It’s been just about a year now since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced their departure from their official royal duties and their pursuit of financial independence. One of the ways the couple has chosen to both craft their public image and make a living is to start a podcast, which recently debuted on Spotify (via Vogue). Kinsey Schofield, royal expert and founder of ToDiForDaily.com, a website about the British royal family, weighed in for us on the royal couple’s motivation behind the podcast and predicts what we can expect from the coming episodes.
Schofield says Harry and Meghan have “three key objectives” for their podcast. The first, she says, is for pure financial gain; she reports that the couple is rumored to have taken home $30 million from their deal with Spotify. The second goal is likely to, between their respective deals with Netflix and Spotify, create their own media empire, which Schofield predicts could be “larger than People Magazine or The Daily Mail.” This way, “They will control the narrative through the content that they distribute and will not need the Today show or Good Morning America to use as vehicles to sell their side of the story or even products (like Meghan’s coffee),” says Schofield. Which leads to the third reason: to elevate their personal brand. “They are using this podcast to align themselves with major stars and power players so that you will consider them major stars and power players as well,” she says.
What we can expect from future podcast episodes
The podcast is slated to host celebrities, and Schofield feels there are a few reasons for this. “You are who you associate with and the Sussexes want you to know that they associate with Sir Elton John, Tyler Perry, and Stacey Abrams,” she says. But it’s more than that. “I believe that the celebrity appearances are not only a bigger branding strategy but the clear path to attracting a new audience. Philanthropy is not the most exciting subject so they will utilize appearances with famous friends to attract listeners.” Schofield has even predicted specific celebs who might appear, including Reese Witherspoon, who, according to Schofield, has a “similar work ethic” to Meghan. She also thinks Dr. Jill Biden will appear, as she and Harry are friends.
Beyond interviews with A-listers, what can listeners expect going forward? If the first episode is any indication, Schofield says while a scripted approach is necessary to craft their brand, as the couple gets more comfortable, listeners are likely to hear more and more genuine, unscripted sweet moments between what is, at its heart, a real husband and wife. On the first episode, Harry made a joke about a guest on the show not getting a “yes” when he proposed to his sweetheart, but Meghan corrected him, “Love conquers all.” Schofield says that “based on Harry’s reaction to Meghan you can tell that this is a common saying in their household and something that they might remind each other of when times get tough.”
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