How To: Have a free weekly movie night!

As with many of my articles, the idea for this comes from one of the many podcasts I frequent. This particular one was from Lifehacker.com. Before any of you start thinking “what’s the catch?” and “nothing in life is free,” let me just say, “you’re right!” As with my “How to: Use One Spotify Account with Multiple People” post there is a catch. But, for the payoff, it’s worth it.

Hitbliss is an application you download to your Computer (Mac, Windows) or smartphone (Android, iOS coming soon). The catch is you raise money by watching a series of interactive ads. If you’re like me you probably just tuned out. I am a huge supporter of the browser plugin ADBlock Plus. I hate ads. They are terrible and if they had a face I’d punch them. However, if those ads that said “click me for a free iPad” ever gave me a free iPad, I might not hate them so much. That’s the beauty of Hitbliss – they deliver on their promise. After 15 minutes of watching interactive ads, which admittedly wasn’t super great, I’m now watching 12 Years a Slave on Amazon.com that I rented with credit from Hitbliss. You might recognize 12 Years a Slave from I don’t know… The Academy Awards and The Oscars.

The application is easy to set up and opens with a tutorial section that I overall skipped. But after following some simple instructions you’re on your way to earning credit and free entertainment. Below is a non exhaustive list of movies and TV shows I found very enticing.

[symple_tabgroup] [symple_tab title=”Movies”] All movies are rentals. Most of them are rentals through Amazon.com and cost $3.99 and are available for 30 days though some cost $4.99 and are only available for 24 hours. You can find them in the “Your Video Library” section of your Amazon Prime account. There are some movies that are viewable only through the Hitbliss media player. These movies cost $1.99 and are only available for a day.

  • Captain Phillips
  • Lee Daniels The Butler
  • The Wolverine
  • Rush
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Nebraska
  • Ender’s Game
[/symple_tab] [symple_tab title=”TV Shows”] All TV shows are purchase only on an episode to episode basis. Each episode costs $1.99. There are some TV shows that are viewable only through the Hitbliss media player.

  • Breaking Bad Season 1-6
  • Sherlock Season 3
  • Mythbusters season 7-15
  • Modern Family Season 1-5
  • Arrow Season 1-2
  • Walking Dead Season 1-4
  • Madmen Season 1-6
  • Rake Season 1
  • The Middle Season 1-5
  • Elementary Season 1-2
[/symple_tab] [/symple_tabgroup]

As you can see, Hitbliss has a pretty good selection of recently-out, high quality movies and TV shows available for streaming in HD. Not a bad payoff for interacting with ads for 15 – 20 minutes. Every episode of TV on Hulu requires you to wait through about 7 minutes of commercials, so why not open up Hitbliss and get some payoff for that time?

Maybe you’re not really into TV show or movies but you love you some Pandora. Hitbliss can help you out. Once a month you can use Hitbliss to purchase a Pandora One music subscription. This gives you Pandora with No ads, Higher quality audio, Fewer Interruptions and Custom Skins. Not a bad deal for approximately 11 minutes of interactive ads.

I’ve used the term “interact” with ads several times in this post. That is because it’s impossible to use this without a little interaction. Every once in awhile during the commercials you will be prompted to “click or press enter” so they know you didn’t just start the app and walk away. They are “paying you” so they expect you to watch and interact. I love finding loopholes in stuff like this but I was unsuccessful. If you mute it or turn the volume too far down the ads are paused; open another app, the ads are paused; use teamviewer to login remotely, the ads are paused. As far as I can tell there is no way around simply watching the ads and clicking enter when prompted. The good news is the more you do that the more your “trust level” is raised and the less often you are prompted. It’s a small reward, but I’ll take it.

Here are the pros and the cons as I see them.

[symple_tabgroup] [symple_tab title=”PROS”]
  • Free Movies & TV Shows for very little effort
  • Connection to Amazon Prime Account for ease of access
  • Recently released High Quality movies
  • Up-to-date High Quality TV shows not found on other streaming services
  • Free Pandora One for Life (or at least the life of Hitbliss)
  • Multi Platform (iOS on the way)
  • Useful when forced to watch other ads (Hulu, Movie Theater, etc)
  • Less and less “Are You There?” prompts as trust level increases
  • Maximum balance ($6.00) can get you 2 movie rentals or 3 tv show episodes
  • Though Credit/Debit card is required no charges will be applied without your consent.
[/symple_tab] [symple_tab title=”CONS”]
  • Watching ads is generally terrible
  • No loopholes to get out of watching them
  • Limit of $6.00 earning at a time
  • You will see the same ad multiple times.
  • You are limited to four Amazon movie/tv show titles a week.
  • Requires Credit/Debit card number
[/symple_tab] [/symple_tabgroup]

I’ll admit watching ads is not fun. I might even say I hate it. If I see another Geico talking painting commercial… Sorry, calm down Bryce, go to your happy place… Okay, I’m back. It’s not fun, but, if you want to have a free family or friend movie night weekly, this might be the way to go. Perhaps you can make your kids watch the ads while you prepare dinner. Maybe your friends will agree to a rotating schedule every week. Again, 15 minutes equals one movie and 7 minutes equals one TV show. Is that really too much to ask?

For more info check out Hitbliss.com

What do you think? Will you ever use this? I already have, and I’m sure I will again as their library and service expands.

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Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.