Meghan Markle: As the Duchess announces new podcast, here's what went wrong with Spotify

In June 2023, it was announced that Meghan Markle's partnership with Spotify would be ending, putting an end to the Archetypes podcast. At the time this was a huge announcement. Now months later Meghan Markle is back in the podcast game.

Meghan Markle Spotify podcast
© Unique Nicole / GETTY IMAGES
Meghan Markle Spotify podcast

Prince Harry's relationship with the media, whether it is British or American, has always been complicated, even more so in recent years. Indeed, the Duke of Sussex sued several British newspaper agencies over alleged breaches of privacy. On top of these legal issues, his $20m deal with the Norwegian giant Spotify ended in June 2023, the couple needed to find another platform to make money.

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The announcement of the end of the Spotify deal was on Thursday, June 15. On that day the Sussexes and Spotify shared a joint statement announcing the end of their multi-million dollar deal. Both Spotify and the Sussexes' production company, Archewell Audio, stated that they were proud of the work done together, but decided to part ways.

Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series that we made together.

This came after Spotify announced a new 'strategic realignment' for their podcast division, in which they were planning to reduce their workforce by 200 people.

They added in their statement that they would continue to expand partnerships with 'leading' podcasters around the globe, but unfortunately that did not include Prince Harry and Meghan.

Now, months later, it have been announced that Meghan Markle is back in the podcast game.

A broken deal

In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's production company, Archewell Audio, announced they had signed a multi-million dollar deal with Spotify, which would take place over several years. The couple's company had a very large goal of 'building community through shared experience, narratives and values.'

Meghan Markle's podcast first aired in August 2022, and immediately hit the top of the charts in several countries. Two days after it released its first episode, Archetypes became number one on the international Spotify charts in the US and in the UK, but also in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The podcast even won a People's Choice Award for Pop Podcast in 2022. The last episode aired in November 2022, and there has not been any update since.

Harsh critics - 'Stereotypes, not Archetypes'

There is a huge difference between the audience Meghan's podcast reached, and her podcast reviews. In fact, despite its impressive numbers, the podcast received very poor reviews, even from Meghan's fans.

First, the podcast was not well-received by the media, whether British or American. For example, Forbes, after noting how it took two years for Meghan Markle to come up with the podcast, stated that it was hardly an interview, and more of a 'love fest' between friends.

James Marriott, a journalist at the London Times, expressed his strong dislike of the Duchess' podcast.

The podcast is a tastefully soundtracked parade of banalities, absurdities and self-aggrandising Californian platitudes. The effect of all the tinkly music and vapid conversation is to make you feel you've been locked in the relaxation room of a wellness spa with an unusually self-involved yoga instructor.

While the British media strongly criticised the podcast, the American media tried to be more balanced, according to Forbes. But the people does not lie, and the IMDb reviews from anonymous people are definitely something. Indeed, the Archetypes podcast received a wave of criticism over Meghan Markle's hosting style.

Internet user @seraphinahelene points out that the podcast should have be named Stereotypes instead, as it apparently does not debunk any type of archetype or even stereotype.

By and large, the topics are about stereotypes not archetypes. The episodes are named after archetypical characters but the discussion shows a vapid sort of self-indulgence and self-focus by the hostess as she talks more about herself than discusses the topic.

Another IMDb comment from @brigittebaker highlights the same thing as many other comments: Meghan Markle mostly talked about herself during the podcast.

Talking over her guests, making the conversation all about herself, MM attempted to use this entire podcast to rewrite her own history and get even more of her own narrative out there in the world.

A new podcast venture

On 14February 2024, the morning news cycle was saturated with the announcement: Meghan Markle signed a new podcast deal.

This time the deal is with Lemonada Media. The Duchess is said to be working on a podcast series. If the name of the production company doesn't ring a bell, you might be familiar with some of its projects. For instance, they are behind Sarah Silverman's podcast The Sarah Silverman Podcast as well as Good Grief. Celebrities like singer Meghan Trainor and actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus also worked with the production company.

The joint statement made by Lemonada Media and the Duchess said:

I’m proud to now be able to share that I am joining the brilliant team at Lemonada to continue my love of podcasting.

With this new deal, Archetypes will be once again available to the masses. However, so far, nothing is known about what the Prince and the Duchess could be working on.

Read more:

Meghan Markle: Expert reveals possible reason why she did not join Prince Harry to see King Charles

Meghan Markle: She may no longer be a working royal but she remains a Princess, here’s why

'They want her back' Meghan Markle to return to acting in the 'biggest TV deal of the year'

Sources used:

Guardian: Prince Harry and Meghan’s multimillion-dollar deal with Spotify to end

London Times: Meghan Markle's podcast review

Forbes: With A Little Help From Her Friend Serena Williams, Meghan Markle’s Long-Awaited “Archetypes” Podcast Debuts To Mixed Reviews

IMDb: Archetypes User Reviews

Spotify statement

LBC: Meghan lands new podcast after parting ways with Spotify


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