Prince Harry and Meghan are facing huge decisions about how to maintain their lavish lifestyles after canceling their coveted £18 million Spotify partnership.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex still have an £80m Netflix deal while Harry reportedly has a four-book deal with Penguin Random House worth up to £29m.
And a possible relaunch of Meghan’s blog and lifestyle brand The Tig, which she shut down in 2017 when she got engaged to Harry, would be another revenue stream.
Today, PR experts told MailOnline how they think the Sussexes can maintain a good cash flow in their £12million mansion in Montecito, California.
Brand and culture expert Nick Ede says they can ‘activate their social media and start interacting with their fans like Victoria Beckham’.
10 Yetis Digital co-founder Andy Barr said rumors of an alleged partnership with Dior – since denied – could be ‘a hoax to try to get other global brands out of the woodwork and interested in partnering with them’.
And Rhizome Media CEO Jack Izzard claims The Tig could be the new Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s $200 million wellness brand.
Here, PR experts give their thoughts on what’s next for Harry and Meghan:
‘Activate social media and start interacting with their fans’
NICK EDE, Brand and Culture Expert
“I think it’s time for Meghan and Harry to stop exploring their relationship with the royal family and build a brand that has credibility and longevity.
‘If you look at the long list of power players in the celebrity world, it’s time for them to emulate the success of The Beckhams, The Kardashians, Rihanna, Gwyneth, Jello etc.
‘Can they do it? I’m not entirely sure because all of the above have talent and have worked tirelessly to get where they are. Meghan and Harry didn’t and it could be their undoing.
‘Their empathy and passion for change is completely genuine and a driving force for them but will people buy their brands? The jury is out!
‘I think it’s a smart move to work with (Hollywood talent agency) WME to see who they both are going forward and to develop a strategy that will build them as team players with positive attitudes who care and want to get a glimpse of people. Their lives and those who will eventually buy into their lives as well.
‘Meghan’s tig could be the new push or goop and I think once they activate their social media and start interacting with their fans like Victoria Beckham they could be a force to be reckoned with.
‘Their lifestyle is expensive to maintain so I’m sure they’ll be looking for a lot of brand deals that are based on fashion, beauty and lifestyle where there’s a quick buck to be made.’
Harry promoted his book Spare on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS in January.
Mark Borkowski, founder of Borkowski PR
‘From my position it’s an incredibly interesting time for them. If they have the value to specify, they will definitely accept the Spotify shilling. But it’s hurtful when a top Spotify executive calls them a ‘grifter’.
‘Are we seeing a disjointed stack of dominoes falling with other deals they’ve got? It remains a bright future for Meghan if she follows the lifestyle path – she can. But Harry is not David Beckham.
‘What makes them interesting is that they’re worth the clickbait they can pull in, but on the other hand it doesn’t allow them to control the story.
‘So what role is there for Harry? He’s not a style icon, he’s not George Clooney, he’s built for purpose. They have to establish what their brand is.
‘But I doubt they’re going to be clothes horses for Dior or Armani or whatever – as soon as one big name drops others will probably look at it.
‘Is it unpicking the thread about their whole brand and what it stands for? That’s why there’s a crisis right now, not caused by them, perhaps the death of their most publicized deal. They didn’t have the right team to deliver for them.
‘It’s great to get a book deal of such scale but it depends on Harry figuring out the more visceral stuff. There have been a lot of problems with people dumping them and not engaging with them What will he have as a binding book, when he has played so many cards he already has to play. What is the content? It depends on the quality of the content he is going to deliver
‘Netflix will check the price of their deal, whether it’s worth it. Harry and Meghan need to get a team that delivers for them. But they also need to be able to deal with someone who can reveal the truth for them – and to date they haven’t been able to deal with the naysayers.
‘They face a major crisis of who they are and the only solution is to get positive PR around the team they are rebuilding. I will sign up a lot of big names around them.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London in June last year
‘Big brand partnership hints but they’ll want to keep it global’
Andy Barr, co-founder of 10 Yetis Digital
“Harry and Meghan are clearly now taking a crisis comms 101 approach to trying to improve their reputation in the public eye, and that’s short term talk and nothing.
‘Hopefully this will create positive demand for their next public statement or high-profile appearance.
‘It’s becoming clear that the court of public opinion here and in the US is starting to run away from them and this could be a classic case of over-saturation of their profile in the media leading to public fatigue.
‘I would guess that the last part of the ‘go big or go home’ statement is difficult when you don’t have a clearly defined home to return to after such dramatic revelations and accusations about your extended family.
‘The alleged Dior deal could be a ruse to keep other global brands out of the woodwork who may be interested in partnering with the semi-royal family.
‘The couple offers a more accessible and more affordable opportunity for a brand to try and appeal to consumers obsessed with the mystique of high society and the intrigue of royal life.
‘Harry and Meghan are still a huge draw; The quieter they are, the more interest they will have in what they say and do next, and that represents another big payday for them.
‘A big-ticket brand partnership beckons, but they’ll be keen to keep it as global as possible to maintain their position in high society and their lifestyle in California.’
A six-part Netflix TV series called Harry and Meghan was released in December last year
‘Tig could become a wellness brand along the lines of Goop’
Jack Izzard, CEO of PR agency Rhizome Media
‘The sudden, supposedly ‘mutual’, termination of Sussex’s $20 million Spotify deal undermined their ambitions to become a global content creator.
‘The couple’s star power ensured that Meghan’s solo series of the Archetypes podcast became one of Spotify’s most streamed shows in its first month.
But its interview format, in which Meghan – or her staff – gently quizzed a series of celebrity guests, lacked one thing people have come to expect from the Sussexes – tension with the royal family.
“The danger for the couple now is that the more time they spend in their affluent California enclave, the weaker their connection to the megawatt royal brand becomes.
‘Harry in particular digs the royal glamor for all it’s worth. The problem for him is that Spare left us no details. There may be more to say about how the royal virginity was lost in a field.
‘Americans have a greater tolerance than Brits for live interviews as public therapy sessions’ used to preach Harry Speir, but people’s desire to hear his complaints is once again waning on both sides of the pond.
‘Harry’s past is obviously painful for him but he’s stuck with it. It’s still the only thing he can find an audience for, but it won’t last forever and he needs to find a new focus or risk fading into former royal irrelevance.
‘Meghan’s prospects are even brighter. There is talk that another platform might pick up the Archetypes podcast, and he always returns to his acting career.
‘The couple live a short drive from Hollywood and Megan’s profile should make her an attractive target for casting directors.
‘But it’s not clear how ready he is to speak the scriptwriter’s dialogue rather than his truth, and he should primarily be expected to support rather than act.
‘Failure is rumored to be relaunching her lifestyle blog The Tig, which she shut down shortly before her engagement to Harry.
‘With smart marketing that can become a wellness brand like the highly successful Goop run by its Montecito neighbor Gwyneth Paltrow.’
Harry and Meghan during their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021
“We need to focus on others instead of Harry and Meghan”
SEAN O’MEARA, Managing Director of Essential Content
“Harry and Meghan need to start rebuilding a brand that embraces true authenticity and that creates something more sustainable than personal big-money deals with other brands that rely on the ‘halo effect’ of their personal involvement.
‘Rather than looking for short-term wins with large initial payments, I would recommend an approach that allows them to create an income stream that is sustainable and scalable, but doesn’t demand their personal personal involvement to make it interesting or attractive to an audience. .
‘Basically, instead of being the subject, they need to create the subject and move away from center stage.’
‘Shifting the spotlight from ourselves to sponsoring others and expanding the causes they care about will speak louder than words alone.
‘And it will give them and their audience a break from the scrutiny cycle that has come with every deal they’ve ever made. People are tired of it.
‘By prioritizing initiatives aligned with their stated values, such as partnerships with SmartWorks and the Invictus Games, they can create meaningful impact without fronting each partnership and inviting further scrutiny.
‘It is essential to be careful when collaborating with celebrities, unless they are directly linked to a charity that the couple is passionate about.
“The Harry and Meghan brand has not resonated as expected, prompting the need to move away from an inward-looking mindset. They should shift from being the center of attention to shining the spotlight on others.’
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