Get Paid to Watch TV? There's an App For That

A new iPhone and iPad app rewards you for watching hours and hours of TV

Can you keep it down? Your iPhone is trying to listen to the TV.

A new iPhone and iPad app from a software company called Viggle actually listens to what you're watching on TV, tabulates what you watch and for how long, and provides gift certificate rewards based on the data collected.

Taking market research into the digital age, the app assigns a point system (about two points for every minute of TV logged) and then, once the user hits 7,500 points (about 60 hours) they are sent a $5 gift card for retailers such as Starbucks, Burger King, iTunes, and Best Buy.

Viggle will be working with networks to provide bonus "points" for certain shows, such as "American Idol," as a way of enticing people to tune in.

"Viggle is the first loyalty program for TV," said Chris Stephenson, president of Viggle's parent company, Function (X) Inc. "We're basically allowing people to get rewards for doing something they're doing already and that they love to do."

The app is free to download and can be turned on or shut off at the use's discretion. Redeeming rewards requires age, gender, email, and ZIP code information, which then provides a viewing habits snapshot which companies can use when planning marketing strategies.

The app made its debut on Apple yesterday, and an Android version is in the works.

Selected Reading: Business Insider, The Street, MarketWatch

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