Prince Harry, Meghan Markle 'take five months off' after making 35mins of content in $36m Spotify deal

They were meant to be uplifting people.
They were meant to be uplifting people. Photo credit: Getty Images.

In the six months since Spotify announced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had signed a deal with the music streaming service reportedly worth NZ$36m, the pair have released just 35 minutes of podcast content.

In mid-December 2020, a two-minute trailer was released on Spotify promising new content from Harry and Meghan's production company Archewell Audio that "uplifts and entertains audiences around the world".

The "multi-year" deal is reported to be worth NZ$36m, but The Sun reports they were not paid that fully upfront. 

Two weeks later, the royals - who have also signed a mega multi-million-dollar deal with Netflix - released a 33-minute holiday special.

Despite Spotify saying more content could be expected in 2021, there's been nothing else since. 

"We're being told they're having up to five months off and people who are paying them a lot of money will expect something in return," royal author Phil Dampier told The Sun.

"They seem to be using up a lot of ammunition very early and putting a lot of stuff out there in terms of deals and agreements with lots of firms. The question might be asked whether they have too much on their plate."

The Mirror does report, however, that details about the pair's next episode are expected later this year. 

Since December, the pair have welcomed a new baby into the world, been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, and mourned the death of Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip. The Duke of Sussex also featured in a television special with James Corden and in a documentary with Winfrey in May.

The Sun also spoke to public relations expert Mark Borowski, who said that even though the Spotify shows "haven't materialised yet, it's a win-win for Spotify to have two of the most famous people in the world connected to them". 

He said they'd be under scrutiny to deliver and may have pre-recorded content. 

"Having just had a baby and dealing with COVID too might explain the delay. It might be different if they weren't so keen on having full control over output."

Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify's head of global affairs and chief legal officer, was questioned before a British Select Committee about the deal earlier this year. While he didn't confirm how much the pair were being paid, he said they were "not doing it for free". 

He said their show would attract more people to the service who may then go on to listen to other content creators' productions. 

British media approached both Archewell Audio and Spotify for comment.