detrimental: “They’re going to completely find themselves on the snake rather than the ladder in this global game of snakes and ladders of fame and reputation.”

Meghan Markle is working on content for fans of her ‘Archetypes’ podcast

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Archetypes wrapped in November 2022 after 12 episodes featuring interviews with Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, Mindy Kaling, and more. Afterward, questions were raised regarding what’s next for the podcast

However, Spotify and the couple deciding to “part ways” seemingly put an end to the podcast’s future. Or did it? It seems Archetypes may live on, with the possibility of new episodes not being entirely out of the question. 

A rep for Meghan’s new talent agency, WME, told The Wall Street Journal shortly before the June 15 announcement not only is “the team behind” Archetypes “proud of the podcast they created at Spotify” but also that “Meghan is continuing to develop more content for the ‘Archetypes’ audience on another platform.”