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 July 3

by Carolina

Meghan and Harry: Spotify podcast ‘targeted to US’ says expert

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Meghan and Harry broke away from the Firm last year and were determined to find financial independence – and in that regard, they have been a major hit in the States. Harry has become the chief impact officer with US start-up BetterUp, while Meghan has opened up an investment portfolio and put money into California coffee company Clevr Blends. They have also been immensely successful in securing a range of lucrative deals through their new brand Archewell, including with consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble, and streaming giants Netflix and Spotify.

But their new platform has come under some scrutiny for its lack of content; only one programme has been announced with Netflix and Archewell Productions, while Archewell Audio — the exclusive podcast the couple have with Spotify — has released just one episode, the Holiday Special.

This 33-minute episode was intended to honour the festive season, and included snippets from the couple’s famous friends — including comedian and presenter James Corden and singer Sir Elton John — reflecting on their personal experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, the couple have remained radio silent with no hint of what their podcast is going to focus on.

This week, it was reported by Hollywood outlet Deadline that the couple had just hired experienced producer Rebecca Sananes as their head of audio, and she would be starting in August.

Deadline reported that Ms Sananes will be tasked with overseeing the Sussexes’ podcast after “they dropped their first effort in December”.

Meghan and Harry accused of using celebrity tactic to 'bury bad news' about Archewell

Meghan and Harry accused of using celebrity tactic to ‘bury bad news’ about Archewell (Image: PA)

Meghan and Harry sought financial independence ever since they left the Firm last year

Meghan and Harry sought financial independence ever since they left the Firm last year (Image: PA)

Keen royal watcher, @UKRoyalTea, took to Twitter and speculated that this belated hire did not particularly bode well for the couple’s venture into podcasting.

The account tweeted: “Interesting that for the second time, the Sussexes have hired a person to oversee a content deal seven to eight months after the original announcement.”

@UKRoyalTea is referring to the Sussexes’ decision to hire an Oscar-nominated producer, Ben Browning, to lead their “creative activations” back in March – months after signing with the streaming titan Netflix.

The account continued: “Also interesting that they announced it on Friday of a holiday weekend, timing celebs use to bury bad news.”

READ MORE:  Meghan Markle’s ‘tone-deaf’ contradictions about post-royal life

Archewell Productions, the branch of the Sussexes' new platform which works with Netflix

Archewell Productions, the branch of the Sussexes’ new platform which works with Netflix (Image: Archewell.com)

The news broke on July 2, two days before the US celebrates the federal holiday Independence Day.

The tweet has more than 200 likes, and several comments with fellow royal watchers speculating what kind of content the Sussexes want to produce.

One asked why they do not replicate the style the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have adopted through their YouTube channel, where they highlight different charitable causes each week.

The Spotify contract, first announced in December, is reportedly worth $25million (£18million), while the Sussexes’ Netflix deal, announced in September, is said to be worth $100million (£72million).

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Harry and Meghan in their Californian home last September

Harry and Meghan in their Californian home last September (Image: TIME )

This is not the first time royal watchers have speculated over how successful Archewell Audio will be, especially considering the couple do not have any experience in this field.

Earlier this year, columnist Alex Webb claimed: “In a sense, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle need the venture to be a success more than the music streaming giant does.

“What we do know is this show will be the first serious test of the couple’s creative chops.”

He continued: “Although I’m sure Spotify CEO [Daniel] Ek wants their production to be compelling, the deal doesn’t represent a significant risk for him.

Harry and Meghan's romantic timeline

Harry and Meghan’s romantic timeline dating back to 2016 (Image: Express.co.uk)

“The Sussexes will bring an audience with them and therefore subscribers, irrespective of how good the show turns out to be.”

Writing for Bloomberg, he claimed that the company believes there is enough content to hold onto any new listeners brought in by the Sussexes — meaning “much of the risk” is on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The columnist explained: “Spotify could readily ditch them if the data show they’re no longer attracting listeners.”

The couple have approximately four months left of their five-month break which they announced recently, as they wanted to focus on their newborn daughter Lilibet Diana and two-year-old son Archie Harrison.

This means the couple are unlikely to release any new Archewell Audio content any time soon.

Original posted at www.express.co.uk

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