Meghan Markle’s Archetypes is knocked off No 1 spot in Spotify’s ‘top podcast’ rankings

Author: Yuvi September 3, 2022

Meghan Markle’s new podcast was today knocked off the number one spot in Spotify’s ‘Top Podcast’ rankings as the Swedish streaming service was accused of wrongly using its own official charts to inflate Archetypes’ position.

The Joe Rogan Experience this afternoon reclaimed its spot at the summit of Spotify’s mysterious podcast leaderboard after just two episodes of the Duchess of Sussex’s new £18million series.

MailOnline can reveal that while Archetypes was earlier ranked as the ‘Top Podcast’ in the US, the UK and all of Spotify’s main English-speaking markets – the first two shows with Mariah Carey and Serena Williams remained as low as 25 – and no higher than five – in the streaming giant’s own ‘Top Episodes’ rankings.

Subscribers have accused the company of massaging its figures – or even manipulating its main chart – to keep the California-based royal at the top. MailOnline has asked Spotify to comment. 

How does Spotify compile its charts? 

Podcast chart

According to Spotify’s website: “Top Podcasts” is where you’ll find the overall most popular shows—ones fans have been listening to for some time, and rising newcomers. It’s determined by a combination of overall follower counts and the number of recent unique listeners’

This suggests that the chart is compiled by a number of measures, not just listener numbers. A show could have more subscribers than listeners, for example, or could be promoted because it is a new release.


Spotify says: ‘“Top Episodes” is where you’ll find of-the-moment trends in what people are listening to today. This chart is determined exclusively by the number of unique listeners on that day, providing a look into what’s buzzworthy at the moment’.

This suggests that this is the most accurate gauge of listener numbers. 

Spotify has two main charts – one for its ‘Top Podcast’ compiled with a number of measurements including if they are ‘rising newcomers’ as well ‘a combination of overall follower counts and the number of recent unique listeners’.

The ‘Episodes’ ranking is ‘determined exclusively by the number of unique listeners on that day’. 

In the US, Archetypes is ranked at No 1 in the podcasts chart despite her new episode with Mariah Carey, released on Tuesday, sitting at 12 in the episodes chart while the Duchess’ first show with Serena Williams is at 25. 

Spotify’s own data shows that more British listeners are tuning into Joe Rogan, Rob Beckett and Josh Widdecombe’s show about parenting and Jamie Laing and Sophie Habboo’s ‘NearlyWeds’ pod than Archetypes.

In the UK rankings Meghan’s first two shows are 8 and 12 in terms of listeners – but Archetypes remains the No 1 ranked podcast in the UK, according to Spotify, with listeners questioning whether the business is ‘fudging the charts’.

One subscriber in America said: ‘Why is Archetypes no. 1 in the Spotify US chart when, in the episode chart, both releases are way down the page?? Don’t get it!’  Another Twitter user replied and called it ‘manipulation by Spotify’, adding: ‘They paid $18 Million, were criticised – now they want to make it seem it was worth the deal’. 

Another listener said: ‘If Spotify are fudging the charts I’d be p***ed off’.

In Germany it is No 10 in its podcast chart, but does not have a single episode in its top 100. In France Archetypes is no 2 in the podcast charts – but the episodes are at 34 and 62.

In Norway, Archetypes is at No 3 in the podcast chart – but its Mariah Carey episode, released this week, is the 89th most listened to episode today. Her chat with Serena is not in the top 100 at all. It is a similar picture in all the Nordic countries and across Europe.

Industry insiders have suggested that Spotify may have chosen to keep Archetypes at the top of its charts, especially given the reputed £18million deal handed to the Sussexes for content. 

One broadcasting expert with decades of experience in the industry told MailOnline: ‘The main Spotify podcast ranking does allow them to promote their new shows – they could be doing this for Meghan. Based on the figures you would think Joe Rogan would be number 1’. 

Meghan Markle’s new podcast was today knocked off the number one spot in Spotify’s ‘Top Podcast’ rankings as the Swedish streaming service was accused of wrongly using its own official charts to inflate Archetypes’ position

The second episode of the Duchess of Sussex’s Archetypes podcast Mariah Carey was 

In the US, Archetypes is Spotify’s top podcast. But in its data based on daily listens by episode, it is at 12 and 25 today

It is a similar picture in the UK, where it was no 1 on the podcast rankings, but not in terms of individual episodes

Duchess of Sussex was treated ‘like a black woman’ for the first time when she started dating Prince Harry, she said in the second episode of her show.

The Queen, 96, pulls out of attending one of her ‘favourite’ events the Highland Games this weekend ‘for her comfort’ – as Prince Charles steps in for her amid health fears 

The Queen will not attend the Braemar Gathering this weekend as concerns continue over her health and mobility issues, with royal sources saying the decision has been taken ‘for her comfort’.

Prince Charles, who normally accompanies the 96-year-old monarch at the gathering which has existed in some form for 900 years, will still attend. The late announcement comes after Her Majesty was said to have been ‘carefully considering’ whether she was fit enough to attend the event as she continues to struggle to walk.

The decision will prompt fresh fears about the Queen’s health, just two days after Buckingham Palace said she would remain in Scotland to appoint a new prime minister at Balmoral for the first time in her reign. 

The Highland Games, which are often attended by the Queen and the prime minister of the day, are usually a highlight in the monarch’s calendar. They are held at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park in Braemar.

But royal sources confirmed today that there were two main issues in terms of the Queen’s attendance – firstly getting her to the games, but also that she would have to sit in public for a long period of time to watch them.

The Games are classed as a ‘private’ event in Her Majesty’s calendar and not a public engagement. It is understood that the monarch had originally hoped she would be at the event which begins tomorrow.

Until now, the Queen has never missed the Highland Games during her 70-year reign, following a tradition of the monarch attending which was started by Queen Victoria 174 years ago in 1848. The event is held a short distance from where Her Majesty is staying on her annual summer at the Balmoral Castle estate in Aberdeenshire. 

The Highland Games is known for being one of the Queen’s favourite engagements, and she has often been photographed there laughing and smiling with other members of her family as they watch on from the Royal Box. 

This year’s competition – which will see contestants battle it out in caber-tossing and tug-of-war in front of spectators and can be watched live on an official stream – is the first to be held since the start of the pandemic.

Meghan, 41, who has claimed she experienced racism within the Royal Family, said she was previously treated ‘like a mixed woman’ and ‘things really shifted’ once she started her relationship with Harry.

In her latest podcast for Spotify, she also recoiled as her guest, singer Mariah Carey, called her a diva, saying she had ‘complicated feelings’ about the label.

Meghan, who was dubbed ‘Duchess Difficult’ during her time at Kensington Palace, said the word had been ‘warped’ to demean strong and successful women.

During the podcast, she said she had been ‘obsessed’ with Miss Carey – whose hits include All I Want For Christmas Is You – as a teenager, in part because they both had ‘mixed’ parents.

But she said when she began dating Harry it was the first time she felt she was treated as a black woman.

Meghan said: ‘For us it’s so different because we’re light-skinned, you’re not treated as a black woman, you’re not treated as a white woman, you sort of fit in between.

‘I mean if there’s any time in my life that it’s been more focused on my race, it’s only once I started dating my husband.

‘Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a black woman, because up until then I had been treated like a mixed woman, and things really shifted.’

Meghan and Harry sent shockwaves around the world last year when they accused an unnamed member of the Royal Family of making a racist comment about their son’s skin colour before he was born.

Meghan’s estranged father Thomas is white and her mother Doria is black, while Miss Carey’s father is black and her mother is white.

Meghan gushed that the singer was ‘an aspirational figure’ for her in the 1990s, as she was glamorous, successful ‘and she was mixed like me’.

She recalled how she became a ‘fangirl’ of the music star, and said she was shocked when Miss Carey laughingly called her a diva during their conversation for the Spotify podcast Archetypes, part of Meghan and Harry’s £18million deal with the streaming giant. During their discussion, Meghan said the diva persona was ‘not something that I connect to’, but was interrupted by the singer.

Miss Carey, 53, who is famed for her sometimes outrageous demands, said: ‘You give us diva moments sometimes Meghan, don’t even act like…’

Meghan spluttered: ‘What kind of diva moments do I give you? Do you even see me right now? We associate it differently.’

She admitted she went into a ‘quiet revolt’ at being called a diva. Speaking later in the 46-minute podcast, Meghan said: ‘It stopped me in my tracks… My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that.’

But Meghan said Miss Carey had then explained she was referring to the duchess’s posture, clothes and attitude, adding: ‘She meant diva as a compliment, but I heard it as a dig.’

She said diva was ‘one very charged word’ which could mean a woman who was high maintenance, petulant and temperamental, and even ‘disruptive’.

Meghan said Miss Carey conducted the virtual conversation wearing a silk gown and canary diamonds, while she wore ‘my same Mom dress all day, covered in dog hair’.

The weekly podcast looks at labels applied to women, and launched last week with Meghan speaking to her friend, tennis player Serena Williams, about ambition. Next week’s podcast will feature actress and producer Mindy Kaling.

3 September, 2022, 2:54 pm
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