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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.

harry and meghan spotify

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.

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Taylor Swift Watches Travis Kelce’s Chiefs Take On The Jets At MetLife Stadium

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VOR News

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey — Taylor Swift could not pass up another opportunity to observe Travis Kelce play football.

The 12-time Grammy Award winner arrived at MetLife Stadium approximately forty minutes before Sunday night’s kickoff to witness Travis and his Kansas City Chiefs defeat the New York Jets 23-20.

Swift, wearing blue jean shorts, a black long-sleeved top, and a leather jacket, entered the stadium’s security area with actors Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, and Hugh Jackman, as captured by SNY. NBC’s broadcast cut to Swift multiple times during the game, including a shot of the pop star with her arm around Donna Kelce, who was donning her son’s No. 87 jersey.

Swift’s appearance comes a week after she attended Arrowhead Stadium, dressed in red and white, to witness the Chiefs’ 41-10 home victory over the Chicago Bears with Donna Kelce. Swift accepted the All-Pro tight end’s invitation to observe the game and had to see more of Travis and the Chiefs in action.

Taylor Swift is on a break from her Eras Tour, which resumes on November 9 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Travis acknowledges Swift’s daring appearance at the Chiefs game but remains tight-lipped about their relationship. Twenty minutes before commencement, NBC aired a tour advertisement.


Taylor Swift could not pass up another opportunity to observe Travis Kelce play football.

Swift is familiar with MetLife Stadium, having performed three sold-out concerts there in May. Two of those performances were attended by Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who returned to the team this past weekend after tearing his left Achilles tendon on the fourth play of his September 11 debut.

Rodgers attended a squad meeting on Saturday evening and was at the stadium to observe player warmups on Sunday evening.

Swift and Kelce have not disclosed details about their relationship. Kelce stated on his podcast “New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce” earlier this week that Swift “looked amazing” at the contest.

Regarding her time spent in the suite, Kelce stated, “Everyone was speaking positively about her.” “Moreover, the day proceeded flawlessly for Chiefs fans. Naturally, we plan everything, ladies and gentlemen.”

Kelce invited Swift to that game after failing to present her a friendship bracelet during the Kansas City stop of her Eras Tour.


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Andretti Global Clears First Hurdle To Join Formula One As An 11th Team With FIA Expansion Approval

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Monday, the FIA announced that American Michael Andretti satisfies all requirements to expand the world’s premier motorsports series to 11 teams, removing a significant obstacle in his bid to launch a Formula One team.

The FIA decision does not guarantee Andretti will get the two-car team he desires. Andretti Global and its associate Cadillac must still demonstrate their commercial value to F1 rights holder Liberty Media and the existing teams, who adamantly oppose expanding the grid to twenty cars. However, the teams have no say in the expansion of the grid.

F1 said in a statement, “We note the FIA’s conclusions regarding the first and second phases of their process and will now conduct our own evaluation of the remaining application’s merits.”

The FIA’s approval was a crucial first step in Andretti’s three-year mission to restore one of auto racing’s most storied names to the pinnacle of the sport. His son Michael competed in 13 races during the 1993 season. Mario Andretti earned the F1 championship in 1978.

Father and son are among the most successful open-wheel racers in American history and rank third and fourth on IndyCar’s all-time tally of winners. They have been attempting to reintroduce the Andretti name to F1 for years and have cleared an impediment by securing Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s support for the effort.


Monday, the FIA announced that American Michael Andretti satisfies all requirements to expand the world’s premier motorsports series to 11 teams.

Ben Sulayem stated, “The FIA is obligated to approve applications that meet the Expression of Interests application requirements, and we followed this procedure in deciding that Andretti Formula Racing LLC’s application would advance to the next stage of the application process.”

“Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity that met the established selection criteria in all material respects. I commend Michael Andretti and his team for their comprehensive submission.”

After Andretti petitioned for the grid to be expanded to enable new entrants, Ben Sulayem, who assumed leadership of the FIA in late 2021, oversaw the opening of an “expression of interest” process for potential new teams this year. Andretti’s action followed an abortive 2021 attempt to acquire an existing team.

In the initial phase, seven applicants were received by the FIA. Five made it to the second round, which required a $300,000 fee and a thorough investigation by the F1 governing body. Andretti, whose engines would be General Motors-branded under the Cadillac banner, was considered the only worthy applicant out of four who completed the process.

The applicant had to satisfy FIA’s sporting, technical and financial requirements to be recommended as a future team. Ben Sulayem stated on Monday that “our goal, after rigorous due diligence during the application phase, was to only approve prospective entries that met the established criteria and demonstrated they would enhance the sport.”


Monday, the FIA announced that American Michael Andretti satisfies all requirements to expand the world’s premier motorsports series to 11 teams.

Most existing teams have publicly opposed expanding the grid for anyone, including a General Motors-sponsored American. This year, there will be three F1 races in the United States and five in North America. The series has targeted a new sponsorship market by capitalising on the popularity of the European racing series in the United States.

But the existing teams, namely Red Bull and Mercedes, argue that they need to invest more heavily in F1 for anyone to buy their way in. Any new entrant must pay a $200 million anti-dilution fee, but the teams have argued that expansion reduces their financial share.

And if Andretti desires a team so badly, they say, he should buy one.

In 2016, Gene Haas founded the only American-owned team. Andretti has stated that his team will be the true American squad with an American driver, GM’s support, and an American sponsor.

Ben Sulayem has backed the Andretti effort and stated that the Andretti name and General Motors contribute too much to the series to be rejected outright for future teams. Furthermore, Andretti does not have a financial stake in F1’s profits like Liberty and the existing teams do.

Ben Sulayem said opening the procedure for new teams to join “also attracted further commitment from Audi, Honda and Ford and interest from Porsche and General Motors.”

This was the third time the FIA had solicited expressions of interest from prospective teams. The first, in 2009, resulted in four teams joining the series, but they all subsequently declared bankruptcy and left the sport. As a result, the requirements to join F1 and the application procedure have become extremely stringent.

Haas obtained his team in a 2014 expression of interest and continues to compete in Formula One.


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2023: A Second UK Police Force Is Looking Into Allegations Of Sexual Offenses Committed By Russell Brand

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LONDON brand,  British media reported on Monday that a second British police force is investigating sexual offenses purportedly committed by the actor and comedian Russell Brand.

According to the BBC and PA news agency, Thames Valley Police is reexamining harassment and surveillance allegations made by a woman against Russell between 2018 and 2022.

As is customary in the United Kingdom for individuals who have not been charged, the police refused to identify Russell but stated in response to news reports.

“In the past two weeks, Thames Valley Police have received new information regarding harassment and stalking allegations dating back to 2018,” it stated. As such, it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation involving this information.

As a result of a television documentary and newspaper investigations, London’s Metropolitan Police stated last week that it was investigating “a number of allegations of sexual offences” involving Russell.


A Second UK Police Force Is Looking Into Allegations Of Sexual Offenses Committed By Russell Brand

Russell, 48, denies sexual assault allegations brought by four women in a Channel 4 documentary and The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. One of the unnamed accusers claims she was sexually assaulted during a 16-year-old relationship with the defendant. In 2012, a second victim claimed Brand raped her in Los Angeles.

The brand was a prominent U.K. celebrity in the early 2000s, hosting radio and television programs and starring in several Hollywood films. Between 2010 and 2012, he briefly married the pop singer Brandy Perry.

They have largely vanished from mainstream media but has amassed a substantial online following through videos that combine wellness and conspiracy theories. YouTube has stated that due to the “serious allegations” against Brand, he will no longer be able to monetize his 6,6 million subscribers on the video streaming platform.

Source – Ap

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