Let’s cut to the chase. Cross Media Panel is definitely not a scam. On the contrary, it’s a large-scale market-research organization that represents the next evolution of passive income veteran Screenwise Trends Panel.

What is Cross Media Panel?

Chances are you’re familiar with Nielsen TV ratings, the company that pays families around the country to allow them to monitor their TV viewing habits. Based on Nielsen data, TV executives learn what people like and don’t like, and can (in theory) make better TV shows.

Cross Media Panel (see our complete review) is similar to Nielsen TV, only instead of monitoring just your TV, this program is quite literally “cross-media,” monitoring how you use the web, mobile devices, and pretty much anything else connected to the internet.

This breadth of visibility allows them to gain a comprehensive understanding of what you do online and more generally how you use technology. And again, in theory, all of this data helps Cross Media Panel come up with new ideas and also improve products you may already use, like YouTube and Gmail.

How does Cross Media Panel work?

In order to assess you and your household’s technology and Internet usage without you having to do anything, Cross Media Panel uses a combination of browser extensions, mobile apps, and “meters” that get installed on your network.

It’s this trio, in addition to connecting to your Google Account, that allows Cross Media Panel to have the “cross-media” visibility for which the program is named.

Beyond these “passive” tools, you may also be asked to participate in surveys and other market research initiatives, all of which will help Cross Media Panel to even better understand the data and inform research and product development for them and their partners.

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How much does Cross Media Panel pay?

Like many passive tracking programs, you won’t earn a lot, but you won’t have to do much either. Earnings are primarily based on how many devices you connect:

  • One device: Earn $2 instantly, plus $1 weekly
  • Two devices: Earn $4 instantly, plus $2 weekly
  • Three devices: Earn $6 instantly, plus $3 weekly

Skip the math… if you have three active devices you can earn about $12 per month in passive income, and you might even be asked to install additional meters for even more passive income.

On the active-earning side, as noted, you may get offered the chance to take surveys to boost your earnings, and if you’re really fortunate there’s a possibility you’ll get invited to participate in high-paying focus groups which can really pad your bottom line.

Rewards on Cross Media Panel are redeemable for a wide range of gift cards (Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Starbucks, etc) so there’s sure to be one you like. And, given their size and history, you shouldn’t have to worry about Cross Media Panel not delivering the goods.

Will this infringe upon my privacy?

When you join the Cross Media Panel you’ll be expected to share a lot of information about how you surf the web and use technology. Of course, how much you share will depend on which devices you attach and how often you use “Guest mode” to turn off the tracking.

For example, when you have the browser extension, mobile app, and meter, Cross Media Panel may track such things as:

  • What websites you visit and for how long
  • The contents of every screen you view, including emails and text messages
  • Any swipe, tap, pinch, and click on your connected devices
  • Which ads you interact with and which you don’t
  • The time, duration, and phone number of calls you make
  • What music you listen to and videos you watch, and for how long
  • And even your wifi status, among other things

Fortunately, the program’s “Guest mode” offers you the ability to turn off the tracking at any time, preventing the tools from working their magic. Plus, there’s a good chance most of this information is already being tracked and sold, only you’re not making a dime from it.

Note: Please see the official Cross Media Panel privacy policy and terms & conditions to better understand what information is being collected as well as your obligations as a participant. For example, you may be required to use “Guest mode” when you have non-participants or young kids using your internet and/or devices.

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So what’s the verdict: is Cross Media Panel legit or scam?

Given the spoiler at the beginning you already know this, but it bears repeating, Cross Media Panel is not a scam. It’s a legitimate market research program and one of the better passive income opportunities available.

If you’re comfortable with sharing your personal info and how you use technology, you can earn a legit $12 per month by connecting three devices, and may have the chance to earn more with additional meters, surveys, and focus groups.