Having your favorite show halted by a long ad that ruins the experience is rather frustrating – but getting paid to watch the ad may be all that’s needed to take the frustration away. Düsseldorf-based company WelectGo found an innovative way to attract both advertising companies and their target audience, paying audiences in public transport tickets to watch adverts.

The startup company, founded by  31-year-old Philipp Dommers and 44-year-old Olaf Peters, created an app that can be installed on your smartphone. After registering and logging in, users can select the type of transport ticket they would like to get for free, choosing between a bus or train. In order to get the free ticket, however, the user must select a sponsor and watch four 20-second ad slots. Once done, the electronic tickets are delivered to the user’s phone. The app uses the revenue it collects from sponsors to purchase the ticket, which costs  €2.60 , around US $2.80.

welectgo free transport ads

WelectGo is available on Android and iOS.

“The advertisers can choose how many times their advert can be watched by consumers, meaning that commuters may find that passengers beside them could get a free ticket but they won’t be offered any more,” Dommers told News Talk.

The app, which launched in late October, was met with success that was not anticipated by the company. The company expected 1,000 people to download the application but by early November it had over 20,000 users and over 20,800 tickets were gifted. The good news is that the instant success means that the number of sponsors can be expected to increase.

According to Der Westen, the app is expected to be launched in other German cities and in the Netherlands. According to local transportation company Rheinbahn, the app gave tickets to people who would have otherwise not taken pubic transport..