4 Ways to Make Extra Money by Watching TV

If your dream job would involve you watching hours and hours of television, you may be in luck. While not plentiful, there are a few unique opportunities out there to make extra money when you watch TV. These jobs will not make you rich, but they can be a great way to earn extra cash. You’ll also feed your television habit!

1. Earn Cash as a Nielsen TV Family

Have you ever wondered just who makes the decisions about what TV shows make the cut each year? Those powerful people use data from thousands of TV-watching consumers to shape TV history. These families “called Nielson families” report their TV habits to a data collection company, called Nielsen. It’s either a process where an electric meter monitors activity, or the participants are sometimes asked to journal their viewing in an old-fashioned paper book. Either way, they get compensated for their time.

make extra money watching TV

See also: The Best Ways to Make Extra Money Right Now

What does a Nielsen TV watcher get paid?

You won’t get rich doing this job. Most participants report getting an initial $5 in their welcome envelope and then up to $35 or so for completing a week’s worth of reports. It is paid to them in cash.

Where do you apply?

There is currently no way to apply for these jobs. While sometimes Nielsen advertises for special data collecting programs, their traditional TV families are randomly selected from specific geographic locations out of census and phone book listings. You can learn more about if a letter or package is a legitimate offer from Nielsen by clicking here.

2. Earn Cash for Watching TV with Apps

There are many apps out there right now that will reward you with points for watching TV shows, trailers, and commercials. While you usually have to watch quite a few hours of television to earn enough to cash out, it can be a good way to discover new content and get rewarded for your time. Many of the available perks include cash or debit cards, so you can make extra money by using these. Among the most popular (and reputable) are:

Perk TV

This platform (formerly known as Viggle) has a wide variety of shorter content, such as comedy sketches, movie trailers, reviews, and lifestyle tips. They also have NBC content to view. Points can be redeemed for gift cards to top retailers. They also allow for cashing out by debit card. They currently only have a desktop version, but no app. Check out Perk here to make extra money when you watch TV.


This is another site that rewards certain consumer activities with points. These points can then be used at checkout when paying at popular retailers as a credit on your total purchase. How can you get this good-as-cash reward? There are many activities with various companies, but the best way is by linking your Plenti account to Hulu, then activating all the Hulu activities to earn when you watch. Sign up for Plenti here and start earning when you watch select Hulu episodes.


They not only reward you for watching their short clips and TV ads, they also give you points for search and shopping. Much of the daily activities you do online qualify for reward points, so get familiar with the website to see how you can earn while watching things you would be watching anyway. Set up your free Swagbucks account here to start earning for gift cards and cash.

3. Make Extra Money as a Television Blogger

If you have a good command of the English language and understand plot twists and character development, you may have what it takes to be a TV blogger. Most blogger jobs require someone with extensive writing experience, inside industry knowledge, or both. If you’re new to blogging and want to break in, it might help to start your own entertainment blog first. Then, you can use your blog posts as samples when submitting applications for jobs.

make extra money watching TV

What does a television blogger pay?

Rates vary per word or per article. Pay can start at $20 a 500-100 word article and go all the way up to $250 a blog post with pageview bonuses. Most beginning bloggers in the television industry probably won’t make more than $50 an article or so.

Where do you apply?

While jobs open all the time, the following sites have a history of hiring freelance writers for their television content:

Screenrant hires freelancers for its list-type posts and shorter articles quite regularly. They do not currently advertise their rates, but pay is competitive. To apply for open television writing jobs at Screenrant, click here.

Buddy TV is a top TV site continually looking for writers to offer their opinions on latest episodes of the top shows, including Quantico, The Bachelor, Empire, The Voice, and more. Writers should be able to turn around articles quickly and have early morning available for work. To apply for the open positions at Buddy TV, click here.

About.com has been offering writers a place to earn for years. Their entertainment section is one of their most popular categories, and they often hire for About.com guides to cover it. If you have a knack for sharing top 10 lists, celebrity interviews, or season cliffhangers, you’ll want to check the site regularly for openings. To see what entertainment writers About.com is hiring for now, click here.

4. Become a Netflix Content Tagger

If you have no problem watching 15 hours of television a week, this job may be for you! Netflix content tagging positions are usually available worldwide, and they ask the worker to stream content completely. You’ll then decide if content is in the proper category, what titles may be similar, and if kids’ content is appropriate for the kids’ channel. As you would expect, because everyone wants to make extra money watching TV, the competition for this job is tough! They also prefer that an industry expert handle the task. You can frequently check the Netflix job site here to see if this job has been added. 

Interested in more ways to make extra money while watching TV? Check out our article on How to Make Extra Money Captioning Video.