Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The New York Times will announce today that more than 3 million U.S. students now receive free access to nytimes.com, thanks to more than 30,000 contributions from its readers.

Why it matters: It's the company's way of investing in the next generation of NYT readers, which it thinks will help it retain current subscribers. "We already have high retention, but I think this could make it almost bullet proof," says Hannah Yang, head of subscription growth.

Details: The donations come from nearly 75 countries and are made possible through its sponsor a student subscription program that launched in 2017.

  • The access is given to 4,000 schools around the country, including really large school districts in Chicago and Miami-Dade to smaller districts in rural America. So far, schools in all 50 states have been given access.
  • Some donors are recurring, but most are one-timers. One donor anonymously donated $1 million in 2017. Not including that donation, each donor gives about $50 on average.

The big picture: Yang says while many subscribers pay for NYT to read it for themselves, many others aim to support what they consider to be good traditional journalism now and for future generations.

One weird twist: The subscriptions are awarded on a first-ask, first-serve basis, as well as for those in need financially. So far, the company has been able to provide subscriptions to everyone who has asked, although when some schools in certain parts of the country inquired about subscriptions and realized they could access them for free, Yang says they were skeptical.

"Some schools in some parts country are not going to want this ... There's a skepticism, [with] people asking us, what's our ulterior motive? It was harder to give this away than [we] expected."
— Hannah Yang

What's next? The Times eventually wants to open up the program internationally.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

15 states broke single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: Compiled from state health departments by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

At least 15 states broke their single-day novel coronavirus infection records this week, according to state health department data reviewed by Axios.

The big picture: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Andrew Withershoop and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 11,143,945 — Total deaths: 527,681 — Total recoveries — 6,004,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 2,818,588 — Total deaths: 129,584 — Total recoveries: 883,561 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.
2 hours ago - Health

In photos: America celebrates July 4 during global pandemic

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

The U.S. has already celebrated Easter, graduations and so much more during the coronavirus pandemic, and now it can add July 4 to the list.

The state of play: Axios' Stef Kight writes public parades and fireworks displays around much of the country are being canceled to prevent mass gatherings where the virus could spread. Hot-dog contests and concerts will play to empty stands and virtual audiences — all while American pride treads an all-time low.