If you’ve been a loyal fan of the dulcet tones of our forever first lady, Michelle Obama, via her eponymous podcast on Spotify (with occasional guest appearances from her presidential partner), the digital music and podcast platform will now also have some royalty coming across their airwaves. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—also known as the Sussexes, will reportedly continue to follow the strategically laid path of the Obamas, having also inked an exclusive multi-year partnership with Spotify.
Earlier this year, the Sussexes joined the Obamas at Netflix, scoring a multi-year deal reportedly worth approximately $100 million (h/t Elle). They also signed to Obamas’ speakers’ bureau the Harry Walker Agency. On Tuesday morning, Deadline reported that the duke and duchess will once again follow in the footsteps of the political power couple, now to “produce audio programming via their company Archewell Audio.”
Per Deadline: “The pair said that they wanted to create shows to “spotlight diverse perspectives and voices.” A joint statement from the duke and duchess explained their attraction to the format, reading:
What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction. With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.
The investment will likely prove a worthy investment for Spotify. As Harper’s Bazaar reports, Meghan and Harry’s decision to step down as senior royals earlier this year in no way affected their profile on the world stage; in fact, exclusive data shared with the magazine revealed that “Meghan was the most tweeted-about member of the royal family in 2020, closely followed by Harry and Queen Elizabeth, respectively.”
In a year that has seen interest in the House of Windsor surge, thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official departure in March, as well as the recent release of The Crown’s fourth season, more than 20 million tweets around the world were written about royal family members—a rise of more than 30 percent from the previous year, according to official data shared by Twitter, Inc. The social media platform currently has more than 330 million active monthly users in over 180 countries.
The data shared exclusively with BAZAAR sees Meghan and Harry taking the top two spots by a landslide. The duchess’s newly found freedom, steady stream of meaningful appearances, and candid conversations, including her emotional New York Times essay last month on losing a baby, saw Meghan at the center of more Twitter conversations than any other royal.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may live in California but the power of their voices rests in their status as citizens of the world. That they are embracing the extraordinary capacity of podcasts on Spotify while also seeking to elevate underrepresented voices is a testament to their appreciation for the potential of audio storytelling,” noted Spotify Chief Content and Advertising Business Officer, Dawn Ostroff. “We are proud to partner with The Duke and Duchess and look forward to listeners hearing directly from them and the other creators that they will be elevating via our global platform.”
The first full series from Archewell Audio is expected to premiere on Spotify next year, but royal watchers needn’t wait that long; the Sussexes will host a holiday special later this month, produced in partnership with Spotify’s Gimlet studio. Per Deadline, the special will feature “stories of hope and compassion from inspirational guests in celebration of the new year.”
Updated: Tuesday, 12/15/20, at 2:52 p.m., ET: Apparently, Spotify is just one of two major moves made by Meghan this week. As reported by Fortune, on Monday, the duchess also announced her first venture as a start-up investor. After trying Clevr Blends’ instant oat milk lattes at a pop-up event, Meghan reportedly reached out to the company, founded by Hannah Mendoza and headquartered near the couple’s Montecito home, ultimately becoming the company’s first outside investor.
“This investment is in support of a passionate female entrepreneur who prioritizes building community alongside her business,” wrote Meghan in a statement about the new partnership. “I’m proud to invest in Hannah’s commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I personally love and has a holistic approach to wellness. I believe in her and I believe in her company.”