(Bloomberg Opinion) — One of the most popular reviewers of cars online is Doug DeMuro. His YouTube channel has amassed 3.7 million subscribers, and his videos have been streamed over 1.1 billion times, with each averaging 2 million views. DeMuro, who is this week’s guest on Masters in Business, also co-founded the auction site Cars & Bids and is the author of two books: “Plays With Cars” and “Bumper to Bumper.”
Bored with being a cubicle drone at Porsche, DeMuro quit to become a writer. His early columns drew praise for being humorous and honest, as evidenced by this 2013 review of the Chicago Auto Show. After a reader suggested shooting videos to accompany his columns, DeMuro started experimenting with scripted videos. Not long after, in 2014, he decided to buy a used 2004 Ferrari 360 Modena for some $80,000 — putting down half the cost in cash and financing the rest with a co-sign from his parents.
He experimented with the media format, producing items such as “Does a Ferrari 360 Attract Women?” (No, they actually attract teenage boys and car guys). But when he let 20 friends drive his Ferrari, filming their reactions, the video quickly went viral. DeMuro soon noticed his videos were being seen by more people than his written columns. Since he could not buy a car each time he wanted to make a video, DeMuro began reviewing other people’s cars. Once his YouTube channel amassed 100,000 subscribers, it became obvious it was a viable business model. Recently, he launched the new automobile auction site Cars & Bids, focusing on cars from the 1980s to present.
A list of his favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Bloomberg, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Pedro Earp, Chief Marketing Officer at Anheuser-Busch InBev SA as well as the director of the company’s venture capital fund, ZX Ventures. AB InBev is the world’s leading brewer, selling about a quarter of all beer around the world and operating in more than 150 countries through such brands as Budweiser, Corona, Stella, Becks Modela and 100s others.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”
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