Seven finalises news agreements with Google and Facebook

Seven West Media (SWM) has signed agreements with Google and Facebook which will see the two tech companies pay to publish news from the media company.

The deal with Google has been finalised, will run for five years, and comes off the back of SWM signing a letter of intent for the agreement in February.

SWM has also signed on for a three-year deal with Facebook, but is awaiting the company’s sign-off. It too, comes off the back of a letter of intent signed by SWM in February, to provide news content to Facebook.

SWM MD and CEO, James Warburton

SWM managing director and CEO James Warburton, said: “Completion of the two agreements confirms the strong recognition of the quality and credibility of our leading television and newspaper news brands and entertainment content. Together, they underpin our sustainability and enable us to continue to build our digital platform. 

“These partnerships have been made possible by the introduction of the Media Bargaining Code. This has been an important reform led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.”

Multiple large and small news organisations have already struck deals with Google and Facebook following the introduction of the News Media and Digital Platforms Bargaining Code in February.

Facebook has also inked payment deals with News Corp, as well as independent news companies Private Media, Schwartz Media and Solstice Media.

Organisations including The Guardian Australia and News Corp have also signed up for Google News Showcase. Nine is yet to formalise deals with either company.

In announcing its finalised news deals, SWM also gave a trading update, revealing that the digital revenue associated with the agreements will commence before the end of FY21, and the majority will be derived in FY22.

Seven’s Q3 FY21 advertising revenue grew at the upper end of the 7-10% range provided at the first-half results briefing in February. Net debut is expected to be between $270 million and $280 million by the end of the current financial year.

SWM also revealed that net proceeds of $45 million from the Airtasker IPO in March have been used to retire debt. As a result, total debt retirement is at $195 million in the second half of FY21 to date.

Warburton added: “The transformation of SWM continues. Finalisation of the Google and Facebook agreements completes one of the key objectives outlined in our February results, delivering further digital transformation, and realising the true value of our news and current affairs product on third-party digital platforms. 

“Our balance sheet is now in a much stronger position and our FY21 Q4 content is positioned to deliver audience and share growth, particularly among people 25 to 54 and on 7Plus.”


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