Netflix 'juicers' paid to watch TV, sue company

By Nick Whigham

For Los Angeles resident and Netflix juicer, Cigdem Akbay, watching shows became her sole source of income. Photo / Getty
For Los Angeles resident and Netflix juicer, Cigdem Akbay, watching shows became her sole source of income. Photo / Getty

For a lot of us, watching Netflix is nothing more than a part-time leisure activity. But for some, it's a full time job - and apparently they're not even happy about it.

They're known as "juicers" and they've been involved in a rather secretive Netflix project dubbed "Project Beetlejuice" about which not much actually is known.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, those involved are paid to watch Netflix content and are tasked with choosing the still images to be used to display shows and movies as subscribers scroll through the Netflix library.

Apparently there are some things that an algorithm can't do, and a human touch is required. The company has previously hired "taggers" to give movie titles quirky and unique genre classifications such "Imaginative time travel movies from the 1980s".

For Los Angeles resident and juicer, Cigdem Akbay, watching Netflix became her sole source of income. While it may sound like the dream job to some of us, she has a bone to pick with the streaming giant.

Ms Akbay is one of two people suing Netflix for not providing her with sufficient benefits such as overtime pay, the US version of superannuation and paid holiday leave.

A separate lawsuit filed in California by a juicer named Lawrence Moss is also claiming that hundreds of people in the Beetlejuice program were underpaid and deserve financial compensation.

The juicers are reportedly paid US$10 ($13.50) per show or movie they watch. But they believe they were unfairly classified as independent contractors instead of employees, meaning they were not entitled to certain benefits.

According to her complaint, Ms Akbay "theoretically, could set her own hours, but Netflix imposed deadlines for assignments that in effect imposed a rigid work schedule".

- news.com.au

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