Ads in RSS – oh yeah, it’s coming

The blogosphere is currently abuzz about the entrance of advertising in RSS feeds on a broader scale. The other week, Kanoodle announced they were partnering with Moreover for the launch of BrightAds.

Through BrightAds RSS, Kanoodle’s content-targeted sponsored links will be inserted directly into site owners’ RSS feeds within posts or as individual posts.

As a response Ed Sim at the BeyondVC blog decided to launch a second feed to be able to fool around with the ads. He’s convinced RSS ads will become standard procedure for publishers. Monitor his blog for feedback on the experiment.

First, the fact of consuming RSS feeds will typically reduce traffic at many publishers’ websites giving them less opportunity to monetize their assets. Ads in RSS will help publishers overcome the lower traffic to their sites while still providing their users with up to date content. Secondly, ads embedded in RSS feed gives great targeting opportunities for advertisers and publishers.

In October, Pheedo estimated the number of RSS ad impressions for 2004 to be 77 million, up to 308 Million in 2005 and 1.2 billion in 2006. Now, I don’t know if that’s a lot or not, but it’s fairly safe to predict an increase in feeds that add ads as publishers, both bloggers and traditional media, want to monetize on a large subscriber base. Not everyone can quit their day job to live on donations like Jason Kottke. earlier this year reported that its top RSS feed page on its Web site was receiving more total visits than its home page. How can such a distribution channel remain ad free?