RSS Report for Marketers

We were waiting for something like this to happen for a long time. Yahoo!, one of the key providers of mass-market RSS aggregators, finally took a step forward and published their RSS whitepaper, covering their own findings with RSS, based on their usage data.


Let’s first take a look at Yahoo! key findings and what they mean for marketers.

a] Awareness of RSS is quite low among Internet users. 12% of users are aware of RSS, and 4% have knowingly used RSS.

Although RSS awareness is increasing, only few internet users yet understand what RSS is and how to use it. Visit

For marketers, this means that simply placing an RSS button on their site it not nearly enough, with the report finally demonstrating that marketers needs to use clear and persuasive copy to get their visitors interested in RSS, explain RSS to them and get them to subscribe to their feeds.

In addition it also shows that marketers need to make sure they are using “user-friendly” buttons to generate subscribers, such as “Add to MyYahoo!”, which consumers do understand.

b] 27% of Internet users consume RSS syndicated content on personalized start pages (e.g., My Yahoo!, My MSN) without knowing that RSS is the enabling technology.

This finding only underlines the above suggestions.

Stop touting your RSS feeds only using an RSS button, but rather aim for a “subscribe feature” and then explain to the visitor how to use it.

Strong copy has never been so important.

c] 28% of Internet users are aware of podcasting, but only 2% currently subscribe to podcasts.

Goes to show that podcasting still has a long way to go and can right now function only as a supplement to your existing marketing activities.

It might also give an indication that audio is not the most appropriate format for much online content.

d] Even tech-savvy “Aware RSS Users” prefer to access RSS feeds via user-friendly, browser-based experiences (e.g., My Yahoo!, Firefox, My MSN).

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