Do you find yourself getting sucked into watching online videos, even when you know you should be doing other things? Maybe your habit isn’t as bad as you think.
Instead of beating yourself up for being unproductive, why not actually make money while watching videos in your spare time?
It is possible to get paid to watch videos online, and this article will show you how to do it. While you won’t get rich, you will make some extra money for something you like to do anyway.
Don’t have time to read the full article? Here are some quick picks:
- Best Website/App: Swagbucks. Has a large inventory of paid videos, no minimum withdrawal amount, and offers plenty of other ways to make money.
- Best Part-Time Job: Market Force. This company will pay you to visit movie theaters and watch trailers and films.
- Best Earning Potential: Review movies and TV shows. You can start your own blog or YouTube channel, or work as a freelance writer.
Keep reading to learn more about these and other options.
The Best Websites To Get Paid To Watch Videos Online
Here are six legit websites that pay you for watching videos. Each one is a bit different, so the best for you will vary depending on your goals.
*App review counts collected on March 26th, 2021.
#1. Swagbucks Video
|iOS Rating||Google Play Rating|
|4.4 with 39,188 reviews||4.0 with 15,186 votes|
Swagbucks is one of the largest rewards sites around, having paid out over $450 million.
The site lets you watch videos to earn points (which are called SBs). Each SB is worth about 1 cent and there’s no minimum withdrawal amount, although most rewards start at $3.
Payment options include gift cards for popular retailers like Amazon, Target and Walmart, as well as real money sent to your PayPal account.
The video topics are varied, including entertainment, travel and more, and you can pick what interests you. The site also gives you the chance to make money by taking online surveys, through cash-back shopping, and a whole lot more.
In fact, our Swagbucks review highlights over 20 different ways to make money on the site.
There’s a $10 bonus for signing up, but it’s only earned after you spend at least $25 at a store through Swagbucks Shop. There is no sign-up bonus for only watching videos.
Swagbucks easily tops our list thanks to its wide variety of ways to earn, its low minimum cash-out, the quality of its online video content and its solid reputation.
Put cash back in your wallet
Get paid to shop online, watch videos, take surveys and play games with this all-in-one rewards site. Redeem your points for gift cards and PayPal cash starting at just $3.
|iOS Rating||Google Play Rating|
|4.5 with 136,118 reviews||3.9 with 102,119 votes|
InboxDollars pays you in cash (not points) for watching things like television shows, movie previews, cooking commercials and more.
As a general rewards site like Swagbucks (the two sites are owned by the same parent company), you can also earn extra money by taking online surveys, reading emails, using their cash-back shopping portal and redeeming their printable coupons.
You can learn more about how the site works in our comprehensive InboxDollars review.
The site has a very good reputation (having paid out over $59 million in cash rewards to its members), and both its iOS and Android apps have solid ratings from over 100,000 reviewers on each platform. However, be aware that you can only get paid to watch videos via your desktop browser, not in the apps.
You’ll get a $5 bonus upon signing up and activating your account. Unlike Swagbucks, there is no requirement to use the InboxDollars cash-back shopping portal to earn this bonus.
Note that the one downside to InboxDollars is its $30 minimum payout. If you’re primarily using the site for watching videos (which don’t pay very much per view), it will take a while to hit that threshold.
For those who frequently shop online or don’t mind taking surveys, hitting that $30 benchmark will come much faster.
|iOS Rating||Google Play Rating|
|4.3 with 2,858 reviews||4.0 with 3,105 votes|
MyPoints pays you in points for watching videos, taking surveys, printing coupons and playing games.
Your points are redeemable for free gift cards, PayPal money and even travel points. The site’s minimum withdrawal is around $3 depending on the option you choose, which is not too difficult for most users to hit, given the variety of ways there are to earn on the platform.
It’s worth noting that MyPoints has two separate apps: the main MyPoints mobile app and “Daily Scoop,” which is devoted entirely to video content.
Unfortunately, Daily Scoop is only available for Android devices, and some reviewers have reported that it doesn’t always have a full inventory of videos.
You can earn a $10 sign-up bonus by spending at least $20 through the MyPoints cash-back shopping portal.
|iOS Rating||Google Play Rating|
Signing up for FusionCash is quick and easy, and you’ll get a $10 sign-up bonus just for joining. Like many of the other sites mentioned in the article, you can make money not only by watching videos, but also by taking surveys and completing a variety of other “get-paid-to” tasks.
FusionCash is one of the smaller sites on this list, and it has mixed to below-average reviews from users. For example, it garnered only a 3.1 rating on Trustpilot (on a 1-5 scale) and received an “F” rating from the BBB.
One of the most common user complaints is that your earnings expire if you don’t cash them out within 180 days of being credited to your account. Since the site’s minimum withdrawal is relatively high at $25, there is some risk that you may not be able to earn enough money to cash-out within that window.
If you do, you’ll have the choice of getting paid via paper check, direct deposit or PayPal.
Learn more and sign up for FusionCash.
#5. Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel
|iOS Rating||Google Play Rating|
|2.9 with 226 reviews||2.8 with 6,353 votes|
Nielsen, the well-known company that provides TV viewership ratings, gives you an easy way to make money by watching your favorite TV series (or anything else you want) online.
It’s one of the best passive income apps: you can make up to $50 per year just by downloading the app and then using your smartphone as usual.
What’s nice about the Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel is that you don’t have to change your viewing habits. Unlike some of the other options in this article, which often make you watch ads or other sponsored content, you get to choose what to watch — whether that’s YouTube, Netflix or the news. There are no specific requirements.
And getting set up is a snap: just create a username and password, provide some basic information about yourself, and install the app.
In addition to the $50 annual payout, participating in the program makes you eligible for periodic sweepstakes. Every month, the company gives away $10,000 split between 400 winners, with a grand prize of $1,000.
Keep in mind that participating in the Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel means you’re sending the company some of your anonymized browsing data. After all, that is what they’re paying you for.
According to their FAQ page, that data includes:
- The URL (address) you went to
- How long you were on the URL
- General computer and/or mobile device activity
“Anonymized” means that your name, IP address and other identifying information is stripped from the data. In other words, the company will be able to see what URLs you visited, but it won’t know that you visited them. Also, Nielsen does not collect user IDs or passwords.
There are many other websites that let you make money by watching videos. While the sites below are recommended by other publications, we haven’t fully tested them.
Before signing up, make sure you read their terms of service to learn when and how you get paid (including whether or not your earnings expire after a certain period of time), and check for reviews from other users on sites like Trustpilot and Reddit.
- AdWallet: A video ad platform where companies pay for “your full attention.” After watching a video, you’ll be required to answer a question or complete a short survey (or sometimes, to provide your email address). The minimum payout is $10, and can be claimed via direct deposit or gift cards.
- Earnably: A general rewards/get-paid-to site that allows you to transfer points from your hideout.tv account to your Earnably account. Once transferred, those points can be redeemed for gift cards. The minimum withdrawal amount is just $1, and most earnings are credited instantly. This makes it one of the fastest-paying rewards sites.
- InstaGC: Notable because you can earn money passively by allowing the site’s video playlists to run in the background/in a non-active window, although the number of videos you can earn money for each day is capped. Has a low minimum withdrawal of $1, and most earnings are credited within 24 hours. Learn more in our InstaGC review.
- Quick Rewards: No minimum cash-out and fast processing of PayPal transfer requests. Like KashKick, users report that it has a relatively small inventory of videos.
- TV-TWO: Pays users for watching videos with cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, it’s Ethereum rather than Bitcoin, which is considered more desirable (and more useful). On the plus side, TV-TWO offers a wide range of viewing options, as most YouTube channels are accessible through the platform (the app runs its own sponsored content interspersed with whatever you’re streaming).
Other Ways to Make Money Watching Videos
The sites and methods listed above can be a great way to make a little bit of easy money in your spare time. But as we mentioned in the intro, they will never make you rich. And in most cases, you’ll be hard-pressed to make more than $25 per month, even with consistent usage.
In contrast, the options below are legitimate side hustles that provide significantly more upside.
#6. Audit Movie Theatres
You may have heard of mystery shopping, which is where companies pay people to go into retail stores and other establishments and evaluate things like customer service, cleanliness, selection and product quality.
Mystery shopping is a real side hustle, and we wrote a complete beginner’s guide based on one of our writers’ personal experience working as a mystery shopper.
If you like watching videos (and are a movie buff in general) then you should check out Market Force — a well-known mystery shopping agency that specializes in movie theatre audits.
There are a number of different types of movie theatre assignments, but they usually require visiting a theatre within a specific timeframe and making sure that the theatre is playing the correct movie trailers.
Here’s a list of some of the types of assignments offered:
- Trailer checks: Make sure the right trailers are played before the feature film.
- Open checks: Count the number of attendees at specified showtimes (it’s called “open” because the theatre knows you’re doing it).
- Blind checks: Secretly count the number of attendees at specified showtimes.
- Advertisement checks: Take notes on the ads that run before the trailers come on.
- Sneak checks: Attend a pre-release screening of a film and take notes on the audience’s reaction.
- Comprehensive checks: All of the above.
Typical pay is around $8 to $15 per assignment. Keep in mind that in the case of trailer checks, you’re not required to stay for the entire movie. (And Market Force’s terms of service prohibit you from doing so.) So if you’re able to cluster multiple assignments back to back, it’s possible to earn a solid hourly rate.
Learn how to find mystery shopper jobs.
#7. Write Subtitles
If you’ve spent any time at all on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, then you have a sense of just how much video content is produced on a daily basis.
Content creators need to add subtitles to their videos to make them useful for people who browse with their device’s volume turned down (as well as to make them accessible for people with hearing challenges).
Many creators hire freelancers to take care of this task for them.
For the easiest projects, you can expect to earn about minimum wage with basic video editing skills. If you bring some type of added value to the table — such as the ability to translate the audio into a different language, or create video graphics along with the captions — then you can command significantly better rates.
The best website for finding this type of gig is Upwork, which is the largest freelance marketplace on the web.
If you’re interested, check out our guide to getting your first job on Upwork, which goes over everything you need to know to get started on the site.
#8. Review Movies and TV Shows
In addition to the fact that this option allows you to watch almost anything you want, it also has the highest earning potential of any option on this list.
Here are a couple of different ways to make money by watching and reviewing movies and TV shows:
Become a freelance writer and get paid to write for websites
There are thousands upon thousands of blogs and news sites that pay writers for TV and film content, including not only reviews but also things like live blogs and episode recaps.
You don’t need any experience to get started, but this is one of the more competitive freelance writing niches. So check out our beginner’s guide to freelance writing, and be aware that you may need to write a few articles for free to build up a portfolio prior to getting paid gigs.
Start a blog and publish your own content
You don’t have to be a tech whiz, as starting a blog is cheap and easy. Plus, there are at least 10 realistic ways to make money as a blogger. But you do need to have a little bit of patience and discipline, as it usually takes between six and 12 months to see traffic. (And you can’t make any money without traffic.)
Additionally, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make money. Being successful as a blogger requires a commitment to writing new content over time, and you’ll probably make some mistakes along the way.
That’s why one of our favorite strategies is to start out as a freelance writer and gain some first-hand experience in your area of interest. You’ll get insights into how a successful site goes about producing content, you’ll sharpen your skills as a writer, and if you get a by-line on your articles, you’ll build up name recognition that will help you launch your own site later down the road.
Of course, you don’t have to choose one or the other: you can start a blog today and also start looking for writing jobs on a site like Upwork.
If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for my free email course titled “How To Make Your First $1,000 Blogging.” It goes over everything from the basics to more advanced strategies, including all the stuff I wish I had known when I was just starting out.
#9. Categorize shows on Netflix and Hulu
In what probably seems like a dream job if you’re searching for ways to get paid to watch videos, Netflix and Hulu both hire “taggers” to digitally categorize movies and shows based on things like genre (mystery, romance, etc.), tone (dark, whimsical, etc.) and content (violent, adult, etc.).
These tags help viewers find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible, and also make it easier for the sites’ algorithms to recommend relevant suggestions.
If Hulu and Netflix tagger jobs were available regularly, this opportunity would be much higher on this list. Unfortunately, they only open up every once in a while, and you’ll need to monitor both the Hulu and NetFlix Job boards to find them.
Get Paid To Watch Videos: FAQ
The earning potential varies widely depending on the strategy you choose. The apps and surveys on this list typically limit your earnings from videos to around 50 cents per day, which means you could make $15 per month with regular usage. Auditing movie theaters typically pays $6-$12 per theatre check. And there’s no limit to how much you can make as a content creator — many film and TV freelance writers earn the equivalent of $50+ per hour.
Most of the sites we covered in the article require you to watch videos from a desktop computer with a high-speed internet connection. The best stand-alone app is Swagbucks Watch, but it’s only available as an Android app.
MyPoints also offers a stand-alone video app, called Daily Scoop. But users report that it doesn’t have a consistent supply of videos.
Yes, you can watch videos on your phone. Our top three choices — Swagbucks, InboxDollars and MyPoints — all have apps that allow you to earn while watching videos.
The types of videos you can watch to earn money vary depending on what platform you’re watching them on. Some platforms pay you to watch advertisements, while others pay to watch short TV clips. Some platforms might have specific requirements for videos you can watch and get paid for, such as answering a few questions about each video.
Yes! Many of the apps on this list will pay you for watching ads, but we also wrote a dedicated guide that focuses exclusively on ways to watch ads for money.
The minimum payout we found was with Swagbucks, which has withdrawal minimums starting at just $1.
There is no way to make money directly from YouTube for watching videos. Only content creators — i.e., people who start a YouTube channel and join YouTube’s Partner Program — can make money from the site. (Check out our article on how much YouTubers make to learn about the potential.)
However, as we mentioned earlier in the article, you may be able to earn virtual currency (Ethereum) for watching YouTube through the TV-TWO app.
There is no way to make money by watching TikTok videos, but the platform does offer a wide range of earning opportunities. If you enjoy watching videos, you may be able to learn from successful content creators and then either create your own videos or charge a fee to help others. Learn more in our guide to making money on TikTok.
There are no risks associated with the legitimate websites we mentioned in this article. Outside of this, some companies are known for advertising outsized rewards for watching videos online. Another red flag to watch out for is a site that asks for money upfront; this is almost always the sign of a scam, and we recommend avoiding any such site..
PerkTV, along with their sister companies, Viggle App, SuperRewards and PopQuiz were shut down in December of 2019. Additionally, CashCrate and Creations Rewards are two sites that used to pay people to watch video ads but have also been shut down.
Summary: How to Make Money by Watching Videos
Watching videos for money can be a fun and quick way to make a little extra cash or score a free amazon gift card in your spare time. However, the payout on a per-hour basis can be quite low, so you need to approach this with realistic expectations.
That’s why our favorite sites typically have another way to earn, such as cash-back shopping or surveys — activities that pay higher on a per-hour basis. This gives you the greatest chance to reach the minimum cash-out amount.
And of course, the amount you earn depends on the time you’re willing to invest. Becoming a content creator — whether that means blogging about movies, freelance writing or making videos of your own — offers the best earning potential by far.