Spotify has penned a new major deal with Archewell Audio, an audio production company formed by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. The multi-year partnership between the two companies will bring a variety of podcasts to Spotify’s platform, an arrangement that will kick off with a holiday special in the coming days.
The partnership has taken place between Spotify’s Gimlet studio and Archewell Audio, which plans to release its first ‘complete series’ on Spotify sometime in 2021. As you’d expect, the podcast will be free to stream regardless of whether you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, but it will be exclusive to the platform.
The holiday special that’ll arrive at some point soon will involve The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hosting ‘stories of hope and compassion from inspirational guests in celebration of the new year.’ A two-minute trailer has been published teasing the podcasts, but it’s unclear what series is planned for 2021.
Spotify’s Dawn Ostroff said of the new partnership:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may live in California, but the power of their voices rests in their status as citizens of the world. That they are embracing the extraordinary capacity of podcasts on Spotify while also seeking to elevate underrepresented voices is a testament to their appreciation for the potential of audio storytelling. We are proud to partner with The Duke and Duchess and look forward to listeners hearing directly from them and the other creators that they will be elevating via our global platform.
The move underscores Spotify’s rapid expansion in the podcast market, one that has seen previous deals including the exclusives from Higher Ground production launched by the Obamas. Spotify has likewise acquired multiple production companies to drive its original content, including The Ringer.