Zedosh launches opt-in platform paying users to watch ads that are targeted based on their banking data

Zedosh, an app that pays consumers to watch ads to completion, has announced that it is open to brand advertisers, having completed a successful beta test phase and secured £400,000 of funding.

Zedosh offers brands an audience of engaged young people who are hard to reach on other platforms, allowing brands to run hyper-targeted campaigns using their financial transaction data, which its users have consented to share, rather than relying on cookies.

Zedosh users give their explicit permission to analyse their bank transactions instead of their browsing habits. The app adheres to the new Open Banking Regulations and is fully GDPR compliant. The company believes it will have strong appeal to Gen Z consumers, who are digitally savvy, open to the idea of financial data sharing, and eager to get a fair share of the attention economy currently dominated by Google and Facebook. Zedosh also offers a bank of content to attract Gen Z consumers, showing them how to improve their finances, providing career advice from influencers, and presenting fun information videos.

There’s no limit to the number of ads a Zedosh user can see in a given timeframe. Current campaigns on Zedosh vary between 15 seconds and 2 minutes, with an average completion rate of 92 per cent and an average CTR of 16 per cent.

When there’s a new ad available for the user to watch, they get notified and can choose whether or not to watch it. Users earn between 15p and 25p for viewing an ad to completion, the amount currently depending on the length of the ad. They are only paid for the first completed view so even if they watch the ad 10 times because they like it, the advertiser only pays once.

In the future, Zedosh plans to take into consideration the value of the specific attention being targeted and the average order value of the item or service. So an ad for a McDonalds burger ad will pay out significantly less than an ad for a car, especially when the latter is served in the months coming up to a user’s car lease third anniversary, gleaned from the user’s banking transaction history. Zedosh said it is building a free marketplace for attention so pricing will become increasingly dynamic. 

Users will also be able to benefit from exclusive offers, promotions and discounts if a brand chooses to offer them. Consumers will also eventually have the option to divert the money they earn to a good cause.

Brands that have already partnered with Zedosh include femcare disruptor Daye, challenger snack brand Well & Truly, and vegan carbon negative sneaker brand Elliott Footwear. Zedosh is a member of the Conscious Advertising Network and checks every piece of content to ensure it complies with the company’s values before it is published.

Zedosh’s targeting will be based on a proprietary algorithm called the Attention Exchange, which uses Open Banking data, including recent transactions, to segment its audience. As with all organisations offering Open Banking services, Zedosh is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Zedosh has partnered with Moneyhub to harness its Open Banking technology to create the functionality behind the app.

“With the end of third-party cookies in sight and consumers levelling up on data privacy, there is a real opportunity to take digital advertising to the next level,” said Zedosh Founder and CEO, Guillaume Kendall. “Zedosh provides brands with a much-needed solution by instantly rewarding consumers for watching relevant, targeted content in a distraction-free, brand safe app. In that way, advertisers get to use uninterrupted, quality time with their target audiences to grow their brands.”

Emma Holmes, Senior Marketing Lead at femcare disruptor Daye, one of Zedosh’s beta advertisers, said it had started working with Zedosh to contribute to the diversification of its acquisition channels, to improve its blended CAC and reach an audience who are proven to engage with its content. “Higher engagement leads to a greater understanding of our multi-layered value proposition and better conversion rates,” said Holmes.

David Murphy writes:
Zedosh is the latest in a long-line of get-paid-to-watch-ad services stretching all the way back to Blyk. None of them, to my mind, have ever seemed to make much sense. The payout rates are typically so low that if a user is prepared to watch a hundred ads a month to earn a few quid, you have to wonder what sort of advertisers would want to target them.

But Zedosh is different in several ways. Firstly, the payout rate of a minimum of 15p is better than most that have gone before it. Users only get the payout if they view the ad to completion, another innovation compared to most previous offerings. They are targeted based on their banking data, which they have agreed to share, which, again, is a new idea, enabling, for example, insurance companies, to see when cover is up for renewal.

Users will be given the option of donating the money they earn through watching ads to a good cause. If advertisers can see who takes this option, they will know they are an audience that can afford to do so. Finally, the amount users earn will, at some point in the future, be tied to the value of the product or service being pitched, so McDonalds can pay out 15p to someone who watches an ad for a burger, while a bank pays out significantly more to pitch its first-time buyer mortgage offer.

It will be interesting to see how Zedosh plays out. Clearly, it needs scale to succeed – another problem most previous offerings of this type have struggled with – and currently, it has only just over 1,000 users with at least one bank account connected. Because of the banking element, it is promoting itself using  trusted, UK-based influencers who are sharing their experience with the app. But from both an advertiser and user perspective, it seems to have more going for it than those that have gone before.