Inside the News Room

How The Lens is using Google Consumer Surveys to generate revenue

In the past week, you may have been asked to answer a couple of questions before accessing some content on The Lens, such as our property tax calculator. Those questions are part of Google Consumer Surveys, which enables companies to conduct market research and helps publishers to bring in money.

We chose Google Consumer Surveys because it’s a relatively non-intrusive way for us to monetize some of the traffic to The Lens. And unlike a paywall, our readers don’t have to pull out their wallet. (Though we are happy to have you do that!)

We understand the downside of putting even a modest a barrier between our work and our readers. We plan to roll this out slowly and selectively, placing the surveys on particular pages and for certain visitors.

One of the key challenges for nonprofit news organizations like The Lens is sustainability. These surveys will help us achieve that. Texas Tribune, one of the leaders in nonprofit news, has been using them for some time. So have newspapers around the country.

If you have any questions — or suggestions on ways to build revenue to support our work — please contact us.

Thanks for reading — and for supporting public journalism in New Orleans.

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