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Are You a Human debuts PlayThru for Video technology

Ever count down the seconds before you can click through the commercial preceding an online video? Are You a Human thinks it has an answer for this conundrum in the new spinoff of its CAPTCHA-killing technology it's launching this month, PlayThru for Video.

PlayThru for Video allows users to engage with a quick brand exercise, such as dragging a sold sign to a home in an ad for Quicken Loans. That action takes the user directly to the video, skipping the opening advertisement.

"From the advertiser's side you get real human interaction," says Reid Tatoris, co-founder of Are You a Human. "From a user's standpoint you get to see your video faster."

The 3-year-old startup got its start by replacing CAPTCHA, the squiggly letters used to authenticate human interaction, with a quick, simple computer game for users. The branded games help fight against software bots impersonating human users.

Are You a Human is now bringing the next generation of its technology to help make online users and advertisers happier. Initial testing of PlayThru for Video show users remember the brand just as much as those who watch the full ad, but feel 33 percent more favorably about the brand. Are You a Human is partnering with PopSugar, TubeMogul, and Complex Media for the launch of PlayThru for Video and its currently being used on more than 7,000 sites. Ford, Chevy, and Hasbro have used PlayThru for Video for advertising campaigns.

The downtown Detroit-based company, it calls the M@dison Building home and also opened a satellite office in New York City, has been working with advertisers for the last five months to establish the commercial viability of its products.

"It's all about generating repeat revenue from advertisers," Tatoris says. "We're looking to scale up to lots of advertisers instead of a handful."

Are You a Human currently employs eight people. It has hired three people over the last year for positions in software development, sales and marketing. It is also looking for one front-end developer.

The startup locked down six figures of seed capital from angel investors and Detroit Venture Partners in 2012. Tatoris says the company is looking to pursue a Series A round of venture capital later this year.

Source: Reid Tatoris, co-founder of Are You a Human
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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