TECHNOLOGY

Australia’s Seven West Media Signs Google, Facebook

Australian television and newspaper firm Seven West Media signed multi-year content deals with Facebook and Google as tough new media laws enabled the industry to secure new revenue sources and adapt to the internet age. The top-rating free-to-air broadcaster and publisher of Perth city’s main metro daily said on Monday it would supply content for the Alphabet unit’s News Showcase platform for five years and to a similar Facebook product for three. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.


The arrangements mean the U.S. “Big Tech” platforms are now committed to paying two of Australia’s three largest traditional news outlets for content, marking an about-turn just two months after they had vowed 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,” said Seven CEO James Warburton in a statement, referring to the law which gives the government power to intervene if domestic media companies can’t reach an agreement with a large internet provider. “They underpin our sustainability and enable us to continue to build our digital platform.”


Representatives of Facebook and Google declined to comment beyond the confirmation of Seven’s statement. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which owns about two-thirds of Australian newspapers, signed global deals with the platforms in the past two months. Nine Entertainment, which competes with Seven in free-to-air and publishes the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review newspapers, has said it signed a Google deal but is yet to finalize arrangements with Facebook.

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