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

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

The fight over fracking

Fracking has become a flashpoint in the election's final week, particularly in Pennsylvania where both President Trump and Joe Biden made stops on Monday. But much of the political rhetoric has ignored that the industry has gone from boom to bust, beset by layoffs, bankruptcies and fire-sale mergers.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of fracking, and what it means for the future of American energy, with Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group.