Meghan and Harry released Spotify podcast in 7 months despite $ 25million deal
After signing an exclusive $ 25 million podcast deal with Spotify last year, Meghan and Harry only released a 35-minute episode.
And you thought keeping the musicians on time was difficult. Now Spotify is discovering that managing podcast personalities can be just as tricky. Earlier this week, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry reported they were heading back to the studio to resume podcasting, having released just one brief episode in the past 7 months.
The couple released their first episode in December last year, shortly after signing their lucrative $ 25 million exclusive deal on Spotify. The episode only lasted 35 minutes. Since then, it has been radio silence – or more exactly, silence podcast – a situation that could trigger problems with breach of contract if new episodes do not appear soon.
Comically, a report calculated that the royal duo earn around $ 673,000 per recorded minute. This certainly beats Spotify’s artist royalty rate by a third of a dime per stream.
It probably also beats Joe Rogan’s per-minute rate: After signing an exclusive $ 100 million podcast deal with Spotify last year, Rogan produced content. Indeed, The Joe Rogan Experience Often offers three or more podcasts per week, with each episode typically exceeding two hours. Pound for pound, Rogan easily produced a higher ROI for Spotify, despite the higher price tag.
But Meghan and Harry have now signaled that they are getting serious. The duo are now hiring podcast producer Rebecca Sananes to lead the duo’s Archewell Audio imprint. Sananes brings serious production experience to the table, although it would have shouldn’t start until August according to the Hollywood Reporter. Sananes was previously the main producer of Vox Media and new York magazines Pivot Podcast.
Now the question is whether Meghan and Harry will start to keep their pledge. That remains to be seen, although the situation shows just how tricky Spotify’s foray into podcasting has been. Because even when podcasters deliver content as agreed, it’s not clear that Spotify is increasing its subscriber base or ARPU (Average Revenue Per User).
This puts a damper on the Spotify share price, especially as the larger category hits a plateau. Earlier this week, an analyst report from Bernstein questioned whether the recent podcasting boom was over. Year-over-year growth among the top 10 podcast publishers last year continued at a breakneck pace, often exceeding 50% in some months, the analyst said. But that breakneck pace came to a halt in February, when the year-over-year growth rate slowed to just 1.7%.
Year-over-year growth has turned into negative territory in recent months, raising alarm bells for Bernstein. “With all the attention paid to keeping the commitment to video streaming and video games alive as the pandemic unfolds, we have found few investors asking the same question about podcasting,” Bernstein noted. “Which should matter a lot, given the focus and capital Spotify is putting into it.”