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In This Week's News, we uncover the rise of AI-Driven Mood targeting alongside the return of digital audio and Facebook disallowing users in Australia from viewing or sharing news.

This Week's News: 2021/02/24

Mara Heathcote

Vevo Launches AI-Driven ‘Moods’ To Target Ads To Attitudes

  • Music-video service Vevo launched Moods; a playlist service that uses AI to group videos based on emotional sensibility, to improve ad targeting and ensure resulting ads align with viewers’ mindsets.
  •  Better aligned ads are believed to generate better audience recall and improve favorability toward the brand involved

Vevo's new playlist service will make it easier for advertisers to put their campaigns alongside an “emotionally congruent environment”. Vevo built the Moods offering with music-data company Musixmatch, scoring and labelling videos based on their energy and tone, then assigning a “mood” to each video based on a proprietary Musixmatch AI model. The company describes the initially available moods are described as “fun, heartfelt, impassioned or empowering,” with more moods scheduled to roll out in coming months.

  • Read the full article from Forbes

The Impressive Resilience of Digital Audio

  • Consumers are gravitating back towards digital audio
  • More than 70% of US adults listened to digital audio content at least once a month last year, and 91.7% of this occurred via mobile.
  • eMarketer estimates that digital audio accounted for 11.0% of total media time per day for US adults last year and will account for 11.7% in 2021 (1:34 per day).

Early in the pandemic, digital audio took a huge hit in user engagement and in the amount of time listeners were spending with the medium. As people stayed home in the early days of the pandemic, time spent initially swung heavily toward traditional TV and social media, and soon thereafter to all forms of digital video and gaming. However, as the months passed, consumers gravitated back to digital audio with gusto, even as behavior and patterns of usage changed substantially. Apps like Spotify and Pandora reported increased usage via smart speakers and smart TVs, and increased usage at unusual times of day; for instance, weekday usage began to resemble weekend usage. Notably, 2021 will mark a major milestone between traditional radio and digital audio: 50.8% of US adults’ total audio time will be spent listening via digital services. This will be the first time digital audio surpasses traditional radio in time spent, albeit ever so slightly.

Facebook blocks users in Australia from sharing news. Could Canada be next?

  • Facebook has blocked users in Australia from viewing or sharing news on the social media platform.
  • The Heritage Minister of Canada shared plans to introduce a “made-in Canada” plan by summer that includes payment for news content.

Triggered by Australia joining France and other governments in efforts to push Google, Facebook and other internet giants to pay publishers for news content. While Google announced agreements to pay publishers in Australia, Facebook announced Thursday that it was blocking users in Australia from viewing or spreading news on its platform. This comes on the heels of Ottawa planning to introduce similar legislation this year and could spell a similar fate for Canadian users. The Heritage Minister of Canada shared plans to introduce a “made-in Canada” plan by summer that includes payment for news content. The CRTC currently issues licenses to TV and radio broadcasting outlets but does not regulate content on digital outlets such as Google and Facebook, on websites or in print.

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