Do Your RSS Feeds Cost You Money?

Nov 30th, 2006 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Citizen Media, Commentary, How to Podcast, Making Money with Podcasts, Podcast Distribution, Video Podcasts, Vlogs

RSS logoSteve Rubel at Micro Persuasion is wondering Why Yahoo is backing away from RSS.

“Has anyone noticed that Yahoo’s love affair with RSS seems to be withering?” asks Rubel. “In the past few weeks Yahoo has rolled out three major new web sites – Yahoo! Food, Yahoo! Advertising and Yahoo! TV. They’re great sites, but none of them has feeds. There’s a reason why – eyeballs.”

“Yahoo is trying to create content that you can only get on their sites and nowhere else,” adds Rubel. “Browsing and clicking creates page views. By skipping RSS, they will serve up more ads……Could this be the beginning of a larger trend?”

Rubel’s comments raise the question, “Do your RSS feeds cost you money?”

This issue is important to consider, because of the fact that podcasting is built on the RSS 2.0 standard.

If your site uses AdSense or other means to generate income from page views, it’s clear that you’ll lose some ad revenue to people that view your content in a news reader. The question then becomes one of whether the benefits of providing RSS feeds outweigh the loss of page views.

For most podcasters, the benefits of providing clearly marked RSS feeds will greatly outweigh the risks. While news reader users may cost you some page view ad revenue, this is likely to be minute. While news readers are popular among bloggers, they haven’t become popular among the general population.

On the other hand, RSS feeds have become the lingua franca of the blogosphere. By providing feeds and pinging sites like ping-o-matic, you initiate a dialog with both other Web publishers and search engines and other aggregators that can help drive traffic to your site. For podcasters, RSS feeds are especially critical, because feed subscribers account for a huge portion of most podcasts’ downloads.

Your podcast MP3 files have a life independent from both your podcast feed and your site. If you’re trying to make money from your podcast, each element – your MP3s, your feed, and your site – need to be considered both individually and collectively.
For a top site like Yahoo!, RSS feeds may be optional. Most users probably won’t miss them.

For bloggers and podcasters, though – publish RSS feeds or perish. The loss of a little ad revenue to news reader users pales in comparison to the benefits of becoming an active participant in the blogosphere.

4 Responses to “Do Your RSS Feeds Cost You Money?”

  1. […] Op Podcasting News en seamonkeyrodeo lees ik recente berichten die bij deze discussie aansluiten. Gaat dit de nieuwe trend worden, moeten we weer massaal aan het surfen slaan en onze lijsten met bookmarks terug uit de kast halen? Yahoo! is nu niet bepaald de eerste de beste speler op Internet, wie gaan dit voorbeeld volgen? Of is het een laatste, kansloze stuiptrekking en is RSS niet meer te weg te denken als we het over Internet hebben? […]

  2. podcastmama says:

    Jennifer Slegg ( did a really interesting session last summer at BlogHer where she talked about generating money — ostensibly with your blog, although what she talked about was applicable to any thing with an (a?) RSS feed. She says it can be hard to “monetize” (ugh, hate that word) blogs, but that there are some thoughtful, innovative ways to do so.

    We recorded the presentation, and it should be available over at .

    I’ve thought about including advertisements in the RSS feed itself, but never considered it seriously, since I think it would just make our subscribers annoyed, thus undermining the whole purpose of making a website, anyway. 🙂

  3. Allan Hunkin says:

    As the owner and operator of one of the oldes audio directories on the net ( I have never been able to reconcile in my own mind how RSS Feeds are good for me unless people are willing to pay to subcribe to them, which in my experience they are not.

    It seems that this whole RSS thing has been developed and promoted by people who don’t have a mortgage or have to take thier kids to the dentist. In liew of Microsoft building it into Outlook there is no central way for the non-techie to get a podcsat.

    I for one am all for automated delivery processs but I am not preparred to sake my retirement on revenue from Google Ads.

    But, maybe I’m missing something here… it wouldn’t be the first time. 🙂

    Allan Hunkin
    (did over 150 podcasts last year, which I was paid to do)

  4. AdvertiserSponsoredMedia says:

    This article verily misses the point of brand integration, and in the case of multimedia, in-stream advertising which makes and unavoidable ad play from every download.

    When Howard Stern advertises for Snapple, does he use a banner ad? no, he plugs the product in his content. He gets paid. He has critics, but they don’t prevent him from getting paid for his plugs.

    If selling out is the goal, don’t short-change your motivations with half-hearted measures which will “cost” you time, fix the gap! go big or go home! be controversial, generate a huge following, and then convert to the next level.

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