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Podcaster couple Meghan & Harry: Looking for a new partner

Photo: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Actually, Bill Simmons chatted in his self-titled podcast with his colleague Joe House about upcoming transfers in the NBA basketball league. Simmons is the founder of the website and podcast network The Ringer, which is all about sports and pop culture.

But at about minute 18 of Friday's episode, Simmons came to talk about a detail of his professional life: Since The Ringer was bought by Spotify in 2020, Simmons has also been "Head of Podcast Innovation and Monetization" at the Swedish company.

The streaming service recently parted ways with two of its most prominent podcast hosts: Duchess and Duke of Sussex, also known as Meghan and Harry. According to U.S. media, the duo's podcast project "Archetypes" did not meet Spotify's productivity targets.

For Simmons, the podcast should have had a different title: "The Fucking Grifters." The English word "grifter" can be translated as "crook" or "swindler". Bill Simmons went on to blaspheme the two: "At some point I'll have to get drunk and then tell them about the Zoom conversation I had with Harry to try to help him with a podcast idea."

For the time being, the anecdote remains untold, but the "Bill Simmons Podcast" quickly turns back to basketball. But as early as January 2022, Simmons had blasphemed Prince Harry: "You live in damn Montecito and just sell documentaries and podcasts, and no one cares what you have to say about anything – except when you're talking about the royal family, and you're just complaining about them," Variety quoted him as saying.

Both the deal with Simmons' company The Ringer (which Spotify cost just under $200 million) and the deal with Meghan and Harry (for around $20 million) were part of Spotify's podcast strategy in 2020: After Joe Rogan's success on the platform, it invested more in podcasts.

In the meantime, however, the enthusiasm for podcasts on Spotify seems to have cooled noticeably. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek admitted to financial analysts that they had "invested too much and paid too much" at the time. In the future, they will act more prudently. Earlier this month, Spotify announced that it would cut 200 jobs in the podcast space.