HitBliss, much like the iTunes Store and Amazon Instant Video, provides an online store full of the latest movies and TV shows available for paid streaming. Some titles on the HitBliss site include American Hustle, Frozen, The Butler and Guiliana & Bill. HitBliss charges $3.99 to stream a recently released movie (24-hour rental period), $1.99 to stream an older movie (24-hour rental period) and $1.99 per TV episode to permanently own the episode. TV episodes are available for rental the day after they air on live television, and movies are available for rental the same day they’re released on DVD. What makes HitBliss unique from other streaming media services/stores is that if you don’t want to pay to watch the TV episodes and movies, you can watch targeted ads in exchange for earning site credit towards renting movies and purchasing TV episodes.

Get the app

HitBliss is a free downloadable application suite, consisting of HitBliss Earn and HitBliss Store, that you can install separately or together (recommended). HitBliss Earn and HitBliss Store are both available for Windows (XP and higher) and Mac (10.6 and higher). HitBliss Earn is also available for Android devices. An iOS platform for HitBliss in in the works but isn’t currently available. To download HitBliss, click here. Then scroll down to the bottom of the webpage and click on the pink “Download HitBliss” button. You can sign up using your name and email address or Facebook account.

How to accumulate credits

To accumulate credits in your account, you will have to watch advertising videos. You can watch these ads anytime, not just right before you watch a movie or TV episode. Since HitBliss uses these ads for market research, they demand more user attention than regular ads you might watch on a site such as Hulu. To make sure you’re actually watching the ads, HitBliss will periodically ask you to press “Enter” while an ad is playing. You’re also not allowed to run the app in the background while you do other things on your computer. Over time you can earn “trust points” on the system, which decreases the frequency of the “press-Enter” requests. On average, it takes about 10 to 12 minutes of ad viewing (about four ads) to earn enough credits to watch a $3.99 new movie on the site.

Personalize your ads

You’re given the option to turn on the “Ad Personalization” function or select “no personalization.” If you select the ad-personalization function, HitBliss may ask you to provide personal information such as your age, race, yearly income and access to your Internet history. HitBliss’s ad-personalization engine ensures that your privacy is fully protected and that none of your personal information will ever be sent or sold to advertisers. If you’re not comfortable giving HitBliss your personal information, don’t worry—the ad-personalization function is 100% optional. However, there are two main advantages of opting in to the ad-personalization function: you’ll earn more credits at a faster rate in your HitBliss Earn account and you’ll also get to watch ads that are more targeted to your interests and lifestyle.

Get a free Pandora One account

If you don’t want to use your earned credits on streaming movies and TV episodes, you can also use it for the purchase of a Pandora One account. Pandora is a popular Internet radio service which plays songs based on your selected artist and musical genre preferences. While Pandora’s basic service is free, it interrupts your listening with advertising, limits your ability to skip songs you don’t like, and has lower audio quality, among other limitations. Pandora One is the name for the paid version of Pandora; it currently costs $3.99/month, but will be $4.99/month beginning on May 1, 2014. Compared to the free version of Pandora, Pandora One offers many benefits including: no external advertising, access to the Pandora One Desktop App, higher quality audio and more song skips per day.