- Spotify and Archewell Audio, Prince Harry and Meghan's company, end their multi-year partnership prematurely.
- Spotify Executive Bill Simmons controversially tags the royal couple as 'opportunists'.
- Simmons, Spotify's podcast innovation head, has previously expressed his unease with the royal couple on the platform.
A recent incident involving Spotify executive, Bill Simmons, has taken the spotlight as he controversially tagged Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, as 'opportunists'. The controversy unfolded after the abrupt conclusion of the streaming platform's partnership with the royal couple on Friday.
In December 2020, Spotify announced a multi-year collaboration with Archewell Audio, a production company owned by Harry and Meghan. The collaboration aimed to produce 'inspirational podcasts'. However, it yielded only a 12-episode podcast series titled "Archetypes", with Meghan leading captivating discussions with noteworthy personalities such as Serena Williams and Mariah Carey.
The original deal, which drew extensive media coverage, was speculated to be worth a whopping $20 million. Following the agreement's untimely end, both Spotify and Archewell Audio delivered a collective statement, expressing mutual satisfaction over the product of their collaboration and confirming their mutual decision to part ways.
Notably, this isn't the first instance of Simmons expressing his distaste for the ex-royal couple. As Spotify's lead on podcast innovation and monetization, he previously admitted feeling 'mortified' sharing the Spotify platform with Prince Harry. Furthermore, in January, he voiced his exasperation over Harry on his eponymous podcast, inciting significant reactions.
Simmons, no stranger to controversy, faced suspension by ESPN in 2014 for his controversial commentary on a domestic violence case. Spotify, when approached by CNBC for a response to Simmons' latest comments, chose to remain silent. Similarly, Archewell Audio did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
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