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A woman watches TV on her iPhone. Photo: Getty

The average U.S. smartphone user now gobbles up 31.4 gigabytes of data a month, a 25% increase since last year, according to NPD Group and reported by Twice. That's roughly the equivalent of streaming 31 hours of standard-definition video on Netflix.

Why it's happening: The major U.S. wireless companies now all offer unlimited data plans, allowing consumers to blow through as much data as they want without incurring extra fees or having to seek out Wi-Fi hotspots for bandwidth-heavy downloads. Streaming video accounts for 83% of total data consumed, per NPD.

What it means: As consumers spend more and more time on their mobile devices, media companies are tailoring content to be consumed on smaller screens and on the go. It's also driving traditional cable and pay-TV providers like Comcast and Charter to add wireless components to their businesses as subscribers continue to cut the cord. And smartphone makers are designing the next generation of phones with this in mind – for example, Microsoft has filed a patent for a two-screen smart phone.

Go deeper: Axios' Ina Fried tells us what to expect in next year's smartphones.

Go deeper

Drought, record heat wave in West tied to climate change

People on Folsom Lake in Granite Bay, California, U.S., June 16, 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The prolonged and widespread heat wave in the West, along with the region's increasingly severe drought, is a sign of how climate change has already tilted the odds in favor of such extremes, studies show.

Why it matters: The rapidly growing Southwest, in particular, is also the nation's fastest-warming region. The combination of heat and drought could lead to a repeat, or even eclipse, the severity of 2020's wildfire season in California and other states.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

What to watch as infrastructure talks heat up

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A mix of Beltway action and extreme weather events have brought the fault lines in infrastructure talks and their planetary stakes into sharper focus.

Catch up fast: Senate Democratic leaders pledged to seek big climate measures in a multitrillion-dollar, Democrats-only package that faces a very narrow political path.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
3 hours ago - Sports

The sports stock market

Note: Michael Jordan's card is for baseball; Data: Alt; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Shohei Ohtani's trading card value has risen 781% since the start of 2021, the highest year-to-date return of any athlete on Alt, a sports card exchange that aims to bring more liquidity to alternative assets.

Why it matters: The trading card market is the closest thing we have to a stock market for sports.