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Are you someone who enjoys watching TV and spends hours on end with your favorite shows? Do you frequently find yourself awake late into the night, eagerly devouring a season of the latest series?
Well, you’re not alone. Binge-watching, or viewing numerous TV show episodes in one sitting, has become a popular pastime, especially among younger viewers. A survey conducted by Netflix revealed that 61% of people regularly binge-watch TV shows.
But what if you could turn this hobby into a way to earn money? Yes, you heard that correctly. You can get paid to watch TV in numerous ways, from filling out surveys to writing reviews or testing new apps and websites.
In this guide, we will discuss how to get paid for watching TV, what steps you need to take to get started, as well as the pros and cons of binge-watching, and how to avoid its potential negative impacts on your health and well-being.
Understanding the Concept of Making Money by Watching TV
The concept of companies paying consumers for their time and attention is not a recent development. It dates back to the 1920s when radio broadcasters began using ratings to gauge the popularity of their programs and attract advertisers.
By the 1950s, television networks had also started using similar tactics, relying on Nielsen ratings to monitor their audience’s viewing habits.
Over the years, companies have employed various methods to collect consumer feedback, ranging from focus groups and surveys to interviews and online panels.
The Rise of Earning Money by Watching TV
The emergence of the internet and streaming platforms has made it easier and more convenient than ever before to watch TV. Viewers now have a vast range of content at their disposal and can choose to watch at any time or place of their choosing.
This has opened up new opportunities for companies to gather data and insights from their target audiences. For instance, Netflix uses machine learning and algorithms to analyze the viewing habits of its subscribers to provide them with personalized content.
Similarly, other companies use platforms such as Swagbucks, InboxDollars, Viggle, or RewardTV to pay viewers to watch TV shows and answer related questions.
A Glimpse at Various Ways to Earn Money by Watching TV
There are several ways you can make money by watching TV shows. The best method for you will depend on your individual preferences and skills. Here are some of the most common ways:
- Participating in surveys: Websites like Survey Junkie, Opinion Outpost, and Pinecone Research pay you for sharing your opinions on various topics, including TV shows.
- Writing reviews: You can get paid to watch TV and write reviews on shows, movies, apps, websites, or products on platforms like Slice the Pie, UserTesting, or ReviewStream.
- Testing apps and websites: Websites like UserTesting, Userlytics, or TryMyUI will pay you for testing apps and websites related to TV shows or streaming services.
- Watching ads: Apps like Perk TV, AppTrailers, or AdWallet pay you for viewing ads or trailers for TV shows or movies.
- Playing games: You can earn money by playing trivia games related to TV shows or movies on apps like Swagbucks Live, HQ Trivia, or Perk Pop Quiz.
Platforms That Pay You to Watch TV
Swagbucks is a free app that rewards you for completing various online tasks, including watching videos.
This is one of the most popular and trusted rewards apps with over 10 years of operation. It has over 20 million members and has paid out over $500 million in rewards. It has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.3-star rating from over 40,000 reviews on Trustpilot.
You can view videos from categories like entertainment, news, sports, among others. Each video you watch earns you Swagbucks (SB) points, which you can exchange for gift cards or cash via PayPal. You can also earn SB points by taking surveys, shopping online, playing games, and using their search engine.
You can earn up to 150 SB points per day by watching videos, equivalent to $1.50. This means you can make up to $45 per month by watching videos on Swagbucks.
InboxDollars is another free rewards app that pays you for various online activities, including watching videos. It is another well-known and reputable rewards app with over 20 years of operation.
It has over 10 million members and has paid out over $80 million in cash rewards. They have an A+ rating from the BBB and a 4.1-star rating from over 9,000 reviews on Trustpilot.
You can view videos from channels like Food Network, TMZ, Hulu, among others. You earn cash for each video you watch and can withdraw your earnings via check, PayPal, or gift cards.
InboxDollars also allows you to earn cash by reading emails, taking surveys, shopping online, and playing games.
You can earn up to $0.05 per video, which means you can earn up to $1.50 per day or $45 per month by watching videos on InboxDollars.
3. Netflix Tagger
A Netflix tagger is someone who gets paid to watch Netflix content and tags it with relevant keywords. These tags, such as “romantic comedy”, “teen drama”, or “based on a book”, help viewers find what they’re interested in watching.
The Netflix tagger position is rare and selective, not open to the general public. Netflix is a global leader in streaming entertainment with over 200 million subscribers and a market value of over $250 billion. It has a 4.2-star rating from over 8,000 reviews on Glassdoor.
It’s a rare position that requires media analysis skills and fluency in several languages.
The job of a Netflix tagger is rare and selective. It requires a background in media analysis and multilingual fluency. The exact pay for a Netflix tagger isn’t publicly disclosed, but some sources suggest that it can range from $10 to $20 per hour.
4. Nielsen Families
Nielsen Families are people who agree to let Nielsen track what they watch on TV and listen to on the radio. They produce media ratings, uses this information to understand consumer preferences.
This company represent the interests of millions of consumers who watch and listen to various content daily. They are chosen at random and paid a one-time fee of $50.
Nielsen Families use special devices or apps to track their viewing and listening habits and provide feedback about their shopping and media usage.
Nielsen is a global leader in market research that has been operating for over 90 years. It has over 40,000 employees and revenue of over $6 billion. It has a B+ rating from the BBB and a 3.5-star rating from over 3,000 reviews on Glassdoor.
Nielsen Families receive a one-time fee of $50 for joining the panel. They don’t receive any additional payment for watching TV shows or listening to radio programs.
Viggle is an app owned by Perk that rewards you for watching live TV or streaming shows on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, among others.
With Viggle, you earn points for every minute you watch a show. You can also play trivia games and interact with other fans during your viewing. You can exchange your Viggle points for gift cards or cash via PayPal.
Perk has been around since 2012 and has paid out over $57 million in rewards. It has an A+ rating from the BBB and a 3.9-star rating from over 1,000 reviews on Google Play.
You can earn up to 60 Viggle points per minute of watching live TV or streaming shows. This means you can earn up to 3,600 Viggle points per hour or 108,000 Viggle points per month. You can exchange 62,500 Viggle points for a $25 gift card or 125,000 Viggle points for $50 cash via PayPal.
Making Money by Watching and Talking About TV Shows
If you love watching TV and have plenty to say about it, you might be wondering, “Can I get paid to watch TV?” The answer is yes! You can make money watching TV shows and sharing your thoughts about them. Let’s explore two ways to do this – becoming a professional TV watcher or reviewer, and taking part in paid studies about TV shows.
Becoming a Paid TV Reviewer
One way to get paid for watching TV is to become a professional TV reviewer. A TV reviewer is like a TV show critic. They watch shows and then write or make videos about them. They tell people what they think of the show and whether it’s worth watching.
Steps to Become a TV Reviewer
Becoming a TV reviewer doesn’t happen overnight. But here’s a simple guide to help you get started:
- Improve your writing or video-making skills: To be a TV reviewer, you need to know how to share your thoughts clearly and in a way that’s fun to read or watch. You can start practicing this by writing about TV shows on your own blog, or making videos about them on your own YouTube channel.
- Choose what kind of TV shows you want to talk about: It’s easier to make reviews about TV shows if you’re a big fan of them. So, choose what type of TV shows you like most – could be comedy, drama, horror, or something else – and start making reviews about popular shows in that category.
- Get access to the TV shows: You’ll need to watch the TV shows to make a review about them. You can do this by paying to watch them yourself, or you can try asking the people who make or sell the show if they can give you access for free.
- Share your reviews with magazines, newspapers, or blogs: Once you’ve made some good reviews, try sending them to places that publish TV reviews. You can do this by sending an email telling them who you are, what your review is about, and why people would like to read or watch it.
- Make and share your reviews: If a magazine, newspaper, or blog likes your idea, they’ll ask you to make a review for them. Remember to share your reviews on social media too, to help more people find and read or watch them.
How Much Money Can You Make?
How much money you can make as a TV reviewer can depend on a few things:
- Who you’re making reviews for: Different places pay different amounts for reviews. Some pay for each word you write or each video you make, while others pay based on how many people read or watch your review. Some might even pay you a regular salary.
- How popular and good your reviews are: If lots of people like your reviews, you could make more money. You can help more people find your reviews by writing about popular shows and making your reviews really interesting and helpful.
- Extra ways to make money: Aside from getting paid for your reviews, you could make money by including links to where people can buy the shows you review, selling products you get for free from the companies you review for, promoting products related to your reviews, or showing ads on your blog or YouTube channel.
According to a website called ZipRecruiter, TV reviewers in the US make an average of $56,782 a year. But it can range from $18,000 to $140,000, depending on things like your experience and where you live.
Getting Paid to Join TV Show Studies
Another way to get paid to watch TV is to join studies about TV shows. These studies help the people who make and sell TV shows understand what viewers like and don’t like.
Here are some ways to find studies about TV shows:
- Join online survey sites: Websites like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, InboxDollars, and Opinion Outpost pay people to fill out surveys about different things, including TV shows.
- Be part of online focus groups: Focus groups are like group discussions about specific topics. Some websites like Respondent, User Interviews, FocusGroup.com, and Recruit and Field pay people to join focus groups about TV shows.
- Try mystery shopping: Mystery shoppers get paid to pretend they’re regular customers and then share what their experience was like. You can find mystery shopping jobs on websites like BestMark, IntelliShop, Market Force, and Secret Shopper.
- Look for local opportunities: You can also check local newspapers, radio stations, or TV channels for studies about TV shows, or you can ask market research companies near you if they’re doing any studies about TV shows.
What the Process Looks Like and How Much You Can Make
Joining a study about a TV show usually involves answering some questions to see if you fit what the study is looking for, watching a TV show or episode, and then sharing what you thought of it.
Once you’ve done that, you get paid. How much you make can depend on the study, but usually, it’s between $10 and $100 an hour.
Get Paid to Watch TV as a Background Actor
A thrilling way to get paid for watching TV is by becoming a background actor, or an extra, in TV shows. TV extras often appear in the backdrop of scenes, usually without any lines or direct interaction with main characters.
Being a TV extra not only gets you paid to watch TV, but it also lets you see how TV shows are made and allows you to meet new people and possibly spot celebrities.
The Role of a TV Extra
As a TV extra, you’re there to fill up space and create a realistic atmosphere for the scene.
You may be asked to walk around, sit at a table, or dance at a party. The director and crew will give you instructions, and you might have to do the same thing over and over until the perfect shot is achieved.
Patience and flexibility are key since there could be long waits between scenes or changes in schedule.
How to Become a TV Extra
To be a TV extra, you’ll need to look for casting calls that match your profile and location. Online platforms like Backstage or Central Casting have tons of opportunities for TV extras.
You’ll also need to create a profile with your basic information, photos, and availability. Some casting calls may ask you to send a video audition or attend an interview in person.
Once you’re selected, you’ll get a confirmation email with all the shoot details like date, time, location, what to wear, and how much you’ll be paid.
You’ll sign a contract agreeing to the terms and conditions of the production company. On the day of the shoot, just make sure to arrive on time, check in with the casting director, and follow their instructions.
Earnings and Benefits as a TV Extra
What you earn as a TV extra can vary. It depends on factors like the type of production, length of the shoot, and location. On average, TV extras in the US make about $170 per day, according to Backstage.
Being a TV show extra also has other perks:
- Gaining experience in the entertainment industry
- Building up your resume
- Meeting other professionals in the industry
- Having a fun time
Setting Up a YouTube Channel or Blog
You can actually get paid to watch TV by making a YouTube channel or blog where you share your thoughts, reviews, or fun facts about your favorite shows.
When you get a group of fans who like your content, you can make money from ads, sponsorships, donations, or selling merchandise.
Why creating a YouTube channel or blog can be profitable
Having a YouTube channel or blog about TV shows can be a way to earn money because:
- A lot of people are interested in TV shows. Statista found that over 80% of adults in the US watch online videos every week, with over half of them watching videos about TV shows or movies.
- You can earn money in different ways. By joining the YouTube Partner Program, you can get paid for ads shown on your videos. You can also team up with TV-related brands to get paid for promoting their goods or services. Additionally, you can ask your audience for donations or sell your own goods or classes.
- You can create a group of loyal fans. By creating content that is original and high quality, you can get and keep viewers who share your love for TV shows. Interacting with them can also help build a sense of community.
How to Set Up a Channel or Blog
Here’s how to set up a YouTube channel or blog:
- Pick a niche and a name. Choose a specific type of TV show that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about, like comedy, drama, or horror. You’ll also need a memorable name that fits your content and personality.
- Make a Google account and a channel or blog. You need a Google account to make a YouTube channel or blog. After signing up, follow the instructions to create your channel or blog.
- Make your channel or blog look professional. Add channel art, a profile picture, a description, and links to your social media accounts. You can also create playlists or categories to keep your content organized.
- Make and upload your content. Plan, produce, edit, and upload your content regularly. Make sure your content is relevant, engaging, and enjoyable for your audience. Use SEO to help people find your content.
- Market your channel or blog. Share your content and interact with fans on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also work with other creators to cross-promote each other’s content.
Tips for Creating Engaging TV Show Content
Here are some tips for creating engaging TV show content:
- Be original. Don’t copy others’ content or style. Find your own unique voice.
- Be genuine. Don’t pretend to like or dislike something for views. Be yourself and express your real opinions.
- Be polite. Don’t insult other shows, creators, or fans. Be respectful of different opinions and tastes. But you can also do the other way round, as many successful channels are based on just roasting others.
- Be informative and entertaining. Don’t bore or confuse your audience. Provide useful and interesting facts or insights.
- Be consistent. Don’t change your schedule without notice. Stick to a regular posting schedule.
How to Earn Money from the Channel or Blog
Here are some ways to make money from your YouTube channel or blog:
- Join the YouTube Partner Program. You need at least 800 subscribers and 3,000 watch hours in the past 12 months to join. Once you join, you can earn money from ads on your videos.
- Collaborate with brands. You can partner with TV-related brands and get paid for sponsored content, product reviews, and affiliate links.
- Ask for donations. Platforms like Patreon, Ko-fi, and Buy Me a Coffee allow your viewers to support you financially through donations.
- Sell goods or courses. Platforms like Teespring, Shopify, and Udemy allow you to create and sell merchandise or courses related to your niche.
Practical Tips and Strategies
To succeed in getting paid to watch TV shows, you’ll need to follow some practical tips and strategies, such as:
Maximizing Your Earnings
To maximize your earnings, you should:
- Diversify your income. Don’t rely on just one source of income. Try to use different ways to earn money, such as ads, sponsorships, donations, and merchandise.
- Grow your audience. The larger your audience, the more money you can make. To increase your audience, create high-quality, original content, optimize your content for SEO, promote your content on social media, work with other creators, and engage with your fans.
- Monitor your performance. Keep track of your metrics to see what works and what doesn’t. Use audience feedback to improve your content and strategy.
Balancing Time and Profitability
To balance your time and profitability, you should:
- Set achievable goals. Don’t expect to make a lot of money quickly. Instead, set achievable goals and work toward them gradually.
- Manage your time and energy. Don’t burn yourself out by watching too much TV or making too much content. Instead, set a schedule, prioritize tasks, delegate work, take breaks, and have fun.
- Enjoy the process. Don’t see watching TV or creating content as a chore. Enjoy it by choosing shows you love, creating content you’re proud of, and having fun with your audience.
To avoid scams, you should:
- Do your research. Don’t trust any offer that seems too good to be true. Instead, check the source’s credibility, read other users’ reviews, and look for red flags like upfront fees or unrealistic promises.
- Protect your information. Don’t share any unnecessary personal or financial information. Use secure payment methods, strong passwords, antivirus software, and VPNs.
- Report any scams. If you encounter a scam, report it to the authorities and the platform, block the scammer, and warn others.
To understand your tax responsibilities, you should:
- Understand your tax status. Depending on where you live and how much you make, you might need to pay taxes on your earnings from watching TV or creating content. Check your country’s tax laws, consult a tax professional, or use online tools.
- Keep track of your income and expenses. Record your income and expenses in a spreadsheet or an app. Keep receipts, invoices, contracts, and statements as proof.
- File your taxes on time. Follow the tax authorities’ deadlines, forms, and procedures. Pay any taxes you owe on time to avoid penalties.
Final Words On Getting Paid to Watch TV
Watching TV shows can be more than just a hobby. It can also be a way to make money if you know how to use it to your advantage.
We’ve discussed popular ways to get paid to watch TV shows, like being a TV show extra, creating a YouTube channel or blog, and using other platforms and apps.
We hope this guide inspires you to turn your TV-watching hobby into a profitable activity. Happy watching!
Sumeet is a Certified Financial Education Instructor℠ (CFEI®) and the founder of Dollarsrise. He has been writing about earning extra cash online from his personal experiences for the last four years and his work has been quoted in top finance websites like Yahoo! Finance, GOBankingRates, CNBC, and more. Follow this website to learn easy and real-life hacks to raise your pile of dollars.