New Killer Ad Format or Audience Confusion?
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New Killer Ad Format or Audience Confusion?

Pheedo, the RSS advertising shop, released an analysis of client data that showed readers of RSS feeds are nearly 10 times as likely to click on an ad sent as a standalone feed post than an ad in embedded in the content of the post.

Consumers using RSS readers are more likely to click on ads presented as stand-alone posts than on ads within posts–7.99 percent to 0.85 percent.

This astonishing clickthrough rate should raise the red flag of “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Most people can recognize an ad embedded in content as an ad — and can make a conscious decision to ignore it. But RSS ads are still very new, and many readers of RSS feeds may still not be fully (if at all) aware that ads are being introduced into feeds as standalone posts. If that’s true, it entirely possible that clickthrough rates are being driven by readers who think they are clicking on content, not ads.
Both Pheedo publishers looking to maximize their experiments with RSS advertising would be well advise to remember that there’s a reason why clickthrough rates, and engagement with advertising in general, is so low in mature media (Google notwithstanding). When the RSS feed audience gets wise to the feeding of ads, the clickthrough rate trend on RSS advertising may start to look like the stock price of a dot com circa 2000.