Ozy doesn’t rely on standard traffic metrics, but the best-known service, Comscore, shows nothing close to the company’s public claims. According to Comscore, Ozy touched nearly 2.5 million people for a few months in 2018, but only 230,000 people in June 2021 and 479,000 in July. Mr Watson called Comscore’s figures “incomplete,” noting that they do not include impressions on platforms ranging from social media to television and podcasts.
Other figures appear to be wrong, but are more difficult to verify. Ozy told Axios in January that the company’s newsletters had “over 20 million subscribers.” By comparison, Morning Brew, a successful newsletter-based business media company, claims to have three million subscribers.
“I’ve never heard of an explanation about Ozy that made sense to me,” said Brian Morrissey, the former editor-in-chief of Digiday, a publication covering digital media and the tech industry, who writes now The Rebooting, a media-focused newsletter. companies. He said he was struck by the company’s claims, adding: “Then you take the test, and never once in my life has an item of Ozy content crossed my world organically. . “
Mr Watson said in the email that he understood the skepticism but that Ozy’s growth “has been very real.”
“This is the result of our team who have acted fearlessly to launch and develop five newsletters, 12 TV shows, six podcasts, now four annual festivals starting next year and the Ozy Genius Awards,” he said. -he declares. “Each of our verticals is thriving and we fully support our numbers and performance. “
But the company overestimated its success on large platforms, as well as the strength of its relationship with them. Billboards in Los Angeles, for example, say “The Carlos Watson Show” is “Amazon Prime’s premier talk show.” In fact, Ozy uploaded the show to the platform through a service called “live video,” which many YouTube channels use to grab additional views on Amazon’s video platform, but which doesn’t receive no promotion of Amazon Prime Video itself. Last week, Amazon complained that Ozy’s use of its brand name on billboards violated promotion guidelines; Ozy apologized and promised to remove the signs, an Amazon Prime Video spokesperson said.
Mr Watson said the billboards’ claim was “correct,” but confirmed the company would stop making the claim at Amazon’s request.