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Expand chart
Reproduced from The Nielsen Total Audience Report, February 2020; Chart: Axios Visuals

Luminary is expanding its service to three new countries, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Its subscription podcast offering is bolstered by offering dozens of podcasts to users exclusively on its platform. Most Americans subscribe to multiple video services, but not multiple audio services, according to Nielsen. But that could soon change if more podcasts begin to be offered exclusively on certain platforms.

  • The move expands Luminary's footprint to Africa for the first time and doubles its international presence, which to date was only Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

What's happening: Luminary's global expansion comes on the heels of the announcement that Richard Plepler has joined its board of directors and that former HBO President and CRO Simon Sutton has joined as CEO.

  • The company raised $100 million last year to become the "Netflix" of podcasts.

The big picture: Podcasts companies are looking to invest more in their own exclusive content to lure users to pay subscription fees to their services.

  • Apple will reportedly fund exclusive podcasts for its platform. Bloomberg reported last month that Apple is also planing to make original podcasts promoting its TV shows.
  • Spotify announced Wednesday plans to acquire The Ringer, a sports media company founded by former ESPN personality Bill Simmons. It's the latest in Spotify's roughly $500 million investment in podcasting.
  • The Ringer shows that are currently exclusive on podcast platforms like Luminary and Pandora will remain exclusive.
  • The programs available on all podcast platforms will be available everywhere for the foreseeable future. There may be some podcasts from The Ringer that become Spotify exclusives in the future, although that's not expected to be the case for the most part.

Why it matters: Via Axios' Ina Fried: "The big question is whether this (Ringer deal) and other moves by Spotify and Luminary will mark the end of a world in which podcasts were largely openly and freely distributed."

Go deeper: News podcasts go mainstream

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two "assault rifles" believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI told news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.

U.S. and China agree to take joint climate action

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry waves as he arrives at the Elysee Presidential Palace on March 10, 2021 in Paris. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Despite an increasingly tense relationship, the U.S. and China agreed Saturday to work together to tackle global climate change, including by "raising ambition" for emissions cuts during the 2020s — a key goal of the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The joint communique released Saturday evening commits the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases to work together to keep the most ambitious temperature target contained in the Paris Climate Agreement viable by potentially taking additional emissions cuts prior to 2030.