How Does the Feed Market Shape Up?

Posted on February 22, 2007

FeedBurner LogoWith Google starting to report their numbers to us over the weekend, which increased our overall reported subscriptions by about 53%, we thought it was time to start looking at the feed market and for us to get a report out that could help publishers (and advertisers) understand the landscape a bit better. It took a lot of queries and a lot of time to sort through all of the numbers but we got it done and the FeedBurner feed market report is now live on our blog.

With a sample size of over 600,000 feeds which represent about 350,000 publishers we have unparalleled insight into what is happening in the world of feeds but there are still challenges that we face when trying to compare subscriber market share. The two main challenges are: not all subscribers are alike (feed readers report differently) and default feeds (feeds bundled of listed for new users of a newsreader) are popular meaning they have disproportionately high subscriber counts in the aggregators where they are defaults. Thus, we figured measuring market share based on subscribers may not be the best method. Luckily we had some more compelling data that lead us to the idea of Audience Engagement, or how many folks are clicking on or reading the content within the feed as a better measure of market share.

With the idea in hand we started looking at the click and item view data we had to see what the market looked like at this point in time. Rather than reposting all of our pie charts, graphs and notes here I urge you to check out the official post as it describes things much more eloquently than I could and it has some really slick graphics to accompany the text which I know you will love. I also urge you to check out (and subscribe to) the Publisher Tips blog for a glossary of feed terms and “Quick Hits” on each of the major feed readers that will help you understand how they function among other great tips that will help you get the most out of FeedBurner.

The main thing we should all remember is that we live in a world where media is becoming more and more distributed and the backbone of that distribution is the feed. With that in mind we are going to continually bring you new things like widgets and the stats to allow you to track their consumption. Our goal is to give you a complete view of your media consumption across all channels and to start linking the distribution channels’ stats together to produce an integrated view of your audience engagement (another post on that here). So stay tuned as there is a lot more to come.

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