About David Segura
David Segura was born in El Paso, Texas, and dreamed of living in a big city. He attended college at the University of Chicago and loved the experience but longed for warmer weather, so he settled in Los Angeles, where he began his career in the media and ad tech space.
Previously, he founded Giant Media, an early Video Advertising exchange and network including L’Oreal, Dollar Shave Club, American Express, and Toyota, as just a few of its clients. In 2014, Giant Media was successfully acquired by Adknowledge, an AdTech platform funded by Nokia, TPG, and JMI. Today, David is the CEO and Co-Founder of Glassbox Media.
What is Glassbox Media?
Glassbox Media is a premier podcast creator platform using technology to boost audience growth, navigate new content formats for podcast creators, and increase revenue opportunities. It was founded in 2021 when some of the Giant Media team, including David and his Co-Founder, Chris Whitman, reunited. Their experience helping the Dollar Shave Club go viral at Giant Media gave them ample expertise to help brands connect with the best podcast creators.
Currently, Glassbox Media reaches over 10 million monthly downloads for audio listeners and 30 million monthly YouTube views in verticals such as true crime, comedy, business, tv and film, health and fitness, and society and culture. Some of their most renowned podcasts include Classic Conversations, Missing, 10ish Podcast, the Smart People Podcast, and The Heart Speaks.
How Does Glassbox Media Work with Creators?
Glassbox Media looks for superstar podcast creators with around a hundred thousand to two million monthly listeners.
David shares, “It’s [podcasts] tech forward. It’s in demand. It can be geo-targeted, so whether you’re the talent, or alternatively, you’re the brand or the listener, you’re going to get a better product, but to jump to the point, what we tried to capitalize on and what we’re trying to at Glassbox is we’re almost like a record label. In other words, we’re going out and signing superstar creators.”
These creators already know what they’re doing in terms of creating content and attracting an audience. However, with help from the Glassbox Media team, they can experience accelerated audience growth, use technology to automate their process, and grow revenue streams.
The Impact of AI on the Podcast Industry
David explains, “The short answer is that it [AI in the industry] remains to be decided, but at least for us, the reason we’re curious to learn more about how to leverage it properly is that a lot of our hosts if you were to ask them, what do you want to do this year would tell you with a straight face that they want to produce more content.”
Creating quality content is a huge time investment, and creators only have so much to dedicate to podcast creation. As a result, David and his team are interested in how AI can reduce creator workload, allowing creators to produce more content at the same quality.
Using Podcast Swapping to Grow
A common practice in the podcast industry is cross-promotion, otherwise known as podcast swapping.
David explains, “It’s basically what a lot of podcasters have been doing forever, meaning that if I have a cool business podcast, I respect your business podcast. With friends, I might literally say, “Hey, I like your show. I’m going to do a read for you. You do one for me, and we’ll just trade multiple times a week.”
Unfortunately, David shares that cross-promotion doesn’t always work because people get busy and fail to keep up with it or find it difficult to track the results and stop. Instead, he recommends creators do less manual cross-promotion and focus on creating short trailers that automate the podcast swaps process, resulting in more consistent results.
Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Space in Podcasting
Podcasting is unique because creators can do it anywhere. David shares that when they founded Glassbox Media, he believed most of their creators would be from New York or Los Angeles. However, he quickly realized that top creators could be found all over the country.
The ease of starting a podcast also makes it more accessible to people from all walks of life.
David shares, “We really think it’s going to open up more opportunities for people of color, people with indigenous backgrounds, you name it. We’re starting to see that with a lot of our podcast, and we’re happy to say that it’s a broader trend.”
Challenges in the Podcasting Space
Many worry that a possible recession may slow down the growth of the podcast industry and monetization opportunities. However, David shares that this hasn’t been the experience at Glassbox or many other companies in the space.
Another exciting challenge David notes is that Glassbox Media is helping more mega-brands integrate their marketing into the podcast industry.
“The big surprise for us is that a lot of our former clients at Giant… the mega brands like P&G, Heineken, and more, a lot of these folks are basically new to podcast advertising. They know the listeners are there, but they’re still trying to get a handle on what is best practice.”
Many mega-brands have been investing in video and social media marketing but are still determining how to advertise in the podcast industry.
David adds, “I’m determined to see more of how Glassbox and companies like us make these folks [mega brands] feel comfortable spending their massive budgets on podcasting as opposed to places they usually spend it on, so that’s the number one challenge in podcasting today.”
David’s Advice for Creators
David’s biggest tip for aspiring podcasters is to believe in yourself.
He explains, “It’s incredibly hard work, and the one thing I will say about podcasting, like many things in life, is that discovery is hard. In other words, you’re working hard, you know that you’re thinking through it, but at the end of the day, it’s hard to see the tangible rewards.”
It can be difficult for any creator to continue putting in many hours of hard work without seeing an immediate payoff. However, David urges creators to trust themselves and their abilities.
Podcast Success Stories
Podcast hosts with Glassbox Media are offered a financial guarantee in exchange for putting their trust in the company and signing a long-term contract.
A niche that has been wildly successful for Glassbox Media is true crime. David shares that they cut their teeth signing many amazing podcast shows in the true crime niche early on.
David shares, “Our whole philosophy here at Glassbox is that we care about the genre and themes, but we’re much more obsessed with the quality of the podcast host.”
One of Glassbox Media’s biggest success stories is with the podcast, Practical Stoicism. Their exclusive partnership with Tanner Campbell allowed Tanner to become a full-time podcaster and philosopher. With Glassbox Media’s help, Tanner’s podcast grew from 230,000 monthly downloads to over 550,000.