Spotify has defended the lucrative podcasting deal it struck with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, saying the results will “benefit everyone”, The Telegraph reports.
In December, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their multi-year partnership with the streaming website to produce podcasts through their audio-first production company Archewell Audio.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry signed their deal with Spotify in 2020.
While the dollar amount of the deal has not been revealed, it’s believed to be worth around $32 million an issue Spotify has now been taken to task over.
The Telegraph reports the issue was raised during a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing in the UK.
Musicians have spoken of the “paltry” royalties they receive from the platform for their work while the Sussexes are paid millions, the publication explains.
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Appearing in the committee hearing, Spotify’s head of global affairs and chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez did not confirm the price tag on the royal couple’s deal.
However, he said they were considered “box office” talent and suggested the output of the Archewell Audio podcast would benefit Spotify and the artists whose work it hosts.
“There is clear evidence that having podcast offerings on the service benefits music consumption, so on the whole there’s a virtuous cycle that occurs,” he said.
“Archewell Audio will produce programming that uplifts and entertains audiences around the world,” the website states.
The Archewell website explains Harry and Meghan’s podcast aimed to “build community through shared experiences, powerful narratives, and universal values”.
“Archewell Audio will produce programming that uplifts and entertains audiences around the world,” it states.
“Under an exclusive partnership, Archewell Audio will join Spotify and their global reach … to spotlight diverse perspectives and voices.”
The Sussexes released the first episode of the podcast, a ‘Holiday Special’, in December.
The landing page of the Archewell website.
Royal commentator Katie Nicholl told 9Honey it was unlikely the public would ever learn how much the couple were paid for their Spotify deal.
“Of course they’re aware that all of these commercial deals will lead to allegations they’re cashing in on their royal connections,” she said.
“It’s going to be a big deal, it’s going to be big money for them because it’s Spotify it’s like Netflix, they’ve gone for the two big giants of TV and Audio, it’s a very clever move.”
Earlier this week, the couple made a brief appearance in Spotify’s virtual Stream On event, saying they hoped to “drive powerful conversations” with their podcast.
“We are using podcasting to drive powerful conversations,” the duchess began, with Harry continuing, “That inspire, challenge and educate.”
“We created Archewell Audio to make sure that we elevate voices that maybe aren’t being heard, and to hear people’s stories,” Meghan added.
“The biggest part of this is trying to create this community of where you can share, and encourage others to share their stories in a safe space,” Harry concluded the message.
It was the couple’s first public appearance since the news they were expecting their second child, and the confirmation they would not return as working royals.
This story originally appeared in Nine Honey and is republished with permission.