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Today's Login is 1,338 words, a 5-minute read.
The superstar cities that already claim high shares of the U.S. digital services economy are only getting stronger, according to a new analysis by the Brookings Institution.
Why it matters: The tech industry's success along the coasts is not dispersing to other regions that have been passed over in terms of job creation, deepening America's already stark geographic divides, Axios' Kim Hart reports.
The big picture: As a major contributor to regional economic growth, technology is a sector that many metro areas have tried to foster over the past decade. Some tech companies and venture capitalists have made modest efforts to expand outside of Silicon Valley. Cities such as Charlotte, N.C.; Madison, Wis.; and Boise, Idaho have added digital services jobs.
Yes, but: "They're gaining jobs, but still losing ground," said Mark Muro, senior fellow and policy director at Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. "The industry is still centralizing" in just a handful of tech hubs.
Why it's happening: The increased concentration may reflect the importance of large-scale clustering of talent and companies in periods of rapid tech disruption, the "groupthink" of tech industry executives and investors about location decisions, or even a geographic effect of Big Tech's dominance, "which may prevent the entry of geographical as well as corporate rivals," Muro writes in the blog post.
By the numbers: The top five metros with the highest shares of digital services — San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and Austin — accounted for nearly a third of all such jobs nationwide in 2018.
The bottom line: "The tech economy is unleashing forces that benefit only select group of elite regions, often to the detriment of everyone else. These dynamics are circular, cumulative, and massively scaled. Therefore, they call for a nation-scaled response," Muro writes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Tech companies are taking fresh action in hopes of preventing employees from getting exposed to the novel coronavirus.
The big picture: It's not clear what course the virus will take, but companies are trying to do what they can to keep running their businesses while minimizing risk for employees.
Salesforce is among the companies banning all international travel and most domestic travel.
Twitter is encouraging employees to work from home if they can and has pulled out of SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Facebook is limiting social visitors to its offices, and is following Twitter in scrapping plans to attend SXSW.
The moves come on top of a spate of earlier industry conference cancellations, including Game Developers Conference, F8 and Mobile World Congress, along with a number of smaller events.
Waymo said Monday that it has raised $2.25 billion in new funding — adding its first non-Alphabet investors — and said it will likely bring in other first-round investors as its self-driving technology moves closer to commercialization, Axios' J0ann Muller reports.
Why it matters: It's a strong signal that these investors believe Waymo — the self-driving tech startup from Google parent Alphabet — is leading the race to bring automated vehicles to market. But it's also a reminder that the technology is incredibly expensive, and eventually, Alphabet expects Waymo to stand on its own.
Details: The round was led by private equity firm Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Mubadala Investment Company, a UAE sovereign wealth fund. Additional investors include Magna International, AutoNation, VC fund Andreessen Horowitz as well as Alphabet.
Between the lines: In a call with reporters, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said the strategic help from its new investors is just as important as their money.
The big picture: Seeking outside investment for Google's big bets like Waymo is not unexpected, according to Krafcik.
What's next: Waymo also let slip the commercial name for its new cargo delivery division — Waymo Via. It had planned to reveal the name at this week's Geneva Auto Show in Switzerland, which was cancelled due to coronavirus fears.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
One of the world's biggest esports leagues is working with Nielsen to develop the first-ever comprehensive measurement system for viewership of esports broadcasts, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
Why it matters: Esports audiences are growing so big that they are beginning to outpace traditional sports viewers globally. Without a way to adequately measure those audiences and compare them to TV audiences, it's harder for brands and leagues to monetize those eyeballs.
Details: The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), which is run by American video game developer Riot Games, is working with Nielsen to develop the first-ever official measurement system for esports broadcasts that truly mimics what's used to measure TV.
Be smart: TV-like ratings used to measure esports are considered more accurate than other forms of viewership metrics that many in the esports industry had previously been using, like peak concurrent viewers or peak channels.
What's next: Other major esports leagues are in touch with Nielsen about adopting the standard.
One of the big questions surrounding the coronavirus is whether the summer Olympics will take place as scheduled. For those who are concerned, fret not, as this guy is apparently fully prepared to stage his own games, if necessary.