9 Ways to Earn Money Watching Videos from Your Couch

If you’re a YouTube addict, we’ve got a dream side hustle for you: You can earn gift cards or cash just by watching videos on these nine sites.
Last updated Oct 6, 2020 | By Lindsay Frankel
Woman watching videos on smartphone

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

We all groan when an advertisement interrupts our chosen video content, but what if you were getting paid to watch? Believe it or not, several sites actually pay you to watch ads, previews, and other content, including movies and tv shows. Although it won’t make you rich, watching online videos in your free time can earn you gift cards and extra cash that might help you stash away some savings.

Some of the best side hustles are flexible, fun, and easy to do from the comfort of your own home — and watching videos on your smartphone fits the bill. Whether you’re looking to learn how to make money from a weekend side job or a part-time work-from-home gig, this can be the answer. Here’s how to get started.

9 companies that let you earn money watching videos

  • InboxDollars
  • MyPoints
  • Swagbucks
  • Nielsen
  • Netflix
  • GrabPoints
  • Viggle
  • iRazoo
  • FusionCash

1. InboxDollars

Since the company was founded in 2000, InboxDollars has paid its members more than $59 million in cash. With an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and plenty of great reviews on Trustpilot, InboxDollars is a legitimate site that will pay you to watch videos online.

InboxDollars has a variety of videos in different categories available for you to watch on its video channel. You’ll be able to see how much you can earn before watching (anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars,) and you can watch as many videos as you want. InboxDollars makes money from big companies that want you to see their content and shares a portion of the earnings with you.

As you watch more videos, you’ll also have the opportunity to earn virtual scratch-off cards with hidden cash prizes. Once you earn $30 in your account, you’ll be able to cash out via PayPal, select gift cards, or request a check.

Inbox Dollars Benefits

  • Get a $5 bonus when you register with your email
  • Get paid to watch TV and play games online!
  • You could also earn money by making online searches
  • Over $50 million paid to members so far - how much can you earn?

2. MyPoints

MyPoints is a rewards program that’s been around since 1996. The company has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and thousands of excellent reviews on Trustpilot. With MyPoints, you can use your account to earn rewards when you shop (on top of coupon discounts), take online surveys and play games for points, and of course, watch videos.

To earn points watching videos with MyPoints, you’ll need to complete a playlist of videos. You can earn on-site with your computer or rack up extra points when you use the MyPoints TV app. You can earn up to 500 points per day watching video playlists. The value of each point depends on the redemption you choose.

One of the unique things about MyPoints is that it partners with United Airlines so you can use your points to add miles to your United MileagePlus account. But if you’re not planning on traveling in the near future, you can also choose gift cards from 70 retailers and restaurants, or redeem your points for a PayPal deposit or Visa prepaid card.

MyPoints Benefits

  • Earn $5 when you take your first 5 surveys
  • Get paid to go take surveys
  • Earn points to redeem for gift cards
  • Brands include Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks and more

3. Swagbucks

Owned by the same company as MyPoints and InboxDollars, Swagbucks is a popular rewards program that was founded in 2004. The company has an A rating with the BBB and thousands of excellent reviews on Trustpilot.

Swagbucks lets you earn points for shopping at partner retailers, searching the web, answering surveys, and watching videos. It’s paid its users more than $434 million, and it gives out 7,000 gift cards per day. Users can choose to cash out via PayPal or redeem their points for gift cards. One hundred Swagbucks equals $1.

Swagbucks notes that some committed users have earned over $10,000 on the site, but casual users tend to earn $25-$100 in extra cash each month. Although it won’t make you rich, Swagbucks is a legitimate way to earn free money from many of the activities you would do anyway.

Swagbucks Benefits

  • Get a $5 bonus when you earn 2,500 Swagbucks in the first 60 days of opening your account
  • Earn gift cards for surfing the web and taking fun surveys
  • Over $200,000,000 paid out to members so far! That's 7,000 gift cards each day
  • Earn free gift cards to your favorite stores - Amazon, Target, Walmart, and more

4. Nielsen

For more than 90 years, Nielsen has been tracking what samples of the population are listening to and watching in order to provide businesses with insights about how their content is performing. Nielsen is an S&P 500 company with operations in more than 100 countries.

One of the ways Nielsen rates content is through collecting data on the behavior of Nielsen Families, which are households that are selected to represent greater communities. You can’t volunteer to be a Nielsen family, but if you are selected, you will receive gifts for participating.

You can also sign up to be part of Nielsen’s computer and mobile panel. To participate, you’ll download software onto your devices. From there, just use the internet and watch content as you normally would. There’s no need to watch specific videos. You’ll help companies improve their products, and you’ll also have the opportunity to earn rewards and sweepstake entries. Nielsen gives away $10,000 each month.

5. Netflix

If you’re looking for a full-time opportunity and have skills in categorization and a love of film and TV, keep an eye on job openings at Netflix. Netflix hires a small number of (lucky) editorial analysts (also called taggers) to essentially tag their content so it appears in the right categories and gets pulled into the right rows on your home screen. That means watching hours of movies and TV could actually be part of your job.

Right now, Netflix has one opportunity available for someone who speaks Spanish and has a passion for Latin American content. The first responsibility? “Watch, research, rate, tag, annotate, and write analysis reports for movie and TV content.” Sounds like a dream for someone who loves to binge-watch new series. Read about how one editorial analyst is pursuing her dream and what Netflix looks for in future hires.

6. GrabPoints

GrabPoints is a free mobile app launched in 2014 and allows users to earn points for activities such as taking surveys and watching videos. GrabPoints has many positive reviews both on its website and on Trustpilot.

When you watch videos on GrabPoints, you’ll earn points. You can choose from a variety of channels, so you won’t have to watch videos that don’t interest you. GrabPoints will show you how many points you’ll earn and how many videos you’ll need to watch to earn rewards. Once you have 3,000 points (equivalent to $3), you’ll be able to get PayPal cash or free gift cards to popular retailers.

Because there’s a low threshold for redemption and you’ll be able to get your payout in 48 hours after requesting it, GrabPoints is one of the fastest ways to make money watching videos online. You can also earn extra points for referring your friends to the program.

7. Viggle

Launched in 2012, Viggle is a rewards app for Android devices that allows users to earn rewards for watching TV shows and listening to music. The app has more than 7 million users, who have redeemed more than $19 million in rewards. Viggle lets you earn points for watching TV shows and movies on your favorite streaming platforms and live TV just by checking in with the Viggle app.

Users get a point per minute for watching shows or listening to music through the Viggle app, plus any bonuses (featured shows can earn up to 15X the points). You’ll be able to redeem your points for PayPal cash, a prepaid debit card, or free gift cards to more than 200 retailers.

Keep in mind that the reviews on Google Play are mixed, with many users citing glitches, but Viggle is a legitimate app that may be worth trying out.

8. iRazoo

iRazoo is a rewards program founded in 2016 that provides users with points for trying out apps, completing surveys and offers, playing games, and watching videos. iRazoo has more than 50 channels of video content to choose from. You’ll watch mostly ads, app trailers, movie trailers, short films, movie reviews, and cooking tutorials.

Once you get 3,000 points, you’ll be able to redeem them for a $5 gift card or $5 in PayPal cash. After you choose your reward, you’ll have 30 days to use it before it expires.

iRazoo has mixed reviews on Trustpilot, with some users reporting a favorable experience and others citing issues redeeming their points. Although it’s worth trying out, it may not be as lucrative as others on our list.

9. FusionCash

FusionCash is another rewards website that makes money from advertisers and shares some of the profit with its users. You can get paid to take surveys and search the web, earn cash back for shopping, and get rewarded for watching videos and listening to the radio.

Once you have $25 in your FusionCash account, you’ll be able to cash out via PayPal account, direct deposit, or check. There are no fees to access your money. In addition to the extra cash you’ll earn from watching videos, you can earn a $5 signup bonus and $1 to $5 in referral bonuses for each friend who signs up.

FusionCash has only a handful of mixed reviews on Trustpilot, and users say it’s not the quickest way to make money, but it could be worth trying out.

The bottom line

You won’t get rich by watching videos, but you could rack up some extra money in your spare time. All of the sites we mentioned are free to join, so feel free to try a bunch of these options before choosing a few you plan to stick with for the long haul. Many of these sites also offer other rewards opportunities besides watching videos, so you can engage in a variety of activities. Just plunk down on your couch with your device and start earning money.

Inbox Dollars Benefits

  • Get a $5 bonus when you register with your email
  • Get paid to watch TV and play games online!
  • You could also earn money by making online searches
  • Over $50 million paid to members so far - how much can you earn?