Profiting from RSS Feeds
Publishers are evaluating options and determining how they can
profit from RSS feeds. The two obvious contenders that publishers
are considering to profit from their RSS feeds are: subscription
RSS feeds and RSS feed advertisements.
Subscription feeds are designed so that subscription fees are
charged for unique quality content. Publisher include teaser copy
in the RSS feed and readers have to purchase a subscription to see
the content in its entirety. The New York Times was the first to
introduce the subscription model. Initially the NY Times faced some
resentment from users who had become accustom to free RSS based
content, but ultimately consumers realize that businesses must achieve
profits in order to continue.
The greater the value of the content contained in the feed and the
uniqueness of the content will determine the success of subscription
based feeds. Simply put, if readers can obtain the same quality
and quantity of content from an alternative free source they will.
Not unlike magazines, if the content the publisher is providing
is unique and valuable, the subscription model will flourish.
The web has undergone a number of revisions to online advertising
models. Banner ads, once an effective way to generate valuable leads
are screened or filtered by most novice users. Text ads have become
common place and are far less effective than they once were, advertising
in RSS feeds was a natural step for online advertisers.
Contextual advertisements or advertisements that relate to the webpage
or RSS feed's content, achieve the highest rate of success. As a
result both advertisers and content providers should critically
evaluate advertisement placement systems to determine which system
produces the highest relevance in contextually based advertisements.
Google AdSense provides contextually relevant ads while Pheedo provides
related category feeds. Publishers need to determine which model
will produce advertisements that are relevant to the RSS feed's
content and actionable by feed readers.
Other hybrid alternatives for profiting from RSS feeds include
optionally giving subscribers the choice. A small fee for many might
give subscribers the option to pay for the feed ad-free or view
advertisements in the feed. The business model is reminiscent of
adware in its infancy where users could use software for an unlimited
amount of time. The software had imbedded advertisements and publishers
were compensated for ad impressions or click-throughs. If users
preferred an ad free version of the software they could purchase
a registered copy that would remove the imbedded advertisements.
More on Advertising in Feeds with a comparison of ad serving technologies.
Advertising online is constantly evolving. Both content publishers
and advertisers are adapting and evaluating new advertising models.
RSS feed subscriptions and advertising are merely a step in the
evolution of online advertising. Knowing your audience will help
publishers determine the most effective model for profiting from
content contained in an RSS feed.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.
In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.
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