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Unlike other traditional advertising platforms like magazines and newspapers, out-of-home advertising such as billboards and subway posters grew almost 7% last year, mostly due to the rapid conversion of static ad spaces to digital. Per eMarketer, roughly 50% of all out-of-home ads will be digital this year, up 10% from 2014.

Expand chart

Data: Standard Media Index; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why it matters: What used to plague out-of-home advertising growth was its inability to measure accurately how many people, and which types of people, saw the ads. But with the rise of digital screens and smartphone ownership, that's all about to change. Andy Sriubas, EVP of OUTFRONT Media, one of the largest U.S. out-of-home ad companies, tells Axios that his company has created a new technology that will serve people the same billboards ads that they pass on the street on their smartphones in real time, doubling the impact. Digital billboard ads can also be sold programmatically, increasing the number of advertisers who can buy them which creates more demand.

What's next: OUTFRONT is already experimenting with rotating, TV-like content on outdoor screens across different U.S. cities that will transform the ad business into a content business. The screens will feature rotating ads between clips of sports, weather and news updates.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with first lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.