9 ways to make money from watching videos
If you ever find yourself wishing you could get paid to watch videos online, we've got some very good news – you can. Here's how...
Making money from watching videos is a lot easier than you might think. And, considering you'll likely be spending plenty of time watching films, clips and ads online anyway, it's such an easy way to earn some extra cash in your spare time.
It's an ideal way to make money alongside similar ventures like running a YouTube account. Plus, all of the video-related work experience could hugely boost your CV and help you get a job related to film, TV or digital media.
There are loads of ways to watch videos for money, and we'll go through the best options here.
How to get paid to watch videos
Here are the best ways to watch videos and earn money:
Watch videos for cash on Swagbucks
The types of videos you'll be shown on Swagbucks will vary, but you can expect plenty of short clips like ads, news content and viral videos.
By watching videos on the site, you might not earn huge amounts of money or 'Swagbuck points' (a.k.a. SB), but as it's such easy money, we definitely think it's worth trying.
Plus, when you use Swagbucks alongside the other suggestions in this list, your earnings will quickly add up.
Write subtitles for films as a freelancer
Particularly if you're looking to build up your CV with film-related experience, it's definitely worth thinking about writing subtitles for videos online on a freelance basis.
Video-content creators will often look for freelancers who can write up subtitles for their films, perhaps to make them more accessible for people with hearing loss, or to upload transcripts when posting YouTube videos.
As subtitles and transcripts can be quite time-consuming to write, video makers may well look for freelancers to do this for them – which is where you come in.
On sites like Fiverr, you can find freelancers offering to write video subtitles for a fee. Have a look at what other freelancers are charging for an idea of prices, and be sure to post rates that you think are fair but competitive.
As a guideline, though, we've seen freelancers on Fiverr often starting their rates at £4.16 to write subtitles.
Make money watching videos on InboxPounds
Again, you might not make big money on here, but the more tasks you do alongside watching videos, the more money you can make.
Even reading InboxPounds' deals emails or searching the internet on their search page can earn you cash.
You can sign up to InboxPounds here.
Become a film and TV reviewer
If you're hoping to make a living from watching videos, becoming a film or TV reviewer is probably the best, most established way of doing so.
It's by no means easy to reach the point of writing about videos as a full-time job, but with hard work, dedication and a strong grasp of the written word, you can do it.
Film and TV criticism are very competitive lines of work, so particularly if you're thinking about writing on a freelance basis, you'll need to start off by charging lower rates to reflect your level of experience.
But remember, you deserve to be paid for your work, so don't accept payments lower than you think is fair, just because you're starting out.
To prepare for a full-time job as a film or TV critic, it's worth looking into internships to boost your CV. Unfortunately, not all journalism internships pay well (or at all, in some cases), but check out PressPad for help with accommodation in London during internship placements.
And, if you do find yourself on an unpaid internship, our guide to supporting yourself financially during the placement can help.
Once you start to build up your portfolio of reviews and make a name for yourself, you can gradually increase your rates and take on bigger commissions.
Pitching article ideas about films and TV shows to editors
To start getting commissioned for film or TV reviews as a freelancer, it's worth setting up a blog to showcase your writing style and talent.
Then, look for commissioning editors of relevant publications, reach out to them directly (addressing them by their name in emails) and pitch them your idea. At the end of your pitch, link to your blog or portfolio website so they can see what you can do.
Be confident with your article ideas, keep pitches concise and don't be disheartened by rejections. Keep going, and you might just become the next Mark Kermode.
Watch ads, TV trailers and more for money on Slicethepie
Slicethepie is a review site that lets you earn points for doing loads of very easy things like watching interesting videos, listening to music and answering survey questions.
The videos include commercials and clips like trailers for films and TV shows.
The minimum withdrawal is $10 (around £7) which will get paid into your PayPal account. As they read through all the reviews before making payments, you might need to wait up to five working days for the withdrawal request to be processed.
Take part in paid psychological studies
If you're interested in taking part in psychological and behavioural studies, this could be a good way for you to make money from watching videos.
The amount you can get paid in compensation for doing psychological studies will vary massively depending on the type of trial and how long it lasts, but you could receive as much as £100+ for your time!
But please note – we recommend only signing up for studies if you genuinely want to do them, rather than simply as a way of making money. Depending on the nature of the study, there's a potential for them to be emotionally or mentally challenging, so only take part in ones you're comfortable with.
How to find psychological trials
As with all clinical trials, it's important to focus on trusted organisations when signing up for psychological studies.
When looking for legitimate paid psychology trials, we recommend focusing on studies at universities.
First, get in touch with the psychology department at your uni to see if there are any upcoming studies you could get involved in. This would be the best and easiest way to take part in one.
But, if that's not possible, you could look into studies at other universities. To focus your search, try typing '[university name] psychological trials' into Google as this should come up with the relevant page on the uni's website.
There, you'll find call-outs for study trial participants and guidance on how to apply.
Or, you could always contact a university's psychology department directly, either on the phone or by email, to find out more about their upcoming studies.
Often, universities will say that they are looking for "volunteers" for the studies, but these opportunities will typically still include some form of compensation (either in cash or vouchers) for your time and expenses.
For example, you can register as a participant for research studies on the University of Cambridge's website. Although they are asking for volunteers, they offer "modest monetary compensation" to people who take part.
Not all studies are guaranteed to include videos, but keep an eye out for ones that suit you and your interests.
Watch video ads on WeAre8 for earnings or charity
Hoping to make money from watching ads and make a positive impact? WeAre8 could be the app for you.
Like some of the others on this list, WeAre8 is an app that lets you earn cash from watching videos, but with a slight difference: as well as making money to boost your bank balance, you also have the chance to contribute to charity.
After you watch ads on this platform, you're asked to answer a few quick questions and you can earn 10p – 20p per video.
Once you've reached the minimum payout amount (£1) from watching brand video adverts, there are three ways that you could have the money paid out: it could be paid into your PayPal account, it could auto-pay your EE mobile bill, or you could pay it forward to a charity of your choice.
An added (and rather lovely) bonus is that each time you watch a video on the app, brands make a charity donation too.
Keen to sign up? You can do so here.
Make money watching videos on PrizeRebel
There's a minimum payout of £2, and you can request the money you've earned through the site as cash or as gift cards. When you redeem the points you've earned through the site, your money/gift cards will be processed and sent to you within 24 hours.
As well as watching videos, it's worth answering online surveys and referring friends to PrizeRebel to boost your earnings.
It's also worth checking out PrizeRebel's social media pages where they post updates and share opportunities to get bonus points.
Promote videos for companies online
As well as getting paid to watch videos, you could consider charging companies to promote their clips and ads online.
Sponsored posts are a common way to make money for online influencers. While you don't necessarily need a huge online following to do this, it would help if you had a reasonable number of followers on social media and/or your own blog.
The bigger your audience, the more you can charge companies to share their content.
Of course, it's important to make sure the videos you're promoting are of good quality and relevant to your audience, as it could really impact your online brand if you share content that your followers don't engage with.
Try reaching out directly to the influencer marketing departments of brands that you identify with and are interested in to discuss the possibility of working together on a sponsored video post.
Or, particularly if you have a smaller online following, you could always use freelance sites like Fiverr to find companies who would be happy to pay you a little fee to share their video content online.
But if you do get paid to share a promotional post online, remember that you must clearly state that it is an advert or sponsored post. You can find more info and guidance in the ASA's Influencer Guide.
Fancy getting free money? Of course you do – find out how in our guide.