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No money for the bus ticket? No problem, just watch some videos on your phone

This German city allows commuters to pay for their bus or train tickets by watching videos on their devices. Here's how it works.

Published onDecember 19, 2016

A German startup has released an interesting app called WelectGO that allows people in Düsseldorf to get a free bus or train ticket. But to get the free ticket, you have to watch four promotional videos within the app, with each being approximately 20 seconds long.

Here’s how it works. You download the app onto your device, select the ticket you want, choose four promotional videos among the ones available, and watch the videos. After you’re done, you’ll get the free ticket that you can use on the route you’ve selected in the app. Easy, right?

Philipp Dommers, the company’s co-founder, said he was expecting that around 1,000 people would use the app and get a free bus/train ticket — which normally costs €2.60/$2.70 — by the end of the year. To his surprise, the initial expectations were greatly exceeded, as more than 20,000 people have already used the app and received a free ticket.

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The biggest challenge facing the company now is getting enough advertisers on board so that it will be able to keep up with the massive demand. Each advertiser can choose how many times it wants its ad to show to each individual, so if someone is a frequent user of the app, he or she might not be eligible for a free ticket if there aren’t enough promotional videos available.

Based on the high demand, WelectGO is clearly a hit among commuters. The company is already planning to expand its operations to other German cities as well as other countries, with the Netherlands being first on the list.

What do you think about the WelectGO app? Would you use it if it was available in your city?