Should You Import RSS Content?

Several radio station affiliates have asked if importing RSS content would benefit their websites.  I always answer, “What content are you providing now?”  Because it’s essential to know how much you will be relying on the RSS content you’ll be importing.

What is RSS Content?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Content feeds are typically XML files that can be read by a feed reader, which converts the information there into an easy-to-read format. The content distributed within RSS feeds is in real-time so that the top results on the RSS feed are always the latest published content.

RSS feeds were created to generate more traffic for the website providing them.  You’ve likely seen these feeds on other websites that display the latest posts from,, Rolling Stone, Fox News, CNN, local tv stations, etc. There are very few upsides to displaying RSS feeds like this.  We view these as reasons to leave your website and the advertisers paying you to be there.

If you display a local TV station’s feed, ensure they are doing something of equal value to reciprocate traffic back to your website.

Importing RSS Content

Importing RSS content is the best option because it keeps visitors on your website longer.  These RSS feeds are more than simple excerpts and links to the originating website.  They contain full articles along with images and other content.

Don’t just go looking for RSS to import.  Importing RSS content without permission can quickly get you into legal trouble due to copyright.  And when you have permission from a website to use its content, ensure that any related image copyrights will also cover your website.

We have seen instances where one station had permission to use an RSS feed, but when the originating website used an image they purchased for use on their website, the license for that image did not cover any website that was importing the content.

If you’re going to import RSS content, the best route to take is to use a service provider.  Here are some options that are available for barter.

1) ABC News Digital Content

National News, World News, Politics, Health, National Sports, Entertainment, and news from all major music formats.

Contact Mary McCarthy at 212-456-5200 or email mary.e.mccarthy at

2) United Stations Pulse Digital Content

Entertainment news as well as news from all major music formats.

Contact Ralph Riley at 972-562-3381 or e-mail ralphriley at

Do you know of any other digital content subscription services?  Please let us know.

Our Verdict on Importing RSS Content

The best content is relevant content.  This is going to be different for every market and radio station.  Music news might be interesting, but the most relevant content will likely impact what your listener does today or this weekend.  Local news and events will have a bigger impact on your visitors because they’re more relevant. Besides, you’re less likely to find that content anywhere else.  The radio station websites generating substantial online revenue do it with lots of local content.

We recommend putting a bigger emphasis on finding more local/relevant content that your listeners will find appealing and trying to do more of that consistently, promoting posts heavily on-air, in newsletters, and on social media.

If you’re looking at imported RSS content, use it sparingly to increase the value of the local content you are creating. RSS content should not be the only content on your radio station website because that information can be found anywhere.  Since the content has been generated from other websites, it can hurt your search engine optimization.

We want to help your radio station grow and succeed online.  That journey starts with an amazing website that keeps visitors coming back often.  Reach out to us to start your path to online success, or schedule an appointment to see our tools in action.

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