Spotify takes £34m hit as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry axed in cull of disastrous deals

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's lucrative contract with Spotify was terminated last month.

PA
Svar Nanan-Sen

By Svar Nanan-Sen


Published: 26/07/2023

- 11:26

Heavily investing in podcasts has failed to pay off for the streaming giant

Spotify has taken a £34million hit as the music giant performed a cull of failed podcast deals.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's lucrative contract with Spotify was terminated last month.


The streaming service revealed it had taken the hit as a result of "write-offs and contract termination" costs "in connection with rationalising our podcast content portfolio".

Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, said the company was "stepping out of some deals and relationships that haven’t worked out".

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

The Duchess of Sussex released a podcast series in 2022 titled Archetypes.

PA

He added that in some cases: “We overpaid relative to what we should have done."

Heavily investing in podcasts has failed to pay off for Spotify as a wave of job cuts were announced in June.

Spotify cut 200 jobs from its podcast business in its second round of redundancies this year, as the firm continues to recover from its huge investment into the sector failing to yield financial success.

The company announced it was making cuts equivalent to two per cent of its workforce as it reorganises the podcast side of its business.

It followed an announcement earlier this year it was reducing its headcount by around six per cent with around 600 jobs being axed.

The Swedish music giant invested more than £800million building out its podcast business which currently has more than four million titles but that has eroded its gross margins.

The company also spent a whopping £162million on securing Joe Rogan's podcast on a multi-year deal.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

In January, Dawn Ostroff, who was responsible for leading the negotiations on Meghan and Harry's deal with Spotify left the company.

PA

In January, Dawn Ostroff, who was responsible for leading the negotiations on Meghan and Harry's deal with Spotify left the company.

Ek said that Ostroff, the firm's chief content and advertising officer, had "decided to depart Spotify".

The Duchess of Sussex released a podcast series in 2022 named titled Archetypes.

The series had 12 episodes and included guest appearances from Serena Williams, Mariah Carey and Paris Hilton but it left executives underwhelmed.

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