Australia’s Seven West Media strikes multi-year content deal with Facebook & Google

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Australia’s largest diversified media firm, Seven West Media has entered into multi-year content deals with US-based technology conglomerates Facebook and Google as tough new media laws enabled the industry to secure new revenue sources.

Following the deal, the top-rating free-to-air broadcaster will supply content for Google’s News Showcase platform for five years and to a similar Facebook product for three years. But the terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The new agreements make the Big Tech platforms of the US committed to paying two of Australia’s three largest traditional news outlets for content, marking an about-turn just two months after they had declared to quit the country over laws forcing them to pay for the links that drive traffic to their websites.

“These partnerships have been made possible by the introduction of the Media Bargaining Code. They underpin our sustainability and enable us to continue to build our digital platform,” James Warburton, CEO of Seven West Media, said.

Representatives of Facebook and Google declined to comment beyond the confirmation of Seven’s statement.

The American multinational mass media corporation, News Corp which owns about two-thirds of Australian newspapers has signed several global deals with the platforms in the past two months.

Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd, which competes with Seven in free-to-air and publishes the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review newspapers, has made a deal with Google, but it hasn’t yet finalized arrangements with Facebook.

Additionally, many smaller Australian media outlets, including the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp, have signed deals with Google or said they are open to doing deals with Facebook, which blocked all third-party content in Australia for a week earlier this year to protest the laws.

Google has earlier stated that it passed the milestone of having 100 Australian news titles contracted to supply content for News Showcase with a deal with regional publisher Times News Group, owner of seven regional mastheads in the country’s south.

Related: Pandemic benefit: Google saves $1bn in 2020 as employees work remotely


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