Media organisations who only offer partial RSS feeds might be interested to look at a couple of posts from 2 websites with different experiences of monetising their feeds. First, Jason Snell of MacWorld:
“RSS doesn’t generate revenue directly. There are ads in RSS, sure, but they’re cheap and lousy and don’t have remotely the return as ads on web pages.”
Then, John Gruber of Daring Fireball (cached here if you find it as slow as I do):
“The ads in most sponsored RSS feeds are indeed cheap and lousy. The ads in DF’s [Daring Fireball’s] RSS feed are neither. They’re priced at a premium, and have attracted (if I do say so myself) premium sponsors.
“If you’ve got a model where revenue is tied only to web page views, switching to full-content RSS feeds will hurt, at least in the short term. The problem, I say, isn’t with full-content RSS feeds, but rather with a business model that hinges solely on web page views. The precious commodity that we, as publishers, have to offer advertisers is the attention of our readers. Web page views are a terribly inaccurate, if not outright misleading, metric for attention. Subscribers to a full-content RSS feed are among the readers paying the most attention, but generate among the least web page views.”
Snell’s response: “What works for [Gruber’s one-man] kind of site doesn’t necessarily work for our kind.”
It’s also worth noting the tertiary benefits of full RSS feeds. Offering full RSS feeds makes it more likely a developer is going to create something useful out of it (expensive development time for free), bringing more readers and attention to your advertising or, in the case of the BBC (which may have licensing issues holding it back), fulfilling its public service remit.
Do you or your organisation do anything interesting with your RSS feeds? Are they full or partial? I’d love to know.
(Note, OJB uses the <more> tag to to ensure the homepage isn’t dominated by a single post. Unfortunately, this results in partial RSS feeds. Some day I’ll sort this.)