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Group Nine Media, the digital company that houses internet brands like NowThis, The Dodo, PopSugar, Thrillist and Seeker, drove over 200,000 subs to discovery+ in Q1, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Discovery, Group Nine Media's largest minority investor, has leaned more into its partnership with Group Nine as it ventures into streaming.

  • Group Nine's web properties are running promotions for Discovery new streaming platform Discovery+. Those promotions guide users to the Discovery+ sign-up page. Clicks are being tracked and attributed to Group Nine.

Between the lines: The two companies are trying to integrate further to attract video ad dollars. For example, sources tell Axios that Group Nine has started to package Discovery-connected TV inventory into its proposals.

  • Discovery and Group Nine's ad sales teams are partnering on joint co-sale projects this year, sources add.
  • Group Nine Studios is producing original shows for Discovery+. The productions unit has already partnered with Discovery channels on a number of linear programs.
  • For example, POPSUGAR and Discovery recently partnered for Michelle Obama’s “Girl Talk” special, which ran across all of POPSUGAR’s digital channels as well as Discovery’s linear networks OWN and TLC and on discovery+.

The big picture: The tightening of the relationship between Discovery and Group Nine is notable given that several legacy media investors have moved away from their strategic investments in digital media properties amid financial struggles.

  • Most notably, Disney wrote down $157 million of its initial $400 million investment in Vice, shortly after reports suggested that the company was expected to lose money in 2018.

What's next: Expect Group Nine to play a large role in Discovery’s Upfronts presentation next month.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

5 hours ago - World

Taiwan's military scrambles jets after detecting 39 Chinese warplanes

J-20 stealth fighter jets in Zhuhai in the Guangdong Province of China last year. Photo: Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images

Taiwan's defense force said 39 Chinese warplanes flew into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.

Why it matters: The largest Chinese air force incursion into the zone since October came a day after the U.S. and Japanese navies conducted a joint exercise in the Philippine Sea.

6 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.