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Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Spotify announced two mega podcast deals in the past 24 hours: A deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to produce a slate of original podcasts, and a deal to distribute podcasts exclusively from Kim Kardashian West.

The big picture: The company is doubling down on its commitment to podcasting, a medium it thinks can drive higher profits for the company through advertising. Spotify also aims to use its partnership with Warner Bros. and DC to unlock a new type of podcast storytelling.

Details: Spotify, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment — a subsidiary of Warner Bros. that houses franchises like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and more — have inked a multi-year deal to produce and distribute an original slate of scripted podcasts, both dramatic and comedic, centered on the DC universe.

  • The end product will feel similar to that of a DC Entertainment film, with an exclusive web of complex characters and plot lines, but it will be produced exclusively for audio, and exclusively on Spotify.
  • While Warner Bros. is responsible for producing all of the podcasts, Spotify is responsible for the marketing, advertising, and distribution of the shows exclusively on its platform.
  • Under terms of the deal, Spotify gets a first look at original scripted narrative DC podcasts, "including new shows based on the vast universe of premier, iconic DC characters," per a statement.

Our thought bubble: While narrative, scripted podcasts have existed for years, this partnership will help drive the idea of franchising original intellectual property in the audio space, because franchising is what DC specializes in for movies.

Context: Spotify started out investing in podcast production and analytics companies, and is now moving to acquire talent, franchises and intellectual property.

  • After it built a solid suite of technology, advertising and production capabilities through acquisitions of companies like Gimlet, Parcast and Anchor in 2019, it began this year to acquire or strike exclusive deals with brands like The Ringer, The Joe Rogan Experience and now Kim Kardashian West.

Go deeper:

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Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.

Trump pressures Barr to release so-called Durham report

Bill Barr. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.