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Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan’s deal with Spotify to end

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are parting ways with Spotify. The royal couple’s high-profile – and lucrative – deal to produce podcasts for the streaming giant is coming to an end, Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Audio and Spotify confirmed in a joint statement to USA TODAY Friday.

“Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together,” the statement says. No reason was given for the split.

The move comes three years after the deal with Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, was announced, and less than a year after the former Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes” podcast began.

They released their first digital audio program under their Spotify deal in December 2020, a royal holiday special featuring celebrity guests – and their son, then-infant Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, saying his first recorded words.

Meghan’s “Archetypes” was billed as “a podcast where we investigate, dissect, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back,” according to its Spotify description.

“I’ll have conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape our narratives,” Meghan said in a teaser for the show. “And I’ll talk to historians to understand how we even got here in the first place.”

The Duchess of Sussex released 13 episodes where she interviewed celebrities including Mariah Carey, Paris Hilton and Serena Williams about stereotypes like “the bimbo” and “the angry Black woman.”

The series topped Spotify charts in seven countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., and won the top podcast award at the People’s Choice awards last year. “Archetypes” was the only series Harry and Meghan released with the streaming platform.

Tech companies have been cutting costs in a rough economic environment and Spotify has not been immune. Six months after announcing that it would cut 6% of its global workforce, or about 600 jobs, Spotify said last week that it was trimming another 200 jobs.

The company said at the time that it would be combining podcast networks Parcast and Gimlet into its Spotify Studios operation.

In 2020, the royal couple also signed a multiyear deal with Netflix to produce scripted series, docuseries, documentaries, features and children’s programming.

According to the joint announcement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and chief content officer of Netflix, the focus of the couple’s company will be on creating “a wide range of programs about stories and issues that resonate with them personally, including highlighting issues that their non-profit Archewell is focused on.”

Last year, the royal couple released a six-part docuseries called “Harry & Meghan” to share their perspective on their romance, relationship with the press, and estrangement from their family.

“When the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?” Meghan said when asked during the show about the purpose of the docuseries.

The Netflix series contained shocking allegations about the fallout between Prince Harry and his brother, the stress that caused Meghan’s miscarriage, and the racism of the British tabloid press.

There are currently several other Sussex projects in development at Netflix, including a nature docuseries and an animated show that celebrates inspiring women.

In other news – Ray Lewis III, has died

Former NFL star Ray Lewis’ eldest son, Ray Lewis III, has died. He was 28. The late Miami resident’s passing was confirmed by his younger brother Rahsaan Lewis, who shared a heartbreaking tribute via Instagram Story.

“Really can’t believe I’m even typing this but RIP big brother,” Rahsaan wrote on Thursday, June 15. “A true angel. I pray you are at peace now because ik how much you were rurt. I don’t and won’t ever have the words, man, ‘cause this pain right here.”Read More

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