Media outfit Cox is moving into the online business, buying an Internet startup that pools sites’ specialized ad needs, the AP reports. The $300 million purchase of Adify will mean competition for Web giants such as Google and Yahoo, creating an alternative for customers who might previously have relied on the big boys for ad placement.
Adify allows sites to sell high-priced ads by targeting their needs—for instance, with parent- or travel-related networking. Marketers can reach like-minded surfers in a single swoop by relying on the company’s networks. The step is a major shift for Cox, which owns 17 newspapers, 15 TV stations and 80 radio stations, plus cable-TV systems nationwide.