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Spotify forced to defend Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s multi-million podcast



Spotify forced to defend Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s multi-million podcast


Spotify has defended its multi-million pound podcast contract with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, claiming that the couple will increase income because they are “box office” stars.

According to a Spotify executive, Harry and Meghan’s rumored £18 million podcast agreement creates a “virtuous cycle” that will benefit struggling artists who get paid just £0.0038 each stream.

Tory MP Steve Brine previously told Horacio Gutierrez that the wage agreement “sticks in the craw of some of the artists who are driving Uber cars right now to pay the rent.”

After leaving the royal family last year, the couple’s agreement with the streaming service was one of their first major commercial endeavors.

When asked about the agreement with Meghan and Harry, Spotify’s director of global affairs and chief legal officer, Horacio Gutierrez, said that podcasts had a “completely different set of economics” than the music side of the company, but that investing in podcasts helped music consumption overall.

“We don’t get to negotiate directly with artists the way we negotiate with podcasters or people who create podcasts so the structure of that market is very different,” Horacio said of the compensation disparity for musicians.


He stated that the value of a contract is determined by the number of listeners they anticipate a podcast will get and the amount of advertising it is likely to receive.

Podcasts like Meghan and Harry’s “attract people into the service, and thus benefit everyone,” he added.

“There is clear evidence that having podcast offerings on the service benefits music consumption, so on the whole there’s a virtuous cycle that occurs.”

“There is a market for certain talent because they command a certain amount of consumption,” he told lawmakers.

Musicians have complained that their royalties from streaming services are so low that they are struggling to make ends meet.

“The product is valued based on how many users it can attract, how many streams it will attract, which in turn determines how many advertisers are willing to advertise on the podcast, which determines the economic opportunity,” he said.

Mr Gutierrez did not go into detail regarding the Duke and Duchess’ pay, but he did say during a meeting of the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport select committee, “They’re not doing it for free.”

When questioned by Steve Brine MP whether Harry and Meghan had rescued the music business, Mr Gutierrez said, “That seems a bit premature.”

“They’re not the only act that we’ve signed, we’ve signed dozens of those and we’ll continue to do that.”

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