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CNBC's next 25 years list: Ryan Seacrest
CNBC's next 25 years list: Ryan Seacrest   

Ryan Seacrest was always working on a plan to dominate the media landscape, even if as a kid, he didn't quite realize it.

"I was always fascinated by the guys on the radio as a kid, when I was interning at a local station in Atlanta," Seacrest, a member of the CNBC Next List, recently told CNBC. "I was in awe of every single mechanic in the operation."

Fourteen seasons of American Idol, a show Seacrest thought would be canceled after the first season, was "the jackpot" that has allowed Seacrest to move beyond his tag as "the next Dick Clark" and become a true media investing mogul. Not that he has forgotten the lessons the actual Dick Clark taught him.

"I would watch Merv Griffin and Dick Clark," Seacrest recalled. "[Clark] pulled me aside, and he said, 'If they all think they can do it, you're doing a good job."

Ryan Seacrest CNBC Next 25
Benjamin Wachenje
"As I look at the future, I see myself doing a little bit of everything, but a little less of everything. I like everything, but maybe just with lowercase letters, not capital letters." -Ryan Seacrest, media mogul

Seacrest's goal now is to make a global media investing company look as easy as hosting New Year's Eve for America or Idol.

"I have great opportunities to leverage being in front of the camera," Seacrest said. "The goals of [Seacrest Global Group] are to create compelling content and tell great stories. It's really that simple. We consume media all the time," he said. "Radio is with you in the car, television is with you on your phone and tablet, and to the extent we can create better quality content for all of these outlets, that's where it is going."

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One big bet Seacrest has made on "where it's going" in media is DigiTour, a company that handles tours of YouTube and Vine stars. "It's become a very successful touring operation," he said.

Seacrest Global will continue to invest in social and digital media trends. "Seacrest Global is an investment fund looking at different companies in media. There will be a big need for marketing as time goes on, to take the dollar further when it comes to marketing spend and ad spending," Seacrest said.

Has Seacrest stretched himself a little thin in even becoming a fashion-line impresario? He said of the clothing line for men, "It has been a lot of fun," but he also hinted that maybe he's ready to take a step back from the kid who had to learn the job of every mechanic in the operation.

"As I look at the future, I see myself doing a little bit of everything, but a little less of everything. I like everything, but maybe just with lowercase letters, not capital letters," Seacrest said.