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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

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”