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Data: Magna; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The ad market only ended up falling about 4.2% in the U.S. this year, thanks to digital media.

Why it matters: Analysts were initially expecting double-digit growth declines, but stronger-than-expected spend in social media and digital video helped to stabilize the ad sector as a whole.

The big picture: Tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook showed resilience this year, thanks in large part to the explosion of e-commerce, says Vincent Letang, EVP and director of global forecasting for Magna Global.

  • Those firms grew their digital ad revenues by more than the 8%, far outpacing most traditional and digital publishers.
  • "One could say digital media grew thanks to the COVID crisis," says Letang.

What's next: While traditional ad mediums are expected to return to pre-pandemic growth levels, more dollars overall are going to continue to flow back into digital media.

Go deeper

GOP digital operatives aim to avoid "deplatforming"

Photo Illustration: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republican digital operatives are worrying about themselves and their clients after major technology companies cracked down on prominent conservative websites and organizations.

Why it matters: Amazon’s decision to remove the popular conservative social media site Parler from its hosting services, and Twitter’s suspensions of President Trump and tens of thousands of his supporters, have segments of the online right fearing they will be "deplatformed" themselves.

39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.