Australia’s Nine signs news deals with Google, Facebook to bolster profits

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
  • Follow author on
Australia Tech
Representational Image

Nine Entertainment, an Australian broadcaster, and publisher, stated that it has signed multi-year content supply deals with US-based tech giants Google and Facebook, harnessing tough new licensing laws to bolster profit.

The step means that all of Australia’s three largest media firms now have arrangements with US digital giants, who had previously fought legislation requiring them to negotiate over the fees they pay for links that drive clicks to their platforms.

The owner of the Australian Financial Review and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers, as well as the Nine free-to-air television channel, stated that it would contribute articles and clips to Google’s News Showcase platform for five years, and a similar Facebook product for three.

Nine Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mike Sneesby stated that “these deals will contribute to supporting the world-class journalism on which our business thrives,” and added that they will also help the company pursue development in the long run.

A Google spokesman declined to comment, and Facebook did not respond to a request for comment immediately.

Rivals Seven West Media and Mr. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which dominate Australia’s traditional media market, along with Nine, have inked similar deals in recent months.

Nine, like the others, did not reveal the financial details of the agreement.

However, it said it expects them to help its publishing section grow pre-tax profit by up to $30.9 million in the year to June 2022, making it the first company to place a dollar value on the new arrangements.

In the six months to the end of December, the unit’s pre-tax profit of $52.6 million.

Nine shares surged as much as 5 percent to stand up 1 percent in a flat overall market.

Since a bitter dispute with the government over the laws that briefly led Facebook to block all third-party content on its platform in Australia, the so-called “Big Tech” companies have agreed to pay for material from dozens of smaller regional and specialized sources.

The managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation told a parliamentary hearing last month that the state broadcaster was among the media organizations that had signed letters of intent for deals with Facebook and Google, but that the arrangements had yet to be finalized.

Related: Facebook-backed Diem shifts its stablecoin project to the US