Make Money Watching TV: Is Viggle Worth the Effort?
Viggle Has Merged with Perk TV!!
What is Viggle?
Viggle is an app for iPhone and Android that allows users to watch TV to earn points. To use it, you "check in" on your smart phone while watching something on your television set. The app listens to the audio to determine what channel and show you're watching, and gives you points for that show. You can play games and receive ads on your phone for points. These points can then be redeemed for rewards.
Since then, however, a lot has changed, and I'd like to share those changes with you so you can decide if Viggle is still worthwhile.
When I first started using Viggle several months ago and started writing about it, I was very clear: It was not a get-rich-quick scheme. One point was worth one-eighteenth of a cent. I was lucky to earn a $5 gift card each week, with my average amount of TV viewing and Viggle use.
Since that time, Viggle has undergone several changes that make reaching that $5 award an even slower process. If you are a brand new or prospective Viggle user, these changes will not be as disappointing to you as they have been to those who have been using it from the beginning. They might still be worth noting, however, as the time-versus-payout balance makes minimum wage look like the lottery.
For the veterans out there, here is a list of notable changes that might help explain why you are suddenly earning a fraction of the rewards you once were.
How Viggle has Changed for the Worse
- Awards have gone up in "price," or, point values have decreased. Six months ago, $5 CVS, Starbucks, and other gift cards were 9,000 points (some were as low as 7,000). Now, $5 CVS and Starbucks gift cards have increased in price to 18,500 points. The $25 Best Buy gift card has gone up from 45,000 points, to 62,500, and again to 92,000. There are very few awards under 10,000 points for things like 1 night Redbox rentals and discounts to Fanatics.com.
- Awards are available at limited times and in limited quantities. Viggle offers between two and four gift cards in limited quantities between the hours of 7pm and 10pm (EST). Only one gift card is offered at a time and usually at least an hour passes between each "release." Most are out of stock within five minutes. You can find these gift card "pop ups" by cycling in and out of the rewards page, though not always. If a gift card is released at 7:10pm, you can often find the next gift card at 8:10pm, then at 9:10pm and again at 10:10pm.
- Check-in bonuses have decreased in point value. Viggle has changed the bonus point system from a set rate to a multiplication of the points earned per-minute of check-in to a bonus show. See positive Viggle changes below to see how I also consider this a good change.
- Fewer points for watching ads and trailers. It seems in the past few weeks, bonus points for watching ads on your phone have all but disappeared. This used to be an easy way to score big points fast, but no more.
How Things Have Gotten Better
- New Direct TV connection. If you have Direct TV, you are in for some major point-scoring, especially during football season. Direct TV users (through a series of complicated steps) can earn up to three times the daily points of a regular Viggle user through bonus shows (with higher bonus point values), Direct TV movies, sign up bonuses, and extra points for every single football game on game days.
- Infrequent but high-scoring bonuses for commercial check-ins. Every once in a while, Viggle will offer a random 200- to 1000-point bonus for checking into a specific commercial during a show. How do you know when and how to do this? Read the Viggle blog. Check your Viggle emails. Actually watch some of the ads that play on the app itself. Commercial check-ins are advertised on the bonus show carousel. As far as checking in goes, I suggest looking for the commercial on YouTube rather than trying to catch it on TV.
- "Viggle Live." This is a trivia game you can play right on the app while watching a show you have checked into. In addition to earning up to 25 points for each correct answer in the trivia, Viggle Live often embeds hidden ads for additional bonus points.
- Viggle Football and Viggle Basketball. During the NFL and the NBA, you can check into football and basketball games and play along, virtually, by making predictions before and during the games. These games also often embed hidden ads for additional quick points. I have to admit, it is a fun way to get more involved in live sports. Viggle Football currently allows for up to 12,200 points per game which do not count toward your daily maximum.
- New Bonus Points System (as of November 20, 2013). Instead of a set bonus-point rate on bonus shows, Viggle now multiplies bonus show check-in minutes by two, three, or four times. To me, this makes more sense for the purpose of the app. The idea is that users will actually stay checked in to whatever show they are watching. To be honest, it actually has the potential to be less work for more points. I'm not a professional Viggler out to rack up as many points are possible for the day. I like to just be rewarded for what I'm already watching. This new idea also works well for the "set it and forget it" approach to Viggling.
- Streak bonuses. Viggle now offers extra points (rewarded much later) for checking into all of a certain show, three out of five episodes, or whatever the streak may be. Direct TV streaks are worth the most (up to 10,000 points) but there are others which offer between 250 and 1,000 bonus points.
- Music check-ins. You can now check into songs and get 100 points each for up to 20 songs per day. For the most part, the latest operating system for iOS and Android seem to recognize songs with the most accuracy. A personal note: I cannot get my iPhone 3G to recognize songs at all. You can check into songs from any source: the radio, a CD, Amazon clips, commercials on TV, even Glee while it is airing.
- Music Match Bonus: You can now receive 1000 points for every song you purchase on iTunes through the Viggle App if you have previously checked into the song and had the app recognize it.
The Brass Tacks: Is it Worthwhile?
At this point, I think it is important to remember that 600 points = $0.01
So is it worth it?
Well. Maybe. Okay, probably not, unless all you do is sit around watching TV all day. Then, sure, it's worth it. I saw: Do what you were already doing and make a couple of cents on the side. Cents will turn into dollars, and dollars will turn in to a free drink at Starbucks once a month. Not bad.
Part time stay at home side job, though? Definitely not.