Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Cheddar

Cheddar, the streaming news service for millennials, and Magic Leap, a mixed reality company, are teaming up to put Cheddar's two live news networks on Magic Leap One augmented reality devices.

Why it matters: These will be the first live news channels made available in mixed reality to all Magic Leap One owners.

The big picture: The move is part of a bigger trend of media companies pushing to try new forms of distribution.

  • Cheddar's lead mobile engineer, Stephanie Lo, who built the beta version of the service, says the technology could be a smart way in the future to combine second-screen video viewing.
  • "Think about how many people are watching TV while also browsing something at the same time. I think this gives us a platform to potentially marry the two."

Yes, but: The idea is meant to be a seed project that's being built far ahead of commercial applicability, mostly for buzz and experimentation. Magic Leap is only available now via a very pricey developer version, so the audience for the news channels will be small at first.

  • "In my three years running the company, I've always been focusing on generating revenue and getting carriage on big systems. I wanted to do one R&D project," says Cheddar CEO and founder Jon Steinberg.
  • "I think a media company like us needs to have one long-term bet. A lot of other media companies can only see ahead to the next quarter. I'm trying to think a few years away."

The details: Magic Leap is licensing Cheddar's live business and headline news networks for its augmented reality headsets. The live video streams will exist as news panels that can be placed anywhere in the user’s room. (See video above.)

  • Users will be able to pin a hovering live Cheddar news screen while performing other work or entertainment activities in the Magic Leap environment.
  • The content itself will be the same the channels show outside of the mixed reality environment for now, says Steinberg, but the company might experiment with creating custom content specifically for Magic Leap in the future. The companies are working to make broadcasts available both on-demand and live.

Between the lines: Cheddar and Magic Leap share an investor in AT&T. Both companies focus on the future of content distribution — Cheddar through live digital TV and Magic Leap through augmented and virtual reality.

For Cheddar, the business strategy has always been to build an extensive distribution network to make sure their content is consumed as widely as possible, but until now that has meant mostly two avenues:

  1. Authenticated feeds that people have to pay for (Cheddar's app or its channel on digital TV bundles like YouTube TV or Dish's Sling) .
  2. Free clips that can lure new subscribers on social media, on college campus TVs or at gas station pumps.

By the numbers: Steinberg says Cheddar will bring in about $30 million in top-line revenue this year and will be profitable by the end of next year. "We'll lose $4 million roughly and as of today, after acquisitions, we have $30 million in bank, with a vast majority of that being in cash."

“We are basically Tesla, and CNBC and CNN are Ford and GM. Yes, they ship more cars in a week than we ship in a year, but you know what? We’re running on electric power, have much better software and our car drives itself.”
Steinberg

What's next? Steinberg says he'd like to build a volumetric camera studio (a studio that can capture video in 3D for augmented or virtual reality), so that in the future, the company can add custom 3D interviews to a variety of augmented reality experiences on Magic Leap devices.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
7 hours ago - Health

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

The Wuhan Institute of Virology. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.