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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Digital publishers are doubling down on new TV-like video programming, specifically with streaming services, like Netflix, as well as with linear TV networks.

Why it matters: Universal device ownership is forcing brands to think about reaching users with compelling stories wherever they are spending time within their media diet, whether that's on a smartphone or a smart TV.

It's also forcing publishers to think about ways that episodic video, as well as podcasts and other mediums, can tell stories that would resonate with their audiences in a way their native digital and print formats can't.

  • The latest: The New York Times announced Monday it will turn its medical column, “Diagnosis,”’ into a Netflix series. It's also in talks to create another show based on its new “Overlooked” series about forgotten female obituaries.
  • It joins Buzzfeed, Vox and Fusion Media Group, which have all inked deals with Netflix this year, for programs varying in length. (Buzzfeed shows will run roughly 15 minutes per episode.)
  • Conde Nast, whose entertainment arm has been producing original shows for seven years, landed a deal with Netflix to produce college football docuseries "Last Chance U" in 2016 and has also distributed its original content series, "The Fashion Fund," on Amazon since 2016.

Other publishers are going straight to linear TV networks to distribute new shows. Buzzfeed will launch a series on NBCU Cable Entertainment network, Oxygen, beginning this September.

  • The Dodo, Conde Nast and Vice all have distribution partnerships with legacy TV networks, like Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and HBO, respectively.

On the flip side, legacy video brands are now investing more in digital video shows, hoping to reach audiences outside of their linear TV roots.

  • Viacom and ESPN, are hosting their own digital content "NewFronts" this year to highlight their slates of original digital shows.
  • Viacom announced yesterday it launched Viacom Digital Studios and says it plans to deliver "hundreds of hours" of premium, original digital content on social media platforms like Snapchat Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The social media companies are also turning their attention to show-like content, pushing publishers to create content partnerships on their video channels, like Facebook Watch and Snapchat Discover.

The big picture: While monetization opportunities vary by platform, advertisers see premium on-demand video as a solid branding opportunity. It has “the potential to create deeper context while building communities for brands who go all in with this approach,” said Laura Correnti, EVP and managing director of Giant Spoon.

The bottom line: Most media time spent by U.S. adults, on a minute by minute basis, is still by far with television, according to Nielsen. So while most publishers have for years invested in mobile video through social platforms, they've missed out on the biggest video viewing opportunities in the U.S.

Go deeper

Educators face fines, harassment over critical race theory

People talk before the start of a rally against critical race theory being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Va. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Elementary school teachers, administrators and college professors are facing fines, physical threats, and fear of firing because of an organized push from the right to remove classroom discussions of systemic racism.

Why it matters: Moves to ban critical race theory are raising free speech concerns amid an absence of consistent parameters about what teachings are in or out of bounds.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

1 dead after pickup truck hits Pride spectators in Florida

Police investigate the scene where a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

A driver in a pickup truck hit spectators at a Pride festival in Wilton Manors, Florida, killing a man and leaving another person hospitalized Saturday, authorities said.

Details: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told reporters police had "apprehended the driver" and that the vehicle missed a parade car carrying Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) "by inches."

Updated 10 hours ago - Sports

Uganda Olympic team member tests positive for COVID in Tokyo

The Uganda National boxing team's Catherine Nanziri (L) and others arrive for check-in at Entebbe international airport in Wakiso, Uganda on Friday, ahead of their departure to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Badru Katumba/AFP via Getty Images

A Uganda Olympic team member tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan late Saturday, officials said.

Why it matters: Japan's government has faced criticism for vowing to host the Tokyo Games next month as coronavirus cases rise. The Ugandan team is the second to arrive in Japan after the Australian women's softball players, and this is the first COVID-19 infection detected among the Olympic athletes, Al Jazeera notes.