In another sign that RSS is continuing to lose its consumer focus, Google announced on Friday that it is eliminating the “AdSense for Feeds” business (see More Spring Cleaning on the Google blog). AdSense for Feeds allowed blog publishers to put ads directly into their RSS Feeds, item-by-item. As long as you channeled your RSS feed through FeedBurner, you could have Google apply advertisements to your feeds as they were displayed in the end-user’s browser.
While RSS feeds clearly have much utility, Google’s action is another clear signal that consumers are not reading RSS feeds directly in aggregators or their browsers the way they once did. Google is moving fairly quickly to eliminate AdSense for Feeds. According to the announcement, they will “start to retire it” on October 2, and close it on December 3. This does not effect FeedBurner URLs directly, just the ability to have Google place advertisements in them. Presumably, Google will continue to place advertisements in Google Reader when it displays feeds, but you won’t get a cut of the action.
If you’re an AdSense for Feeds user, you can read more about what this means at https://support.google.com/adsense/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2777193.