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The media and advertising industry is shifting its focus this year from collecting audience data to figuring out better ways to measure and explain the data to advertising and marketing clients, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau's annual Outlook study .

The study finds that 71% of industry executives expect to increase spending on data and related services this year.

Why the change? As media businesses become more sophisticated in collecting data on advertising and marketing, they've lagged in showing what that data means for clients and brands. Also, as data becomes more sophisticated, they have to prove they're measuring it properly. You may recall that Twitter and Facebook faced industry backlash for misreporting performance metrics in 2016.

Why it matters: Accurate measurement and attribution has major business implications. A C-suite agency executive told Axios that their company returned almost $10 million back to publishers last year, in part because of measurement and reporting complications around data-driven ad programs.

Go deeper

Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden has arrived at the White House and he will sign executive orders and other presidential actions.

44 mins ago - Podcasts

Podcast: After the Biden inaugural

Joe Biden was sworn in today as America's 46th president in an inauguration unlike any other in modern history.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the speech, the atmosphere and what it all tells us about the incoming administration, with Axios political reporters Hans Nichols and Alexi McCammond.

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.