Let’s talk about Harry and Meghan’s 22-second Spotify cameo

On Monday, Spotify streamed a glossy, star-studded promotional video on Youtube. It included cameos from people and acts associated with the music and podcast streaming giant. One of those cameos wasPrince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Given that the Spotify Stream On event lasted for an hour and 40 minutes, and that Harry and Meghan were allegedly paid $30 million US to sign with and produce podcasts for Spotify, you might assume that a fair chunk of the streaming event would include them. Maybe a Q&A with them, who knows! You know, to justify spending so much money. So it was pretty funny to see that the Harry and Meghan section of the streaming event lasted a grand total of…22 seconds.

You can watch the Harry and Meghan section of the video at 38:35.

Okay, let’s talk about some things:

The baby bump

I saw some people on social media talking about the lack of visible bump on Meghan. What is she hiding???????, they asked. I have three thoughts on this:

  1. The dress Meghan is wearing is cut in a way that may hide her belly. Also, she was on camera for fewer than 22 seconds, so judging the size of Meghan’s bump in this video can’t exactly be classified as a scientific endeavour;
  2. This video isn’t time-dated. It could have been filmed months ago! and, most important:
  3. What a pregnant woman’s body looks or doesn’t like is none of our business!!!!!!! I will not be taking questions on this. Thank you.

The dress

Re: Meghan’s dress, it was immediately identified by Meghan’s Mirror, with a handy dandy affiliate link. The dress is an Oscar de la Renta with 3D leaves, and it retails for $3500 US. As you can see by the dress being sold out in all but one size at said affiliate link, the Meghan Effect is still going strong.

I find Meghan’s choice of this dress strange. Maybe it would bug me less in another situation, but wearing a $3500 cocktail/garden party dress in a video recorded in your own home because of a global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on people’s physical, mental, emotional, and financial wellbeing...it seems a little tone-deaf to me.

Also, pretty obvious, but it’s the middle of February. If you’re not in California, this is not an appropriate dress to wear in the middle of February. Which points to the video being shot months ago, but still. The whole thing just feels off.

The other thought I had about the dress was that it reminded me of Beyoncé posting this mysterious picture of herself with a lemon, and then releasing Lemonade – one of the greatest breakup/revenge albums of all time.

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PS: The Lemonade album includes a song called Freedom. In addition to mirroring the title of Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s biography of Harry and Meghan, Finding Freedom, the song has lyrics that seem to be in line with some of Meghan’s feelings upon leaving the British Royal Family. This is the chorus:

Freedom

Freedom

I can’t move

Freedom, cut me loose

Singin’, freedom

Freedom

Where are you?

‘Cause I need freedom, too

I break chains all by myself

Won’t let my freedom rot in hell

Hey! I’ma keep running

‘Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves

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Is this lemon dress a harbinger of the tone of the upcoming Oprah interview??????

Spotify defending itself for spending so much money on H&M

On Tuesday, criticism about Harry and Meghan’s “podcast empire” (they have, to date, released one, 34-minute podcast under their Archewell Podcasts moniker) and whether Spotify paid too much money to sign them continued. Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs and chief legal officer for Spotify, said that the couple is considered “talent” and equated their ability to bring in listeners to actors being able to bring in big box office numbers to the movie theatre.

It’s unclear if Harry and Meghan’s holiday episode of the Archewell Podcast brought in sufficient numbers to keep executives at Spotify happy for the time being – it did feature their son Archie speaking in public for the first time, so it likely had millions upon millions of streams. But it’s clear that if the couple intends to keep Spotify happy (and paying) over the long term, they will need to start pumping out more than one podcast episode at Christmas.

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5 thoughts on “Let’s talk about Harry and Meghan’s 22-second Spotify cameo

  1. The Spotify deal has intrigued me because no one actually knows the dollar amount they are getting. Even Spotify is cagey about it. I have a feeling it’s not as much as we are led to believe it is. They think the Sussexes will bring in a lot of listeners, but will they really? It’s too soon to tell from their first episode, which relied heavily on other celebrities and their own child, whether they are actually good at a podcast. Maybe they’ll get better, but they seem really weak so far, so keeping a high level of interest will be hard.
    I guess a lot rides on this Oprah interview. If they spill all the beans, what else is there to tell in a podcast or in a Netflix show? The mystery will be gone, and so will the interest. Also, how many viewers will The Oprah interview bring in? How many people in the US watch cable television? Don’t most steam online? It’s also the same night as the NBA All Star game. It’ll be interesting to see if more people tune in to see millionaires playing basketball for charity, or watch a billionaire interview millionaires about how hard life is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make a great point about the viewership of the Oprah interview. I think that no one is expecting Diana on Panorama-level numbers for the real-time interview, though I think it will be in the 10-15 million viewers range. But the real payoff, and I think Oprah and CBS know it, is the sound bite clips that CBS and Oprah will post on social media. Those will get tens upon tens of millions of views – they will spread like wildfire, especially if Meghan criticizes the BRF in any way. For example, the ITV Tom Bradby doc got pretty good numbers on TV, but this one clip on Twitter was viewed 30 million times: https://twitter.com/itvnews/status/1185163665533820928 I totally agree with you about the Netflix/Spotify thing – how many times can they sell the same pity party story? People will definitely pay attention to every time they do it, but the returns will also diminish.

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      1. Good point about the sound bites on social media. Yes, viewership of the actual interview may be low, but everyone reads/listens to the soundbites. Similar to Prince Andrew’s interview. You didn’t need to watch it, rather read about it the next day to get the gist of the train wreck.
        Yes, Netflix/Spotify will be regurgitated stuff, which might not sell. I think everyone’s endured a lot this past year, that reading about covid, lost jobs, or people overcoming tough times is exhausting. You want to listen/watch something opposite of your daily life. Hence why we’re all watching Wandavision. 🙂

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  2. Hi, regarding this dress, it certainly made waves, I think the lemmon patern pops up and nowadays is not that common to see women wearing dressess with fruits or flowers paterns in public events and even less in corporate events, if she wanted to have a different look than what is fashionable right now she got it. I do agree that using a designer dress with a high price tag in this moment does strike a tone-deaf note, her suppoters will inmediately say Kate also uses designers brands and has done so in public events, if we reply that Kate probably hasn’t done that in charity appearances they will also argue this was a business event, but here’s the thing: M and H sell themselves as a force for change, compassion and empowering communities, people and causes in need of help, which I think we all know are mainly poor / disadvantaged people. Wearing an expensive designer’s dress doesn’t scream that you are investing / sacrificing yourself that much in helping the poor and disadvantaged of the world, and even if we agree this was a business event (and her supporters can argue she wanted to look her best, etc.), in this event they were promoting a podcast that is supposed to empower those disadvantaged / voiceless people that they say they want to help (again, most likely majorly poor people). And I agree this choice in dress is even more baffling with the pandemic and its consequences, basically you are saying you want to help people but you are not visually showing solidarity with the majority of them, who feel rubbed in the wrong way when they hear you want to help them but you show up with an expensive dress while they are struggling with their daily lives, and they also know that the majority of them would never get near this level of wealth before 2020 and even less now.
    Going back to this appearance, I also noticed the entertainment media got fixated about Meghan’ hair volume, whether she had clip-on extensions, etc., which brings me to another point. I do believe this was taped months ago, and I understand people gets way too fixated on whether her pregnancy was visible or not and I get why you said in your post you don’t want to talk about that part. I just want to say, for me this appearance had something weird about it, but I can’t put my finger on what it is, I don’t know if it is the hair volume, the dress, the lightning, the makeup, it’s just that M looked different, you knew it was her, but at the same time she looked like a different person. I don’t know, maybe she was tired, it’s just that I feel like she has looked better in other appearances. This is not a big deal, is just that I felt that at moments, that it almost seemed like I was seeing a different person.
    Hillariously, Harry’s body language was analyzed by the Daily Mail, no idea if these analysis carry any weight, Meghan’s posture was also analyzed.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if M was sending a freedom message with her dress, channeling Beyonce, or the old saying “when life gives you lemmons…”, but I think we might get an answer in a way with the Oprah interview.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another super expensive dress for the Oprah interview! Armani, 4700$ USD. Does seem tone-deaf. Totally agree about trying to portray themselves as Mother Theresa-like figures and then shattering the illusion of that with such expensive clothing and jewellery. I think we’ll learn a lot on Sunday, can’t wait to talk about it with you!!

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