Commuter Advertising: Thriving in Digital Media with Midwest Investors

Shannon Beeman
March 12, 2013

Dayton, Ohio based Commuter Advertising’s core innovation is location-triggered digital media on public transit. With active campaigns in Champaign and Chicago, IL; Dayton, Cincinnati and Toledo, OH; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA, Rockland County NY; and Jacksonville and Tampa, FL, the company is able to target advertisements on public transportation to businesses as they are passed along the route.

The digital location-based media industry is currently on the rise, and one of the fastest growing areas within the media sector. “Even though radio and newspaper are declining, digital media is increasing,” said Commuter Advertising Founder Katie Hill. “We’re really excited to be a part of that.”

The company focuses on Midwest investors, and the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) has helped Commuter Advertising expand its reach. “Michigan was a new market for us,” Hill said. “Most of our investors are from Ohio or Pennsylvania.”

International media software development company Tecra recently formed a strategic partnership with the firm after its Ann Arbor representative Rod Lowe met Hill at last year’s MGCS. Through this partnership, Tecra will develop Commuter Advertising’s software and take an equity stake in the business. “Neither of us had heard of each other prior to the symposium,” said Hill. “The symposium is what connected us, it was a great find.”

Hill notes that events such as the MGCS are especially impactful in the Midwest. “We don’t have quite as large of a venture community as other areas across the United States,” she said. “It’s a great way to let the investors in the marketplace know what kind of opportunities are here in our region. If we want to keep innovation growing in the Midwest, these kinds of formats and opportunities are critical in keeping us competitive with other parts of the country.”