RSS is an XML format that allows content providers to syndicate their content. Those who have content aggregators to view the syndications can request feeds from news sites, blogs, event listings, etc., and it’s possible to request feeds containing the latest entries from a variety of sources. Because RSS feed users have customized their own content and have actively sought to receive it, their readership is almost 100%. This makes them extremely valuable to advertisers who can now purchase ad space on the RSS feed content and can be sure that they have an attentive audience.
While some are wary of putting ads on the feeds, many believe that the monetization of RSS will sustain it and enable it to develop. Rich Skrenta, CEO of Topix, thinks RSS advertising is here to stay:
“Folks understand that if there’s not a way to monetize content, there’s not going to be content,” he said. (Wired)
Services like Pheedo’s and FeedBurner’s that offer performance data on RSS ads are very promising for marketers looking for a measurable ROI. Back in April, A VC blogged about the dramatic increase in results from his RSS feeds:
• The past three days, my web pageviews were 2650, 2700, and 2100. On those days the RSS views on my Feedburner feed were 2500, 2550, and 1800. But my Feedburner feed is only used by 30% of my 3200 RSS subscribers. If you assume that the views are the same across all three of my feeds, my RSS views are three times my web page views.
• The past three days, my Adsense clickthrus were 36. My Overture clickthrus were 10 on just my Feedburner feed, which is 1/3 of my total feed. If I was running Overture on all my feeds, it would be about the same as AdSense. And this is for a service that hasn’t even begun to be optimized.
This Pheedo blog post explains how RSS ads work and the limitations of the current system.