Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s media empire expands with Spotify podcast deal

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Spotify (SPOT) announced on Tuesday an exclusive partnership with Archewell Audio, a new, audio-first production company founded by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The deal allows the couple to grow their streaming and media footprint. It’s their latest investment since they announced in January that they were stepping back from their roles as senior members of the British royal family and becoming “financially independent.” In September, Harry and Meghan signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix. Meghan also narrated the documentary “Elephants” on Disney+.
For Spotify, a music streaming app that is also building a podcast empire with major acquisitions and exclusive content from big names, the deal cements its reputation as a destination for prestige audio content. Kim Kardashian West signed an exclusive deal with Spotify in June. Michelle Obama debuted “The Michelle Obama Podcast” on Spotify in July. “The Joe Rogan Experience,” one of the most popular podcasts in the world, is now exclusive to Spotify.

This partnership brings exclusive content from two more high profile celebrities to serve and grow Spotify’s global audience of 320 million monthly active users. The company said in a press release Tuesday that the two “will host and produce podcasts that build community through shared experience, narratives, and values.”

Archewell Audio’s multi-year partnership with Spotify includes numerous programs, some hosted and others produced by the Duke and Duchess. A holiday special hosted by them will be released later this month. Their first series will debut next year. All projects will be available exclusively on Spotify.

“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 Duke and Duchess of Sussex 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.”

Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising business officer for Spotify, told CNN Business last year that the company was planning to offer more exclusives as a way to lure customers from the other podcast platforms.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may live in California but the power of their voices rests in their status as citizens of the world,” Ostroff said in a statement on Tuesday. “That they are embracing the extraordinary capacity of podcasts on Spotify while also seeking to elevate underrepresented voices is a testament to their appreciation for the potential of audio storytelling.”



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