Seven West Media and Facebook have signed a landmark deal to ensure the social media giant pays for use of the company’s original news content.
Just hours after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that the Federal Government would make amendments to its media bargaining code following negotiations with Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, SWM confirmed the deal.
SWM publishes The West Australian, The Sunday Times, website PerthNow as well as 19 regional papers and 13 community newspapers.
The 7NEWS bulletin at 6pm is the top-rating prime time news show in Australia.
SWM chair Kerry Stokes said the partnership with Facebook was a “significant move” and “reflects the value of our original news content across our successful metropolitan and regional broadcast, digital and print properties”.
He said the partnership would “not have been possible without the leadership and vision of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher”.
“We thank them,” Mr Stokes said.
SWM chief executive officer James Warburton said the deal with Facebook was an “important part of the strategy to transform our company and build Australia’s leading news and entertainment content business”.
It comes after SWM was last week the first major media company in Australia to announce it had done a deal with Google for the search engine giant to pay for news content.
“Both agreements are a significant step forward for Australian news media and are a clear acknowledgement by all parties of the value and importance of original news content,” Mr Warburton said.
Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton said: “We are pleased to confirm our investment through a Letter of Intent with our partners from Seven West Media. This agreement brings the premium news content Seven produces from its newsrooms across Australia to Facebook. We have always been committed to supporting journalism and our agreement today continues our work with the news community in Australia.”
Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Mel Silva last week said the company was “proud to support original, trusted, and quality journalism and are excited to welcome Seven West Media today as a major Australian publishing partner to join Google News Showcase”.
“Seven West Media is one of Australia’s leading integrated media companies across broadcast, print and digital news and joins with 21 publications across a variety of titles as diverse as The West Australian, 7NEWS, PerthNow, the Albany Advertiser, the Geraldton Guardian and the Broome Advertiser.
“Our partnership with Seven West Media sees us make a substantial investment in the future of journalism not just across the metropolitan areas, but importantly in regional areas too where titles like the Kalgoorlie Miner and the Harvey-Waroona Reporter are at the heart of the local community.”
Today’s deal between Facebook and Seven West Media which will be executed over the next 30 days.
It follows the social media giant’s move last Thursday to follow through with a threat to ban Australian news from its platforms if the media bargaining code went ahead as planned.