Making boring bits of the web fun and profitable

There's gold in them thar mundane tech hills, according to Tom Brewster...

There's also something that looks remarkably similar to what the London start-up is doing, called PlayThru. That was produced by Are You A Human, which is doing similar things to Future Ad Labs by adding branding and will likely be its chief competitor over the coming years.

But where does Future Ad Labs go from here? Surely this one idea isn't grand enough to keep a business growing. Co-founder Howard Kingston says it's currently looking to raise more for additional products due to be delivered this year, both of which play on the frustrating bits of people's everyday internet use.

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The first will be called PlayROLL. Anyone who watches the melange of genius and idiocy on YouTube knows how irritating those pre-roll adverts are. You pray for the five-second option to emerge and even if it does it's still a pain. According to Kingston, 94 per cent of people skip the ads and that's just not the kind of brand engagement businesses should accept. His answer is to have users play a branded game whilst waiting (although Are You a Human already has a similar product out on the market)

The second product is even more interesting, especially for anyone involved in publishing. It will address the disinterest in paywalls. Instead of paying for extra content, the user simply has to play one of those branded games. Given the publishing industry as a whole is still struggling to make money from digital, such innovations are needed.

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But the real test for Future Ad Labs will come further down the line, when its brand customers start looking at their figures and asking questions. Are they seeing enough direct sales coming from those games? Are they able to measure their successes properly?

Whatever the answer to those questions, this small Brick Lane-based business and its competitors are coming up with ideas that should make running a website more profitable and visiting those sites more enjoyable.

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