Lessons from a Former Princess

Brands can learn a very important lesson from Spotify who have just parted ways with Meghan Markle.
In 2022, Spotify paid Meghan over $20 million to produce podcasts to ‘uplift and entertain audiences around the world’. Now after a single series, they’re running away. Why?

Star ‘power’ doesn’t always work.

We’ve seen this many times in radio and now we see it again with podcasts. Audio is such an intimate medium, that if the listener does not connect with the host, you are toast. Megan is a former tv star who became a princess. How many listeners can relate to that?! The podcasts she created were all about Meghan, not the listener. Even the title ‘Archetypes’ is named after her son Archie. By the end of the first series, the podcast couldn’t even crawl into the Top 30 podcast chart.

With brand ambassadors and influencers such an important part of marketing today, what do we learn here?

Regardless of who your presenter is, always put the listener and the content the listener wants first. If you have profile presenter who fits in with this, great. If they have a natural passion and knowledge for your subject, great. But if you are trying to shoehorn in a star simply for their profile power, that’s going to lose you time and money.

We have created many radio and podcast series with personalities. While some undoubtably worked, many didn’t and that’s usually because the presenter did not align with the subject. On the other hand, when we work with ‘unknowns’ who are often a brand manager or a company CEO, their inexperience is far outweighed by their knowledge and passion for the subject. Because they connect, these podcasts invariably end up performing very well.

So, before you drop $20 million on some princess for your next podcast (!) think about the listener first and the content that the listener wants to hear.

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