Most markets start their development in fragements and then consolidate more in their mature phase. For RSS, the real development phase started through 2002 and 2003, but it's already showing strong signs of consolidation happening in the industry.
FeedBurner Bringing Feed Management Services and RSS Advertising to Japan
FeedBurner just recently entered the Japanese RSS market via partnership with GMO-Affiliate, a joint venture company already including the leading Japanese provider of blog, hosting, security and advertising properties.
In one step FeedBurner will expand on the Japanese market, join its services with a strong "local" social networking and web services provider and at the same time establish a strong position for RSS advertising sales, as well as get an opportunity to extend its core RSS functionality to the 3rd generation of mobile.
The relevance of this for marketers is two-fold: it demonstrates how RSS is not an-US isolated development, but rather a global one; and it also shows that the RSS market is maturing.
The most probable next development phase will probably include strong CMS and e-mail marketing vendors acquireing RSS leading companies, or their own ventures in to RSS.
NewsGator Acquires NetNewsWire For The Mac
In an even more "violent" display of industry consolidation, NewsGator took control of yet another RSS reader, bringing the company to first place among RSS reading software, considering all of its properties.
Same comment as above apply --- certainly a good sign for the industry.
However, the next development phase in this sub-section of RSS industry won't be as pretty, when NewsGator and others are attacked by the full-scale RSS implementation in Windows Vista ...