Washingtonpost.com to Run RSS Ads

NEW YORK Washingtonpost.com said it would run its first ad campaign in the site’s Really Simple Syndication feeds.

MSNBC will advertise The Situation With Tucker Carlson as part of a larger campaign on Washingtonpost.com that includes banner ads, online video and behaviorally targeted spots. The text ads began appearing July 15. Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest placed the campaign.

Used mostly now by blogs and news sites, RSS allows Internet users to receive feeds of headlines directly to their computers. Sometimes compared to TiVo, RSS gives consumers control of which Internet content they receive, doing away with the need to visit several Web venues or go to sites’ home pages to find content.

Washingtonpost.com offers readers 150 different feeds on various topics, allowing them to choose which type of stories they receive.

Most news sites have not begun advertising in their feeds, although some have begun to do so. NYTimes.com last month began running graphical ads in its technology and business feeds for a Sun Microsystems Webcast. Other news sites, such as InfoWorld, have also begun putting ads in their feeds. Google, Yahoo, Kanoodle and RSS ad networks like Pheedo have begun inserting text ads in syndication feeds.

According to a Pew Research survey released in January, more than 5 percent of U.S. Internet users already use RSS. Feedster, an RSS search engine, now carries over 8.2 million feeds, compared to less than 1 million in November. The New York Times, which offers over 30 different feeds, said that in March its Web site generated 5.9 million page views through RSS, a 342 percent increase.

RSS adoption is expected to keep rising. Earlier this month, Microsoft said it would include support for RSS in its new operating system, displaying an illuminated icon to indicate an available RSS feed while users are browsing the Internet. One click will subscribe a user to the feed offered, according to Microsoft.