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When Meghan Markle launched her “Archetypes” podcast in August of 2022, hopes for the Duchess’ career in media were at an all-time high.
But recent PR troubles have served as a reminder that Meg has a long way to go if she hopes to become the next Oprah.
Even before the controversy surrounding Meghan and Prince Harry’s car chase, the couple’s efforts toward becoming media figures have received a mixed response.
For example, Harry’s memoir was a huge commercial success, but the revelations within the book seem to be the main driver behind the recent decline in Harry and Meghan’s approval ratings.
Now, another high-profile Sussex project is being described as an “expensive failure” in the wake of some surprising industry news.
Spotify has announced plans to lay off 200 employees, and many believe such a move would not be necessary had the streaming giant’s $25 million deal with Harry and Meghan yielded more lucrative results.
“We are expanding our partnership efforts with leading podcasters from across the globe with a tailored approach optimized for each show and creator,” the company’s head of podcast business Sahar Elhabashi wrote in a statement.
“This fundamental pivot from a more uniform proposition will allow us to support the creator community better,” Elhabashi continued.
“However, doing so requires adapting … As a result, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to make a strategic realignment of our group and reduce our global podcast vertical and other functions by approximately 200 people, or 2% of Spotify’s workforce.”
This is the company’s second round of layoffs in 2023, with a full 6 percent of Spotify employees losing their jobs back in January.
Elhabashi’s statement acknowledges that the most recent cuts were a result of Spotify’s decision to invest more heavily in podcasting.
But that doesn’t mean Meghan is to blame.
After all, she’s just one of several big names who were recently on the receiving end of massive paydays from Spotify.
Joe Rogan reportedly signed a $200 million deal to bring his wildly popular podcast to the platform.
Rogan seems to be drawing as large an audience as ever, which is why he hasn’t taken as much flak as Meghan.
But that doesn’t mean that Spotify is enjoying the sort of return on investment that they had hoped for from the Rogan deal.
In fact, it’s entirely possible that the move resulted in major losses.
Whatever the case, there’s no denying that Harry and Meghan’s foray into the world of American media has not gone smoothly.
The Sussexes will almost certainly keep trying, of course.
But it might be time for the couple to regroup and consider some new strategies.