How to Make Money in Your Sleep

How to Make Money in Your Sleep

Many fledgling creators dream of waking up to viral fame and riches. Now that dream is beginning to look a lot like reality.

Hundreds of TikTok users have begun live-streaming themselves overnight, while they sleep. Brian Hector, 18, did it just last week. Thousands of people tuned in. Some even donated to him.

“I woke up the next morning and ended the live and went over to my mom and was like, ‘Mom, I literally just made money falling asleep,’” said Mr. Hector, who has more than 347,000 followers on the app.

Through TikTok’s live feature, viewers can donate digital “coins” that can be cashed out for money. On Mr. Hector’s first sleep-stream, he said, he received about $10 worth of coins — not riches, exactly, but more than he’d usually be paid to go to sleep ($0).

Brian Mandler, a founder of the Network Effect, a digital agency focused on TikTok, said that the streams also provide a level of authenticity that so many users on the platform currently crave. “Audiences really like the behind the scenes of someone’s life,” he said. “They want authentic, engaging content. Watching someone sleeping, while it’s unique and somewhat strange, as you start to understand what really works on social media, it makes sense.”

Between the performance anxiety and all that blue light, not everyone can sleep through a live-stream. Mr. Reyes said he woke up several times during his own; at one point, he saw about 600 people were tuned in and chatting. “When I woke up they’d be like, ‘OMG he’s awake!’” he said.

Because the sleep-streams are in real time and unedited — versus other TikToks — there are also safety concerns. Rylee Breann, 21, was deliberate about what her viewers would be able to see. “I didn’t show much of my room because I have a lot of pictures,” she said. “I didn’t want to show anything that showed where I lived. You could just see my head and my bed.”

Dale Adams, 21, said that he turned his phone over after a couple hours to shut the stream down. “It was kind of nerve racking,” he said, “Like, what if someone could hack into my phone and figure out where I am?”

Some users have found other ways to idly host live-streams.

“People have gone live saying, ‘Oh, my parents don’t want me filming myself sleeping, so I’ll stream this other picture in another room overnight,’” Ms. Breann said.

“I’ve seen people live-stream their rooftop overnight with 10,000 people watching, or people stream a glass of milk while they’re gone at work,” Mr. Reyes said. “All these people come into the live just to chat and make group chats.”

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Posted by Krin Rodriquez

Passionate for technology and social media, ex Silicon Valley insider.