With the amount of time I spend watching Netflix, I’d be a millionaire if I could get paid to watch TV.
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You may watch TV simply to unwind and vegetate after a long day, or perhaps you’re simply obsessed with the latest reality TV show.
Whatever your level of consumption is, watching TV does take up time that you could be using to make money instead.
What if there was a way to make extra money while watching TV?
Well, there is!
In fact, I found 11 different ways that offer great potential to earn side cash for doing little to nothing except watching the box!
How to Get Paid to Watch TV
I’ve rounded up the 11 best ways you can get paid to watch TV.
Bear in mind that sitting on your butt is one of the easiest jobs there is. Don’t expect to get rich.
1. Watch TV on Swagbucks: $5.00 Bonus
Swagbucks is an online service that will give you points for doing a wide variety of activities, including watching videos on their online TV channel.
Swagbucks can also be used online or you can download their app.
They have one of the fairest points systems online and an incredibly wide range of rewards.
For example, you only need 500 Swagbucks to redeem a $5 Amazon gift card.
There is a wide variety of programs to watch, enough to keep most people interested, and you can get your rewards fairly quickly.
And if you get bored with the TV, you can also play games, browse the internet, answer surveys, and shop to earn Swagbucks points.
Best of all, you can earn $5.00 immediately just by creating your free account now!
2. Join Nielsen: Easiest Way to Make Money
You’ve probably heard of Nielsen before. They’re the market research company that assigns ratings to TV shows to determine how popular a show is.
Nielsen pays its users for sharing this data with them and they are always looking for new people to bring on board.
All you need to do is download their app and they will pay you $50 per year. Nielsen will keep track of what you watch. It’s non-invasive and runs quietly in the background.
Nielsen also hosts giveaways each month and you will automatically be entered to have a chance to win $10,000 each month.
Can you imagine?
Ten grand just to watch TV.
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3. Become a TV Critic
Being a TV critic may be a dream job for you if you’re a huge TV fan.
I mean, what could be better than being able to watch your favorite TV shows and share your opinions with the world?
The skillset needed is quite basic: a good grasp of the written language, an eye for detail, great note-taking ability, good memory, and a keen sense of seeing subtle cues that showrunners, directors, and writers may add into their shows (often called “easter eggs”).
However, actually getting hired as a critic isn’t that easy. Competition for available jobs for critics is fierce, especially if you’re just starting to break into the job market.
The best advice here is to do it yourself!
The internet has empowered many people to get the experience they need or build their own businesses in their ideal niche without having to jump through job application hoops.
Start a blog, a podcast, or your own YouTube channel and broadcast your thoughts and opinions on your favorite TV shows and movies to the world.
When you gain traction, you can start getting money through ads and even sponsorships; some prominent television and movie outfits may be interested in paying you to critique their shows and movies.
And if you’re still interested in working as a TV critic for a company, your blog or vlog can be the sample work that you can show prospective employers.
4. Become a Netflix Tagger
This is one of the most sought-after “watching TV to make money” jobs.
It’s also one of the most difficult ones to get.
The basic idea behind tagging is that you sit and watch Netflix media (in your pajamas, in bed, of course!) and to tag each one with one or more keywords, such as “drama” or “sci-fi.”
And you’ll get paid for this!
The downside is you actually need to get employed by Netflix, and this job type comes up quite rarely, so keep your eyes on the Netflix Job Board.
You may also want to check out the job listings for other online streaming companies like Hulu, HBO, Sling.TV etc.
5. Make Money Watching Videos on YouTube
With the amount of time I spend on YouTube, it would be nice to get paid for my efforts.
These sites do pay, so they aren’t scams. But they pay very little in relation to the amount of time that you need to spend on them, so only do this if you have a lot of extra time to kill, don’t mind having a set video playlist to watch, and don’t expect a large payout.
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6. Become a Care.com Companion
This is a more unique approach to getting paid to watch TV, but it pays.
Care.com has listings for companion care for senior citizens. Some of them have little to no special needs and are just looking for companions to sit with them during the day and watch TV.
While this job may have more duties than just TV watching, it’s fulfilling work that can lead to more opportunities down the road.
You might even gain a new friend out of it!
7. Work In The TV and Movie Industry
Okay, yes, technically you’ll be watching TV and getting paid for it, but this one requires you to get off your butt and actually work.
There are thousands of jobs available in the TV and movie industry.
You might think that only those involved in the production get paid to watch TV, but it’s not the case at all. Everyone in the company—including those in IT, legal, human resources, administration, creatives, even from food services—has access to entire catalogs.
The purpose is to make sure that everyone in the company is familiar with their body of work.
Take a look through EntertainmentCareers.Net’s job board for open positions in television. They cover all regions of the US and this could put you on the path to a new and exciting career.
8. Become a Professional TV Watcher
It sounds like clickbait, but this is really a thing.
Professional TV watchers get paid to watch TV, but more than just passively absorbing what’s on the screen.
Pro TV watchers scan through different shows and newsreels to find clips for a series, talk show, or news show.
It doesn’t pay very much, sometimes even lower than the minimum wage, but it’s enough for some pocket money.
9. Transcribe Shows For Subtitles
This is another one of those jobs where you’ll have to do a lot more than watching TV.
Being a subtitler involves transcribing and translating TV shows and films, as well as other digital content like video courses and webinars.
Aside from transcribing and translating, you’ll be in charge of formatting, managing the timing and placement, and verifying your transcript against the original script, if available.
If you’re multilingual, you’ll be paid more. Plus, this can open up opportunities for future transcription and translation jobs.
10. Be An Entertainment Reporter
If you love watching TV and are obsessed with celebrities, watching their TV shows and video clips so you can write about them seems like a good fit for you.
You do need excellent writing skills plus the speed and flexibility to churn out stories as they happen.
There are a number of job listings in FlexJobs for entertainment reporters, and you can start applying today.
But even if you don’t snag a job through them, the good news is you don’t even have to be employed by a company to begin doing it. You can start a blog and publish your stories there!
Perez Hilton is the best-known example, but find your own unique writing style and angles, and who knows? You may just be the next big gossip blogger.
11. Download TV-TWO on your smartphone and Smart TV.
TV-TWO is an app that will pay you in cryptocurrency for every second you watch videos, shows, and movies on your smartphone or your Samsung or LG Smart TV.
Machine learning enables the TV-TWO app to tailor the content you see to your interests.
Aside from the earnings from watching TV, you can also get paid more if you check out the Boost button, opening up mini-tasks that allow you to earn more cryptocurrency.
12. Download the Media Rewards app
Media Rewards is an app that rewards you for watching TV and listening to music.
When you get approved to join, you’re asked to download the Media Rewards app and run it in the background while you watch TV and listen to the radio like you normally do.
You earn points for each minute the app is in the background, and the points can be exchanged for cash in your PayPal or in gift cards.
They also pay up to $10 for answering their surveys.
13. Monitor news and promotions of streaming services and TV networks
From time to time, some companies select people to binge-watch certain shows or movies for publicity purposes.
For instance, MagellanTV recently offered one candidate $2400 to binge-watch 24 hours of paranormal documentaries.
Last year, CableTV.com paid 5 people $2,000 to watch every episode of every season of their favorite series.
Keep updated with these contests and join. You never know when it’s finally your time to get paid thousands of dollars to watch TV.
Start Getting Paid To Watch TV Today!
Pairing up your love of TV and making money is not going to be easy, but it is possible to make a few extra bucks each month.
You can also check out my list of paid online surveys here as many survey sites have sections for watching videos, movie trailers, or previewing upcoming films. All you have to do is give your opinion and get paid.
The best thing about this is you can get started today!
Other ways to earn money from doing virtually nothing
Have you tried any of the methods above? Have you ever gotten paid to watch TV? Share your success story in the comments below!