Mar 4, 2019

Podcast network Luminary raises $100 million in total funding

Luminary Media, a Chicago-based subscription podcast network with exclusive content, reportedly raised around $60 million in new funding. The company has now raised nearly $100 million in total, from backers like NEA.

Why it matters: This comes just weeks after Spotify acquired a pair of large podcast networks, with its own ambitions of becoming Netflix for podcasts. "To some degree, of course, all media start-ups think they are going to be the next Netflix. The test for Luminary will come in the execution. And there are plenty of challenges. Subscription-based businesses are hot at the moment, but analysts say that consumers will begin pushing back and asking, How many entertainment services do I really need to be paying for every month?" writes Brooks Barnes in the New York Times.

Go deeper: Vox Media’s multi-million dollar podcast deal

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Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow16 mins ago - World

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World