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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Spotify deal unravels after just one series

Spotify and Archewell Audio, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's podcast production company, have ended a commercial partnership after the couple delivered only a single podcast series. 

"Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together," Spotify and Archewell Audio announced Thursday, without elaborating on why they decided to pull the plug.

The deal ends less than a year after Markle's debut podcast, "Archetypes," first aired. The segments dug into "the labels that try to hold women back," according to its description on the platform, with Markle's guests including Serena Williams, Mariah Carey and Mindy Kaling. 

At the time, Dawn Ostroff, Spotify's chief content and advertising business officer, called Prince Harry and Meghan "citizens of the world," celebrating their goal of uplifting underrepresented voices in their work.

After the partnership ended, Bill Simmons, Spotify's head of podcast innovation and monetization, blasted the couple, calling them "grifters" in an episode of the his podcast. His guest, podcast host Joe House referred to Simmons' dealmaking and negotiation experience, when Simmons turned to the news of Harry and Meghan's deal dissolving. 

"I wish I had been involved in the Meghan and Harry leave Spotify negotiation," said Simmons, best known as an outspoken former ESPN personality. "I got to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try to help him with a podcast idea. It's one of my best stories."

Simmons is also the founder of sports and pop culture website and podcast network The Ringer, which was acquired by Spotify in 2020.

Spotify first announced what it called an exclusive "multiyear partnership" with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in December of 2020 focused on producing podcasts and shows that share "uplifting and entertaining stories" with the streaming platform's massive audience.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were chased by paparazzi in New York City, spokesperson says 03:21

Harry and Meghan also have a multiyear deal with Netflix to produce children's programming, documentaries, feature films and scripted shows. 

The pair relinquished their royal duties in 2020, cutting them off from the British Crown's estimated $34 billion estate. Forbes last year pegged their net worth at $10 million, including Harry's inheritance from his mother, Princess Diana, and the equity the couple have in their California mansion. 

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