Tesco Mobile customers are now able to slice their monthly bill in exchange for viewing ad-funded content through its app, Tesco Mobile Xtras.

It comes as a result of a partnership with Unlockd, an ad and content-funded title for Android.

For opted-in customers, the app delivers geo-targeted ads, content and offers from brands such as British Airways, McDonalds and Doritos whenever a user unlocks their device. In turn, the customer receives £3 off their monthly bill.  

According to the announcement, Unlockd’s inventory will be provided exclusively by Publisher News UK, also delivering content from The Sun newspaper.

The value exchange

Within Tesco’s move, the emphasis is clearly on a newly-emerging buzz-phrase: ‘value exchange’.

Getting ads in front of audiences is proving all the more difficult, and with mobile fast becoming the designated avenue for consumer browsing online, networks are gaining huge power as gatekeepers for the publishing industry.

But how they approach the role seems to be dividing them. Tesco competitor Three took a tack towards ad blocking, partnering with Shine, while suggestions that it wouldn’t turn its back entirely on ad revenue sparked rumours that it might introduce a whitelisting strategy.

Meanwhile US network Verizon’s multi-billion acquisition of AOL equipped it with the latter’s advanced programmatic technology for online video advertising.

A “driver” for collaboration

Tesco Mobile’s partnership with Unlockd is perhaps the most literal interpretation of ‘value exchange’ yet; in essence paying customers to view commercial content, and gaining a jump on Google and Facebook in first access to mobile users.

“To be the driver for collaboration and benefit for some of the world’s biggest media companies, a market leading mobile carrier, as well as the end consumer, is a huge coup,” commented Unlockd CEO, Matt Berriman.

“It is a move that will address existing challenges faced by our partners’ businesses and positively transform both the mobile advertising landscape and telco industry.”

Founded in Melbourne, Unlockd launched in Australia with Lebara Mobile in 2015, followed by Sprint Mobile in the US in January this year. It recently closed a $AU15 million series A round of funding.