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.
You can actually make a living watching TV and entertaining videos. Those positions are difficult to get, but may be 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.
10 Ways to Get Paid to Watch TV and Videos
Whether you’re looking for a whole new career or just want to make a few bucks on the side, we found ways to get paid to watch TV and other videos.
1. Become a Tagger for Netflix
Yes, Netflix will pay you to watch their shows.
Becoming a Netflix “tagger” isn’t an easy-to-get job, but they are out there.
Netflix pays “taggers” to watch movies and TV shows and properly categorize them. Simply put, you’ll watch a series, then determine what category it falls into – such as comedy, drama, action, plus many other potential categories on Netflix.
The hours are long, but the work is remote – so you can even do it from the comfort of your own bed!
It might sound like a dream job, and it kind of is since the competition for them is fierce, according to Netflix Junkie. And the only place to find them is through Netflix’s job site, so you’ll need to visit often.
2. Watch Videos on Swagbucks
If your screen time is mostly gobbled up by following the news, you could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with Swagbucks.
They’ll present you with short news clips to choose from every day, then ask you a few questions about them.
You just have to answer honestly, and Swagbucks will continue to pay you every month. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $429 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up and start getting paid to watch the news.
3. Become a Nielsen Family
Nielsen is famous for tracking viewing and listening habits to provide ratings for television and radio programs. Along with surveys, the company uses small digital boxes that transmit to Nielsen what your family is watching every night.
If you are one of the random households chosen for the Nielsen sample, you not only get paid, but you get to help determine what is put on TV.
If the web is more your thing, Nielsen will pay you up to $50 a year to surf the web while it collects information from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
And, you’ll automatically be entered into its $10,000 monthly sweepstakes — where over 500 people win part of the $10,000 pot… Every. Single. Month.
All you need to do is sign up and download Nielsen’s secure app or software onto any of your qualified devices.
Nielsen actually takes a limited number of participants per device type, so sign up now to get started before all the spots fill up.
4. Watch TV with Elderly People
Sometimes, it’s not about what you watch, but who you watch it with. And there are people out there that could simply use someone by their side watching a favorite show.
A search for “watching TV jobs” on ZipRecruiter produced several caregiving related job opportunities that simply involved watching television with elderly people.
Often, watching TV is just one responsibility for these caregiving jobs. Check the job listing for additional qualifications and duties.
5. Watch Videos on Earnably
You’re not going to get rich using Earnably, but you can make some extra spending cash. All it requires is to sign up, then you can earn money watching videos, completing simple tasks, taking surveys, and referring friends.
Earnably partners with video companies like Hideout.TV, which provide original videos like cooking demos, esports highlights and music videos. You’ll make a small amount of cash for watching each one.
Then, as you build up points on Earnably, you can redeem them for instant cash or gift cards at popular retailers like Amazon, Dominos, Best Buy, AirBnB, Whole Foods, and many more.
6. Review Videos on Slicethepie
Instead of just watching random videos, Slicethepie lets you contribute to people’s careers by offering feedback through reviews of new songs, fashion items, accessories and commercials before they are released. The reviews are delivered directly to the artist/designer/producer.
Your earnings are based on your star rating and the quality of your review. More detailed, constructive, well-written reviews will make more money.
7. Write Captions or Subtitles for TV Shows
Closed captioning involves watching a video and transcribing the audio into a text version that someone can read on screen. It may involve translating dialogue into a different language or transcribing live for events like sports.
This job isn’t passive income, so you’ll need to be engaged in whatever show, movie or video you are watching. You’ll also need to format the transcription and verify its timing against the original video.
Jobs typically pay either per video minute or per hour — often between $15 and $25 per hour.
8. Join Focus Groups
You can make a couple of hundred dollars an hour watching TV shows as part of a focus group. The trick is to know where to look for paid focus groups and check in often, as spots can fill up fast.
Sites like focusgroup.org and Focus Groups USA have TV watching opportunities but also routinely offer focus groups in other areas. You’ll need to create an account and list your interests, then they will contact you when the right opportunities come up.
9. Visit CableTV.com
Our friends at CableTV.com (they’re owned by Clearlink, who also owns The Penny Hoarder) often come up with interesting ways to pay people to watch TV shows or movies.
In 2022, they paid two people $250 per week to watch one show from a list of options. And just last Christmas, they paid one lucky winner $2,500 to watch 25 holiday movies in 25 days. If you’re serious about making cash to watch TV, visit this site frequently for additional opportunities.
10. Become a Pet Sitter
While your primary responsibility, of course, will be to take care of your client’s pet, you will most certainly have downtime – especially if the pet is a sleepy cat. You can use that time to catch up on the latest binge-worthy Netflix or HBO shows, all while making sure the fluffy friend is safe and sound.
Pet sitters can make anywhere between $20 to $30 an hour, and you could turn this side gig into a full-fledged business.
Robert Bruce is a senior staff writer at The Penny Hoarder covering earning, saving and managing money. He has written about personal finance for more than a decade.