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Interviewing Facebook's Campbell Brown (on right) Monday night in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios
Speaking at Axios' Media Trends event Monday night, Facebook's head of global news partnerships Campbell Brown formally announced a policy to try to appease publishers' concerns over a controversial archive of political ads on its platform, which would also include ads promoting publishers' political content.
Facebook's solution: "There will be two separate archives," Brown told me. "One will say 'political ads,' one will say 'news platforms.'"
Why it matters: It’s Facebook’s latest effort to make nice with publishers, which continue to show frustration with changes and experiments to news functions on its platform.
The details: Brown said Facebook would not grant publishers' request for an exemption, but that Facebook is building out a separate archive to address concerns that there wasn't a clearer distinction between publishers' content and political ads.
"Publishers who are worried about being clumped in at this point in time can pause their advertising."— Facebook's Campbell Brown
When it comes to hiring journalists, Brown also told me that the people filling much talked-about jobs for "news credibility specialists" will "help us begin to build out a process for verifying different news organizations," signaling that Facebook is willing to give curated news a shot, despite past forays into human-curated news have led to one problem after another.
What's next: Facebook is also planning to launch 20 news shows for its video platform Watch by the end of this summer, Brown told me, including a new weekly business show from Quartz, that will launch by the end of the summer.
Bottom line: Via Axios' David McCabe: "Facebook's relationship with the news industry remains rocky, even as the company takes steps to mend fences."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios
A federal judge will decide Tuesday whether AT&T can acquire Time Warner for $85 billion. The verdict follows a more than six-week long trial after the government sued to block the mega deal.
Why it matters: Today's court decision will shape the media and telecom landscape for decades to come, as it will set off chain reactions for other media mergers and will help determine how viewers watch video content.
There are a range of possible outcomes:
Between the lines: A win for AT&T would probably make it easier for TV networks to merge with a tech or telecom company — essentially fusing the content delivery systems with the content itself.
Go deeper: See our list of the possible outcomes.
Bottom line: Nothing's a sure bet. And no matter what the outcome for the AT&T/Time Warner deal, regulators will still have to evaluate this deal and every other on its own, regardless of precedents set by other similarly structured — but different — deals.
Go Deeper: What the regulatory hurdles could be
Illustration: Axios Visuals
The Trump administration is engaging in trade wars on multiple fronts, and media businesses have become collateral damage.
Executives from brands, publishers and non-profits argued last week at Nielsen's Consumer 360 Summit in Washington that using traditional demographics, such as race and religion, to target advertisements to people is often less effective than targeting people by their diverse interests, such as movies and hobbies.
Why it matters: Data-based marketing has made this type of targeting possible. In the past, placing TV or newspaper ads allowed marketers to target by age, gender and location. Today, there are many more targeting opportunities —and more diverse targeting can be more effective.
Key stat: Over 70% of real total expenditures growth from 2005-2015 came from ethnically-diverse consumers, per Nielsen.
Cultural bias in marketing: Some suggested that cultural biases of algorithms and marketing programs affect marketers' ability to accurately reach a multicultural audience.
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.
Go deeper: Marketers: AI will make clicks less relevant
Podcast revenue continues to explode, growing by 86% year over year to $314 million from 2016-17, according to a new IAB & PwC research study.
Why it matters: That's still a tiny amount of money compared to other mediums that bring in dozens of billions of dollars — (roughly $70 billion for TV in the US and $90 billion for digital) — but the growth should prove to be a hopeful sign to marketers that audio is gaining momentum with marketers.
The good news for news: News and politics podcasts account for roughly 13% of all podcast revenue. It is a category beat only by arts & entertainment and technology podcasts, which bring in over 16% and 14% of total podcast revenue in the U.S., respectively.
Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Instagram will reportedly launch a long-form video hub on June 20th, per Techcrunch. Some of the details of the new feature, via Techcrunch:
The bigger picture: It's also rumored that Instagram may announce that its reached the 1 billion user milestone on the 20th, which is key to Facebook's long-term growth strategy, as overall engagement with the main Facebook app continues to decline for younger generations.
You can now file for divorce on WeChat in China, Business Insider reports. The country's biggest messaging platform rolled out a trial "divorce" functionality in Guangdong province, "which is home to major cities including Guangzhou and Shenzhen."
Why it matters: Smartphone apps have displaced newspapers, brick and mortar shops and taxi services. Now, they're coming after courts.