Yahoo! have published a white paper called “RSS—Crossing into the Mainstream” (pdf). Among other things it shows that only 4% of internet users knowlingly have used RSS feeds but that “27% of Internet users consume RSS syndicated content on personalized start pages (e.g., My Yahoo!, My MSN) without knowing that RSS is the enabling technology“.
Other interesting conclusions:
– On average, “Aware RSS Users” subscribe to 6.6 feeds and claim to spend an average of 4.1 hours per week reading the feeds that they receive.
– Mainstream media rather than niche content accounts for the majority of RSS use.