Cox to Shutter its COMET Exchange

Cox Enterprise’s programmatic platform Cox COMET will cease business operations at the end of November, and trading on the COMET Exchange set to cease on October 31st, VAN has learned.

In an email circulated to companies working with COMET, the company explained that after an assessment of Cox’s digital advertising businesses, COMET’s parent company Cox Enterprises has taken the decision to shut down its programmatic platform. Partners have been advised to disable any connections to the COMET Exchange before the end of this month.

VAN attempted to contact COMET to verify the story, but at the time of writing was unable reach anyone for comment.

COMET was launched last year, building on Cox’s existing ad tech businesses. COMET described itself as a unified programmatic platform which connected buyers and sellers across channels including desktop, mobile, video and TV, and claimed to have over 500 publisher partners. The platform said it delivered over 20 billion impressions each month to an audience of over 122 million unique users.

Part of COMET’s pitch was based on offering proprietary data from Cox Enterprises’ other businesses; Cox Automotive, Cox Communications and Cox Media Group, as well as giving advertisers access to inventory across these properties too. The platform also had a number of proprietary tech features, including COMET Focal which used machine learning to stimulate buy-side demand and test the performance of impressions, and COMET Radius, which filled in mission impression data points for impressions passing through the Exchange.

COMET’s closure doesn’t mark a complete move from Cox Enterprises away from ad tech, as the company’s other main ad tech business Gamut will continue operations. Cox has been working with ad tech since acquiring Adify for $300 million back in 2008, which has since been folded into Gamut.

The company still appears to be pursuing new opportunities in the area too, announcing earlier this year that its working alongside Comcast and Charter Communications to build products which deliver targeted audiences across linear and video on-demand platforms.

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