TextLinkAds (Disclosure: a rev2.org sponsor) launched Feedvertising today, a product that enables bloggers and website owners to monetize their RSS feeds with ads and other internal messages that can be set by the owner. Feedvertising is the first product that I know of which offers the ability to fully customize a feed as the content owner likes it rather than straight-out push those banners and skyscrapers into the aggregators. What I also like is that since the ads are text-based, they're guaranteed to work with any feed and any aggregator.
The way it works is that content-creators can register their feed and choose the number of RSS ad-spots they'd like to make available (up to 6), how many of them they want as ads and how many they want to use internally, and the system accordingly does the setup. Currently only a WordPress 2.0+ plugin is available, but they plan to support other blogging platforms in the near future. Once it's all setup, Feedvertising gives you a flat monthly rate which it will sell your ads on (if you've made any available) in the TLA marketplace. The monthly rate is calculated by a number of factors and TLA gets a 50% revenue share which I personally think is a bit high, but since this is a fairly new concept it's suitable for now. I have registered the rev2.org feed for the service and I'm told it should be available in the marketplace by tomorrow for advertisers to choose from.
This idea itself isn't new. Feedburner, Squidoo, Google's AdSense for Feeds and some others have been trying it for more than an year and so far it hasn't turned out to be as successful as it sounds. But I think the approach and concept TLA is taking might have some potential. Text-based links are a sought-after thing in the online marketing business — something search engines highly value — and if you imagine all the distribution RSS feeds manage to get and all the (legitimate) scraping that goes on, it isn't hard to see why advertisers might go with such a route. So far the companies that have tried this concept have focused on the readers of the feed and their interests, which is fine and works to an extent, but this might just take the concept to the next step.
[tags]Advertising, RSS, TextLinkAds[/tags]