OZY Media, Celebrity Hype, And Houses Of Cards

The very first time I became aware of OZY Media and OZY Fest, I really believed it was the current mixture from Ozzie and Sharon Osbourne. That rock n’ ’ roll power couple initially put a variation of their lives in front of millions of us with their hit program, ““ The Osbournes, ” on MTV. The Kardashians would come later on.


But alas, OZY Media was the item of a much smarter and larger believing buzz artist, Carlos Watson. As a veteran cable host and anchor, Watson’’ s dream was to put together a media empire focused on Millennials, and funded by celebs and banks that purchased into his popular culture vision.

Investors consisted of the better half of the late Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs, along with Milwaukee Bucks’ ’ co-owner Marc Lasry. They were early financiers, followed by a gaggle of huge cash stars, names, and organizations. It was approximated OZY Media and its various business raised some $80 million given that the business’’ s beginning in 2013.

There were news channels, tv, and naturally, a physical event, branded OZY Fest.

VIdeo screen cap: OZY

Watson, an alum of MSNBC and CNN, had handle CNBC, in addition to analyst, Katty Kay and Alex Rodriquez. OZY and iHeartMedia revealed a multiyear innovative collaboration back in 2018. NPR put Watson on their board, a position he resigned last Friday. OZY Media’’ s development method was pinned on leveraging the most significant and most popular names to draw in a lot more prominent stars and brand names, a sort of media star Ponzi plan.

Seemingly, everybody desired in on the buzz. That is, up until the excrement struck the fan recently. The New York Times released a scathing expose declaring hyped audience numbers, even consisting of an OZY officer impersonating a YouTube representative on a financier call with Goldman Sachs. In a dubious effort to preserve their collapsing veneer of success, Watson and his partner, Samir Rao, remained in the procedure of attempting to draw out another $40 million from the prominent financial investment company. That’’ s when the Ozy Media misconception started to decipher.

Carlos Watson|Image: OZY

Following the Times’ ’ story reported by Ben Smith and Katie Robinson, OZY quickly shut all of it down last Friday, although its site (www.ozy.com) stays ““ up. ” The business ’ s slogan,” “ Now and Next, ” now has a hollow ring versus the carnage of multi-million dollar monetary losses and buzz.

On CNN’’ s” “ Reliable Sources ” the other day, host Brian Stelter spoke with Smith, and asked which business would be the next digital media start-up to collapse under its own buzz.

It’’ s a great concern, due to the fact that as economically persistent as equity capital and angel investing companies profess to be, millions frequently stream based upon gut, instinct, and the track record of a start-up’’ s creators. Whether it ’ s Bernie Madoff, Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos), or Carlos Watson, there’’ s no scarcity of flimflam.

Podcasting business are now delighting in the halo impact of buzz. While download metrics are inadequate and differ from source to source, that hasn’’ t stopped sponsors and other financiers from going all-in.

Satellite radio has actually long gained from an absence of use openness. And back in the early years, some supposed Sirius periodically pumped up ““ customer ” numbers by including unsold cars and trucks resting on dealer lots, none of which are tuned into Howard 100, Yacht Rock Radio, or the 60s on 6.

Broadcast radio operators have actually long groused about the ease with which Internet start-ups had not just raised gobs of money, however likewise set up big losses every year. Financiers are relatively tolerant of the red ink with these new business –– they even anticipate it. With conventional media, there’’ s a much greater bar of efficiency, not to discuss a near overall absence of federal government oversight and policy.

As we have actually pertained to learn –– with the Internet wave of the late 1990s, and over the last few years –– a cool name, an open workplace with complimentary beer and video games, and celeb influencers do not a lucrative business make. OZY turned out to be a home of cards, as my radio buddy and coach, Norm Feuer, typically referred to brand names that were ““ all hat and no livestock.” ”


Surely, Caroline Beasley, David Field, Ed Christian and other leaders of radio centric corporations are running on totally various monetary expectations when doing their financier calls. Their cumulative aggravation with the monetary double-standard is easy to understand.

And then there’’ s the matter of what you get for your media financial investment when it concerns marketing. Every media outlet, from the Yellow Pages to OZY Media include a specific thrive to their numbers. Radio broadcasters have actually likewise been understood to pump up the worth of media strategies or post-buy analyses when they value points out at premium costs or supply heady price quotes of crowd sizes for station occasions

But when you purchase radio, you understand what you’’ re getting. Thanks to Nielsen information –– numbers that are much-maligned however that paint a fairly precise image of the radio market –– it’’ s fairly simple for marketers to represent their cash.

Radio might not be fashionable, it might not be stylish, and it most definitely is not innovative. You understand where you stand. You can take these numbers to the bank if a station has a cume ranking of 15% or an AQH of 12,000 throughout early morning drive.

Contrast that with the uncertainty that features social and digital media, particularly surrounding advertisement positioning and the marketing environment. Do your advertisements run beside dislike speech and other unwanted material? Who do you call when you’’ re dissatisfied with your project and its outcomes?

Broadcast radio is far from ideal, however what you see –– or in this case, hear –– is what you get. And provided the environment, that’’ s not a bad offer.

In short, where’’ s the responsibility, a word we hear bandied about nowadays.

There might be less of it than ever.

Oddly enough, Carlos Watson and the Osbournes had a skirmish a long time back over the OZY name. Obviously, Watson had actually declared Ozzy and Sharon were early financiers, after a legal face-off about the brand name occurred. Sharon informed CNBC recently that never ever took place.

And in summing up her take on Watson, Sharon Osbourne left absolutely nothing to analysis:

““ This person is the most significant shyster I have actually ever seen in my life.””


In this case the rock stars may have done more due diligence than the financier neighborhood.


Read more: jacobsmedia.com

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