When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family, there were concerns about how the couple would support themselves financially.
The Sussexes promptly addressed those fears by signing big money deals with Netflix and a variety of other major media outlets.
Unfortunately, it now looks as though Harry and Meghan may have overextended themselves.
At least that’s the feeling among Spotify execs, who are reportedly frustrated over the Duke and Duchess’ failure to provide podcast content per the terms of a contract that they signed back in 2020.
The deal created Archewell Audio, a vaguely-defined entity whose goal would be to provide the audio streaming giant with enlightening and uplifting content to offset the negativity so many Americans experience on social media every day.
Unfortuntately, that content never materialized.
Things got off to a promising start with a star studded-holiday special that premiered in December of 2020.
Harry and Meghan were joined by celebrity pals such as Elton John, James Corden, and Tyler Perry.
But it was baby Archie who stole the show by wishing listeners a happy new year, thus addressing his adoring public for the very first time.
The special really whet the public’s appetite, and Harry and Meghan assured fans that more great content was on the way.
“What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction,” the couple said in a joint statement.
“With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”
And their new partners were equally excited:
“While the first complete series from Archewell Audio and Spotify is not expected to debut until 2021, listeners will get a first glimpse at what Archewell Audio has in store before the year ends!” said a Spotify ad released the week before the holiday special aired.
Needless to say, 2021 has come and gone.
And the Archewell Audio page still features just that one 33-minute episode.
Now, it looks as though the folks at Spotify have grown tired of waiting for Harry and Meg to produce new content.
The company has begun advertising for new talent through its Gimlet Projects imprint, with the goal of creating new content for the Archewell brand.
“Gimlet Projects (GP) is a new show development team that develops and launches new podcasts for Spotify. GP’s projects often involve Spotify’s high-profile collaborators,” reads a posting that appeared on Spotify’s website this week.
“We’re currently assembling a show team that will build and launch a new original show with Archewell featuring the voices of high-profile women,” the ad continues.
“The ideal candidate has experience working with high-profile talent, and an interest in the intersection of social activism and popular culture.”
The feeling among industry experts is that Spotify delayed this move for as long as possible, hoping that Harry and Meghan would deliver the content on their own.
But hey, perhaps a situation like this was to be expected.
In addition to having two young children at home, Harry and Meghan have started 11 companies since taking up residence in America, all of them based in Delaware for tax purposes.
We’re sure they’re eager to smooth things over with Spotify, but they’re probably not terribly worried about resolving this situation.
After all, once you’ve pissed off the Queen a few times, an irate Silicon Valley CEO is small potatoes.