Yahoo Pulls Plug on RSS Advertising Tool

Yahoo! has announced it will no longer provide advertisements in RSS feeds. Like other wholesalers of online advertising, Yahoo! offered feed creators the chance to put advertisements in their RSS feeds so that they would appear at the end of an item in the feed. Yahoo!’s solution — unlike, for example, Google’s — did not requre that the feed publisher offer subscriptions through a Yahoo!-controlled server. You kept your RSS feed where it was and used some HTML in the feed template to insert the advertisement. (Google, after purchasing FeedBurner, has content creators redirect their feeds through its servers.)
I’m not necessarily upset that a source of ads in feeds is going away. Yahoo! may not be doing well and may be focusing on its serious revenue sources. It’s been reported that other long-standing Yahoo! tools (Briefcase, for example) are also going away. Then again, Yahoo!’s retreat from this market might be indicative of how the perceived value of RSS feeds is changing. If there’s not sufficient revenue from RSS-based advertising to keep a major, though second-tier, player in the game, what does that mean for publishing via RSS?