Google Funds a Finnish Emotional Intelligence Innovation
The Google Digital News Innovation Fund has granted EUR 300,000 of funding to a project in which Media Group Keskisuomalainen and NayaDaya Inc. are collaborating with the aim of developing a global solution to customer churn in the digital media sphere.
The media sector is dependent on revenue brought by subscribers. In that domain, gaining customers is hard, and retaining them is even harder. Media Group Keskisuomalainen and NayaDaya Inc. believe that the key to addressing these challenges can be found in audience engagement. Engagement and the experience of getting “good value for money” from the subscription stem from the emotions aroused by the content. The use of technology based on scientific emotion-related research to measure and interpret readers’ emotions enables promoting engaged, positive, and prosocial behavior.
Google Digital News Innovation Fund, backed by technology giant Google, has decided to grant the project EUR 300,000 of funding. Media Group Keskisuomalainen has tested the emotion technology since October 2017 with Helsingin Uutiset, which is the largest local and the sixth largest online newspaper in Finland. In January, it reached 1.1 million readers (FIAM 1/2019), following hot on the heels of the afternoon tabloids, Helsingin Sanomat, Kauppalehti, and Aamulehti. With the funding, the media house plans to expand the use of the emotion technology in its online services.
That technology, which is based on an algorithm and analytics rooted in scientific research, was developed by Finland-based start-up NayaDaya Inc. The indicator used by the new system is the Emotional Value Index (EVI), which is applied to analyze emotions and predict behavior. The company is developing and productizing its software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to meet the needs of the subscription-based media sector globally.
“Currently, we reach more than 2.5 million Finns online each month. Subscribers and committed customers are the lifeblood of our business, and we strive to reduce customer churn for all of our news outlets. We believe that when we pay attention to emotions and engagement and use the EVI figure, we can develop our content such that it appeals more to readers and boosts business. Our vision is to work with NayaDaya Inc. to create a global de facto standard for digital emotional interaction, data, and value,” explains Kirsi Hakaniemi, CDO of Keskisuomalainen.
On the Helsingin Uutiset website, readers have expressed their emotions via an application available alongside news content, utilizing the opportunity to a greater extent and in more varied ways than expected. This use has also shown that certain emotions defined in the scientific model correlate with stronger engagement with the service, as evidenced by longer reading times, lower exit rates, and greater willingness to share content.
“These results challenge us to consider our news topics and perspectives. Is our content dominated by articles that trigger disappointment and hate even though the results show that engaged readers are more likely to respond to news items that arouse feelings of compassion, pride, and joy? And are we able to propose solutions in addition to highlighting problems?” asks Silja Tenhunen, content director of Etelä-Suomen Media, the part of Media Group Keskisuomalainen that publishes the group’s newspapers circulated in southern Finland.
The funding from the Google DNI Fund will be used to enhance the functions e.g. for measuring emotions, analyzing emotion-related data, and developing online dashboards to meet the needs of media groups’ digital channels, customer segments, and business indicators.
“With the help of Google, we aim to solve some of the most critical problems in the field of digital media and entertainment. The existing technology has already shown what it is capable of. In collaboration with Media Group Keskisuomalainen, we will create added value for media groups and the users of media, worldwide,” explains Timo Järvinen, CEO of NayaDaya Inc.
Timo Järvinen, CEO and Co-founder of NayaDaya Inc., tel. +358 40 505 7745, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirsi Hakaniemi, CDO of Keskisuomalainen Oyj, tel. +358 50 406 0467, email@example.com
NayaDaya® uncovers the emotional and the behavioral impact of brands and phenomena. Through the groundbreaking insight, it's possible to understand and influence emotional experiences, behavior, and engagement among consumers and citizens. The high-quality data is based on the scientific theory, research, and analytics. NayaDaya Inc. is striving for empathy, to empower responsible brands and organizations to thrive and shape the world. Further information at www.nayadaya.com
Keskisuomalainen Oyj is a publicly traded media group that has expanded strongly in the new millennium. Media Group Keskisuomalainen has 62 media brands – the group is Finland’s largest publisher of local and town-level newspapers, and it also owns several regional newspapers. In 2018, Media Group Keskisuomalainen’s turnover was EUR 166.1M. The group employs more than 2,000 media professionals. Further information is available at www.keskisuomalainen.com.