Steve Rubel thinks one part of the future of online advertising lies with RSS aggregators. What he foresees is a future where RSS usage is much higher than it is today, with everyone subscribed to feeds whether they know it or not. The problem with the current RSS aggregator business model is that it hasn’t been fully monetized, with most companys like Bloglines and Newsgator giving away their online readers for free. What they have, though, is a tremendous amount of data on popular feeds, click-through rates and other information including demographic data. So what if, Steve wonders, they leveraged that data to advertisers and began offering users sponsored feeds or other ways to insert ads into the daily reading people are doing?
I think he’s onto something here. Feeds are targeted information streams that people opt-in to receive, meaning they’re very engaged and paying attention to what’s coming through them. These are traits advertisers generally like to see in an audience and that they’d problably be willing to pay a premium price for access to.