In December 2020, the Sussex royals released their first episode of Archewell Audio exclusively on Spotify, featuring celebrities Sir Elton John and James Corden. However, since then the Sussex royals have not released any other episodes, meaning their deal with Spotify has seen them paid for just 37 minutes of content.
According to reports from 2020, Meghan and Harry are paid £18million by Spotify to record exclusive content.
Under the terms of their deal, and despite only releasing one episode of their podcast, the Duke and Duchess have been paid £486,486.486 per minute of Archewell.
In February 2021, Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs and chief legal officer for Spotify agreed the royals were “box office” for the streaming service.
He refused to confirm how much the royals were paid for their Archewell Audio series, but said: “They’re not doing it for free.”
Speaking to The Sun Online, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said the Sussex deal with Spotify was “interesting”.
He said: “It is interesting regarding Spotify because if you look at several of the Sussexes activities you find they’ve not actually done a great deal.
“I think given the way the Sussexes think, they do things their own way and that would have been very clear to Spotify, Netflix and any future sources that want deals with them.
“They therefore won’t feel pressurised. How the next year is going to develop is going to be fascinating.”
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The outlet reported that in November, Spotify executives gave Archewell Audio a “gentle nudge” to finish new episodes.
A source told the Sun: “Spotify were delighted when they signed the couple, but the lack of content has mystified them.
“Particularly as they seem to have no problem producing content for other platforms.”
The outlet also reported Harry and Meghan, who hired veteran podcast producer Rebecca Sananes as their head of audio in August, will announce a raft of new episodes in time for Christmas.
No announcement has been released by the Sussex royals as of 9:45pm on Christmas Day.
It comes as Harry and Meghan released their first picture of their daughter Lilibet Diana in their Christmas card.
No images of six-month-old Lilibet, named after the Queen’s childhood nickname, were released before the card’s publication on December 23.
The message on the card reads: “This year, 2021, we welcomed our daughter, Lilibet, to the world.
“Archie made us a ‘Mama’ and a ‘Papa’, and Lili made us a family.
“As we look forward to 2022, we have made donations on your behalf to several organisations that honor and protect families – from those being relocated from Afghanistan, to American families in need of paid parental leave: Team Rubicon, Welcome.US, Human First Coalition, Humanity Crew & Paid Leave For All, PL+US, Marshall Plan for Moms.
“Wishing you a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year, from our family to yours! As ever, Harry, Meghan, Archie & Lili.”
Kate Garraway questioned on Good Morning Britain whether the Sussex card was intended to “usurp” the Queen’s Christmas speech.
She asked royal editor Chris Ship on the ITV programme what he thought, to which he replied: “It had to be released at some point, the Queen’s picture was released at 10:30pm and that Harry and Meghan photo dropped into my inbox at around 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon.
“I don’t agree that it was done to usurp the Queen