dMarc Founders Leave Google
February 9, 2007 at 5:48 AM (PT)
CHAD and RYAN STEELBERG, the founders of dMARC, the automated radio ad placement company purchased by GOOGLE in JANUARY 2006 (NET NEWS 1/17/2006), have left the company.
The brothers resigned amid reports of growing tension between dMARC and GOOGLE over differing approaches to radio ad sales. There was also said to be tension over the limited remuneration dMARC could expect under the performance-based terms of its original deal with GOOGLE.
A GOOGLE spokesman confirmed the departures, adding that the company intends to continue testing radio ads despite the exits. "GOOGLE is committed to the audio business," the spokesman said. "We will continue to gather feedback during the Audio Ads beta test and are happy with the progress to date."
GOOGLE bought dMARC for $102 million in cash plus the possibility of further payouts totaling up to $1.13 billion, if certain revenue targets were met. But last week, VALLYWAG.COM, a blog covering SILICON VALLEY businesses, reported that a source close to dMARC said management and investors were unlikely to get more than $200 million under the terms of the deal.
Despite the rocky year with dMARC, GOOGLE remains intent on penetrating the offline or "traditional media" ad business. Over the last two years, it has experimented with selling newspaper and magazine ads -- but these have been limited beta forays, and GOOGLE is circumspect about their results.