Google's AdSense Now Includes RSS

Feedburner Acquisition Gives Search Giant Leg Up in Another Ad Market

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Google finalized its acquisition of Feedburner for undisclosed terms today, after weeks of reports that the deal was done. From a Google perspective, the acquisition will bring thousands of RSS feeds into AdSense, said Susan Wojcicki, VP-product management at Google.
Feedburner gives Google a leg up in an area that will become increasingly important as media distribution adopts a pull vs. push model: the RSS advertising market.
Feedburner gives Google a leg up in an area that will become increasingly important as media distribution adopts a pull vs. push model: the RSS advertising market.

"One advantage is our advertisers will have more access to those publishers," she said, which should help bolster monetization. AdSense is Google's off-site advertising network.

Feedburner has built a business by creating advertising in and around RSS feeds. RSS stands for "really simple syndication" and refers to the process by which users subscribe to pre-selected content to be sent to their desktops. Both Ms. Wojcicki and Feedburner CEO Dick Costolo repeatedly called the two businesses complementary.

RSS advertising market
Feedburner gives Google a leg up in an area that the Mountain View-based company has failed to dominate and one that will become increasingly important as media distribution adopts a pull vs. push model: the RSS advertising market. Ms. Wojcicki explained that Feedburner has been singularly focused on RSS advertising, which has helped it build such a strong business.

Mr. Costolo, whose company has raised $10 million in venture funding through two rounds, said he has already seen the evolution of publishers adopting the technology. It went from mostly blogs and blog networks in 2004, he said, to include a significant number of commercial media companies in 2005 and 2006. This year, Feedburner's clients are beginning to include a "host of entities that consider themselves publishers," he said, including retailers offering feeds of special offers and travel companies and providing specific time-relevant updates.

Feedburner will continue to be based in Chicago and the companies were still in the process of discussing whether it would change Feedburner's name. Ms. Wojcicki said they are working out the integration plans and weren't sure whether it would be integrated into other Google products beyond AdSense.
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