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3 reasons why Boston is the hub of mobile advertising

Posted by Chad O'Connor  December 20, 2013 11:00 AM

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Boston is known for many things: world-class universities, some of the best hospitals and medical research centers in the world, and for being the sports hub of the US. It is also increasingly becoming known as a global hub of mobile advertising.

The reason is based on connecting Boston’s industries to a massive global dynamic: the unprecedented consumer shift to mobile. Mobile devices, content, games, social networks, etc. have changed the way people from across the global work, learn, and play.

The industries that have shaped this global shift reside here in Boston (among other places). Mobile, big data, content and game developers, and technology—four industries well entrenched in Boston—have combined to become inseparable from someone’s daily way of life.

This massive shift has also spawned the mobile advertising market, which at the end of day is the critical economic link between getting free content and enabling people and companies to make money. The massive shift in consumer behavior helps explain how mobile advertising has grown from a $1B market to one of more than $20B in a just a few short years, with forecasts showing continued rapid growth in the US and across the world.

That type of growth is no ordinary feat and it is one based on creativity, innovation, and hard work. And a good deal of that hard work is done here in Boston.

Boston’s mobile advertising leadership is fueled by three factors that are distinctive to the city and the region:

An unmatched talent pool
Boston’s technology heritage—from Polaroid to EMC to Nexage—is due, in great part, to the fact that Boston and the surrounding area has some of the brightest technical minds in the world. Add in the universities like MIT, Harvard and Northeastern that attract great young people with fresh ideas and you have a talent pool that’s second to none.

An active investment community
An important element of the infrastructure is the VC community, and Boston is one of the hottest spots for this in the country. In fact, recent numbers rank Boston as the third most active VC scene in the country and the biggest on the East Coast.

A start-up buzz
Boston has become a major incubator for innovation, from data to bicycles to biotech and mobile advertising. We know how to build things: we mix in great ideas, unbridled enthusiasm, a stubborn trait, and a robust investment community to create a global hub of innovation. An important byproduct of our start-up culture is job-growth and enabling smart and industrious people to build great careers.

These elements have combined to help make Boston a global hub for mobile advertising. The technology drivers of mobile advertising – exchange-based trading, big data, mobile content and applications, and the mobile ad creative – are the backbone of Boston’s mobile advertising market.

To illustrate the point and focusing on exchange-based trading, Nexage runs almost 2 billion real-time auctions every day for mobile publishers around the world, helping publishers to monetize their content and applications, and enabling advertisers to reach and engage consumers. From Boston to Beijing, from Cairo to Cape Cod – the buyers on our Nexage Exchange are able to participate in billions of auctions and yet make individual decisions on each auction based on what best meets their needs.

It is not just Nexage. Companies like Adelphic, Cantina, Celtra, DataXu, Digilant, Digitas, Fiksu, Localytics, Mobext, MobileFuse, Nanigans, SessionM (and many others) are leading the charge and cementing Boston’s role as a major mobile advertising hub.

This type of progress and success is driving opportunity for investors and people. As students chart their career paths, as entrepreneurs dream up new companies, as investors develop strategies and as talented engineers, marketers, analysts and sales executives look for what’s next, they are increasingly looking at where mobile advertising is going as an industry and increasingly that means looking to Boston.

Victor Milligan is Chief Marketing Officer of Boston-based Nexage, the leading independent mobile advertising exchange.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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