Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
June 2, 200810:31 PM

RSS Advertising Yes - Podcast Advertising No

"'RSS and podcasting have both gone a little bit silent,' he said. 'Podcasting is a bust, and RSS was lumped in. It's got a few unique challenges... but it has grown and become a part of revenue mix for publishers.'"

So says Gawker Sales Chief, Chris Batty, in the May 30th, 2008 ClickZ article titled, RSS Advertising Shows Signs of Life.

The main crux of this article is that there seems to be an opportunity in pumping ads into RSS feeds, while media planners have pretty much given up hope for doing the same in Podcasts.

Batty has some insights into this: "The latest indicator: Gawker Media sequentially grew its revenue from feed-driven traffic by 300 percent in Q1 2008."

There's one side to this story that should excite the Digital Marketer in you: more channels, newer channels, more opportunity (and even some metrics thrown in for good measure).

Then there's the other side: my guess is that the majority of those really into channels like RSS and Podcasting are probably also nuking ads with a Firefox extension or simply ignoring them anyway. If you're not doing search engine marketing or leveraging your database with strategic email programs, it's starting to look more and more like any form of display or interruption-driven advertising models are just that - an interruption. Can you count the clicks towards a branding campaign? Why not? Is there a real value in these two types of advertising? My guess would be that it's not the most prudent long-term strategy.

This all goes back to my recent kicks on content. Why would you pollute a feed with the exact type of ads that drove people from the more traditional channels in the first place?

Am I the only one who looks at channels like RSS and Podcasting as the next great frontier to fill with compelling content and real community connections to truly build brand rapport and take Marketing to the next level?

"For marketers, the creative limits of feed advertising remain a sticking point. Kelly Twohig, SVP, digital activation director at Starcom Worldwide, said text ads and simple GIF banners are a hard sell with clients.

'We haven't seen [RSS] move as rapidly as other things have,' she said. 'It's absolutely on our radar but still not the easiest thing to sell.'"

The stuff that works is usually the easiest things to sell (just ask Google).

By Mitch Joel