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Spotify’s Big Bet on Harry and Meghan Fell Flat

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When Spotify signed Prince Harry and and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to an exclusive deal worth allegedly $20 million in 2020, the controversial royal couple was taking their first steps into the business world, and podcasts were thriving.

Some believe that Prince Harry and Meghan’s brand has diminished, and Spotify is lowering its reliance on major celebrity signings and expensive original content, which have hurt on its financial line.

Meghan’s podcast was one of the most high-profile losses this week when Spotify and the duke and duchess’ Archewell Audio announced a mutual decision to separate ways.

Spotify’s contract with Barack and Michelle Obama’s production firm expired last year.

Since then, Spotify has laid off hundreds of employees, primarily in its podcasting operation, which it acquired for more than $400 million just a few years ago.

During a conference call with financial analysts earlier this year, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said the company made some mistakes during the more than $1 billion spending spree that preceded its 2019 effort to establish itself as an industry leader.

“You are correct in pointing out overpaying and over-investing,” he stated.

“We’re going to be very diligent in how we invest in future content deals,” he added. “Obviously, we will not renew those that aren’t performing.”

“And the ones that are performing, obviously, we will look at those on a case-by-case basis in terms of relative value.”

Rogan a Spotify Success

Spotify definitely has the appetite for some high-priced collaborations. It rebuffed requests last year to cut relations with its contentious star, Joe Rogan, who reportedly paid $200 million in 2020 in exchange for giving the streamer exclusive listening rights.

However, Mr. Rogan’s show features numerous multi-hour episodes each week, with an estimated audience of 11 million people.

Meghan, on the other hand, only released 12 episodes of her Archetypes podcast last year.

The Sussexes and Spotify were “proud” of the material they created together, according to the joint statement announcing the divorce.

And a slew of awards demonstrated why.

Archetypes’ debut last year topped Spotify’s rankings in six countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Meghan’s show, in which she interviewed other celebrities like as Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, and Mindy Kaling, was also nominated for a People’s Choice Award.

However, crisis communications expert Mark Borkowski believes the show was not compelling enough when Spotify evaluated the figures.

“It’s always about the content…. Clearly, there hasn’t been a big enough audience for it,” he says. “No one will pay you if you don’t deliver your fee.”

According to Mr Borkowski, there is little doubt that the duke and duchess still have media value. However, it may no longer be what it once was.

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Prince Harry and Meghan’s popularity in decline

According to a Newsweek poll conducted earlier this year, the couple’s popularity in the United States has decreased as a result of the marketing blitz around their Netflix documentary series and the publishing of Harry’s book, Spare. “The more Prince Harry and Meghan say, the less Americans like them,” read the headline in Newsweek.

Mr Borkowski said the duo will have to “think hard” about what they can provide in whatever they do next after they step down as working royals in 2020.

“It’s a thread that’s been pulled out of the brand,” he says of Spotify’s demise. “If they want to keep it from unraveling, they’ll have to think really hard.” The greatest question is whether they will learn from this loss or dismiss it as a blip.”

This Thursday, a representative for the duchess’s new Hollywood talent agency informed the Wall Street Journal, “Meghan is continuing to develop more content for the Archetypes audience on another platform.”

According to Max Willens, senior analyst at Insider Intelligence, Spotify is not the only tech behemoth that has spent lavishly in recent years to attract talent who has failed to deliver on the promise implied by the money they were paid.

Those high days came to an end last year, as economic mood deteriorated and market prices fell.

However, Spotify shares are up nearly 90% this year as investors embrace Mr Ek’s promises to remain focused on “efficiency.” Spotify continues to acquire users and has seen its podcast repertoire grow to more than five million.

Spotify Exec Calls Prince Harry and Meghan Markle 'F*cking Grifters'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “Fucking Grifters

This month, the corporation announced the “next phase” of its podcasting business, indicating that it will welcome lower-cost, third-party artists while increasing investment in “always on” programming.

“The platforms that have gotten into [podcasting] had to take some time to figure out what constituted a good investment,” adds Mr Willens. He describes Spotify’s choice to cut ways with the Duke and Duchess as a “understandable and natural part of that process.”

“Those were big, big deals designed to create buzz and grab headlines, and they succeeded.” The question is whether they make excellent long-term economic sense.”

Meanwhile, Bill Simmons, the Ringer creator and Spotify’s head of podcast innovation and marketing, recently called Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “fucking grifters” on his podcast. Simmons’ remarks come after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced on Thursday that their production company, Archewell, had terminated connections with the audio company. In 2020, the pair signed a $20 million agreement with Spotify.

“‘The Fucking Grifters,'” says one. “That’s the podcast we should’ve started with them,” Simmons said on his self-titled programme. “I need to get drunk one night and tell Harry about the Zoom I had with him to help him come up with a podcast idea.” It’s one of my favourite stories.”

Simmons’ Ringer was sold to the audio platform for $196 million in 2020, propelling Simmons to a leadership position at Spotify.

In the January 2022 broadcast of his podcast, the podcaster also chastised the pair, saying, “Shoot this guy to the sun… I’m sick of this guy. What brings he to the table? He just whines about shit and continues to give interviews. Who gives a damn? Who is interested in your life? You weren’t even the preferred son.”

“You live in fucking Montecito and you just sell documentaries and podcasts, and nobody cares what you have to say about anything unless you talk about the royal family and just complain about them,” Simmons continued.

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

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Dickey Betts, a guitarist and co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band, has died, according to a family statement released to CNN on Thursday by his longtime manager.

Betts was eighty.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announces the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts,” according to the statement. “The well-known performer, songwriter, bandleader, and family patriarch passed away this morning at his home in Osprey, Florida, with his family by his side. Dickey was larger than life, and his absence will be felt around the world. During this terrible time, the family requests prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days. More information will be provided at the proper time.”

Betts’ manager, David Spero, told Rolling Stone that the guitarist had cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease.

Betts, who was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, grew up listening to bluegrass, country music, and, subsequently, rock & roll. Betts, bass guitarist Berry Oakley, drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, and brothers Gregg and Duane Allman formed the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, and are credited with helping create the sound and genre of Southern rock in the 1960s and 1970s.

Betts composed and sung the band’s biggest song, “Ramblin’ Man.” Initially, he created the song with the intention of having another artist sing it.

“I was going to send ‘Ramblin’ Man’ to Johnny Cash,” Betts stated in 2020, later adding that he “thought it was a great song for him.”

“But everyone liked the song. Even my father enjoyed the song before we recorded it or anything. And I’m thinking I’ll email this to Johnny Cash and see if he wants to perform it,” he added. “The producer (Johnny Sandlin) mentioned that we needed another song for the record and asked if I had any. I explained, ‘Well, I got one, but I was going to send it to Nashville for Cash to record.’ He said, ‘Let’s hear it. And then, ‘No! We gotta do it.'”

Betts also wrote the popular Allman Brothers songs “Blue Sky” and “Jessica.”

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1971, and Oakley died in a motorcycle crash the following year. Betts and Gregg Allman became the band’s leaders, but creative disputes and substance misuse prompted the group to split up and reform several times.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

Cameron Crowe, then 16, followed the Allman Brothers Band on tour in 1973 for a Rolling Stone cover story that would later serve as the basis for Crowe’s Oscar-winning 2000 film “Almost Famous.” In 2017, Crowe described Billy Crudup’s key rock star character as “a tribute” to Betts.

In an email to CNN later that day, Crowe referred to Betts as “a guitarist for the ages, the musical glue that held together The Allman Brothers Band for many years.”

“Dickey’s quiet warmth, and his timeless contribution to American music was a big inspiration for our film,” said the writer-director.

Betts quit the Allman Brothers Band in a widely publicized separation in 2000. While the band continued to tour for nearly 15 years and issued one more studio album, Betts performed with his Great Southern ensemble, which included his son Duane, and released another studio album of new songs. Betts retired in 2014.

Also on Friday, the Allman Brothers Band issued an official statement, stating that Betts’ “extraordinary guitar playing alongside guitarist Duane Allman created a unique dual guitar signature sound that became the signature sound of the genre known as Southern Rock.”

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

“He was passionate in life, be it music, songwriting, fishing, hunting, boating, golf, karate or boxing,” the statement went on to say. “Dickey was all in on and excelled at anything that caught his attention.”

When asked what he enjoyed most about music, Betts told the Sarasota Herald Tribune in 2020 that it was the impact it had on his listeners.

“I like the crowds mainly, and what the music did for them,” he went on to say. “They enjoyed the music more than I did. I just love how the crowd can drift off into another universe during a concert.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

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NEW YORK — Could there be a Taylor Swift new album release without any added surprises?

No.

On Friday, the pop star released her 11th album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” which is an amalgamation of her previous work and reflects the artist who, at the height of her powers, has spent the last few years re-recording her life’s work and touring it, filtered through synth-pop anthems, breakup ballads, provocative and matured considerations.

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

But it was midnight. At 2 a.m. Eastern, she released “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology,” which included 15 new songs.

“I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment,” Swift wrote in an Instagram caption. “And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.”

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

The songs are a natural continuation of the first half of the album, with many returning to her “evermore” and “folklore” style, aided by her partner Aaron Dessner.

Swift has surprised her fans before, and she has surely done so with a surprise album release. A few months after “folklore” was released in 2020, she revealed that “evermore” will be available at midnight on the same day. Speaking of midnight, she released a “3am” edition of “Midnights” with seven new tracks in 2022, just a few hours after the original release.

Taylor Swift’s album “The Tortured Poets Department” is now available.

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

Music Writer Maria Sherman describes it as “an amalgamation of an artist who has spent the last few years re-recording her life’s work and touring its material, filtered through synth-pop anthems, breakup ballads, provocative and matured subject matter.”

Swift revealed a surprise two hours after the album’s release: 15 more tracks.

Swift’s first original album since her record-breaking Eras Tour debuted last year.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Britain’s Prince Harry Formally Confirms He is Now a US Resident

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LONDON — Prince Harry, King Charles III’s son and fifth in line to the British throne, has publicly certified that he is now a US resident.

Four years after Harry and his American bride, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, moved to a villa in Southern California, a travel firm he owns filed paperwork this week alerting British officials that he has relocated and is now “usually resident” in the United States.

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

The formal acknowledgment highlights the prince’s growing isolation from Britain, following his and Meghan’s departure from royal duties to chase lucrative media partnerships in America. Since then, Harry has often challenged the royal family, including claims of unconscious racism made in a Netflix series and the prince’s autobiography, “Spare.”

Travalyst Ltd, a company created in 2020 to “promote global awareness of the importance of sustainable tourism,” filed the paperwork. Harry owns at least 75% of the company. Companies House, the government body in charge of overseeing company incorporation in the United Kingdom, received the papers on Monday.

The filing further distinguishes Harry from his status as one of the king’s counselors of state, which are members of the royal family who can be deputized to carry out the monarch’s duties if he is ill or away from the nation.

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

While Harry is still a counselor of state, the crown warned Parliament in 2022 that “in practice” only working members of the royal family will be called upon to fill in for the monarch.

Although Harry and Meghan, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have established themselves in the rich enclave of Montecito, where they are raising their baby son and daughter, Harry is also under investigation for his US status.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think organization, has questioned the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to grant Harry a visa to the United States following drug-related admissions in “Spare.”

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

The organization, which has petitioned a judge to order the department to release Harry’s immigration records, claims that the prince either lied on his visa application or was given preferential treatment because a history of drug usage would typically preclude an applicant from receiving a visa.

SOURCE – (AP)

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