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Sandie Shaw criticises Spotify over multi-year podcast deal with Prince Harry and Meghan

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

Watch: Prince Harry and Meghan to produce Spotify podcasts

Singer Sandie Shaw has criticised Spotify for the multi-year deal it has signed with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Harry and Meghan announced on Tuesday that they had agreed a long term deal with Spotify to produce podcasts, which would be available exclusively on the streaming platform.

But Shaw, who is best known for winning Eurovision for the UK with Puppet on a String, criticised the deal over its rumoured worth saying artists didn’t have the same ability to negotiate deals with Spotify.

She told the Daily Mail: “Lucky Meghan and Harry were able to negotiate a podcast deal for themselves with Spotify.

“I wish recording artists were in the same independent position to negotiate streaming deals directly for themselves too.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 8:  Singer Sandie Shaw poses with her MBE medal, following an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on February 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Singer Sandie Shaw, here with her MBE medal in 2018, said other artists should have the same opportunity to negotiate with Spotify. (Getty Images)

Read more: Prince William and Prince Charles share photos that will be on their 2020 Christmas cards

Earlier this year, as the pandemic meant concerts around the world were cancelled, artists asked Spotify to increase the rate it paid for streams.

Although Spotify doesn’t release the information itself about how much it pays, analysis by Soundcharts, which provides monitoring and data on the music industry, suggests that it pays $0.0032 per stream.

That would mean the artist would need to get to 1,000 streams of a song before they could make $3 (about £2.20).

According to Waterbear, a music college in Brighton: “Contrary to popular belief, Spotify doesn’t pay an artist a set amount every time their track is streamed. In fact, many of the major streaming services don’t have a pay-per-stream rate. Instead, Spotify works out a ‘stream share’.”

That means “Spotify works out this stream share by tallying up the total number of streams on Spotify in any given month, in any given country, and figures out what proportion of those streams were people listening to your music,” it explained.

Watch: Will Meghan Markle be in The Crown?

Read more: The weird rule Prince George followed that Prince Louis hasn't had to

Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, said they would be creating their podcasts through Archewell Audio, their newly formed production company.

Archewell is the name they will be giving to their non-profit organisation as well, which is currently being formed and going through the trademark process in the US.

The Spotify deal marks their second big contract since leaving their roles as senior royals, as they have also agreed to produce documentaries for Netflix.

While Shaw directed her criticism of the deal to Spotify, Piers Morgan criticised the couple themselves when it was announced.

He said: “They’re now making gazillions doing all these commercial – very commercial deals – which is absolutely fine except they’re only making the money because they’re the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Otherwise they wouldn’t make a bean.”

But fans on social media backed the move by the duke and duchess, saying they were excited to hear the podcasts, and were “ready” for the date for the holiday special.

Spotify has been contacted for comment.