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5 Questions for Gregory Galant – RadioTail

Gregory Galant is the CEO of RadioTail. RadioTail’s podcast ad network, advanced metrics and dynamic ad serving technology are used by media companies, ad agencies and advertisers to ensure that advertising in podcasts reaches the right audience and delivers a great return on investment. Greg first entered the world of podcasting when he founded Venture Voice, the leading podcast about entrepreneurship.

Greg has worked at Newlight Associates, a $120M technology venture capital firm, sourcing investments and managing deal flow. Greg was an associate producer at where he analyzed the latest trends in citizens’ media. In 1996 at age 14, Greg started Halenet, Inc., an award-winning Internet strategy firm. Greg founded the Young Professionals Chamber of Commerce in 2000 to engage students in the business world. He’s been the teacher of its entrepreneurship workshop for high school and college students for the past six years. Greg graduated Emory University with a degree in philosophy. He has been featured in The New York Times, the Venture Capital Journal, The New York Daily News, MarketWatch, Catherine Crier’s WOR radio show and News 12. The Suffolk Nassau Chamber of Commerce named him the 2003 “Entrepreneur of the Year”.

One Degree: Your new venture, RadioTail is focused on using podcasting as a new medium for advertisers. What are some of the issues marketers face when they want to market on other people’s podcasts?

Advertising in podcasts is an unprecedented opportunity for marketers to reach a targeted and highly engaged audience. The largest issue for marketers in podcast advertising is making sure they understand the medium they’re advertising in. Advertisers were able to get away with long and obnoxious ads in TV and radio for years. Podcasting is changing the game overnight. Effective podcast advertising demands short creative that speaks intelligently to a sophisticated user base.

One Degree: I worry a bit about social media as a marketing tool. So many marketers are looking for ROI and accountability in general and marketing in social media seems to go against the trend. How do you reconcile the drive for ROI driven marketing with social media?

Marketers looking for ROI would be well advised to embrace social media. In addition to all the metrics online advertising has always offered (e.g. reach, frequency, impressions), social media can be measured on engagement based on factors such as reverse links, comments, subscribers and outbound clicks. Prior to the rise of podcasting and other forms of rich media on the web, the only way rich media advertisers could reach consumers was by buying ads in TV or broadcast radio. Both use surveys or diaries to measure audience. That’s not a very accountable medium. Podcasting on the other hand offers so many metrics since each download can be tracked, that the largest challenge is to know what metrics to pay attention to. That’s a much better problem to have if you’re a business focused on ROI.

One Degree: You just started offering a service called “Ripple” that’s free to publishers. What’s the strategy here?

We originally built an advanced podcast metrics system for the large media companies we work with as part of our enterprise advertising solution. As we talked with more and more podcast publishers, we realized that many were struggling to generate and interpret metrics on their podcast. To help them out, we decided to bundle our metrics system in a new free system called Ripple. With Ripple, podcasters can sign up in minutes and track the usage of their podcast—generating an online media kit. We only make money when the podcasters do (by selling ads for them and helping them place ads in their podcast). The basic service will always be free.

One Degree: iTunes is a huge part of the podcast ecosystem. What challenges does this create for marketers and publishers?

Apple has done a great thing for the industry by making subscribing to a podcast a one-click operation. The iTunes software connects directly to the podcaster’s server, so it’s fully measurable. The largest challenge is simply that iTunes is not a standard web browser, so you can’t rely on standard metrics and ad serving packages for podcasts. That’s where a company like RadioTail comes in.

One Degree: Video has come on faster than anything I’ve seen in my 13 years working on the Internet. Do you think video will steal the limelight from audio podcasts and if so, how will RadioTail adjust?

We work with both video and audio podcasts, so we’re very excited about the rapid rise of video. That said, I think audio podcasts will always have a unique power to engage users (just as radio has remained a $20 billion industry despite TV). Audio is easier to produce which lends to more variety, and can it be experienced while driving, exercising or gardening. Let’s do the next interview as a podcast!