(Updated April 2018)
Those of you who have spent time trying different methods to make money from the comfort of your house know by now how difficult it can be to find a legit way in which you can earn real money, and by that, I mean not only 5 bucks a month through a gift card you will never find useful.
The market research field is huge and there are countless of different companies that offer their members opportunities to earn cash, paid services and even sweepstakes. However, not all of them are as good as they claim to be, let alone say that you can make a penny if you join their studies.
Fortunately, almost all of these panels have been tried before so you can have an idea of what will happen when you become a member and what kind of prizes they offer. In this case, we will be reviewing Cross Media Panel for your consideration.
Cross Media Panel: What is it?
Known before as Screenwise Trends Panel, it was acquired by Google not too long ago and, in June 2016, was renamed as the now Cross Media Panel. Like similar companies, they gather information about user consumption on the web in order to generate better addressed ads and marketing.
In this case, it consists of a Chrome extension (remember that it is Google’s now, so if you use Firefox or Explorer, you cannot be part of the project) or a mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS. This software will then work in the background of your devices collecting data about how you use the web regarding Google products and services.
This means that your Google searches will be collected as data but so will be your Gmail clicks and YouTube usage considering they both belong to Google.
This does not mean that the data will have your name and address; it will only function as a demographic reference for those who are carrying on with the study. For example, the results might look like this: Caucasian 30 year-old buys X product at X time of the day.
The more weeks you spend using the software, the more money you will earn, which you will later be able to exchange for gift cards and online vouchers of your choice.
An important thing to note is that the company before Cross Media Panel offered their members the possibility of receiving money via PayPal. This is no longer available and you should have that in mind before becoming a member.
How can you join?
As of mid-2017, Cross Media Panel is not accepting new members. Nevertheless, they do open spots for new users every once and a while, so if you are interested in joining, you should keep an eye on their webpage to make sure you get in.
Once you have signed up, you will be eligible for downloading the apps for all your devices: mobile phone, apps, laptop and desktops. When you install them, all you have to do is keep using the internet as you normally do considering that altering your searches and usage might revoke the whole study they have set up.
The application runs in the background of your computer and should not interfere too much with your daily tasks.
As a member, you will have access to a portal where relevant information about your account can be found: membership status, requested rewards and money balance. This portal can be viewed on both mobile devices and desktops and, because they belong to Google now, you can be sure that the interface is great and that the design is fresh and modern.
Money meter and prizes
As soon as you install the app and web extension, you will immediately earn a few bucks in rewards, and each week you use the internet with the extension activated will earn you extra dollars in addition to that. This money will be adding up in your member account.
The earning are based in how many devices you install the software:
- One device: you earn $2 instantly plus $1 a week
- Two devices: you earn $4 instantly plus $2 a week
- Three devices: you earn $6 instantly plus $3 a week
However, you will not be able to exchange it for prizes until you reach the first $25 at the very least. Once you do, you can request gift cards from diverse retailers that include Starbucks and Amazon.
The good part is that once you redeem your first gift card for $25, you will only need $5 for the future cards and vouchers to be requested.
The full list of retailers which you can get a gift card from is:
- Best Buy
- Home Depot
Moreover, every once and a while, you will receive an email invitation or notification through the app/web extension through which you will be able to participate in online surveys that will help you add up extra dollars to your account. Watch out for these notices in both your inbox and app so you do not miss them because they are quite rare!
What are the good things about Cross Media Panel?
Cross Media Panel has a great number of advantages that can make it simple to earn a couple of extra dollars a month.
In the first place, it is extremely easy to use; simply download an app that will run without you noticing it, and you will be making over $10 every month. Some people who use it on all their devices tell how they have achieved over $200 in a year’s earning.
You can add up to 3 different devices to help you make more money, so if you happen to be one of those who own a smartphone, a laptop AND a tablet, you can install the app on all of them and earn even more money!
The redemption system is great, and users have experienced receiving their gift certificate codes in as long as 10 minutes after requesting it. This makes Cross Media Panel one of the fastest in the field to offer their members their prizes almost as fast as they earn them.
In addition, users also praise customer service, saying that they answer doubts and complaints quickly and with a will to help, which is not that common among market research panels.
Although some people might not seem too happy with Google’s acquisition of Screenwise, the truth is that the number of criticisms on the web has decreased since last year, when it turned into Cross Media Panel. Before that, many user issues would remain unsolved for a very long time, with no answer from the company.
What about the bad?
Among the not-so-good things about Cross Media Panel is that they are not currently accepting new members, so if you are interested in joining, you will have to make an extra effort to try to get in.
Seemingly, you can be invited to join, which means that if you happen to know someone who is part of the panel, asking them about it can be helpful.
Second, because it is a Google study, it is not compatible with Firefox or any other web browser that is not Chrome. However, you can have it installed on you iPhone and tablets so as long as you are giving use to the maximum of devices a month (3), you are all good.
Third, surveys are not that common so if you are here for the surveys, this is not the right panel for you.
Fourth, as we stated before, when it was Screenwise only, it used to offer their member a transfer via PayPal, which meant that you were able to have full access to your monthly earnings. Since Google took over the panel, this option is no longer available and only gift cards remain, making their reward system a little less open.
Lastly, some members reject the idea of having an app following their every move on the web. Even if Google makes sure that your information will not be used against you and will not have your name on it, there are still many who are not interested in this kind of system and rather use the survey method instead.
Cross Media Panel is far from being a scam. It is a Google-operated market research company that will not try to deceive you in any way; they say how much you will be able to make, and they mean it.
Becoming a member of CMP and using their web extension will not make you rich in one month; however, you must remember that this is what is known as “passive income” because you will not have to spend time filling out surveys or answering unrelated questions.
Do we recommend joining CMP? Absolutely, earning over $100 extra dollars a year is not a bad thing for anyone, is it?