Spotify Taking Prince Harry, Meghan's Podcast ‘Into Its Own Hands’ to ‘Squeeze’ Out More Content

© AP Photo / Evan AgostiniPrince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, left, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex speak at Global Citizen Live in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in New York.
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, left, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex speak at Global Citizen Live in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in New York. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.01.2022
In January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle scandalously announced they planned to “step back” as senior royals to balance their lives between the UK, Canada, and the United States, and become independent. They have since signed some lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify.
Streaming giant Spotify is set to entrust Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's rumoured £18 million podcast to in-house producers after failing to elicit more than a solitary episode from the couple, reported The Sun.
"Spotify has been waiting a long time for some content from Harry and Meghan and now it appears they have finally taken matters into their own hands. Hiring a raft of in-house talent on Spotify’s side will ensure they finally squeeze something out of them as they bid to honour their contract," a source was cited as saying.
Currently, Spotify is recruiting staff to work with the podcast-focused production company Archewell Audio in Los Angeles, first announced by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in late 2020.
The upcoming show will feature "the voices of high profile women,” according to an advert for a senior producer role at Gimlet Projects, Spotify's production team.
"We’re currently assembling a show team that will build and launch a new original show with Archewell featuring the voices of high profile women. The ideal candidate has experience working with high-profile talent, and an interest in the intersection of social activism and popular culture,” reads the advert.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who stepped away from senior royal duties in 2020 to move to the United States and become financially independent, struck a well-paid deal with Spotify to produce a series of podcasts set to “build community through shared experiences."
“What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction. With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are,” Harry and Meghan had said in a statement on 15 December 2020.
The couple hired podcast producer Rebecca Sanaes as their “head of audio” and on 29 December, the "2020 Archewell Audio Holiday Special" was released featuring “a special collection of inspiration, reflection, and perspective from guests around the world." However, after appearances by stars such as Sir Elton John, English actor, comedian and singer James Corden, and Japan’s tennis celebrity Naomi Osaka, the podcast fell silent.
Spotify has reportedly been "mystified" as to why the royals have failed to churn out any more content, according to the outlet.
In this Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, file photo, Britain's Prince Harry arrives in the gardens of Buckingham Palace in London.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.12.2021
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Furthermore, a media lawyer last month speculated to The Express that Prince Harry and Markle might not rake in the reported £18 million ($24,23 million) from their deal with Spotify. Ian Penman, who specialises in music streaming contracts, was cited as saying:
"It would not be an unfair assumption that perhaps their popularity was not as great as maybe they or indeed Spotify initially felt. I think you could draw a conclusion that if [Spotify] haven't exercised the option on the next episode of the podcast, then maybe they did not have the popularity that either Meghan and Harry expected or indeed Spotify anticipated."
There has not been any official comment on the report from either Spotify or Archewell.
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