RSS: Is There Money in Text Ads?

InfoWorld.com’s Matt McAlister (his blog) looks back on the first 2 years of ad insertion in RSS feeds. So far the click-through rates are high, and early experiments with graphical ads seem promising. We can bank on this: If RSS usage can achieve critical mass and those users don’t rebel against graphical units, real ad dollars will follow.

McAlister’s take on the current state of RSS text ads, though, is pessimistic:

"…when you’re able to serve branding campaigns, custom sponsorships, lead generation programs and rich media at high volume levels [at your website], you’re never going to do more than offer an incremental revenue source to your publishing business with little text ads in your feeds. We’re hopeful that this new [graphical] format is going to be good for people who want our content and for advertisers who want to connect with those readers."

I don’t agree. "Little text ads"–as long as those links are served to enough readers, as Google’s AdSense and Yahoo’s Overture have accomplished– can stir up a pretty good business in their own right.

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