Prince Harry and Meghan: Expert shares date of ‘reconciliation’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had an eventful year, including their Oprah Winfrey interview, the arrival of their second child Lilibet and the death of Prince Philip. Today, December 29, marks one year since the Sussexes released the first episode of their Archewell Audio podcast. Following the announcement that the royals had signed a reported £18m deal with streaming giant Spotify, much was expected of Meghan and Harry. They produced one 35-minute long episode, calling on famous faces including Sir Elton John and James Corden to discuss how they had dealt with the pandemic and their own hopes for the future.
Archie made a brief appearance too, wishing listeners a ‘Happy New Year’ with Harry and Meghan laughing as he did so.
Yet, since then, they haven’t produced another minute of content.
According to The Sun, they have earned a staggering £486,000-per-minute for their work so far. Others have suggested, however, that Spotify would almost certainly not have paid the full fee upfront, but instead a small advance.
Harry and Meghan have also signed a multi-million pound deal with Netflix. Royal expert Russell Myers, however, warned the streaming giants are going to want their “pound of flesh” at some point.
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Meghan and Harry’s podcast is nowhere to be seen a year after the first episode was released.
Archie made a surprise appearance on the only episode of the pod so far.
Pod Save The Queen is hosted by Mr Myers, the Mirror’s royal editor, and Zoe Forsey.
Speaking in January, Mr Myers said: “They want to try and work out where Harry and Meghan’s future lies and whether it is to carry on with this juggernaut of signing themselves up to projects with these massive corporations that arguably will want their pound of flesh at the end of it.
“I don’t think they’ll just give out tens of millions of pounds to Harry and Meghan to just churn out podcasts like they did on the pilot episode we heard recently.
“As nice as it was, I don’t think it’s breaking any new ground.
Meghan and Harry’s busy schedule has been touted as a possible explanation.
“And certainly the money that is being given to Harry and Meghan, they are going to presumably want them to do something a bit meatier.
“And whether that involves them showing their lives in California or whether it involves them doing historical projects about the Royal Family or talking about their position before Megxit…”
The Sussexes hired veteran podcast producer Rebecca Sanaes as their head of audio in August, with exciting projects reportedly in the pipeline.
A Spotify source recently told The Sun: “Spotify were delighted when they signed the couple, but the lack of content has mystified them.
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Royal expert Russell Myers said streaming giants will want their ‘pound of flesh’ at some point.
“Particularly as they seem to have no problem producing content for other platforms.”
Media lawyer Ian Penman, who specialises in music streaming contracts, recently told Express.co.uk that Spotify may have overestimated Meghan and Harry’s popularity.
He said: “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.”
It remains unclear if and when the next episode will be released.
Mr Penman stressed Spotify would not have lost out if the deal did not go quite as planned.
He explained that when musicians sign large deals, they do not receive all of the money they are entitled to on day one.
He said: “When they talk about an £18m Spotify podcast deal, it probably means that they have signed their first product, in this case a podcast — they then have many, many options for further products.”
He added: “If all those options are exercised, and we don’t know how many podcasts that relates to, it may be that the total money spent by Spotify is £18m.
“So, have they lost any money today? Probably, not a penny.”
The lack of content might be explained by Meghan and Harry’s busy schedules.
Alongside raising their second child, the Oprah Winfrey interview and various other commitments, Meghan has released children’s book ‘The Bench’, while Harry became chief impact officer at mental health start-up ‘BetterUp’, according to Mercury News.
It remains unclear when Meghan and Harry’s next podcast episode will be released, if at all.