Chad and Ryan Steelberg, “the Winfire brothers,” joined Google in January 2006 when they sold dMarc to Google. dMarc had created a self-service system for purchasing radio advertising, much like Google’s own Adwords. The service, in fact was integrated with Adwords and available to a limited number of advertisers, currently reaching about 600 radio stations.
Google has been rolling it out with slow growth. Radio advertising has been a very people-centered rather than technology-centered market, and it’s a stretch for many of the traditional advertisers.
The departure of the Steelberg brothers raises doubts about the future of Google’s radio ad system. When dMarc was acquired in January 2006, there was a substantial performance bonus incentive — reported over two billion. The question is, did they achieve sufficient success in the past twelve months to earn a significant portion of that? Or were they losing the battle for the bonus, and moving on to The Next Big Thing?
Maybe Greg can fill me in. Meinke?
For further reading pleasure: