iHeartMedia and OZY Media Announce Multi-Year Deal

iHeartMedia and OZY Media announced a new multi-year deal to co-produce and promote a slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts, with three shows set to be released in 2020 and distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network. The partnership reflects iHeartRadio’s focus on growing its library of high-quality original podcasts for its hundreds of millions of listeners across the country and OZY Media’s continued expansion into original content for audio and TV.

“OZY’s global suite of diverse storytellers and story-finders focuses on what’s new and what’s next. These podcasts reflect the desire of younger audiences to broaden their minds and think bigger,” said Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of OZY Media. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the massively talented team at iHeartMedia to co-produce powerful and diverse podcasts for listeners.”

The first co-produced podcast in the slate will be Around the World, a travel and culture podcast featuring stories of changemakers and renegades from around the world who are doing the unexpected in the face of adversity. The content will originate from OZY’s groundbreaking year-long editorial project that saw them report three stories from every country on earth. The two additional podcasts set to launch this year include a spin-off from OZY’s series The Thread and a scripted podcast.

These narratives draw from OZY’s cutting-edge digital news stories and have evolved into podcasts that appeal to a wide range of curious listeners interested in seeing a broader and bolder world. In addition to co-producing the new slate of original podcasts, two of OZY’s existing news and culture podcasts – The Thread and OZY Confidential – will join the iHeartPodcast Network’s deep catalog of podcast titles.

As part of the deal, iHeartMedia and OZY Media will work together to co-produce these original podcasts for distribution and promotion across iHeartMedia’s multiple platforms including broadcast radio stations, iHeartRadio, its digital streaming platform, as well as social media channels. The iHeartPodcast Network has more than 750 original shows available to listeners nationwide.

OZY Media Raises $35 Million

OZY Media has raised $35 million in a new round of financing to support the expansion of its TV production, live events, and podcasting operations. Variety reported that this latest investment brings the total financing raised to date by OZY Media to more than $70 million. All of OZY Media’s existing investors – including GSV Capital, Axel Springer, and Emerson Collective – returned for the new round.

Marc Lasry, co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, led the series C funding round with participation from Interlock Partners, LionTree, Atinum Investment, iHeart Media and Tom Franco, Don Gogel and Roberto Quinta, partners in private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Lasry has joined the Mountain View, Calif.-based OZY Media, co-founded by former CNN host Carlos Watson and Samir Rao.

OZY Media was founded on the belief that more is possible and a determination about how the world operates and what lies ahead. The name comes from “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The poem is commonly read as a warning agains outsized egos and the impermanence of power.

But the founders of OZY, Samir Rao and Carlos Watson, see it differently. To them, the poem is a call to think big while remaining humble. They admit this is an unconventional interpretation. “In a world littered with conformity, we like to see things differently.”

Podcasts on OZY include:

Briefly with OZY: A morning wake-up, smartly catching you up on the leading news stories of the day.

The Future of X: Health
: In The Future of X, Ozy fast-forward’s 50 years to explore the industries and domains that will shape our world, and some of the dreamers doing the shaping. The first topic is health care in 2069.

OZY Confidential
: Part rant-o-riffic talk from the edge, part no-holds-barred delving into the dark stuff often left unsaid. This is OZY’s newest must-listen podcast.

The Thread: (Hosted by Sean Braswell) Explore history’s interlocking lives and events. Turn back the clock one story at a time. Discover how various strands are woven together to create a historic figure, a big idea or an unthinkable tragedy.

Take on America
: Emmy Award-winning journalist Carlos Watson travels the country to moderate proactive, intimate discussions on the most pressing issues of our time.

The Daily Dose
: Every day, they profile the people, places, trends and technology that are ahead of their time and worthy of yours.

It Started with $1
: Learn from entrepreneurs who are shaking up their industries, emboldening their communities and effecting positive change who realized the value of a dollar and the infinite possibilities it holds.