Illustration: Axios Visuals

Despite the continued growth of subscription video services like Netflix and Hulu, free ad-supported video services are making fresh headlines.

Why it matters: Free, ad-supported video gives companies the ad inventory to sell digital TV ads, which are seen as a lucrative opportunity for whichever publisher can really master the technology.

Driving the news: Several video giants announced at NewFront presentations this week that they would be introducing more ad-supported free video options.

  • Walmart's video streaming service Vudu introduced a lineup of free, ad-supported original streaming content at its first-ever NewFront presentation last week.
  • YouTube announced at its "Brandcast" event last week that it's making all of its original content available for free and supported by advertising.

Between the lines: Altice USA, a regional cable provider, announced it was buying over-the-top business news channel Cheddar for $200 million last week. The company's co-president & CFO Charles Stewart tells me the acquisition isn't a streaming play, but an opportunity to bolster its news and ads businesses, since advertising is the company's fastest-growing revenue segment.

By the numbers: Advertisers expect to spend an estimated $18 million on digital video advertising in 2019, with $9.3 million allocated to original content, according to new research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

  • Yes, but: Digital video advertising, while growing quickly, is still a tiny portion of the advertising pie in comparison to television.

Go deeper: Free apps are driving adoption of digital TV ads

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump vows to block stimulus funding for mail-in voting and USPS

President Trump on Thursday told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that Democratic demands to fund mail-in voting and the U.S. Postal Service in ongoing coronavirus stimulus negotiations were a non-starter.

Why it matters: Trump directly linked Democrats' desired $3.6 billion for mail-in voting and $25 billion for the USPS to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.

Wind and solar power hit record global market shares in first half of 2020

Reproduced from Ember; Chart: Axios Visuals

A steep decline in coal-fired power combined with rising wind and solar output drove the carbon-free sources to record global market share in the first half of 2020, per a new analysis from the environmental think tank Ember.

Why it matters: The report shows how the coronavirus pandemic is speeding the ongoing shakeup of the global power mix — but also how it's occurring too slowly to reach international climate goals.

BodyArmor takes aim at Gatorade's sports drink dominance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

BodyArmor is making noise in the sports drink market, announcing seven new athlete partnerships last week, including Christian McCaffrey, Sabrina Ionescu and Ronald Acuña Jr.

Why it matters: It wants to market itself as a worthy challenger to the throne that Gatorade has occupied for nearly six decades.