Does the air come out of Harry and Meghan’s content balloon?

In early 2021, then Prince Harry And Meghan Markle He sat down to get a bomb opera Interviewed on the heels of megawatt deals with Netflix and Spotify, it seemed the spitball-wielding royals were about to become media machines in their own right. “They’ve reached a whole new audience that can’t wait to see what happens next,” the veteran royal historian said Tina Brown he told me at the time. Media analyst Rich Greenfield He echoed that sentiment, saying, “I think it just goes to show, whatever their profile was before in the US and globally, it’s clearly a lot bigger now.” A Hollywood source agreed, saying, “I think the appeal of the crossover – meets Black Lives Matter the crown– It’s an amazing opportunity.

Just over two years later, it’s fair to say the jury is still out. Yes, Harry published a huge, deceptive memoir of sales figures with nobody’s help A-List Ghostwriter, earning himself the kind of journalistic rhetoric most authors would kill for. Yes, the Sussex family’s drama-packed biographical documentary series was released last December by Netflix Highest recorded documentary appearancegiving tens of millions of viewers something to love and hate as they close in 2022. But now, anyone who might have been expecting Harry and Meghan’s full variety of content under the auspices of Archewell Productions has probably tempered their expectations.

A wave of air rushed out of the airship last week when it was announced that Harry/Meghan and Spotify had “mutually agreed” to bail out the $20 million partnership they completed in 2020. You can hand it back to Spotify’s big reorganization as it grapples with a broader market correction in the space. High dollar podcasts. But press reports about the split haven’t quite worked in Harry and Meghan’s favor.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Sources indicated That Spotify has not renewed Megan models podcast, of which there are only 12 episodes to date, and that the couple did not meet the production criteria required to receive the full return from the deal. Podnews audio industry briefing mentioned that “some of the interviews on the show were conducted by other staff, with (Meghan’s) questions edited out afterwards.” (A source familiar with the Archewell deals said Meghan did all of the primary guest interviews, such as those with Maria Carys And Mindy Kalings From the world; Interviews with secondary voices for certain episodes were handled by a producer, which is not an unprecedented practice.) A former Spotify executive, reacting to the notion that Harry and Meghan are making more money from Spotify than the company’s most-streamed song of all time, says: notice for BBC Radio 4, “Not bad for 12 hours of work.” (I told Harry and Meghan about pitching concepts and acquisitions that Spotify hadn’t moved forward with; the Obamas, as I reported earlier, shared similar frustrations before they left Spotify for Audible. Reached for comment, reps for Spotify and Archewell reiterated the earlier announcement of a mutual parting.)

The most brutal autopsy came from a current Spotify CEO, podcasting star and founder of Ringer. Bill Simmons, who is also the Head of Podcast Innovation and Monetization at Spotify. “I wish I had been involved in the ‘Meghan and Harry leaving Spotify’ negotiations,” Simmons said He said on his podcast for days. “The dreaded abyss. This is the podcast we should have shot with them. I gotta have a drink one night and tell the story of the zoom I got with Harry to try and help him with the podcast idea. It’s one of my best stories… Damn them. The handymen.”

Simmons’ comments were so spicy that daily Mail Pull it out in a parking garage near the executives’ offices in downtown Los Angeles. Filmed entering an elevator while juggling a business call, Simmons had no further comment for the intrepid. mail Reporter recording their interaction. (He also has not responded to an email from me.) But it goes without saying that the mail, Currently in the middle of a A high-stakes legal battle With Harry, he eats it all: Spotify exec Bill Simmons look For the first time since he publicly called Harry and Meghan “f***ing grifters”; Meghan Markle Accused From fake interviews to banned Spotify podcast “; “Why the Harry and Meghan brand can come collapsed. And so on and so on.

The end of the Sussex trial on Spotify has of course sparked speculation about the future of Harry and Meghan’s $100m deal with Netflix. the sunUnited States website He says It is unlikely that the deal will be renewed, with one source noting, “The feeling is that the lemons have been fully squeezed.” Of course that was only weeks ago the sunUK Newsroom Proposal Harry and Meghan are set to produce more “behind the cameras” content for Netflix now that their “tell-all” period is over – when there’s nothing left to say, in the words of the “insider”. which is? “The Netflix deal is in better shape than it’s ever been,” according to my source familiar with the Archewell deals, who said Harry’s Invictus heart The documentary is set to be released later this summer, and that there are “several projects in development that have not been announced that are of interest to all parties.” (Wanted warning: Anything can happen.)

To be fair to Harry and Meghan, their haters are many and the schadenfreude runs. It’s also not like they’re swaying without representation capable of negotiating future contracts. Conversely, Megan & Archwell’s productions, as of April, represented by WME, the talent powerhouse who will now explore “film and television productions, brand partnerships and overall business building” with the Sussexes, according to diverse. In response to the Spotify news, a representative of WME Tell the magazine, Megan continues to develop more content for models The audience is on another platform.” (WME had nothing to add.)

However, the $100 million question remains: Does the world really want more content from Harry and Meghan, let alone content that isn’t about them? I found one possible answer to this question in a Tuesday column from Watchman‘s Marina Hyde. “Experience and assessments continue to reveal that, as far as the Sussex is concerned, people want to watch them complain about their lives and their treatment by the Royal Family,” she wrote. “It’s the only genre where Meghan and Harry really attract eyeballs — which, given they’re literally the only people in it, still feels like they’re in control of it.”

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