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You're invited: Axios will host a live virtual event on the future of fintech and consumer privacy tomorrow (April 15) at 12:30 p.m. ET. Live convos with Andrew Yang and Credit Karma CEO Kenneth Lin.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is circulating a draft letter to be sent to the White House requesting additional relief targeted specifically at local newsrooms, according to a draft of the letter obtained by Axios.
Why it matters: Local news was already facing dire strains in the U.S., but the coronavirus and a pending recession have pushed the industry into near collapse at a time when people need access to news and information more than ever, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill and I write.
Driving the news: Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Marc Veasey (D-Texas) are seeking support for a letter to President Trump that calls for federal advertising dollars to be prioritized to local outlets.
The letter asks Trump to:
The House's efforts follow calls from nearly two dozen senators last week, led by Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, to provide relief for local newsrooms in any future COVID-19 relief package.
Between the lines: None of these efforts fully address the needs and asks of the news industry.
New data from CrowdTangle shows that engagement for national and local news sources on Facebook is exploding during the coronavirus pandemic, while engagement with hyper-partisan publishers is hardly growing, Axios' Neal Rothschild and I write.
Why it matters: Consumers are looking to local and national outlets with authority to understand the impact of the virus on their health, the economy and their communities. This is different from the past few years, when hyper-partisan publishers dominated engagement on Facebook.
Driving the news: According to the data, engagement with stories from local outlets, like Detroit Free Press and Tampa Bay Times, as well as national outlets, like The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, has spiked dramatically, but traffic to several hyper-partisan sites has only grown modestly.
Between the lines: According to the latest Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, most people say they have a great deal of trust in local news outlets and national newspapers, compared to cable news, which tends to be more partisan.
The bottom line: For the first time in several years, political stories are not at the center of our nation's psyche.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Consumers are looking for fun and lighthearted entertainment to relieve stress during the coronavirus crisis, instead of categories like true crime or suspense.
Why it matters: Some mediums, like podcasting, that over-index on genres like true crime, may be partially impacted by the fact that consumers need a break from their regular content routines.
Driving the news: According to new research from tv research firm Magid, consumers are seeking out funny (39%) and fun (31%) videos, movies and TV programs during the coronavirus crisis.
A similar phenomenon is happening with podcasts. Podcast consumption has been down since the virus began keeping people at home.
Between the lines: With more people stuck at home with families, including small kids, family entertainment is up during the coronavirus.
What's next: While news and information has become a much heavier part of people's consumption diets during the coronavirus era, that could start to wear off as people get sick of the constant stream of bad news.
Bloomberg is launching a new entertainment-focused vertical called "Screentime," the company will announce on Tuesday.
Why it matters: Analysts expect that the global on-demand video market could reach around $100 billion in the next few years.
Details: Screentime will launch with several new products that will be anchored by Bloomberg talent across the U.S., Asia, and Europe, including:
Screentime's coverage will span four main pillars:
Between the lines: The company has launched a number of new verticals that are similarly structured to Screentime — like "Hyperdrive" for auto and mobility industry, and "Prognosis" for healthcare — to help wrangle its 2,700 person newsroom.
The bottom line: Bloomberg, like other media companies, says its experiencing record readership and engagement amid the coronavirus.
Disney has become of Hollywood's biggest coronavirus victims.
Why it matters: Analysts point to Disney's healthy balance as proof that the company will weather the pandemic. But its experience dealing with coronavirus will fundamentally alter the way the nearly 100-year-old business operates moving forward.
Driving the news: A services union group said Sunday that Disney would furlough over 43,000 of its 75,000 employees of its Walt Disney World theme park.
The big picture: Several of Disney's blockbuster films have been postponed as theaters remain shuttered. The production of other Hollywood titles is being put on hold as social distancing measures are in place.
By the numbers: As a result of the pandemic, Disney's stock has dropped nearly 30 percentage points as of Monday from its peak in January.
Between the lines: Despite the fact that TV consumption is up, Disney's flagship sports network ESPN is also being impacted by the crisis.
Yes, but: Despite these challenges, Disney+, is flourishing as families stuck at home look for easy ways to entertain their kids.
What's next: Bob Iger, who in February announced his retirement as Disney CEO, has re-engaged with the company amid the coronavirus pandemic, N.Y. Times media columnist Ben Smith writes.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
The highly-anticipated streaming wars are still on, even as most of Hollywood production has come to a halt.
What's next: HBO Max executives say that the service is still on track to launch in May.
Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
Expect more family video chats from grandma and grandpa moving forward, even after stay-at-home orders come to an end.
Driving the news: Passover seders and Easter celebrations across the country prompted several seniors to finally take the plunge and download Zoom.
What the seniors are saying: Nearly a dozen told Axios they absolutely loved the experience.
What their grandkids are saying: Several millennials told Axios about lengthy, painful and comical FaceTime calls with grandparents and parents to walk through the Zoom install process, which usually takes just a few minutes.