Meghan Markle has announced her Spotify podcast will finally debut this summer – 18 months after she inked a $ 25m deal – after unsuccessfully calling for a crackdown on Joe Rogan.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell foundation shared the news in a statement Thursday. It came two months after they called on their new employer to crack down on COVID vaccine lies peddled by Joe Rogan, which only resulted in a slap-on-the-wrist for the hugely popular libertarian podcaster.
Meghan’s statement said: ‘As we all continue to tackle the misinformation era, Archewell Audio has found it important to work with our partners at Spotify to ensure that the digital technologies so many of us use every day are rooted in strong principles of trust and safety , ‘according to the Archewell statement.
‘We are encouraged by ongoing conversations we’ve had with Spotify on this shared goal and have been working closely with their team — as well as their senior leadership — towards policies, practices, and strategies meant to raise creator awareness, minimize the spread of misinformation, and support transparency. ‘
Meghan Markle has announced she’ll debut her first Spotify podcast this summer, having expressed satisfaction at how the streamer dealt with Joe Rogan’s COVID vaccine misinformation
Rogan has apologized for spreading lies about COVID vaccines during summer 2020, but remains the most popular podcaster on Earth
‘As we move forward at Archewell Audio, we too are eager to be responsible stewards of an audio landscape that is well-resourced with quality, fact-based information — particularly when it comes to public health.’
The statement effectively draws a line under unsuccessful attempts to cancel Rogan, after he was signed up by Spotify in a $ 100m deal inked in 2020.
Rogan’s show has gone from strength-to-strength, and he is now considered one of America’s most influential voices, despite constant sneering from the mainstream media.
Meghan, meanwhile, has faced questions over the lack of content she and Harry have produced since inking two huge deals.
They appeared in a holiday podcast shortly after inking their $ 25m Spotify deal in December 2020. Meanwhile, a $ 110m Netflix deal has yet to yield anything substantial, although production on an inspirational cartoon produced by Meghan is now well underway.
Other big stars including Neil Diamond pulled their music from Spotify in an apparent attempt to cancel Rogan. His show di lui is the most popular podcast in the world, and has remained on air throughout the controversy, although he has apologized.
Little is known about Meghan’s upcoming podcast, although the duchess has spoken out on multiple social justice issues, including racism and misogyny.
Her apparent satisfaction at how Spotify handled the Rogan drama brings to mind an alleged spat that’s said to have erupted over a tiara in the run-up to Meghan’s wedding to Harry in 2018.
On being told that a headpiece Meghan wanted to wear could not be produced for a fitting, Harry is said to have snapped: ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan get.’
Meghan’s podcast will be produced by Archewell Audio, an offshoot of the foundation set up by the Sussexes.
The couple first announced their multi-year deal with Spotify worth a reported $ 25 million back in December 2020, but other than a holiday special released that month, nothing else has been produced.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (pictured at Citizen Live in Central Park in September) began ‘expressing concerns’ about Covid misinformation last April, a spokeswoman said
Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek (pictured) says the streaming giant is making changes in response to the criticism it has faced aimed at star podcaster Joe Rogan
Stand-up comedian Rogan, 54, sparked controversy when he suggested the young and healthy should not get vaccinated.
Spotify previously said that the pressure it faced prompted it to reevaluate – and ultimately change – its policies. It said while it would not ‘take on the position of a content censor,’ it would enforce the rules.
Harry had blamed ‘mass-scale misinformation’ for vaccine hesitancy and accused news and social media platforms for ‘peddling lies’ about vaccines. He described online misinformation as a ‘global humanitarian issue’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reached out to the music streaming giant last year to ‘express our concerns’ about Rogan’s podcast.
They said they had faced pressure to walk away from their deal after musicians Joni Mitchell and Neil Young demanded that their songs be removed from the platform.
The singers were angered by the alleged spread of Covid vaccine misinformation on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast on Spotify, and said false claims over the jabs risked putting lives at risk.
The Joe Rogan Experience was the most popular podcast on the platform last year despite ongoing criticism that it featured false claims about Covid.
In January, 270 scientists and medical professionals signed a letter accusing Rogan of spreading falsehoods on the podcast and urged Spotify to take action against him.
Spotify, which reportedly paid more than $ 100million for the podcast in 2020, said it aimed to balance ‘safety for listeners and freedom for creators’. It employs a team of experts to review its content, it said, and more than 20,000 podcast episodes linked to Covid have been removed since the start of the pandemic.
But Spotify said the pressure it faced prompted it to reevaluate – and ultimately change – its policies. It said while it would not ‘take on the position of a content censor,’ it would enforce the rules.
Spotify acquired The Joe Rogan Experience podcast in 2020, reportedly for more than 100 million dollars
‘It’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time,’ Spotify’s chief executive Daniel Ek said in an online statement. ‘These issues are incredibly complex.’
Ek said his company is working to add a content advisory to all podcast episodes that discuss Covid.
‘This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources, ‘he said.
‘This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform. ‘
He said his team is also exploring ways to promote its platform rules so that content creators better understand the expectations.
‘We take this seriously and will continue to partner with experts and invest heavily in our platform functionality and product capabilities for the benefit of creators and listeners alike,’ Ek said. ‘That doesn’t mean that we always get it right, but we are committed to learning, growing and evolving.’
Prince Harry and Meghan’s logo for Archewell Audio, their new production company, which was launched in December 2020
Harry vowed to become financially independent when he and Meghan quit their roles as senior members of the Royal Family in 2020 and moved to the US.
He took five months’ paternity leave when his daughter Lilibet was born last June.
Despite their concerns, the Sussexes never split with the firm, instead saying they were ‘committed to continuing our work together’ as it addressed their issues.