Wednesday, September 06, 2006
RSS to Impact AdvertisingThe adoption of RSS readers has been steady but still has yet to penetrate the mainstream, but that will change during the next 18 months. And when it does, advertisers and publishers need to know how to respond.
Using RSS to track the day's news can cut your surfing time by more than 50 percent, which makes them invaluabl. It also greatly reduces traffic to the home pages of websites since people will be able to go directly to the content that they want.
But to make them more ubiquitous, I say the readers should present information like a news site (ala Yahoo News) to make browsing more enjoyable. Also, it needs to be easier to sign up for several feeds at once, and people should be able to share their feeds, ala del.icio.us.
I spoke the other day with J.B. Holston, CEO and President of NewsGator, which produces the popular NetNewswire (Mac) and FeedDemon (PC) readers, and he said that these kinds of ideas are on the table for a redesign of the online version (NewsGator) as well as the software applications that is scheduled within the next quarter. The company hasn't aggressively pursued advertisers for readers yet, but Holston said the company is developing a plan for monetizing the data it is collecting on users' reading habits.
Newsgator currently has about a million and half users, and the number of competitors will increase as more companies realize the advertising revenue that can be generated by hosting an online or software reader.
Since quality feeds are more specific than the primary URL of a web page, ads can be targeted and go for a higher CPM. For example, a reader that recognizes that you have subscribed to five feeds about, say, hybrid cars, would want to push relevant auto ads.
This can more than make up for the lost revenue from fewer total clicks.
Publishers like the San Francisco Chronicle and the Denver Post are already hip to the possibilities of readers and have their own branded applications. Publishers such as Hearst, Knight-Ridder and Conde Nast should be soon to follow by aggregating the feeds of their various magazines and newspapers into a branded reader. And soon the Web 2.0 companies and the rest of the world will catch on too.
By John Gartner at 04:35 PM | Comments (2)