ReadWriteWeb tries something new with RSS ads

Despite years of talk, advertising in syndicated feeds (RSS) has never met the expectations once promised for it. In recent times, RSS advertising actually went backwards, when Google shut FeedBurner’s native RSS advertising service, replacing it instead with Adsense ads. The original FeedBurner ads weren’t huge money makers, but as Allen Stern at Centernetworks noted at the time, the Adsense units delivered lower results.

I’ve never bothered putting ads on our feeds here at The Inquisitr because I just couldn’t be bothered trying to make pennies per month from the ads. We could direct sell them, and if you’re interested in buying RSS ad spots, contact us, but I some how know that we won’t be rushed off our feet with offers.

ReadWriteWeb is tackling RSS advertising in a completely new way. I’m not sure when they first started the new spots, but I first noticed them last week. Instead of a footer ad at the end of the feed, ReadWriteWeb are rotating one 125px ad from their existing advertisers in each post on the feed. Here’s an example of what one looks like viewed through Google Reader.

The 125px ad appears right of screen at approximately the same spot for each post. I asked ReadWriteWeb’s Richard McManus about the spots, and although he wouldn’t disclose why they’ve starting running these ads, or their results so far, he did provide some information on how they’ve implemented them

In terms of setting them up, I can tell you we’re using OpenX to serve them – just like we do our on-site ads. It did require some custom development to set it up, in both OpenX and MT.

We can guess that serving them in feeds is a value add for existing ReadWriteWeb advertisers, presumably delivering a high view count for the ads, helping the site make more from advertising.

Credit to ReadWriteWeb for being willing to give something different a shot. I’m betting they won’t be the last site to implement ads in RSS feeds this way in the future.