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Ad server OpenX takes a big step toward mobile advertising

Most pro­fes­sion­als hold­ing media jobs in mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies like to keep an eye on any straws in the wind in their cor­ner of Adland; and one rather large straw – ad-inde­pen­dent ad serv­er OpenX – has just tak­en a sig­nif­i­cant step to beef up its mobile-fac­ing operations.

Keep­ing up with the mobile stam­pede 

OpenX was found­ed in 2008 and now has offices in New York, Lon­don, Tokyo and Munich, as well as its orig­i­nal home­town of Pasade­na, LA. When a com­pa­ny like this decides to hire four mobile exec­u­tives one after the oth­er, which OpenX did over the last cou­ple of months, it’s a fair bet that it’s gear­ing up to cap­i­tal­ize on the grow­ing poten­tial of mobile advertising.

This week, the com­pa­ny announced the names of its newest mobile-ded­i­cat­ed recruits. Rob Kramer becomes VP of Engi­neer­ing, Mar­tin Price becomes Senior Direc­tor of Prod­uct, Jin Yu becomes Chief Archi­tect and Lau­ra Buch­man becomes VP of Pub­lish­er Solu­tions. All four roles have been new­ly cre­at­ed, so our ear­li­er bet seems a safe one.

The company’s Pres­i­dent, John Gen­try, told AdAge:

“The mobile adver­tis­ing mar­ket is still nascent, but the oppor­tu­ni­ty it presents is immense. We’re excit­ed to wel­come these tal­ent­ed indi­vid­u­als to help us achieve our mul­ti­screen mon­e­ti­za­tion vision.”

The future is mobile 

But this is just the begin­ning of the company’s move toward the mobile adver­tis­ing space: it’s plan­ning to dou­ble its 30-strong mobile-ded­i­cat­ed team to 60, with the empha­sis on three main areas — sup­port­ing its in-app capa­bil­i­ties, expand­ing its cross screen data and ana­lyt­ics capac­i­ties, and devel­op­ing its mobile and video rich offerings.

Vet­er­ans who’ve held media jobs on the indus­try for any length of time will know that there’s a big chal­lenge ahead. Desk­top CPMs dwarf the mobile equiv­a­lent and Gen­try is all too aware that, while the con­sumers are already embrac­ing mobile big-time, the ad dol­lars haven’t yet fol­lowed them at the same pace.

But Gen­try is no defeatist: leav­ing mobile alone sim­ply isn’t an option, he said, because across the indus­try, there’s una­nim­i­ty that mobile is the future. He went on:

“The fact that con­sumers are going to con­sume all their con­tent across a vari­ety of screens is inevitable, so to build a busi­ness and chart a path that ignores that future inevitabil­i­ty would be a real­ly unfor­tu­nate decision.”

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