If you’re like most people, you enjoy watching TV. But what if you also made money doing it?
Yeah, that would make it even better.
There actually are some jobs where you can actually make a living watching TV. Those positions are difficult to get, but maybe worth the effort.
Then there are the other opportunities to make a little cash for tuning in to your favorite shows and videos. Here are some examples of both ways to get paid to watch TV.
1. Become a Professional TV Watcher
Pro TV watchers can’t just kick back and enjoy the show. They’re hired to look through hours of programming in order to find the right clips for shows and news broadcasts.
For example, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” offered $500 to $600 per week to successful TV watcher applicants, according to Investopedia. “The Daily Show” is another program that hires for these positions.
But it isn’t easy to find these jobs. Industry-specific websites like WorkInEntertainment.com may have openings listed (none for TV-watching at the moment), or you can search various keywords on the big job sites.
When I searched for “watch TV” and “TV watcher” on Indeed, I only saw related positions, like “field representative” for Nielsen (the TV ratings company) or “customer service representative” for Netflix.
The latter position pays $14 per hour and the ad says the ideal candidate should love “Watching movies and TV shows (bonus points for Netflix binge-watchers!)”
2. Watch Shows on Netflix
As previously reported on The Penny Hoarder, you can actually get paid to binge-watch movies and shows on Netflix.
The company hires “taggers” to watch movies and TV shows to properly categorize them. The hours are long, but you can do the work at home in bed if you like.
Although these positions are not available very often, you can check for them on the Netflix job board.
3. Win a TV-Watching Scholarship
CableTV.com says you can “Get $1,000 for school by watching TV!” with the “Ways to Watch Scholarship.”
For a chance to win you have to “…submit a photo of you watching TV in your favorite place and an essay describing why you chose that particular scenario.” You also have to say which show you’re watching and on what kind of device.
The deadline for submission may have passed by the time you read this, but the website says, “CableTV.com offers scholarship opportunities on a regular basis,” so watch for the contest to open again next year.
4. Get Paid to Watch Cooking Shows
Making money watching the Swagbucks’ video channel is another opportunity previously reported here on TPH. There are a variety of videos to watch, but apparently many of them are cooking shows.
You’ll earn Swag Bucks you can redeem for gift cards or deposits to your PayPal account.
5. Watch TV With Viggle
With Viggle, you can get paid to watch many of your favorite television shows and to listen to music.
You earn points for the time spent watching or listening, and then you redeem those points for “real rewards like music downloads, gift cards and more.” Viggle says it has paid out more than $19 million in rewards so far.
Reviews of Viggle from Apple users are mixed, and they lean negative for the latest version of the app. The most common complaint seems to be the lack of point redemption options. Many reviewers say gift cards are rarely offered now, and users typically get “paid” only in the form of digital downloads that cost too many points.
6. Watch Perk TV
With the app from Perk.tv, you watch videos and television to earn points. You can redeem your points for gift cards from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and many other vendors at a rate of 1,000 points per dollar.
The reviews of Perk TV on Amazon are mostly positive. Some users note a lack of support and constant updating necessary for the dozen apps offered by Perk TV, but the overall rating from 176 reviews is 4 out of 5 stars. Users like the variety of redemption options, and one says “With proper interaction with the apps, income earned can be dependable.”
How much can you make? “A few bucks daily” according to one reviewer.
7. Get Paid to Play TV Trivia Games
With RewardTV, you watch your favorite television shows and then visit the website to play trivia games. The points you win can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, and electronics. Plus, you get an entry into a $10,000 sweepstakes for each day you play.
Reviews of RewardTV are mixed. One reviewer says, “I have done very well on the site.” Many others say they have fun playing the trivia games.
The primary complaint seems to be the difficulty in getting enough points to get paid. The website is a product of the Nielsen Company, which brings us to our next way to get paid to watch TV…
8. Become a Nielsen Family
If you are one of the households used for the Nielsen sample, you not only get paid, but you get to help determine what is put on TV. Nielsen is famous for tracking viewing habits to provide ratings for television programs.
However, you can’t just sign up. Nielsen says members of its sample are selected randomly:
“We cannot ask every home to participate, so we carefully select a sample of homes in your community to represent the entire TV audience. To be statistically accurate, it is essential that our samples be randomly selected. Every household in the U.S. has a chance of being selected, no matter where it is located.”
But there have been reports that the number of Nielsen Families is being increased. So watch that mailbox!
How much can you make? A blogger on MoneyMisfit.com says she was paid $30 after watching TV and keeping a diary of what she watched for a week.
9. Find Various TV-Watching Postings
Not all TV-watching jobs show up on the general job posting websites, so do an occasional search on Google. Click “More Tools” and “Last Month” to get recent results.
For example, searching “TV watcher job” while writing this turns up a posting on Care.com that reads, “Looking for a Companion and TV Watcher for My Husband.”
The pay is $10 to $15 per hour and the ad says, “Easy job — just need to make sure that he is OK.” Alas, you might have to watch what he wants.
10. Watch TV Commercials for Money
On HitBliss.com you can download an app that lets you get paid to watch commercials. But your “payment” will only be in the form of downloads of movies, music, and TV shows.
Four More Ways to Get Paid to Watch TV
A number of companies track how consumers view and share content online, including TV shows. Some of them pay you to install their apps. The Penny Hoarder previously reported on these three:
- Screenwise Panel: make up to $100 annually
- Media Insiders Panel: make up to $185 per year
- Nielsen Mobile Panel: may target only certain demographic groups
Finally, there is one more way you can effectively get paid to watch TV: Become a pet sitter.
On an overnight stay, you’ll make between $50 and $100, and once you’ve fed and played with the cats (or walked the dog), you can kick back and watch TV all night.
Your Turn: Have you ever been paid to watch TV?
Disclosure: A toast to savings! Thanks for allowing us to place affiliate links in this post.
Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).