Reel Simple Syndication Service - Video Ads for Feeds

Reel Simple Syndication Service   Video Ads for FeedsThis week, according to a post on their blog, Pheedo, has launched video ads that can reach users via RSS feeds subscribed to in Google Reader, Bloglines, NewsGator and other feed readers.

According to the company, video ads will appear within feeds provided by publishers like CBS, PCWorld, the Huffington Post, New York Times, and hundreds of other publishers. National Geographic, Fox Searchlight, and Universal Studios are among the first advertisers to adopt this new product. Additionally, the company states that this new advertising format is achieving "double-digit engagement rates."

Reel Simple Syndication Service   Video Ads for Feeds"The challenge as in anything with RSS ad serving is making it work with syndicated traffic," Pheedo CEO Bill Flitter told ClickZ. "Now, video advertising in RSS is scalable and possible hasn't been done before."

Reel Simple Syndication Service   Video Ads for Feeds

The new RSS video ad platform integrates with Pheedo's existing RSS analytics and ad serving tools.

Some benefits of the new service include:

  • Syndication Options - advertisers can establish rules to syndicate to a variety of distribution points.
  • Analytics & Metrics - performance and behavioral reports.
  • Viral Sharing Tools - users can engage with the video ad by sharing it with friends or bookmarking it.
  • Intelligent Delivery - player automatically detects end user's bandwidth and device and adjusts content delivery accordingly.
  • Brandable Player - player can be customized and users can click on the chrome to be immediately taken to a destination page.

Ive seen several posts that question whether or not it is a good idea to add video ads to RSS feeds. A post titled, "How many ways can I tell you this is a f#@*ing bad idea," talks about this being a "Bad idea" as it pertains to reader satisfaction as and user experience.

"It is all too easy to step over than line and end up doing ourselves more damage with reader dissatisfaction as we chase that elusive fine line.There is a very fine line though, that we walk between reasonable advertising on blogs and RSS feeds and poisoning the well."

As the author mentions on ClickZ, there is a potential problem with ad positioning being that most RSS interfaces are configured in a vertical reading format.

"Video ads, owing to their 4:3 aspect ratio, are both tall and wide, and would only be appropriate at the bottom of an RSS item. Unfortunately that's where they're least likely to be spotted..."

I tend to agree with both comments above but still think that this may be an interesting service for niche purposes.  It will have to be executed just right.

Does anyone know the answer the the following question:  Is it currently possible to embed video content into RSS feeds that have in-stream video ads?  I think it is just a matter of embedding video with the right embed code.  That being the case, Im not sure if  I completely understand what is unique about the offering other than perhaps the network component.  The screenshot is not very helpful in that it looks like a simple brightcove default player.

What do you think?

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About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Bill Flitter

    Hi Mark,

    "Im not sure if I completely understand what is unique about the offering other than perhaps the network component."

    Ad serving in RSS has it challenges. It is not as simple as using an off the shelf solution (Atlas, DoubleClick, etc). As we build out new services, we need to think how it would work specifically in RSS. As with the video, we had to build the system so it has all the same optimization and scale and advertiser would expect if they were serving that same video ad on line. There are many technical challenges to overcome. It is easy to embed one off video in your feed but to have it track and optimize across many feeds was the difficult challenge.

    Be happy to answer any questions.

    Best regards,
    Bill Flitter
    CEO/Founder Pheedo

  • Mark Robertson


    Thanks... I was hoping you would see the post and could enlighten us. I thought that perhaps the trick had to do with the fact that you are doing this across a network - so, to your point, that would make it much harder, and more important to make sure tracking and optimization of delivery were part of the equation, and sounds like they are. Thanks again Bill. Great news for the online video world..