Netflix has followed Spotify and is now also taking steps to get Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to produce some shows in 2022 – 16 months after they signed a reputed £120million deal to make TV.
The streaming giant, whose stock tumbled more than 20 per cent on Friday after warning subscriber growth would slow substantially in early 2022, placed the advert for a production designer on Instagram.
It came as audio giant Spotify reportedly took production into its own hands after the Sussexes’ £18million podcast deal a year ago, with a pledge to promote ‘shared values’, has produced limited content.
Meghan and Harry have only made 35 minutes of content for their Archewell Audio channel, which was put together with Spotify’s Gimlet Studios, since December 15 2020. They had promised a series in 2021 but it has never happened.
Rebecca Sananes was appointed head of audio for Archewell in July last year – but ever since then there has been no update at all about the New York based producer, who has won the prestigious National Murrow Award for Best Audio News Documentary for her podcast episode: ‘Why Is Vermont So Overwhelmingly White?’
Now Netflix, whose huge cash deal was one of the first to be announced after they quit as frontline royals, is looking for a production designer for their debut, Pearl. The animated show, created by the Duchess of Sussex, is about a young girl who is inspired by influential women in history and counts Sir Elton John’s husband David Furnish and star documentary maker Liz Garbus among its executive producers.
The new job ad posted on social media states the person ‘will help to develop, create and support the aesthetic vision of the executive producer team’.
After the couple’s deal with Spotify resulted in only one show being streamed, the online audio behemoth is advertising for in-house staff to cover ‘every step’ of the process. The person will need ‘an interest in the intersection of social activism and popular culture’, and the show will feature ‘high-profile women,’ according to the job adverts posted on LinkedIn.
One producer will definitely work with the Sussexes own Archewell Audio team. Two other posts are also being advertised, but it is not clear if they will also be mucking in.
MailOnline has asked Netflix and Spotify to comment.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently working on documentaries and a cartoon series as part of another multimillion deal with Netflix. There also appears to be some movement with Spotify, six months after they appointed New Yorker Rebecca Sananes (right) as head of audio for Archewell in July last year
Netflix is looking for a production designer for their debut, Pearl. The aminated show, created by the Duchess of Sussex, is about a young girl who is inspired by influential women in history
After the couple’s deal with Spotify resulted in only one show being streamed, the online audio behemoth is advertising for in-house staff to cover ‘every step’ of the process for helping the couple make content
Spotify announced the partnership with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Audio in December 2020 as they were ‘citizens of the world’ who wanted to ‘elevate underrepresented voices’.
But aside from a 33-minute ‘holiday special’ that month featuring friends such as Sir Elton John and James Corden – and the intensely private couple’s son, Archie, speaking his first public words – there has been a deafening silence.
The latest move follows Harry and Meghan adding two more ‘entertainment’ companies to their growing business empire in Delaware.
The pair, who stepped back from royal duty last year, are setting up a complex network of companies all based in the opaque tax haven state.
Spotify had said it expected the first ‘complete series’ from Archewell Audio in 2021, but has since given no further updates.
In July, Archewell hired an experienced podcast producer, Rebecca Sananes, and confirmed it was ‘looking forward to sharing more content later in 2021’.
Now Spotify is hiring producers through its podcast arm, Gimlet, to work with Archewell Audio.
The jobs are being offered to applicants on six-month contracts based in Los Angeles.
One advert for a senior producer role reads: ‘We’re currently assembling a show team that will build and launch a new original show with Archewell featuring the voices of high-profile women.
‘The ideal candidate has experience working with high-profile talent, and an interest in the intersection of social activism and popular culture.’
In the meantime, Harry has guest-starred on numerous other podcasts and made a series on mental health with Oprah Winfrey, with whom he and Meghan gave their shocking TV interview last March. Meghan has undertaken several media appearances.
She and Harry are also working on documentaries and a cartoon series as part of another multimillion deal, with Netflix.
Gimlet Projects develops and launches podcasts for Spotify, often involving ‘high-profile collaborators’.
It says the new senior producer will be involved with ‘every step of the show including development, research and producing episodes’.
Two other producing jobs are linked to the advert, but do not mention Archewell.
Aside from a 33-minute ‘holiday special’ featuring friends such as Sir Elton John (pictured above, in New Orleans on January 19) – and the intensely private couple’s son, Archie, speaking his first public words – there has been a deafening silence. James Corden, who also appeared in the couple’s ‘holiday special’
Prince Harry and Meghan’s logo for Archewell Audio, their new production company, which was launched in December 2020
Meanwhile, state filings revealed last week that Meghan’s longtime lawyer and business manager have incorporated 11 companies and a trust for the couple since April 2020, including a firm apparently set up for Harry’s memoir book deal.
And according to The Telegraph, two further companies were also registered on the same date, including Cloverdale Inc – which bears the same name as the street that the Duchess lived on with her mother in Los Angeles as a child.
It is currently unknown what the meaning is behind the name of the second company, Riversoul.
Both companies are set up explicitly in the ‘entertainment’ space, meaning the couple now have seven separate firms in the industry.
The firms are all headquartered in the Beverly Hills offices of attorney Richard Genow, who has worked with the Duchess for years.
Also appearing on company filings for the firms is her business manager Andrew Meyer, a well-connected money guru whose clients have included Jon Chu, Anna Kendrick, Adam Driver, Kathryn Hahn, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Ellen Pompeo.
Meghan went to live with her mother in a top-floor apartment on S. Cloverdale Ave, Mid-Wilshire, after her parents got a divorce in 1983.
It was once the garage and loft space for the main front property.
Other companies inked by Meyer and Genow are two publishing firms.
The first, Peca Publishing LLC, was set up in September 2020 and used by Meghan to hold the rights for her children’s book The Bench.
The same day a second company was incorporated, Orinoco Publishing LLC – though it didn’t register its status in California until December 22 last year.
It is unclear what the couple will use Orinoco for, though it is likely it was set up to hold the rights for Harry’s blockbuster book deal with Penguin Random House for his memoir, due for publication later this year.
Some of the Sussexes’ Delaware firms were set up to hold the trademarks for their charity Archewell and its associated companies.
In a complicated structure, Harry and Meghan set up Cobblestone Lane LLC as the holder of the Archewell logo, but lodged another trademark filing for a second logo, with just the letters ‘AW’ on top of each other, under a different Delaware firm, IPHW LLC.
Cobblestone Lane LLC was incorporated in Delaware in February 2020 and five days later was used as the applicant to file for the Archewell trademark.
Companies that have already drawn international attention over the Sussexes’ high-profile entertainment deals with Netflix and Spotify include Archewell Audio LLC and Archewell Productions LLC.
One of the Duke and Duchess’ new businesses is Cloverdale Inc – which bears the same name as the street that the Duchess lived on with her mother in Los Angeles as a child (pictured her childhood home on South Cloverdale Avenue)
The companies are in the tax haven of Delaware, despite the couple living and doing business in California. Their Montecito mansion is pictured