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Google News Initiative

Advertising Revenue Lab

Advertising Revenue Lab Session

Earning revenue from businesses and institutional supporters is essential to the business model of most news organizations. But how do you leverage the unique aspects of your brand to drive digital advertising and sponsorship revenue? And how can you connect advertising more closely with the mission of your news organization?

In the Google News Initiative’s Advertising Revenue Lab, cross-functional teams work in real-time — supported by expert coaches and insights from peers — to set up long-term, lasting success in advertising and sponsorship and drive incremental revenue right now.

The Lab is free of cost and run in collaboration with Blue Engine Collaborative. Blue Engine Collaborative is a team of dozens of coaches and advisors around the globe, focusing on digital transformation, audience growth and engagement, product development, strategic planning, and revenue growth. Blue Engine has worked with more than 1,000 organizations of all sizes and types, all in the spirit of fostering a more equitable and informed society, since its founding in 2016.

This Lab is currently available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. If you do not have an existing ad revenue business, we recommend applying to our Fundamentals Lab.

While we are not currently accepting applications for this lab, please sign up for our newsletter to get notified about future versions of this lab and other Google News Initiative programs.

Lab content

Focus on growing advertising and sponsorship revenue by building long-term relationships with advertisers through direct sales, programmatic advertising, and other saleable assets.

The 3-month program includes:

  • Eight live virtual sessions with up to 14 other news organizations
  • Personalized, weekly 1:1 coaching from a dedicated advisor, with deep, practical advertising and sponsorship experience
  • Small-group sessions with other news organizations who face similar challenges


You are welcome to apply if your news organization:
✓ Has produced a regular cadence of original news content (i.e. not lifestyle, sports, etc) on a website for at least three months
✓ Has a minimum of two full-time employee (FTE) journalists, up to a maximum of 10 FTE journalists.
✓ Is focused on one or more of the following:

  • Public interest journalism
  • Filling an information gap
  • Covering a specific geography or topic
  • Serving an underserved community
  • Exploring new ways to deliver and/or monetize information

✓ Has a news product (website, newsletter, etc), with demonstrated traction via site visits, sign-ups, and/or earned revenue
✓ Is willing to test and improve your workflows, products, and technology

and you…
✓ Can commit 5-10 hours per week to the program
✓ Can assign a Project Manager to manage attendance and assignments
✓ Are willing to share insights with other publishers and the greater news industry

✓ You must be independently owned and operated
✓ You must not employ government officials or individuals that are also employed by government entities
✓ You must not be a Google employee or contractor


  • We have not yet announced the next version of the lab.

    In the meantime please sign up for our newsletter to get notified about future versions of this lab and other Google News Initiative programs. And we are always taking applications for our Fundamentals Lab — in which Google reviews your news organization's website and shares practical, easy-to-follow guidance about audience engagement, ad revenue, and reader revenue — if you are interested in that program instead.

  • Google staff will review all applications and determine a cohort that can collaboratively work together and learn from each other. We may request additional information via email regarding your application.

    All applicants will be notified of selection decisions via email within six weeks.

  • Email with any questions or for additional guidance.

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