Even Though the Sussexes Knew They Weren’t On the Same Page with Spotify, They Still Signed $20M Deal Because They “Needed Serious Money,” Author Claims

“The money was on the table, and they were in a desperate place.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back as working members of the royal family in January 2020, it was unclear exactly what their path forward would be professionally. After all, both had expected to work for the Firm for the rest of their lives—and then, suddenly, that chapter was over.

As he promoted his new book Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival—out today—Omid Scobie delineated why the Sussexes chose to sign a lucrative deal with Spotify, and, all told, the reason is pretty simple: they “needed serious money,” Scobie told The Independent

meghan harry

(Image credit: Getty)

Following their exit from the royal family, Scobie said Harry and Meghan went on a deal-signing spree, inking agreements with not just Spotify but also Netflix and Penguin Random House, publisher of Harry’s memoir Spare. This was all in an attempt to ease the tremendous “financial pressure” they were under after relocating to the U.S. in 2020.

The pressure only mounted after Harry was cut off financially from his family, including his security (which was privately funded by then-Prince Charles), after Scobie said that Harry spoke out about his brother Prince William’s communications team leaking stories about him and Meghan to a British tabloid while the Sussexes still lived in the U.K.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Getty)

“Senior aides said, ‘If you don’t stop poking into this, you’re going to face the consequences,’” Scobie said. “Not long later he was cut off from all financial support, including security, which Prince Charles was funding privately. That sends someone into a spin of having to sign a whole bunch of deals.”

Scobie added that their $20 million deal with Spotify “fell apart” because of creative differences, explaining that the audio giant was “looking for headline-grabbing, media-stirring content”—something that Harry and Meghan weren’t comfortable with. “Obviously they had money,” Scobie said. “But they needed serious money for a proper roof over their heads and security. It was the middle of a pandemic; of course you’re going to sign the deals.”

He continued “I’d imagine the couple knew at the start that’s what Spotify wanted from them, but the money was on the table, and they were in a desperate place.”

prince harry and meghan markle

(Image credit: Getty)

This past June, the Sussexes and Spotify announced that they were terminating the deal after nearly three years and just one season of Meghan’s podcast “Archetypes,” which produced 13 episodes in total.

In Endgame, Scobie writes that Harry and Meghan were unaware that Spotify would “turn down so many of their ideas,” and that the couple has learned a “mountain of lessons” about business dealings that they will take with them going forward. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.