Australia’s Seven West Media became the first big news in the country to enter into a licensing deal with Google as the government pushes forward a law that will force the internet giant to pay media companies for content.
When revenue was announced Tuesday, Seven, which owns a free TV network and the main metro newspaper in Perth, said it would deliver content to Google News Showcase platform. It does not disclose conditions.
The deal shows Seven separating from rivals News Corp and Nine Entertainment, which failed to reach agreements with Google and instead backed laws to be passed this week, where the government sets content fees for the online giant in the absence of a private deal.
So far in Australia, only specialized online publishers and a regional newspaper have made deals to receive payment for their content, which appears on Google’s new platform, which launches live in the country this month. Outside Australia, Reuters is among the newsletters with similar deals with Google.
“Negotiations with Google recognize the value of quality and original journalism across the country, and especially in regional areas,” Seven West President Kerry Stokes said in a statement.
Google CEO Mel Silva said the US company was “proud to support original, reliable and quality journalism” by introducing Seven to its platform.
Last month, Silva told a parliamentary hearing that Google would withdraw its search engine from Australia if the so-called Media Negotiation Code became law. A Google spokesman declined to comment on the effect of the deal on the seven.
Hours before Seven revealed its plans, cashier Josh Friedenberg told Australian Broadcasting Corp. that he was still planning to pass the laws, but added: media landscape “.
The way the law is formulated, the government imposes a negotiator to set fees only if the media company and Google cannot agree privately.
A spokesman for Seven told Reuters that the company still supported the law.
A Nine spokeswoman declined to comment until a News Corp representative in Australia was immediately available for comment.
“The signs are that the Australian government and Google are close to compromise,” said Paul Bude, an independent analyst in the media and telecommunications industry.
“This allows the government to claim victory, while the damage to Google will be limited. Publishers will be paid for news in one way or another.”
Seven separately reported a jump of 26.5% of the main profit for the six months to the end of December, supported by the strong results in the advertising market.
Seven shares jumped 10.6% to their highest level since May 31, 2019 at the beginning of trading, while the broader market rose 0.9%.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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