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News: Overture Testing Ads Rolled Into RSS

By - November 16, 2004

FeedburnThis came across my desk tonight from a trusted source, and I checked it out, and it seems to be real: Overture is testing RSS ads in limited release, on small(er) feeds like this one from the MobileTracker blog.

MobileTracker notes the news in this posting:

If you’re an RSS feed subscriber you have probably noticed that the feed is now full text. That means you can read via RSS whatever you would normally see on the main MobileTracker page. If we add more content “after the jump” (like photos, which is often the case), you’ll need to click through to see it. You’ll also notice on the RSS feed that there are now advertisements. These are content targeted ads which means they should relate to the topic of the article. The ads are provided by Overture and powered by FeedBurner. We’re proud to work with both companies.

Here’s what the ads look like.

This is what I’ve been on about for some time now – the inclusion of a major ad network play in RSS as a step toward the monetization of RSS, and the support of full text RSS as the way to go. It’s very exciting for bloggers, and marks the first major step for most of us beyond just running Adsense on our sites. As many already know, RSS is often half or more of our traffic/readership. I very much hope the tests go well, the learning is good, and this gets rolled out to the masses as soon as possible. In short, this marks Yahoo’s first big step toward the right side of the tail, where Adsense has lived and ruled for the past couple of years. Way to go, Feedburner, for playing such a crucial role in this important first step, and kudos to Yahoo, for making this move.

Update: Rafat noted this tie up first, back in early November!

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14 thoughts on “News: Overture Testing Ads Rolled Into RSS

  1. Bill Flitter says:

    A lot of excitement in the RSS advertising business. Pheedo made an announcement last week that it had teamed up with Kanoodle. As far as how well ads in RSS feeds do, Pheedo published a case study on RSS advertising a number months back.

  2. Jon Gales says:

    I don’t have any stats on the ads yet (it’s beta beta beta), but so far everything looks pretty targeted. I’ll keep you posted.

  3. I posted the following comments on Doc’s blog. He’s not at all excited about ads in RSS feeds but I don’t think it’s a problem if done right.

    I’m willing to view ads as long as they’re related to the topic of the feed or posts they’re embedded in. The annoying ads are the ones that are completely unrelated to the topic of the post.

    What I’d like to see is the ability of the blogger to regulate which companies can appear in their feeds. Then the ad is much more targeted to the blogger’s core audience and can be viewed as “content” rather than as just another ad. If that happens then I have no problem with the ads at all. I’m just not sure that concept will fly with advertising firms. But who knows.

  4. Hats off to Feedburner/Overture as well as Pheedo/Kanoodle. There still seems to be missing pieces to the puzzle for making syndication monetization work for all players (consumers, publishers, advertisers). Syndicate IQ, launching next month, are putting those pieces together. More to come about our syndication marketing services in the coming weeks.



  5. I find this ‘exciting’ as well… so exciting that I will drop any RSS feed that pushes an advertisement at me as fast as I can press the unsubscribe button. I use RSS because I DEMAND the ability to be fully in control of my content. I want to *pull* what I want and that especially include commercial information. The second anyone *pushes* stuff at me, I become an ex-customer, no exceptions. I also fully expect that there will be ways to strip the unwanted adverts out of the RSS feed before it is displayed available within a few months.

  6. Jim Attfield says:

    This marks the beginning of the end for me. RSS will be still-born as far as I am concerned. I completely agree with Perry, just today I have canned one of my RSS feeds and sent a complaint email to the originator. Advertise and lose, it will be a nett loss for anyone who tries to push more unwanted cr*p into my feeds, no matter how ‘properly’ done.

    Hmmm, a thought, I will also start to encourage the author of my RSS agent to provide a block facility, just as my Firefox can block unwanted ads.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, you morons, as fast as you try and fill my channels with unwanted advertising the better we’ll get at filtering it out!

  7. Helen says:

    Adds can be helpful if related to the post. But of course not many people would like that. I myself want to be if control of what I see on the screen.

  8. Sergey Rusak says:

    As for me, as webmaster i am waiting pay-per-click RSS feeds. Pay per subscription RSS feeds may work also. Millions webmasters bring traffic to popular websites for free. The Idea of building a website with RSS feeds makes it more popular… little bit old.

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