Time for publishers to rethink aggregation?

The other day, I talked to the person who manages the feeds for a large daily newspaper.
The conversation turned to private-label newsreaders, which has become something of a mini-trend among newspapers this summer. This person told me, “I get a call every two to three weeks from somebody who has the best new private label newsreader. But I haven’t seen one that has great functionality.”
I’ve never been a fan of publishers getting into the business of writing or distributing any software that is not absolutely essential. Why lock yourself in when there is so much grassroots innovation in feed-reading going on right now?
However, I’m beginning to wonder if news publishers in particular shouldn’t be offering feed aggregation on their sites — particularly on their homepages.
With Google and My AOL testing RSS on their personalized pages, and My Yahoo already strong in the market, it may be time for publishers to contemplate aggregating one another.
But that may require rethinking licensing in a way that will make everyone’s head hurt.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.