Spotify exec calls Harry and Meghan ‘grifters’ after podcast deal comes to early end

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The collaborative efforts between Spotify and Harry and Meghan has resulted in just one, 12-episode series of the podcast “Archetypes.”

Chris Jackson | Chris Jackson Collection | Getty Images

Spotify executive Bill Simmons described Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, as “grifters” after the couple’s partnership with the streaming platform came to a seemingly premature end Friday.

The partnership with Harry and Meghan’s production company Archewell Audio, first announced in Dec. 2020, was originally described by Spotify as a “multiyear partnership,” with the promise of delivering “podcasts that will inspire.” 

However, the collaborative efforts have resulted in just one, 12-episode series of the podcast “Archetypes,” which saw Meghan interview notable guests, including Serena Williams and Mariah Carey.

The deal was widely reported at the time to be worth around $20 million. 

“Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together,” Spotify and Archewell Audio said in a joint statement.

This isn’t the first time that Bill Simmons, Spotify’s head of podcast innovation and monetization, has made disparaging remarks about the former working royals, having previously said that he was “embarrassed” to share the Spotify platform with Harry.

“Shoot this guy to the sun, I’m so tired of this guy,” Simmons said on his self-titled podcast in January.

Simmons has previously landed in hot water for voicing controversial views, including in 2014 when he was suspended by ESPN over comments that he made about a domestic violence case.

Spotify declined to respond to Simmons’ remarks when contacted by CNBC. Archewell Audio did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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