Lawyer: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Spotify Exit Likely Isn't A $20 Million Failure

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have landed a few lucrative deals since stepping down as senior members of the royal family and moving out of the U.K. Knowing that they'd need to earn a living without the help of Harry's father, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wasted no time making things happen to secure their future. One of the deals Harry and Meghan agreed to was with Spotify (via CBS News). Dawn Ostroff, Spotify's chief content and advertising business officer, called Harry and Meghan "citizens of the world" and expressed excitement over the collaboration. "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," Ostroff said.

More than two years later, Meghan released her very own podcast called "Archetypes." The show premiered in August and featured 13 episodes. Despite being successful — it won a Gracie Award — "Archetypes" won't be back for a second season. The reason? "Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together," read a joint statement (via NBC News). Some people are calling the now-defunct deal a complete failure, but that may not actually be the case.

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Spotify contract terms have likely been worked out

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle landed a gig with Spotify, the New York Post reported that it was worth some $25 million. With only a 13-episode podcast and nothing more, it seems as though things didn't actually work out as planned — but will the Duke and Duchess of Sussex actually have to return any of the money they were paid?

Following their departure from Spotify, The List caught up with entertainment law attorney Camron Dowlatshahi, a partner at Los Angeles-based Mills Sadat Dowlat LLP, for a fresh perspective on the situation. "I would need to see the contract, but there are likely benchmarks for payment that call for a certain amount of payment for partial performance. If not, they can argue that the full amount won't have to be paid back because some work has been completed. So, if Spotify gets all the money back, it will be unjustly enriched by the partial performance of the Sussexes," Dowlatshahi explained, adding, "I doubt the Sussexes received the full $20 million and spent it all, so no — I don't anticipate they will be desperate to enter into any deal to cover the payment back." 

We may never actually know the terms of Harry and Meghan's Spotify deal, but it sounds like things should have all been sorted out based on the initial contract.