The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan who both after domestic issues, stepped back from royal duties in March 2020 , had set up Archewell Audio, an audio-first production company mooted to produce programming that uplifts and entertain audiences around the world.
The Royal couples signed a mega-money multi-year deal with Spotify to produce podcasts and shows that will help build communities through shared experiences, powerful narratives and universal values, latching on the streaming giant global reach of 144 million Premium subscribers and 320 million monthly active users around the world to spread their ideological gospel, while vowing to “tackle misinformation.
The first podcast of the Archewell Audio has been confirmed with the spokesperson of the production company releasing a statement highlighting the significance of the project.
In the words of the spokesman:
“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.
“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.”
The podcast team, while announcing Meghan’s podcast, added: “As a result of these meetings, we are excited to announce that we are continuing production of Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex’s ground-breaking first podcast series, set to launch this summer.”
Both Meghan and Harry had not long ago expressed “their concerns” to Spotify over misinformation spreading on the platform, urging the Swedish audio streaming and media services provider to help stop the “global misinformation crisis”.
“Since the inception of Archewell, we have worked to address the real-time global misinformation crisis. Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of mis- and disinformation every day.
“Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences of COVID misinformation on its platform.
“We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis.
“We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does”, an Archewell spokesperson said on their behalf.
Spotify has been recently embroiled in controversies as it relates to misinformation and this has culminated in several high-profile musicians removing their music from the app amid calls for Joe Rogan’s podcast to be cancelled for giving false information regarding the coronavirus vaccine.
The company in its defence, insisted it has always banned “false or dangerous deceptive content about Covid-19, which may cause offline harm and/or pose a direct threat to public health.”
Grammy award winning Canadian-American singer, musician and songwriter, Neil Young was the first entertainer to remove his music from the streaming platform, though there were reports that his team quietly re-uploaded his music few weeks later.
The 76-year old singer in a request to Spotify had said:
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them. Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
Spotify later responded to his request by officially writing that:
“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”