Experts have revealed that Spotify’s decision to axe their podcast deal with Harry and Meghan could see the Montecito royals lose US$10 million ($16m), putting a grey cloud over their hopes to become a US$1 billion brand, reports MailOnline.
It was announced yesterday that Meghan’s Markle’s podcast Archetypes will not be renewed for a second season and was dubbed a mutual decision between the streaming giant and the Sussexes.
PR whizz Mark Borkowski told MailOnline that Spotify’s decision to scrap the deal is very bad news for the royals’ brand and is a glaring sign that “their star is really falling”. He reckoned the loss could cost them up to US$10m.
Borkowski estimated the Sussexes could lose up to 40 per cent of the US$25m Spotify deal after it was cancelled.
He said: “They didn’t get the quality of the product right and the gooey front of their new reality faded. The air is going out of their much-hyped balloon and these little things begin to erode that juggernaut of hype that they delivered when they broke away from the Royal Family.
“If no one is interested in anything they have to say about mental health or the royal family then their star is really falling. It is not a good day for the long-term brand of Meghan and Harry”, he added.
Now that the couple’s podcast deal has been canned, the Sussexes’ last major deal is their £81m ($167m) Netflix deal, which produced their controversial docuseries Harry & Meghan last year.
The Duchess of Sussex recently signed with talent agency WME, which boasts names such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, tennis star Serena Williams and other Hollywood regulars, amid speculation Meghan is planning to revive her lifestyle and wellbeing blog The Tig.
The website, which Meghan took down once she became a royal, is expected to be a goldmine considering the commercial success of similar celebrity-endorsed lifestyle brands such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh.
A close source revealed last month: “This deal is about making Meghan a power player in Hollywood. It is about creating projects for her to produce – she wants to run the show”.
The Archetypes series featured interviews with the likes of tennis champion Serena Williams, pop star Mariah Carey and South African talk show host Trevor Noah.
The cancellation of the podcast comes after insiders revealed that the Montecito royals were halting their attack on the royal family via tell-all Netflix documentaries, memoirs and sit-down interviews, as they have “nothing left to say”.
Spotify allegedly was in talks with Meghan regarding a second series of Archetypes a year earlier, however, discussions later stalled.
WME told the Wall Street Journal: “The team behind Archetypes remain proud of the podcast they created at Spotify. Meghan is continuing to develop more content for the Archetypes audience on another platform.”
When the podcast premiered, it reached the top of Spotify’s charts.
News of the podcast being axed comes after Spotify announced they were laying off nearly 200 staff members - amounting to 2 per cent of their workforce - who work in the podcasts sector.
The streaming giant put the cutback down to struggles making the podcasts profitable, despite Spotify being popular among listeners.