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March 25, 2020

Daily Crunch: Senate and White House reach stimulus deal

A $2 trillion stimulus package is moving forward in the United States, Google Podcasts comes to iOS and ClassPass offers livestreamed fitness classes. Here’s your Daily Crunch for March 25, 2020.

1. Senate, White House reach deal on $2 trillion stimulus package to lessen COVID-19’s economic impact

After five days of negotiations, Senate leaders and the Trump administration said early this morning they have reached a deal on a $2 trillion stimulus package to help relieve the economic impact of COVID-19.

The deal (which includes sending $1,200 checks to many Americans) still needs to be approved by the Senate and House of Representatives, but the stock market was already rising Tuesday as reports came out that an agreement was imminent.

2. Google Podcasts is finally available on iOS

Users’ listening habits on the app will be synced across platforms by way of Google Podcasts for Web. The iOS version is available for download starting today. The Android update, meanwhile, will be rolling out to users this week.

3. ClassPass now offers live streamed workouts for those house-bound by coronavirus

ClassPass, the fitness platform that connects gym-goers with the right studio/fitness class, announced that it’s dusting off its shuttered video product in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with tweaks. The company is allowing studio partners to set their own prices, date and time, and share a link to the streaming platform of their choice for their class.

4. Second Life-maker calls it quits on their VR follow-up

SF-based Linden Lab announced today that it has sold off assets related to its virtual reality project to a small, little-known company called Wookey Search Technologies, which will take over development of the title. Linden Lab will continue developing and maintaining Second Life and some of its employees may be joining Wookey.

5. Survey shows growth in podcasts and voice assistants, little change in streaming

A new annual survey — taken before the current COVID-19 crisis led to restrictions of movement in much of the U.S. — suggests good news for Amazon, continued dominance for Facebook and continued growth in podcasting. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Amazon warehouse workers organized to demand PTO, and coronavirus clinched it

This particular group of Chicago workers was fed up with the company failing to provide paid time off or vacation it promised to part-time workers. They organized; Amazon resisted — and the coronavirus acted as tiebreaker.

7. Facebook in talks to acquire stake in top Indian telco Reliance Jio, report says

The social media giant is in talks to acquire a 10% stake in the Indian telecom operator, according to a report in the Financial Times. The size of the deal, the paper said, was in “multi-billion dollars.”

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.


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