Exposing a Podcast ScamSep 18, 2023
Four million dollars was stolen from these
podcasters and I decided to investigate. I found the man responsible, but before I confront him, let's go back to where it all started when Theo Von, a comedian, released this. Our
podcastwas let down. We were robbed from the company that I did it as a delivery medium and the man who did it is Colin Thompson altogether. Just from talking to people there's up to four million dollars that I know of, uh, we're in the six figures. What I know, podcasts are at seven. Figures now, when I saw this, I had the same two questions in mind as you, one being Colin Thompson and two, you all are making six to seven figures doing podcasts.
I'm in the wrong line of work. I make like four figures here. in the 10 million dollar studio I barely keep the lights on so I went to do some research and found out how these people are making all this money and also how they were robbed and what I found out was that this company stole the four million dollars was a podcast network called Cast Media Podcast Network, which was a fancy name for saying they represent podcasts to find sponsors. You know, all those things you violently skip to with the 15-second fast-forward button. Yeah, those guys and Cast Media would basically work with them as a middleman, take some money, give the read to the podcasters and then give the money, of course taking a cut for themselves, that simplifies it a little bit and we'll get into it. in details later, but what you need to know is that cast. the media had not been paying their talent on time and what started as a delay of maybe a month turned into seven eight nine months of late payment until one day they elected the media and their CEO, Colin Thompson He said, "We're probably going to declare bankruptcy." Which means you don't get anything unless you agree to a special deal with another podcast network called podcast one now who is podcast one?
Well, it's an even bigger network and they basically say, hey, we'll make you pay what they owe you if you sign a new one. Deal with the new terms with us, if you do, you will get back some of the money you owed now, some of the money you owed for two years and you will also get shares in our company, but what shares? Well, podcast Network, stock of a company that wasn't public yet, but as of this video it is now and it's down almost 50 percent now, if you took that stock in two years, you could sell it, how much it's worth at that point is doubtful.
Now on the podcast you would say they were just trying to help, it wasn't their debt so it's a lot now, the more cynical view of this is that it's kind of a strong weapon for the creators: either you take the deal or you never You will receive what you are paid for. I'm talking about podcasters like Jim Cornette. It is literally said that in the event that Cast cannot close the sale of podcast one assets, it will probably declare bankruptcy, so take the deal or lose everything you are owed and to make things even stranger, podcast one he was paying Cast Media in stock for every podcaster he took on. the deal, so if you accepted and wanted the money they owed you, you are bailing out the company that got you into this mess, so obviously some people didn't like the deal, although understandably others did and took the deal and Look, I'm not here to litigate whether those One podcast deals are good or bad, frankly, that's not the point of this video.
All cleanings will be complicated. What I did want to know is how those four million dollars were lost in the first one. place and to try to find out I started contacting everyone, starting with Colin Thompson, to ask their side of the story. You're accused of basically stealing four million dollars. Your clients say you let them down. What is your version of the story? Yes I appreciate you reaching out, you know, I wanted to talk to you because I appreciate the work that you do. I appreciate your journalistic integrity and know you will tell a fair story.
The cast of the story is kind of a dream vision of Independence, you know, freedom of speech is not subject to any kind of corporate rules, um, the ability and the backbone to support unique, talented, visionary independent voices , people like Theo Von, um, you know, the cast's perspective was Independence is the product, there were a lot of times where you know. We believed in a show, uh, it had problems, maybe it was canceled in one way or another and canceled in quotes and we supported our creators, we continued to support them during that time, you know, when maybe more corporate organization, right? we stormed together um we truly believe that that's what you know was unique and special about the cast and my heart and soul is still in that Vision.
I'm a musician originally um and I got into this because I wanted to support shows that were grouping the trend that goes against the grain but is unique and important to the broader dialogue um but where's the four million? I mean, yeah, I hear you, I hear you, everyone has a Big Vision, but the Big Vision when you know when At this point, everyone wants to know where the money is, not what the vision is, sure you know we build an infrastructure. , a cast I wasn't tremendously proud of. I think over the years we've generated better revenue for creators, we've paid them. put out more than other podcasts necessarily could because we invest a lot in infrastructure, we take an individualized approach anecdotally, you know, but you're saying we pay more, but I mean, I mean clearly, that's something that's not true, wait, wait. but you asked about my story, do you mind if I just tell, just tell the story, you know we're hitting financial difficulties, sure, sure, you know, our vision, it really worked, the creators benefited, they made a lot more money than them .
I would have um uh and a lot of creators, you know, have more money in their pockets now because of that. However, during the period from February 2022 to February 2023, our unit economics dramatically changed our revenue per download, which is an important metric for analyzing sales performance. In other words, over the course of those 12 months, the revenue that we could generate from a download went down by 58, you know, okay, it took me three minutes to get to a real answer and I. I have to be honest, this whole conversation was about how painful it is to talk to someone who owes creators millions and he tells you how he got them paid so much money, it's a little frustrating, but putting that aside, the central claim of Colin is that all this happened. because revenue fell in 2022 and he just couldn't pay people on time, but when I talked to people about Colin I realized that late payments weren't a new thing at all, people told me that's always the case. it was like that okay you joined them in 2018 2018 Yeah so when did you start getting late payments?
Basically like they didn't come when they said they were going to come and when they stopped getting full payments. I can answer that right away, that was right before the first check we were supposed to do. I understand that it didn't arrive when you said it never arrived on time it wasn't unusual if it was like a month late to a month and a half late and then when it goes from being fine a month late to two months late to three months late and then I would say Hey, where is this? Where is the deposit?
Yeah, they're trying to figure it out, man, he says he has any investment coming, you're going to get big money, so that didn't come. you're looking at, you know, now you're looking at four months like it's the money they almost got six months like, okay man, where the hell is our money? Yes, that's a big deal, of course, until 2023, the money had started coming in slowly, so people were letting it slide, but as these balances built up over time, eventually Brynden and Brian realized that they were owed 400 thousand dollars for the fighter and the child and more than 1.6 million for all their programs.
Now remember that Brian was just informed about I'll Find the Children. you have to handle dick boy golden hours other shows that are owed money, so Brian says can you believe this? I'm like, yeah, 400 Grand is terrible, no, we're right, wow, 1.6 million, what are we doing here now? I should be clear, Colin. denies that these payment problems exist before 2022. Their talent says that they stopped receiving payments as early as 2021 and that they had problems and delays long before 2022. No, no, I am not aware of any difficulties, before I know the final. from 2022 to early 2023 then I spoke to his business partner and everything changed, he told me that accounting was always a nightmare.
My name is Dustin Canaus. I was Colin's business partner as he would introduce me and Gas Media's Vice President of Production and Creative Development. One of the things Colin said is that he was not aware of any accounting problems. They already know it from the beginning. That's right, have you heard of Talent? Because every time I told them and talked to them they said they were constantly complaining about accounting. Yes, I mean everyone. uh, from the beginning he had complained about how long it took to receive payment. Managers intervened constantly. I think all of his accounting was done through Google Sheets basically and it was just him, but he never let me see everything he didn't let me see. actually let me see what was coming in and what was coming out um and I was like well you know I need to get the full picture and he wouldn't do it he just wouldn't share it oh that's a red flag and it lines up exactly too From what I heard from a lot of the creators, the accounting was always strange, people had to look it up and the numbers were a little crazy, which led them to distrust what they were getting from Colin, they owed us more than we thought.
They still continued after that date and also we don't really know what the accounting is because they stopped the supply account, maybe at one point at the beginning of the year their accountant sent me two different sets of numbers about the money I was supposed to receive . I don't trust his accounting. I can't emphasize this enough. I heard this complaint over and over again, not just from Brian last time, everyone was concerned about accounting, but many people who spoke up were anonymous because they were afraid Collins would sue them. which is not surprising because Colin warned Brian, who began to speak, quote the resulting damages if he were to make this deal fall apart or within the region of 10 million to 20 million dollars, consider this a serious warning, it would lead to decisive legal action, so basically I was threatening people and people are scared, but I realized that these payment problems, accounting problems, they were all clues, sure, but not the whole story, to really understand how It could be that the cast fell apart, we need another piece of the puzzle, which are minimum guarantees, remember.
I told you before that I was simplifying podcast networks, so let's go into deeper waters. The truth is that these deals vary widely, and some of the biggest podcasters require something called a minimum guarantee where they don't just get paid a portion of the ads. We get paid a guaranteed minimum each month and podcasters love this because it means they don't have to wait as long to get paid, according to Colin, although that's how it fell behind, we had months there where our gross profit margins were, you know, literally. Negative before any operating expenses because the minimum guarantees that made economic sense when we did the deal were completely underwater.
Basically, he overpaid the cast, made deals to bring in people more than promised in the first place, and then couldn't even pay Colin's former business partner. He agreed to this, although he believes some of the money went to Colin personally. We have the narrative of Colin as his business partner. Look at the situation. 4 million missing. The big question is missing on everyone's mind: where did the money go? What happened is that he built a custom house. He was known for going on crazy vacations. You know, he went to Hawaii several times in 2022 and posted about it on social media.
There is no question about whether there was money. That sense, uh, being able to buy land where a lot of celebrities go to escape, but other than that, the other thing he's done is essentially make constant minimum guarantees to new talent to try to entice them to join the media, so I say to you. I know I will give you 250,000,500,000 guaranteed for one year. Whatever the guarantee, I heard that even in February of this year he was offering multi-million dollar minimum guarantees, so at the same time, or him. He claims that his income is very low.
He is offering multimillion-dollar minimum guarantees for talent. Yeah, you know, his priority is trying to keep the new talent happy for a while. Basically, your goal is to sell casts to make a lot of money in the end. But Yeah, I would say that honestly, most of the money probably went to the minimum guarantees of other talent, uh, rather than the people he was supposed to go to. Wow, that might be the closest thing we have to a coherent answer to what happened.cast media Our story doesn't end there though because it's obviously a pretty big accusation that some of the money could have gone into a house, so I decided to look into that and found out that Colin Thompson did indeed buy a $1.7 million house same year. like his financial problems and I also found out that right around the time he was talking about filing for bankruptcy, he moved that house into a trust where the trustee was a Wyoming LLC that he created that from Where I Stood looked a lot like hiding assets from a bankruptcy right before bankruptcy, but when I confronted Colin about this, he said he had things completely backwards.
The truth is that he was hiding the property from him for a totally different reason, a very sympathetic reason why we anonymized our address because we were receiving threats in the last 30 days. there was there has been you know I think you can see yeah I think you can see how other people might see it differently how it looks like you're trying to protect it by hiding it from a personal name in a trust owned by an LLC. I mean, I'm just in a very favorable space where I live. I assume you listen to the Jim Cornette episodes where I specifically mentioned where I live, we were very worried that we were receiving threats when I heard this, I was quite alarmed and totally understood his fears so I went ahead and looked up the episode where Jim Cornette apparently screamed specifically where he lived. but it wasn't there, actually Jim Cornette never mentions a specific address but rather a general area, but much more damning to Colin's story is the fact that that episode came out in July, but Colin formed his LLC to move the house in June , before these threats occurred.
It turns out that he is creating this shell company, so I found it very hard to believe. I pointed this out to Colin and he said that this quote revealed general details and I anticipated the possibility of this happening. Brian very specifically threatened him in my original email exchange with him. back in May, so I received those emails, there was no threat in them, instead Brian said things like consider this a serious warning, we will be sure to infinitely inform all listeners in great detail that Colin Thompson, a podcast, he stole our money. Because he doesn't know how to run a business, which is true, this guy doesn't know how to run a business, so I became more and more convinced that maybe Colin might be lying to me about why he hid the house from him. in a trust. with the manager of Wyoming LLC, okay I know this is a little inside baseball right now, but it's important because I think it reveals intentions because then I looked up the website he used to create the LLC and the slogan on the website of Collins LLC is listed asset protection. our only focus, so you know, you want to hide your house, the wrong company, don't focus on him, asset protection, that's your man.
I mean, I'm not surprised, but I am surprised that he tried to say this wasn't the case, so I sent a screenshot of that to Colin saying hey, you're obviously hiding assets in this company that specializes in protection planning. of assets, where the other slogan, by the way, is that the creditors will be forced to reach a better agreement or dismiss the case entirely and when I sent it to Colin he responded quoting I can't speak to what is written as material marketing on a website. I didn't write it. Come on brother, we got you good.
I can't show up at an exclusive asset protection store and say, "Hey, I was just looking." for a little anonymity, you know that's not being honest and look, I don't know how dumb this guy thinks we are, but in my opinion, what happened is pretty simple. I think Colin bought a $1.7 million house the same year he had trouble making payments. People, I think his accounting was always incomplete. I think he promised too much money to people to attract new talent and I think in the end he tried to sell everything to a bigger company and force these podcasters to make unfair deals and the worst part of all this is not a new story Colin is not unique in Actually the main reason I took this case is because we've all seen this story unfold before a sleazy businessman screwed over an artist, musician or podcaster.
To be honest, I wanted to know how it happened, but I also wanted to know how we can learn to prevent it in the future because, to be honest, I'm just as involved in this media landscape as these guys are and I think the answer starts with how you get involved, how Colin found and signed all these celebrities, well the truth is that some people were introduced by Brendan's store, but I asked Brian and Brendan how they got involved and their answer seemed like part of the problem, but was he just offering better deals than others?
Don't know. It's word of mouth it's because what happens is they say who their agency is, we don't know, no, no one, like we're not interacting with these people all the time, what happens is there's an agency that this one is with. person and this person is with you, you know, come on, do you make money? Yes, okay, can you connect me? Especially when the comics talk like man this guy is killing it for us man I made 1.6 million this year damn that's more than me. When you think who you think would accept me, then it becomes like the snowball effect and you know, and then everyone is there, yeah, this is the problem and look, it's not to absolve Colin, it's not to blame him. no one got screwed here but the truth is people always get carried away with these dollar amounts oh you made so much you know that's how they get you into these bad contracts and then they don't pay you and you're left chasing a Wyoming LLC going nowhere so this is It's not just about these podcasters it's everywhere it's about 360 deals on music mcns with YouTubers and honestly business people begging you to let them control your money and then you get leftovers, it is as disgusting as it is common and I really hope that any aspiring media person learns from these mistakes and
scams and realizes that you don't need these middlemen most of the time, but more than that, don't trust your business to people who promise you the world, in fact, that's usually the worst red flag.
I'm going to make all the money, just sign here, it's a
scamand you never know what's in the fine print until you read it, ask Dylan Danis Foreign.
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