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Illustration: Axios Visuals

Publishers are investing in new technologies to serve users more personalized content based off of their emotional response towards about certain topics and stories.

Why it matters: For decades, dated metrics of marketing success, like click-through rates, have been used to justify ad spending and other marketing investments. Now, AI will help marketers understand what motivates someone to buy or take action on something, and that may not always be a click.

Between the lines: Facebook has taken a beating from the media for filling feeds with news that plays on readers’ emotions and pre-existing views.   Now, media companies are stealing some of those tricks. 

The difference is that these experiences are customized per user, and your emotional response to any content cannot be seen or influenced by another person's reaction displayed in a feed.

Some of the major players:

ESPN announced at its first network Upfront this year that it can target ads to sports fans across its digital platforms based not only on their interests or demographics—like Facebook and Google do—but on their wildly changing emotions, Quartz reports.

  • It gets most of the data used from consumer behavior with their digital properties, like its ESPN app.

The New York Times' Advertising & Marketing Solutions Group plans to launch Project Feels this year, a data science project where the intent is to understand and predict how emotions and engagement connect.

  • The Times will launch "perspective targeting" based on machine learning as a new ad product, which allows advertisers to target their media against content predicted to evoke reader sentiments like self-confidence or adventurousness.

CNN's Great bIg Story announced "E.Q." (Emotional Quotient)  last year — an analytics tool that examines the emotional impact of stories.

  • It's currently used internally to determine the emotional response of videos evoked across platforms but they are continuing to invest in the technology to develop it for use for clients. 

Go deeper: Marketers: AI will make clicks less relevant.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
50 mins ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.