RSS Business Models -- too early or too late?
As you can tell, I'm currently very interested in RSS/RDF feeds. This isn't new to me, but this is the first time I've ever given it any real attention. What makes it interesting is the ease with thich I can now begin aggregating content.
I think we may be on the brink of supportable RSS business models.
OK, maybe not the brink, but it seems at least an eventuality. RSS makes sense for all of the obvious reasons. It was invented to allow news to be aggregated, but it can aggregate sooo much more.
There are a lot of sites on the net that would love to go to a subscription model, but are afraid of chasing away their audience. RSS represents a value-add to those sites, and may ease people into subscriptions.
Consider people who are really plugged in to the culture of the internet ( a growing population ). They have many sites from which they regularly draw information. Almost all end up using my.yahoo.com or equivalent to help pull all of the interesting bits of information that they want into a convenient spot for perusal.
Now, I can see a couple of directions this could go ( granted, yahoo will probably try to devalue everyone elses attempts to suppress competition ), but if you want to give it a go, I see a few routes.
First, you could have paid subscriptions to your RSS feed. In this model, your content is free to the casual user, but power users of the internet would pay .25 a day to have your content flow into their aggregator. You agree to have no more than 1 advertisment entry per feed. Or maybe it's $50/year. That's up to the market. You may loose the user as a casual browser of your site, but you can count them as a subscriber, and get cash out of the deal.
Second, is to go the other way. Charge for personalization, by allowing users to add RSS feeds to their personalized page, much like my.yahoo, except now they can have their friends blogs, etc included when they come to your site, which is now an attractive and useful startpage for their browser. Charge some rate for the personalization including some number of feeds, and add some per feed charge for additional feeds beyond the basic package.
Third is to use RSS to put common list type information that we normally syndicate via email - especially things like jobs, where the user wants to see what's available even if they aren't actively searching.
Normally, we would send these types of information in a push format ( email ), and leave the website as the pull format channel. RSS is kind of a middle ground.
So what about you, is there anything you'd pay to have via an RSS feed?
I'm betting not, but I think it is because there aren't enough RSS feeds to bother aggregating. Which do we have here, the horse or the cart?
glenn1you0 said on 2003-06-19 08:24:19:
But would you pay for it? Do you think it would drive more traffic, or would the those that get the feed only stop by when a specific headline caught their eye? Can RSS subscribers be counted like print subscribers ( like Olive users are counted ) ?
Howard Owens said on 2003-06-19 00:11:09:
We need RSS in FastForward.