Image source: Facebook / @OZY

According to its website, OZY media “is a diverse, global and forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on” finding “the New and the Next.” However, when one looks under the surface, it is not diverse and seems to operate in the same manner in which traditionally White-owned media corporations function.

Since its founding in 2013, many of the large venture capitalist companies have incessantly invested heavily into the start-up. It was billed to be a “space for fresh perspectives,” which would incorporate “new takes on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment.” Unfortunately, it has just been a new flavor for what has been the same on the online and digital media frontier for the past decade.

The concern is that the corporations that heavily invested in this venture, did more harm than good by not using many of the well-established diverse, or even African American-owned media conglomerates that have been in operation for more than multiple decades. Although funding to African American entrepreneurs in the U.S. hit nearly $1.8 billion through the first half of 2021, much of this capital is directed toward start-ups, as opposed to recognized companies that frequently have cash flow concerns when business slows down.

“Black-owned media requires a matching of investment by advertising agencies and brands in the very market maker that blacks represent in the United States. What we’ve seen traditionally is black face white media or black face representing white media in an equity and ownership position and we have not seen Black-owned, Black targeted, Black investment via advertising for media platforms. The business model Is advertising and sponsorship. The six major holding or advertising agencies companies represent the Fortune 1000 and they refuse to invest in black equity ownership media platforms,” said Todd Brown, owner of Urban Edge Networks.

Traditional funding for these enterprises is overlooked when interest is targeted toward that “it” company that is presented as the next best thing to happen in the digital media space when it really has no track record to stand on, other than the support and interest of big-name celebrities. This means that corporations using OZY media have actually managed to economically injure and stifle the growth of existing Blacked-owned media organizations.

This is unacceptable and they should immediately make amends to correct this dilemma.


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