The Busine$$ of RSS

The Busine$$ of RSS.
Here is the latest essay in my ongoing series, TV News in a Postmodern World. This one is called The Busine$$ of RSS and is must-reading for any television executive, for it introduces RSxStream, an entirely new business model for local media. This is the single most amazing technology I’ve seen in my years working with the Internet, and I’m excited to bring the story to light.

I’m recommending this to my clients, and I think you’ll understand why after you read the piece. The story has also given me another chance to run my cowboy hat picture. 🙂


  1. Terry… Good piece. I agree the RSS will be a delivery mechanism for much content, including video (see how ESPN is using it to download ads and video in the background).
    However, I do not think I buy your contention that he who owns the RSS aggregator owns the revenue for a few reasons:
    1. Content providers will not be happy with others putting ads on their content with no business relationship. See Gator.
    2. The browswer will be aggregating. See Opera. See Gates singing the praises of RSS.

  2. I always appreciate your comments. Firstly, the Gator business model was entirely different than this one. Content providers can limit what is available to headline form, and I can’t imagine anyone would complain. Besides, does Google ask permission to search deep within Websites?

    I agree about the browser becoming an aggregator, but I think that term is passé. Who needs to browse when you have search?

  3. Not sure why you feel a new software model has to be constructed when aggregators today are quite sophisticated. Not all support enclosures which would certainly handle your video and audio requirements for RSxStream, but they will eventually as more users start enjoying syndicated newsreading/watching.

    I also think that while it might be interesting to see the software owner, own the potential for ad revenues, that takes away from the publishers opportunity and will definitely be in conflict. Sony does not earn ad revenue today for serving ads on their sets, CBS gets the money for showing the ads on their network, which happens to play on the consumer’s TV.

  4. OK, I tried to download the Kerry reader but it requires a password. Can you email me the password or provide a link to a non-password protected demo?

    I would love to talk to you about this. Feel free to call me at 604 729 7924 or email roland AT anytime.

  5. You said “This type of business currently does not exist” but it actually does — Bloglines and Kinja provide newsreaders which draw their info from a centralized source, and at least Kinja runs ads. Plus neither are dependent on Flash. The problem with Flash is inaccessibility (see and lack of permalinks, that is, the content is not search-engine-friendly, which means you lose half your potential users at the get-go.

  6. Sorry, GT, but you completely miss the concept. This is an actual reader, not a Website or blog. The models for bloglines and kinja are very different. There is no centralized content. That the reader is done in Flash has nothing to do with the content therein. Links are still links. Accessibility is an issue for everybody.

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