Going Mobile: AOL Eyes Third Screen

BOSTON Third Screen Media is in talks with AOL to be acquired by the Internet services giant, according to sources.

Representative at Third Screen and AOL declined comment.

Boston-based Third Screen posts ads on mobile phone screens, an increasingly hot new-media niche as marketers seek new means of connecting with on-the-move consumers. Third Screen currently fields 10 million ad requests per day, up from 4 million three months ago. By the end of 2007, the company expects the volume to reach several billion.

One published report placed the possible sale price for Third Screen at $80 million. Third Screen talked with Microsoft about a union with its MSN unit last year, but that deal never came to fruition.

Third Screen’s expertise has been increasingly in demand, evidenced by its December deal with Universal McCann that made the Interpublic Group media shop the first agency to conduct buying through MADX/Agency, the company’s Web-based ad service for mobile platforms.

UM clients licensing the software range from Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson to Intel and Sony.