Aussie media firm inks deals with US tech giants

SYDNEY • Australian media 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 yesterday 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 that the US 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 chief executive James Warburton, referring to the law that gives the government power to intervene if domestic media firms cannot reach agreement with a large Internet provider. "They underpin our sustainability and enable us to continue to build our digital platform."

Mr 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 has yet to finalise arrangements with Facebook.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2021, with the headline 'Aussie media firm inks deals with US tech giants'. Subscribe