Frankel on her deal with iHeartMedia and the investment in the unicorn startup Cameo.
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4 min read
Bethenny Frankel doesn't really see herself as an entrepreneur, despite a list of grocery, literature, and media ventures. Instead, she chooses a simple approach to her interests: do the things you are passionate about and do them.
Now she has made another big deal out of her latest passion project: she signed a multi-year podcasting contract with iHeartMedia.
The deal adds their popular Just B podcast with Bethenny Frankel to the iHeartPodcast network and makes Frankel an art content director on the network. She will create and produce new podcasts on a variety of topics including fashion, dating and lifestyle. "After we sign the deal, [iHeartPodcast President Conal Byrne] will put me together with a team of producers," says Frankel.
Frankel started her podcast last September and she started as a complete newbie: she had never heard a podcast before starting her own. She has since attracted high profile guests like Hillary Clinton, Mark Cuban, and Paris Hilton, and says the experience taught her a few things about the medium.
“[The podcast] lives, it breathes. It's not rushed. It doesn't market anything, "she says." People don't come there to talk about their book, their product. You may mention something, but it's about humanizing people and getting people from another side and understanding who they really are and what makes them tick. It gives people the keys to the kingdom as they have succeeded. "
She has also learned from the responses from her audience. For example, her podcast generally includes a segment where she rants about something – and the audience has responded positively. "I just sit down and start talking and it was amazing just being free and expressing myself and that's a very successful part of the podcast," she says. Now, she says, she wants to instill that sensitivity into the other podcasts she'll be producing, including comedy content.
The iHeartMedia deal comes in the same week as another big media win for Frankel: she's an early investor in celebrity video request platform Cameo, which this week announced a valuation of just over $ 1 billion after she raised $ 100 million in Series C funding.
This relationship started in a different way. Frankel says that Cameo's team approached her initially to be on the app and sell videos to their fans. She wasn't sure if that suited her or her career, but she was intrigued by the concept. In the fall of 2018, she negotiated a deal to invest in Serie A. Then she joined the second round. Now in the app herself, she says she's making income 20 times her investment.
"We made a lot of money. I don't know how to put it any other way. From a not crazy investment at the beginning to a really substantial profit, says Frankel." It was my first real investment like this. So it was exciting. "
Frankel remains optimistic about new media and says it will continue to penetrate various areas. She has planned future efforts in the TV and bookrooms and is building on her brand on the home shopping channel HSN.
"Everything I do has to have an ROI," says Frankel. "As you get older, time becomes more valuable. So you decide what you want to do."
Related: Bethenny Frankel: "I Had To Learn To Be A Gangster"