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Getting Paid to Watch TV With Viggle, Is It Worth Your Time?

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Apps that let users track their television/movie activity have been around for awhile, though they mostly only offered perks such as auto posting to a Facebook or Twitter account what you were watching (only two that I know of offer physical items for your devotion to shows/the app).  This brings us to a fairly new program for iOS and Android users to keep track of their viewing activities and have a chance to receive physical goods for their trouble, Viggle.

Viggle separates itself from the competition by offering dedicated, for some prizes EXTREMELY dedicated, fans physical items such as gift cards to popular stores such as Best Buy, Chili’s and even iTunes.  Gift cards not good enough to get you to use an app and give it personal tracking information?  How about a Kindle Fire, iPod Touch or even a MacBook Air (over 3 million points folks so don’t get TOO excited just yet).

Using Viggle is as easy as clicking a couple of menus, What’s On shows you the television episodes with bonus points (featured stuff, I have found other shows not shown here that have provided  bonus points).  Check in is where users, well, check in to shows to earn points.  Viggle will “listen” to the television for whatever show is currently playing (it has to be a show that is currently on air on one of the channels that supports audio check ins).  After two failed tries, Viggle will give you the opportunity to type in the name of the show you are watching (make sure that you set your TV provider to the correct service you are using to guarantee a more accurate search function).  Pick the show on the channel you are watching and simply check in.  Wait to get your points (usually after the episode ends though I have had instances where I didn’t get points till I checked into another show, even hours after the previous check in went off the air).

Rewards.  This is the menu you want to check out before getting too invested in this app.  Why?  Because you aren’t getting anything unless you reach the minimum point balance.  Nothing is “cheap” (I will break down why in a minute) but some stuff is WAY up there (remember the MacBook Air?).  The cheapest things currently listed on Viggle Rewards are contests, the most expensive is the MacBook Air, in between there are gift cards, movie tickets and electronics of various types.  Your value in using Viggle is going to be solely  based on what you think of the prizes on offer (more are surely to be added later but we can only talk about what is there now).

Points Break Down:
Let’s take a middle of the road item (that has a well known price) such as the Kindle Fire from Amazon.  On Viggle, it is 375,000 points, or about $200 at your local box store that carries electronics.  That equates to about  $0.000533333333 per point earned watching television.  You may be thinking that isn’t bad!  Look at it this way, on average, you are going to get 1 point per minute of shows you watch, 60 points per hour.  Multiplying that out, we see that Viggle is paying viewers $0.031999 an hour to watch television (way below what you would make working a minimum wage job those same hours folks).  Still want that Kindle Fire?  It will take you about 6,269 hours, or about four and a half DAYS, of television viewing to earn the minimum points needed.  Minimum wage is higher than $5 but we are going to say $5 for sake of easy math here.  If you worked for $5 an hour for those 6,269 hours, you would have earned  $31,345 (or enough to buy 20 MacBook Air’s according to the price that Best Buy charges for the one that Viggle has on offer).

Things on the “cheaper” side of the spectrum such as gift cards may be more up your alley of interest for using Viggle, that is fine, let’s check out the values there.  Just about everyone knows about Red Box (about a buck a night though in my area, they are now $1.35 per night) so let’s use that gift card as an example.  3,000 points, currently, is the minimum to redeem for a one night rental from this minimalist option.  Take the price for my area (yours may vary slightly) and that averages out to about  $0.00045 per point (notice each point is worth less for this reward versus the Kindle Fire example above?).  60 points per hour (not counting possible bonus points you could potentially earn) brings us to a whopping 50 hours of television watching to earn a one night rental (you may want to plan ahead if you are planning on getting a free movie rental on the weekend).  Using $5 as the minimum wage, that would mean for those same 50 hours, you could earn $250 for that same amount of time watching television using Viggle (enough to rent about 185 movies from Red Box).

I am not against Viggle in any way, I am sure that the point values are figured in a quite complex mathematical manner (they have to make sure everyone involved is making money on this or it will go away) but come on, some of these are just ridiculous.  I use Viggle but with the above knowledge in mind (you won’t see me going out of my way to “earn” points).  If I ever reach enough to redeem for something worthwhile, I will but it won’t change my opinion on the point values (I have seen paid to click programs that pay 10 to 100 times more per click than Viggle points are worth).

If you are new to Viggle or have never heard of it (here is my referral link if you like- Triverse’s Viggle) you may see more value in the App than I do.  Just use it responsibly and maybe you will be able to get a gift card or even a Kindle Fire someday.

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