OZY Media increasing focus in entertainment and media in MENA

OZY Media increasing focus in entertainment and media in MENA

Media industry expected to grow at 10% y-o-y globally by 2030Press Release

  • MENA represents OZY’s fastest growing region outside the United States, with revenue expected to increase 5x between 2020 and 2022

Riyadh/Dubai: OZY Media, a cutting-edge global media company, today announced an increased focus on the entertainment and media industry in MENA — noting that media platforms which truly engage curious and educated young adults across the globe, with differentiated, forward-looking content and experiences will capture the largest share of a media sector which is projected to grow exponentially from US$792 billion* to US$ 6 trillion** globally by 2030.     

OZY Media has quickly emerged as the news source of choice, leading Fortune magazine to name it “the future of media”. Its strong, four-part media business offers future-focused news and culture – on television, in person (via festivals), on podcasts and online to a loyal, sticky fan base of more than 50 million.

With around 10 percent of OZY’s audience already coming from the Middle East, the region houses the fastest growing consumer base for OZY outside the US, with revenue expected to increase 5x between 2020 and 2022.

To capture the region’s growth potential, OZY is preparing to invest further and bring its diversified platform to MENA.

“We have exciting plans for the MENA region, to be supported by additional investment that will see us grow our team on the ground, open a new office and generate engaging and authentic regional content across all our platforms and mediums, including Television, Podcasts, Festivals and compelling digital news and features. In particular, we are excited to expand the footprint of OZY Fest — the world’s largest music, comedy and ideas festival — from New York to the Middle East,” says OZY co-founder and CEO Carlos Watson. “The region, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, is undergoing a meaningful, creative transformation when it comes to entertainment and media. Supported by economic diversification plans, and buoyed by young, fast-growing and highly connected audiences, a whole new opportunity in media is emerging and OZY will be here to participate and bring a fresh perspective to this development.”  

Carlos Watson will be delivering the keynote address at the opening of Arabnet Riyadh tomorrow (10 December) to a gathering of over 6000 entrepreneurs, angel investors, and regulators in MENA, to highlight OZY’s journey amidst a rapidly shifting media landscape and the keys for this industry to flourish globally and in the MENA region.

Samir Rao, who co-founded OZY Media with former CNN and MSNBC anchor and Goldman Sachs colleague Carlos Watson, said: “The next generation of media companies that will shape our global conversation are being built now, and  there couldn’t be a more important time, both culturally and commercially, to be innovating in and committing to media. In order to succeed, we believe that media platforms need to meet the audience of the future with fresh “new and next” perspectives, delivered in smart, stylish flavourful ways — wherever they are — online, on-air and in person. That has been what has set OZY apart so far.”

The company is currently completing a new funding round with investors from around the world, and is already backed by Laurene Powell Jobs through her fund Emerson Collective, Avenue Capital’s Marc Lasry,  Google’s David Drummond, German media giant Axel Springer, Interlock Ventures, Venture Souq, and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice partners Tom Franco, Don Gogel and Roberto Quarta.


With an audience of over 50 million across its various platforms, OZY is a premium media and entertainment company that introduces the global Change Generation — a group of smart millennials and stylish Gen X’ers — to cutting-edge storytelling across TV, events, podcasts and digital media. OZY helps curious people see the world more broadly and more boldly by introducing them to “the New and the Next” — narratives that defy convention, change perspectives and ignite ideas. With team members hailing from the Times of London, Southern law firms, and the university hallways of Delhi, OZY has one of the most diverse teams in media, and an audience of engaged, curious change-makers from across the globe.

Called “the new media magnet for the news-hungry” by Fortune magazine, OZY’s high-quality journalism has touched every country in the world every state in the U.S., and has attracted a number of high-profile media partners, including Hulu, The New York Times, NPR, PBS, TED, The Financial Times and many more. Across its many platforms, OZY has worked with a wide range of thought leaders and entertainers including John Legend, Trevor Noah, Oprah,  Bill Gates, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Mark Cuban to name a few.

Founded in 2013 by Emmy Award-winning journalist Carlos Watson and Samir Rao, OZY is based in Mountain View, California.

*PwC’s annual “2018 Media & Entertainment Outlook,” which projects that industry revenues will reach $792.3 billion by 2022, up from 666.9 billion in 2017.

** Marketresearch: The global entertainment and media market is expected to reach approximately USD 6,709.4 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 10.40% during the forecast period.


Borouj Consulting
Randa Mazzawi
+971 50 4506120