Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle hosted the 12-episode "Archetypes" podcast on Spotify released in August 2022. Photo by: Archewell Audio/Spotify Archewell Audio/Spotify

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has officially addressed the company's decision to end its partnership with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The Sussexes signed a multi-year deal with the streaming platform in 2020, but ended up releasing just one content after two years.

The Sussexes, through their Archewell Audio company, released only one podcast called "Archetypes" in August 2022 which the duchess hosted. It had A-list celebrities as guests, including Serena Williams, Paris Hilton and Mariah Carey.

The series, which tackled the tropes and the stereotypes that hold women back, grabbed the number one spot in the U.K., U.S.A., Ireland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand on Spotify's international charts two days after its release. It even won a People's Choice Award for pop podcast of 2022.

But despite these successes, the show was not renewed for a second season. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ultimately announced the end of their partnership with the streamer on June 15, with a spokesperson saying that it was a "mutual" decision.

Meanwhile, a representative for WME, the talent agency that the Duchess of Sussex signed with earlier this year, said that the team behind the podcast remain proud of what they created at Spotify. The spokesperson likewise hinted that "Archetypes" will continue as Meghan Markle is "continuing to develop more content for the Archetypes on another platform".

Following the announcement, numerous reports claimed the company ended its deal with the Sussexes because of a lack of output. After all, they were only able to release just one podcast two years after they signed a reported $25 million exclusive deal to produce original content. An insider shared that Spotify "typically requires multiple series or multiple episodes of a show released on a regular basis for its exclusive podcast deals".

Ek did not address these claims during a recent interview and seemingly hinted instead that "Archetypes" did not satisfy or make consumers happy. He spoke about Spotify's previous partnership with the Sussexes in an interview with BBC's technology writer Zoe Kleinman.

She asked: "You had some pretty big names. You had the Obamas. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Was that worth the £18m?"

Ek gave a safe response saying that the streaming platform only wanted to give new creators a chance to reach their audience. "We thought new innovation was needed to happen here. We thought we can come in and offer a great experience that both makes consumers very happy and allows new creators new avenues," he explained.

Despite their best intentions, he also admitted that the company made some mistakes in the past. He hinted that "Archetypes" was one of those mistakes adding, "And the truth of the matter is some of it has worked, some of it hasn't".

He shared: "We're learning from those and we are moving on and we wish all of the ones we didn't renew with the best of success they can have going forward."

Ek is not the first Spotify executive to talk about the Sussexes' deal. Bill Simmons, during an episode of his "The Bill Simmons Podcast," labelled the couple "f**king grifters". He said: "I gotta get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It's one of my best stories."

Aside from Spotify, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also singed a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix in 2020 under their Archewell Productions company. They have so far released three docuseries: "Harry & Meghan," "Live to Lead" and "Heart of Invictus". According to reports, their next project is a movie adaptation of the romance novel "Meet Me At The Lake" by Carley Fortune.