Living The American Dream: Netflix Pays Employees To Watch Content

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There are some binge watchers who have zero regrets after locking themselves away and consuming an entire season of Breaking Bad in an obscene amount of time. Why? They’re getting paid to do it.

Netflix has a position at their company called a tagger. These lucky individuals are sent three to eight movie or television show titles to watch each week, and their job is to categorize that content using tags and subtags. Viewing suggestions are generated on Netflix thanks to this tagging system.

Josh Garrell managed to get a job as a tagger, making him one of a select few. There are only 40 taggers worldwide, and no current openings.

“I use a projector and a 110-inch screen. I close the shades, get light down, grab snacks, soda or beer and get to work,” Garrell told NBC. According to him, a two-hour film might take about an hour to tag properly.

Taggers may also be sent to theaters to watch movies that Netflix anticipates adding to their growing catalog.

“Our taggers have been an integral part of the team which focuses on making it easy for our members to always find something great to watch. The tags are a key component of how we personalize the Netflix experience,” Todd Yellin, VP of product innovation at Netflix, said. He began hiring them back in 2007.

Taggers can’t choose the content they’re given, but Garrell is okay with that. “I’m like a garbage disposal for watching stuff. I’m open to anything because you never know. You could come across something brilliant you would have never tracked down,” he said.

What kind of experience does one need to qualify for a tagger position?

“We are very selective in the hiring process. A tagger is someone with an analytical mind; someone who can deconstruct a movie or TV show into its core elements; and someone who has a deep passion for video entertainment. Many of our taggers have studied film in college and have experience as screenwriters, film critics or script supervisors,” Yellin explained.

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