When online, some people like to read articles, some enjoy scrolling through photo feeds, and some are really into watching videos, streaming movies, and exploring everything YouTube has to offer. If you spend most of your time watching videos and movies, have you ever considered getting paid for it?
It might sound sketchy, but watching movies and videos can really be a legit side hustle. Let’s dive into some of the options available to the film buffs out there.
Become a mystery shopper…for movies
Though it might evoke the image of a mysterious, trenchcoat-clad figure staking out a crime scene in a film noir, being a movie mystery shopper is pretty straightforward. The job title is actually “certified field agent”, or CFA. Sounds official all right.
The gig consists of doing “in-theater checks,” which encompasses reporting on what advertisements play before the movie, the viewers’ response to the trailers, the demographic makeup of the audience, and the audiovisual quality of the playback.
The main perks? You can see movies for free (including sneak previews of new releases!) and sometimes even get a concession allowance. Free movies and popcorn? Sign us up!
To get started, head over to Market Force, a trusted company that has openings for CFAs on a regular basis.
Write movie reviews
Fancy yourself a regular Roger Ebert? In the age of blogs, freelance movie writers are in high demand, and there are a ton of paying websites that allow you to flex your movie critic muscles. Necessary skills include attention to detail, a strong writing voice, good command of the language, and, of course, an enduring passion for the art of cinema.
If you have a knack for writing reviews, you might even have an opportunity to turn this side hustle into full-time work. Think you have what it takes? Apply for a contributor position at Screenrant, Slant Magazine, Cineaste (for highbrow films), or Animation Arena (for animated movies and video games).
If you would rather have a little more creative control, consider starting your own blog (and getting paid in ad revenue). If writing is not your thing or you would rather be in front of the camera, shoot video reviews and upload them to a widely-trafficked platform like YouTube or TikTok.
Love Netflix? Become a tagger
Have you ever wondered how Netflix comes up with hyper-specific personal recommendations like Tearjerkers From the Soft Side of the Industrial Revolution or Circus Noir Films Featuring Strong Female Friendships? These are often the work of taggers, also known as editorial insights strategists.
Taggers receive a competitive hourly rate for watching Netflix content and then either writing descriptions or adjusting data points, such as genre tagging or adding language options. From time to time, Netflix posts openings for taggers on its job board. As you might imagine, these positions are pretty popular, but if you can score a spot, it can be a fun stream of income.
Sign up for market research
Companies always need consumer feedback, and there are a plethora of websites that will pay you to watch videos and answer a few short questions about them. Nielsen is one such reputable company (yes, of Nielsen ratings fame) that will track your watch habits and send you some money for the data.
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Many websites offer you a sign-up bonus and then send you a playlist of videos to watch. These often aren’t full-length movies, but some of them can be around 30 minutes long. If you actively watch the entire playlist, these websites will deposit money (or points corresponding to dollars) into your account.
This is one of the easiest and most passive side hustles out there. Some of these companies also offer cash or gift cards for filling out surveys, playing games, and shopping. Interested? Check out Swagbucks, InboxDollars, MyPoints, or AdWallet.
So, there you have it! We hope this list has piqued the interest of all of you video lovers, cinephiles, and visual learners out there. How much money you make depends on your skill set and time commitment, but no matter what, it doesn’t get much better than making money for doing something you already enjoy.