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RSS Advertising

By - January 30, 2004

Does anyone know anything about this outfit: RSSAds. The site is pretty thin on details, but I’m trying to grok how a business model will develop for RSS, and this company is clearly trying to set up against that issue. Anyone else out there have input or ideas? (Matt?)

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3 thoughts on “RSS Advertising

  1. I don’t know anything more about RSSAds than what they say on the site. The concept is interesting for a few reasons:
    1) premium feeds running full content is a smart idea (we’re doing this with NewsGator). we don’t want to give all our content away for free unless we’re monetizing it heavily with ads.
    2) running ads in feeds works. we don’t have enough data to make any formal conclusions, but we’re seeing CTR ranging from .9% minimum up as high as 15% on targeted feeds. this is good news.

    It’s also kind of weird:
    1) we already run ads in our feeds…our sales guys would be very upset if I gave up that ad unit to a network. any big publisher will feel this way once it starts showing high returns.
    2) advertisers who want to advertise on blog feeds (because the publishers are selling their own inventory) are probably more direct marketing focused. the margins are going to be really tight, so volumes will have to be really high. but blogs don’t bring in volumes that big publishers get. I dunno…seems unrealistic to me.

    But the early time to market factor may prove valuable enough to establish a niche before they get steamrolled by Google or perhaps IndustryBrains or even Feedster.

  2. I’m trying to grok how a business model will develop for RSS

    It won’t. RSS is just a format, and for the same reason no business models evolved for HTML or TXT. Using HTML to establish a business model, however, brought billion-dollar valuations.

    From what I’ve seen, the sites that rely on RSS mainly expect viewers to come to the Web page with the post to publish a reply or read more info. Web site runs ads, and hence the revenue. RSS is not a revenue-building act for those sites, more like marketing.

  3. Janis Mara of reports on RSSAds. It’s a San Francisco company led by Chad Williams of PayDemocracy.

    It occurred to me that IndustryBrains is poised to move the RSS advertising market in short order. In fact, one of our first tests at InfoWorld was leveraging our IndustryBrains listings and dropping them into our feeds. It works fine. Problem solved. We switched them out merely because our own sales team wanted to sell the ad unit.

    The only benifit RSSAds may bring would be tracking, but that’s a small hurdle for IndustryBrains.

    Better get on it, Erik. Your turf is being challeneged.