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Get Paid to Watch Movies (6+ Legit Ways)

Get paid to watch movies

What if you could get paid while relaxing and watching movies? Settle into the couch with a bit of popcorn and come out with a few extra bucks?

Well, while you won’t make a career doing it, it turns out that dream is possible. There are services based online and in-person around the country that pay people to watch movies. Sometimes these opportunities are officially through movie theater companies, other times they are through separate services like movie trailer review sites or loyalty programs, but you have options.

As you would expect in a “get money for doing nothing” style space, there’s a lot of noise and bad faith players. You have to be careful about whom you choose to work with and why. To make this a bit easier for you, we’ve done our research and found a handful of legitimate ways you can get paid to watch movies.

These fall into two major camps: passive and active. Neither option will make you rich, but as you’d expect, you can make more by choosing “active” services. This means you have to exert some sort of effort, whether that’s proactively choosing the videos they serve up to you or by going to physical locations, etc. Passive services are usually data collection panels that simply observe what you already do.

So take a look, see which options look most interesting to you, and get watching!

1. Get Paid to Watch Movies in Theaters by Becoming a Theater Experience Reviewer

This isn’t as big as it used to be, especially in the wake of COVID-19, but you could look into becoming a “Field Associate” via CertifiedFieldAssociate.com or through the movie companies themselves.

These companies pay you to sit in on movies in local theatres to make sure ads are being run, count customers, figure out what movies are most popular and when, etc.

It’s essentially a hands-on data collection position. The main issue with this gig is that you can waste a lot of time and get paid much less than minimum wage. This is because depending on your task, you may have to wait for a movie to finish or run into issues with the local theatre management, etc.

Lots of people who have done these types of gigs for a while only recommend taking gigs with a defined scope.

How Does Being a Movie Theatre Field Associate Work?

By either signing up directly with movie companies or through third-party sites, you can get paid a lump sum for attending movies at movie theaters and answering specific questions related to your experience.

How Much Can I Make?

The pay varies from job to job, but they usually pay a project fee. This means if you’re not careful about time management, you can earn less than minimum wage.

Pros of Being a Field Associate

  • Can attend blockbuster movies for free.
  • Good track record for payment.
  • Can work near where you live.

Cons of Being a Movie Theatre Field Associate

  • Some jobs make you hop in and out of movies and never sit through an entire experience.
  • You have to explain what you’re doing to the local theater.
  • If you’re not careful, you can spend 8 hours doing a $40 job and make less than minimum wage.

Where to Get Started

  • Certified Field Associates – The website is pretty rough, but MarketForce Information is one of the most widely used field associate job sites.
  • EntertainmentCareers.net – This is an entertainment-specific job site, so you can search for “Theatre Checker” or “Field Associate” here and see if anyone is hiring.
  • Cinemark – You can also see if movie companies like Cinemark are hiring anyone directly.

2. Get Paid to Watch Movie Previews via “Online Task” Sites

There’s a whole internet culture around getting paid for surveys, small tasks, playing games, etc. Many of the large communities in this world also offer points and gift card opportunities for watching movie trailers or giving feedback on ads. This is definitely more of an “active” choice, but if you’re interested in making money online in your downtime, then the sites listed below are reliable places to start.

How Do Online Task Sites Work?

Popular “make money online” sites like Swagbucks and InboxDollars pay you in points to perform all sorts of online activities from playing games to watching movie trailers. You can then turn those points in for gift cards or cash.

How Much Can I Make?

You won’t make more than a few bucks a month, so it’s best to do this in your downtime or only when high point opportunities come around.

Pros of Watching Movie Previews on Online Task Sites

  • You can make money on your phone or computer anytime, anywhere.
  • Top online task sites are reliable and safe.
  • Opportunities to combine movie trailer watching with games, surveys, and other digital tasks to make more cash.

Cons of Watching Movie Previews on Online Task Sites

  • You won’t make more than a few bucks a month.
  • It won’t feel like relaxing because you’re watching what they want you to watch.
  • It requires consistent effort to see results.

Where to Get Started

  • Swagbucks – Swagbucks is the top of the hill as far as “get paid online” sites go, so this is the best place to start.
  • InboxDollars – InboxDollars is very similar to Swagbucks, so you could either split your time between the two or see which of the two has better movie trailer options.

3. Get Paid to Review Movies by Writing Articles or Creating Content

This is more on the active side, but if you have a passion for movies, then you could start reviewing movies you watch and submitting your writing to publications. Some of these will be paid, most won’t be. You could also start a YouTube channel and post your reviews there. There’s no sure path to becoming a paid critic, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Your best bet is to find a different spin on what’s already being done. Look at the market and current popular movie reviewers and see how you can do something a bit different. Once you identify an opportunity, make a content plan, run a few tests, and ask your friends for their opinions before investing too much time.

How Does Reviewing Movies Work?

This is a creative pursuit that has no guarantee of success and requires passion. You will most likely start by writing your own reviews and refining your craft and eventually pursuing publications to work with. You could also create your own platform and publish there.

How Much Can I Make?

Most people don’t make anything, but successful critics can make a decent living doing a job they love. Like any creative pursuit, this will take a lot of time and effort before you reap any sort of monetary reward.

Pros of Reviewing Movies

  • A chance to pursue your passion.
  • Opportunity to think critically about movies.
  • Fun networking and social opportunities.

Cons of Reviewing Movies

  • No guarantee of payment ever.
  • Very difficult to “make it”.
  • Requires a lot of work upfront.

Where to Get Started

  • Study.com – Take the time to read up on the life and career trajectory of a movie reviewer. It’s best to make career and life decisions with as much information as possible. Take some time to read over people’s experiences before you dive in.
  • LiveAbout – Study the best movie critics of all time. If you want to be the best, then you need to know what the best did!
  • Five Stars! – This book is written by film critic Christopher Null and offers advice on how to get your start.

4. Product Test TVs or Other Entertainment Devices

This is getting at it from a different angle, but you could look into product testing for TV companies. They want to make sure their new products work and are user-friendly, so there are ways to get paid for answering questions about new products.

How Does Product Testing TVs Work?

People can apply to studies through third-party sites (a few are listed below). If you qualify for a study, you’ll either be sent a TV or a product related to a TV that you’ll have to report back on.

How Much Can I Make Product Testing?

Payment varies from study to study, but you can usually make between $10-$25 an hour when you’re participating.

Pros of Product Testing

  • Many established sites to use.
  • Payment isn’t an issue once you land a gig.
  • Variety in products and jobs.
  • Decent pay for your time.

Cons of Product Testing

  • You’ll have to search to find jobs that specifically involve watching TV.
  • High competition for good gigs.

Where to Get Started

  • Toluna – Toluna is a modern product testing site that’s easy to get set up on and is used by many major brands.
  • Product Testing USA – Product Testing USA feels pretty 90s but is well-established and can offer some interesting opportunities with some searching.

5. Work for a Company Like Netflix to Tag Movies

These opportunities are rare and have a ton of competition, but there are editorial/movie analyst positions that Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. have where people tag shows and improve their service’s metadata (the data that the algorithm uses to know what to display).

How Does Getting Paid to Tag Movies Work?

You have to get officially hired through a particular movie company like Netflix. This means browsing job sites, sending in resumes — the whole nine yards.

How Much Can I Make Tagging Movies?

That depends on what is involved in your position, but these can be full-time positions at large companies, meaning you could make a liveable salary.

Pros of Tagging Movies

  • Potentially a full-time gig.
  • Work at an established company.
  • There is no middle man.

Cons of Tagging Movies

  • Gigs are extremely rare.
  • You can’t just find these through a third-party service — you have to find a job at a specific company.
  • Tagging and watching movies won’t be the only thing you do at your job. There are bound to be other responsibilities.

Where to Get Started

  • Netflix – Netflix is the biggest streaming service out there, so this is your best bet for a position.
  • Hulu – Remember there’s no guarantee in how the job will be posted, so keep an eye out for anything that sounds remotely like an editorial analyst.
  • HBO – HBO has the biggest variety of U.S. offices, so if you have no interest in moving, then start here.

6. Sell Your Data and Keep Watching Movies Like Normal

This is the most passive option to make money while watching movies because you don’t have to change your habits at all. Major data collection and reporting companies like Nielsen will pay you to have access to your phone and computer. You can make an easy $50 a year and be entered into automatic sweepstakes depending on the panel, but the most popular and reputable company by far is Nielsen.

These companies turn this data into massive industry reports that businesses use to educate their strategies. Yes, you are giving up your privacy here, but you are also getting compensated for using your phone and computer like normal.

How Does Panel Data Work?

You download a piece of software, fill out an account, give the software a bunch of permissions, and voila.

How Much Can I Make Selling My Data?

If you’re selling via a single panel, not very much. Nielsen gives you around $50 a year and enters you into sweepstakes that could pay off but aren’t worth banking on.

Pros of Selling Your Data

  • It’s a set and forget it type deal — you can use your computer like normal after installation.
  • Companies like Nielsen are reputable.
  • Opportunity to contribute to useful data analysis.

Cons of Selling Your Data

  • You are letting someone have access to your device. Privacy cannot be a concern.
  • Pay isn’t that great.
  • The installation can be a bit annoying.
  • The software will use up some of your CPU and potentially slow down your computer.

Where to Get Started

  • Nielsen – Nielsen is the most reputable panel company by far, so I recommend using them. When you’re giving up this much data, it’s important to know who is getting it.

Bonus: Think Outside the “Get Paid to Watch TV” Box

Consider expanding your definition a bit and look for jobs that let you watch TV while you do them.

Babysitting comes immediately to mind. You could also consider house sitting, dog sitting, working at a parking garage, or finding some other position that is generally  “slow”. Not only will these pay you more, but you’ll probably enjoy them more because you can watch what you choose instead of being forced to watch specific content.

The Bottom Line on Getting Paid to Watch Movies, TV, and Previews

You won’t make much money simply watching TV or videos. Every option here has one thing in common: you have to provide value to the person paying you. It’s obvious, but it’s true. The less work involved, the less value you are typically providing. The more hands-on, the more you get paid. That’s how the game works.

Our advice is to use apps sites like Swagbucks alongside more lucrative product testing opportunities. In other words, mix your passive and active opportunities to keep things fresh and earn the most cash.

Good luck, and remember to make these services work for you and not the other way around. If you feel stretched and pressed for time, it’s almost certainly not worth it. You should approach these with a casual mindset and put your efforts toward other job opportunities if you are particularly strapped for cash.

Permission.io is working to get people just like you paid for the data you’re already giving away.  We are creating a new kind of internet that pays you for your time and data shared while engaging online as you normally do. The Permission Browser Extension suggests cool ads relevant to your internet browsing, and pays you cryptocurrency in return for watching.

See how we’re working to change the internet forever.

About the Author
Nathan Phelps is a Content Marketing Specialist for Permission.io. He is the founder of Crafted Copy, a boutique content company, and specializes in writing for SaaS, cryptocurrency, marketing, and general tech. His writing is released and seen by thousands every week, and he is currently building a music productivity startup out of his home office in Nashville, TN.
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