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Niche media outlets are having their moment, with cross-vertical topics experiencing new room for growth.

Where it stands: The Athletic, a digital sports news subscription service, has reached more than 500,000 subscribers and expects nearly 1 million globally by year's end, thanks to heavy investments being made in the U.K.

  • Travel: The Skift is in the middle of its second major acquisition right now, CEO Rafat Ali tells Axios. The first was Airline Weekly last year. It's also looking closely at two other acquisitions.
  • Luxury: Glossy, a luxury and fashion brand from Digiday, has seen a revenue increase of more than 300% since last year.
  • Black millennials: Blavity, which now includes five sites covering news, technology, travel, entertainment and women’s wellness, secured a Series A round last year and is now running two conferences.
  • Food and experiential: The Infatuation's newsletter subscriber base will nearly double by year's end, executives tell Axios. The company plans to launch a new restaurant discovery platform with the Zagat brand next year.

The big picture: Consumers will pay for good quality content they can't easily get somewhere else, says Charles Hudson, a managing partner at Precursor Ventures and an investor in both The Juggernaut and The Athletic.

  • "In an age where everything has become disintermediated, the importance of direct relationships with users is becoming a lot more apparent. That is the thing you can’t do at scale," says Ali.

Our thought bubble: Many of these outlets are venture-backed, and could face the same fate that some other venture-backed media companies have experienced over the past few years. But most of these outlets are so narrowly focused they haven't raised enormous sums of money.

Meanwhile: Vice Media is in talks to buy Refinery29, WSJ's Ben Mullin reports.

Go deeper: The topics that work best on the different platforms

Go deeper

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.