Yahoo! recently partnered with Ipsos Insight on a white paper called RSS - Crossing into the Mainstream, which revealed that awareness of RSS is "quite low among Internet users." Of the 28% of Internet users that consume RSS, most don't know that RSS is the enabling technology. Earlier this week, on the Feedburner blog, they posted a market report called How feeds will change the way content is distributed, valued and consumed. The post contained the picture below, which implies that RSS adoption by publishers is expanding and growing and is not limited to blogs. There's more about this at Read/Write Web.
While the adoption of RSS appears exaggerated in the diagram, there is no escaping that for commercial publishers, RSS is the critical technology for near-term growth. Consumers of business information increasingly require continuous information or current awareness services via email and mobile devices. Further, the embedded links that can accompany feed-based information delivery help provide the serendipitous discovery of related and complementary information that often lead to idea generation in financial and professional services. The Feedburner report says it well: "...in the emerging world of feed ubiquity...the ability to subscribe to content creates a persistent link between publisher and subscriber." This enhances the position of the publishers and directly meets a subscriber need.