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

Former Afghanistan commander Stanley McChrystal endorses Joe Biden

Ret. Gen. Stanley McChrystal endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on MSNBC Thursday.

Why it matters: McChrystal came under fire in 2010 during the Obama administration after a Rolling Stone article quoted him as mocking some top civilian officials — including Biden. The general apologized to Biden but was ultimately pushed to resign.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The holiday shopping season will now begin in October

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Amazon's decision to move its Prime Day to Oct. 13–14 this year will pull the whole holiday shopping season forward by more than a month and help make online retail bigger than ever, as more families shop electronically and jostle to get presents purchased ahead of December holidays.

Why it matters: The reality of the coronavirus pandemic pushing people toward e-commerce combined with the pull of Amazon Prime Day and the Christmas shopping season this year are setting up a bonanza for retailers — but only those with the ability to offer steep discounts, delivery and an attractive online platform.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:45 a.m. ET: 34,010,539 — Total deaths: 1,014,958 — Total recoveries: 23,662,200Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:45 a.m. ET: 7,234,257 — Total deaths: 206,963 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Alarming vaccine skepticism. Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.