Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Spotify podcast payout larger than the biggest streamed song of all-time

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Picture: Instagram

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Picture: Instagram

Published Jun 23, 2023


A week ago, it was announced that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Spotify deal came to an abrupt end after just one series.

The announcement was made through a joint statement by Spotify and Archewell Audio, Prince Harry and Markle's podcast production company.

"Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together," they announced, without sharing the details of the split.

However, Bill Simmons, Spotify's head of podcast innovation and monetization, made clear that the partnership had ended on bad terms when he criticised the couple and called them “grifters” on his own podcast shortly after the announcement.

However, despite the partnership coming to a premature and controversial ending, the couple are believed to have banked in the region of $20 million from the deal.

According to Boardroom, a media network that covers the business of sports and entertainment, despite the show having yielded very little success, their payout was higher than the payout for the platform’s biggest ever song, The Weekend’s 2020 single, “Blinding Lights”.

“The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights" is the most streamed song on Spotify ever. Assuming the payout is $0.005 a stream, that song has paid out less ($18.2m) than the deal Harry and Meghan got paid to make 12 podcast episodes ($20m).”

“Blinding Lights” has been played a staggering 3.6 billion times on the platform and, off the back of the song’s huge success, The Weeknd recently became the first and only artist in Spotify history to hit 100 million monthly listeners on the platform.

With Spotify constantly facing criticism from artists for paying such small figures for streams, many on social media have used the report to point out how ironic it is that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex topped The Weeknd’s earnings for his huge hit with their podcast.

“Streaming is a repackaged torrent that artist lose money on,” commented one follower before adding, “Its a scam tbh”.

Another added: “They should do a master class on how to get millions for very little work. I'd pay for that.”