Different figures appear off, however are tougher to confirm. Ozy told Axios in January that the corporate’s newsletters had “greater than 20 million subscribers.” By comparability, the Morning Brew, a profitable newsletter-based enterprise media firm, says it has three million subscribers.
“I’ve by no means heard a proof of Ozy that made sense to me,” mentioned Brian Morrissey, the previous editor in chief of Digiday, a publication overlaying digital media and the tech trade. He mentioned he was struck by the corporate’s claims, including, “you then do the intestine test, and by no means as soon as in my life has a bit of content material from Ozy crossed into my world organically.”
Mr. Watson mentioned within the electronic mail that he understood the skepticism however that Ozy’s progress “has been fully actual.”
“It’s the results of our workforce appearing fairly fearlessly to launch and develop 5 newsletters, 12 TV reveals, six podcasts, now 4 annual festivals beginning subsequent 12 months, and the Ozy Genius Awards,” he mentioned. “Every of our verticals is prospering, and we stand fully behind our numbers and efficiency.”
However the firm has overstated its success on large platforms, in addition to the energy of its relationship with them. Billboards in Los Angeles, as an illustration, say that “The Carlos Watson Present” is “Amazon Prime’s First Speak Present.” The truth is, Ozy has been importing the present to the platform by way of a service referred to as “video direct,” which many YouTube channels use to choose up additional views on Amazon’s video platform however which obtain no promotion from Amazon Prime Video itself. Final week, Amazon complained that Ozy’s use of its model identify on the billboards violated promotion pointers; Ozy apologized and promised to take down the indicators, an Amazon Prime Video spokesman mentioned.
Mr. Watson mentioned the billboards’ declare was “correct,” however confirmed that the corporate would cease making that declare at Amazon’s request.
Ozy additionally markets Mr. Watson’s present as “the fastest-growing discuss present in YouTube historical past,” a quote that seems to be drawn from a query posed by a number of ABC’s “Good Morning America” throughout Mr. Watson’s look final 12 months. Requested in regards to the declare, Mr. Watson mentioned that his present had extra views than another “premium day by day discuss present we’ve been capable of establish that was launched on YouTube.”