From day one, I got into blogging not knowing what to expect and figuring out the best way to learn about a market is to dive into it and become a user. So I did that 18 months ago assuming that the time I spent as a blogger would either help me find compelling investment opportunities or provide me with in depth knowledge to help existing portfolio companies leverage this new opportunity. Since becoming an avid blogger and reader, it is clear to me that embedded ads in RSS feeds will be a key way for content owners to monetize their assets. First, the fact of consuming RSS feeds will typically reduce traffic at many publishers’ websites giving them less opportunity to monetize their assets. Ads in RSS will help publishers overcome the lower traffic to their sites while still providing their users with up to date content. Secondly, ads embedded in RSS feed gives great targeting opportunities for advertisers and publishers. Hopefully this will allow for greater clickthrough rates. Given these factors and the fact that users want free content, I believe ads embedded in RSS will become a defacto way for publishers to monetize their assets and for users to continue to consume content for free. I also believe that as we morph into podcating and vlogs that publishers will find ways to monetize their content through automated embedded audio and video ads. Give this some time as there is not enough content out there, but I see a world where a new service is created which will allow rich media publishers to automatically embed audio and video ads as simply as contextual based text ads.
Given this backdrop, I am excited that Morever Technologies (a portfolio company) and Kanoodle recently launched a partnership called FeedDirect RSS Ads. Quite simply, FeedDirect will allow content owners to not only monetize their assets with content-targeted sponsored links via Kanoodle but also get maximum distribution through the Moreover network. All it takes is a few clicks to sign up and begin generating revenue. As a VC, one of the cliches we often talk about is eating your own dog food. In other words, entrepreneurs and VCs, where applicable, should be users of products or services they create or in which they invest. To that end, I am changing my RSS feed to incorporate the FeedDirect service. From a transparency perspective, I plan on sharing some of my data with you as my RSS feeds get converted. To subscribe and test out the FeedDirect service, please change my feed to this link. If these ads annoy you or if you have thoughts on improving this, please let me know.