Third Screen Media Network Gets Game

Third Screen Media added free mobile game publisher Hovr to its mobile advertising network. The new publisher enhances the network’s reach into the youth demographic.

Hovr launched in February as a free ad-enabled mobile gaming network with social elements. Initially, it sold its own ad inventory including full-screen and pre- and post-game dynamic interstitial ads.

Under the partnership, Third Screen Media will sell and manage the ads, though Hovr plans to run the ads from its own servers. Third Screen Media will get reporting data to share with advertisers.

Hovr is the first game provider to sell ads through Third Screen Media’s network. Third Screen’s MADX platform is capable of handling games and other applications, but the media presents challenges for dynamically serving ads.

“With applications, they are not always connected to the network, they have a cache of ads,” said Jeff Janer, CMO at Third Screen Media.

While Hovr has both game and social media, ads will primarily run in the games. “The social networking is interesting… and there is a lot of inventory,” said Janer. “But when someone is in a community chat session, [he is] not as liable to want to go check out an ad.”

Typically mobile games are offered for sale on-deck for a flat fee or by subscription, though free, ad-supported options exist. Its relationship with Hovr puts Third Screen into competition with mobile gaming network Greystripe. Janer said the deal “signifies emerging adoption of an ad-supported model across mobile.”

It’s business as usual at Third Screen Media following the recent news of its pending acquisition by AOL’s Advertising.com. Janer said, “We are going to keep doing what we’re doing.”

Talks with new publishers and advertisers alike have not slowed during the consideration period. After the deal closes and integration is completed, the newly-acquired mobile subsidiary hopes to tap into AOL’s large sales force and become part of integrated ad deals.

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