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Photo: Getty Images/Gorodenkoff

Video Game Entertainment & News Network (Venn), a startup seeking to make 55 hours of esports content a week, plans to launch studios in New York and Los Angeles in mid-2020, the Los Angeles Times writes.

The big picture: The New York-based business has raised $17 million and is looking to become a gaming network, with distribution deals including Twitch, YouTube and Hulu TV. The esports category has expanded in popularity, particularly with young people, with platforms like Twitch allowing gamers to grow more connected by streaming their activities.

By the numbers ... According to research firm EMarketer:

  • The U.S. esports audience currently sits around 30.3 million people.
  • Viewing is expected to increase to 46.2 million by 2023.
  • Esports advertising revenue is set to increase from $178 million in 2019 to $213.8 million in 2020.

Between the lines: The Times writes: "...some of the new platforms hosting esports content don’t have sophisticated advertising tools for marketers," per Eric Haggstrom, a forecasting analyst with EMarketer.

  • Venn plans to change that by producing high-quality content including "talk shows, reality shows, documentaries and esports events," the Times writes.

Go deeper: High school esports goes mainstream

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
8 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.