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Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Axios spoke with Justin Hendrix, executive director of NYC Media Lab, which brings together universities, publishers, agencies and telecom companies to test media and digital innovation. Per Hendrix, AR/VR investment is slowing:

"I do think we're seeing a little bit of a wobble in the kind of commercial enthusiasm around AR and VR," Hendrix said. "The dip suggests investors have cooled since realizing emerging area market adoption not there. Investment should bounce back in 2018."

Per Crunchbase, the first quarter of 2017 marks the lowest quarterly number of financings and investment total in AR/VR technologies in over a year.

A few other trends Hendrix is seeing in the marketplace that are affecting media economics:

  • Intersection between data science and media: "Artificial Intelligence will make more content machine-readable, which will have enormous impacts on how media is shared, produced and monetized moving forward."
  • Product development is moving at the fastest pace ever: "It has never been easier to prototype and make new things. We've found [the amount of time needed] to go from idea on paper to something that works, and is potentially testable in the market, continues to shrink."
  • More content personalization: Especially in the native ad space. "The convergence in the branded content ecosystem is currently very human-driven," Hendrix says. "Eventually tech will collide with human-driven branded content production, and content and brands should be experimenting at that intersection."

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Harris wants more union membership in fed workforce

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a virtual town hall with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Oct. 14. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will today announce new guidelines to encourage federal workers to join unions, according to a White House official.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants to bolster the collective bargaining power of workers across the country – and they are starting at home, with changes in the federal workforce.

30 mins ago - Health

The global coronavirus vaccine gap

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, particularly low-income countries. Pressure is increasing on the Biden administration to close the gap — and the Biden administration, in turn, is pushing Moderna to fill it.

Why it matters: Getting global vaccination rates as high as possible isn't just a humanitarian effort; it also reduces the risk of vaccine-resistant variants emerging.

John Deere strikers want to reclaim labor’s lost bargaining power

Workers strike outside the John Deere Des Moines Works facility in Ankeny, Iowa on Friday. Photo: Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The strike at John Deere is the biggest of the pandemic era, with 10,000 workers on the picket line calling for better pay and benefits.

Why it matters: The walkout could deal a blow to an economy rattled by a supply chain crisis that executives don't want to see get worse — one of the economic tailwinds behind the strikers.

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