February 21, 2007
As TechCrunch, Robert Scoble and Scott Gilbertson blogged last week, Google has started reporting subscribers to feeds in Google Reader and on Google Personalized Homepage. Just from word of mouth, we know here at Pheedo that the Google family of RSS products are used by a fairly large amount of RSS users. But until now, did not have the hard data demonstrating impact. This information is valuable to marketers and advertisers because they want to know who is seeing their ads, and HOW they are seeing them. Knowing which RSS readers people are using is important data, and helps marketers inform their RSS marketing decisions and hone their RSS advertising creative and strategies.
We compiled the online RSS reader market share numbers from the Pheedo network to compare adoption of Google's RSS products to the other leading online aggregators and below is what we found. We only included online RSS readers to make our comparison as close to apples-to-apples as possible. Google has been reporting subscriber numbers for only a few short days and considering the nature of calculating desktop client subscribers, we found that comparing online RSS readers provided the most vivid picture of Google's early impact on the market:
Google has emerged as the #4 online online aggregator overall, behind NewsGator, MyYahoo! and Bloglines in terms of number of overall subscribers reported. Google's market share is obviously climbing and it is having an impact on the market as illustrated in the increase in subscribers.
What is interesting to note is while NewsGator has the highest total number of subscriptions per feed, Google touches more feeds than all other online aggregators:
Google Reader and Homepage are still relatively new, and are obviously having an impact on the RSS market. From a marketing perspective, it is something to keep an eye on because while RSS is a universal language and way of moving content around the web, the way people aggregate it is not standard. Having the knowledge of what your audience is using to see their feeds and accurately knowing how many people are viewing the feeds are important elements of optimizing RSS marketing efforts.