How Did We Get Here? Everything You Need To Know About The News Media Bargaining Code

How Did We Get Here? Everything You Need To Know About The News Media Bargaining Code

As Federal Parliament prepares to sit for the final week of 2020, it is expected that the long-awaited News Media Bargaining Code will be tabled at some point.

The Australian suggests that the code will be immediately referred to a Senate committee for further consideration, meaning we will likely have to wait until the new year before anything is put into law.

Much like the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry that preceded it, the News Media Bargaining Code has so far proven to be a drawn-out process, after first being announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in April.

Despite the wait, the final version of the code could have serious consequences on the future of both Google and Facebook in Australia.

How did we get here?

The News Media Bargaining Code was originally proposed – following the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry – as a voluntary code between the tech giants and local media companies to negotiate deals.

According to the government, it would serve as a way to even out the bargaining position between local media businesses and these tech companies.

Barely four months after the announcement of the voluntary code (and in the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic), the government decided there had been “insufficient progress” towards creating a voluntary code and stepped in to enforce a mandatory code.

This was despite the fact both Google and Facebook revealed they had been working with local publishers to negotiate a voluntary code.

The draft code (and the fallout)

In July, after months consultation, the government finally released the draft version of the News Media Bargaining Code, finally outlining how it plans to force two of the biggest companies in the world to pay for news content.

While public discussions leading up to the announcement had focused on a single monetary amount both Google and Facebook should have to pay (Nine said $600 million a year, News Corp said $1 billion) the draft code instead proposed a case-by-case remuneration scheme.

Under the draft code, news businesses and digital platforms will be given three months to strike a deal through formal negotiations.

If the parties cannot come to a decision within this three month period, an independent arbitrator will be called upon to reach a decision.

This will be done within 45 days.

The draft version also proposes fines upwards of $10 million per breach and new “protections” for news businesses that will see Google and Facebook forced to notify these companies of any algorithm changes that could impact how content is distributed within 28 days.

The draft code imposes new data-sharing provisions on both Google and Facebook.

And while the draft code was widely applauded by the likes of Nine, Seven, News Corp and Commercial Radio Australia, both Facebook and Google have been outspoken in their protests against it.

Google has labelled the code “unworkable“, pointing to the fact it generates revenue for media businesses by providing clicks and therefore advertising.

Facebook, meanwhile, has threatened to pull news in Australia completely, should the draft code become law.

“This is not our first choice – it is our last. But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia’s news and media sector,” said Facebook Australia & New Zealand managing director Will Easton.

Google has also said Australian users and businesses stand to lose access to certain products and services available on the platform and has already delayed the local rollout of the Google News Showcase as a result of the code.

What happens next?

Google has publicly said it does not oppose the idea of a code to regulate the relationship between tech giants and media businesses and has been pushing for a number of specific revisions.

It remains to be seen whether these changes will be implemented into the final version of the code.

There have recently been reports that both Google and Facebook have been exploring the possibility of local content partners in preparation for the introduction of the News Media Bargaining Code.

The Australian government will have no doubt seen news out of both France and the United Kingdom in recent weeks, where both Google and Facebook have made steps towards paying local publishers for news content.

Globally, Google is ramping up its News Showcase initiative as a way to remunerate publishers and support journalism, while the Facebook News tab has emerged as a way for the Zuckerberg-owned company to pay media businesses.

And while we can expect continued fallout and protests about the final version of the News Media Bargaining Code, it seems that Australia might be part of a global shift in the relationship between tech giants and news publishers.

 




Please login with linkedin to comment

Facebook Google

Latest News

Multicultural Comms Agency Ethnolink Announces AI-Enhanced Multilingual Campaigns
  • Technology

Multicultural Comms Agency Ethnolink Announces AI-Enhanced Multilingual Campaigns

Multicultural communications agency Ethnolink has unveiled Ethnolink Edge, a bespoke technology platform designed to streamline the initiation, planning and execution of multilingual campaigns across Australia. This system aims to boost operational efficiency in the creation of in-language campaigns, with future enhancements set to include artificial intelligence. Costa Vasili, CEO of Ethnolink and recently recognised as […]

Gate 7 Bolsters Visit California & Brand USA Teams
  • Marketing

Gate 7 Bolsters Visit California & Brand USA Teams

Integrated tourism marketing agency Gate 7 has announced the newest addition to their team, Daniel Gervais, as director for Visit California. With an extensive background in strategic marketing and communications, Gervais brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He had a notable stint as head of marketing at Airbnb, where he played a […]

Mediahub Snares Linda Fagerlund From Carat
  • Advertising

Mediahub Snares Linda Fagerlund From Carat

Full-service agency Mediahub has appointed renowned strategist Linda Fagerlund to the newly created role of chief strategy officer in Australia and New Zealand. She will be responsible for delivering Mediahub’s trans-Tasman strategic support for key clients and will also join Mediahub’s senior leadership team. Fagerlund brings 15+ years of diverse strategy experience to the new […]

BMF’s Tom Hoskins & Dave Roberts Promoted To Group Creative Directors
  • Advertising

BMF’s Tom Hoskins & Dave Roberts Promoted To Group Creative Directors

BMF has made a series of promotions, including Dave Roberts and Tom Hoskins, to the role of group creative directors. Lead image: BMF Team Hoskins joined BMF as an award-winning creative director in 2021 with a wealth of industry experience, having worked in the UK, US, Asia, and Australia. During his time at BMF, Hoskins […]

QMS Secures Toyota, Stan, Allianz and Patties Food As Paris 2024 Launch Partners
  • Media

QMS Secures Toyota, Stan, Allianz and Patties Food As Paris 2024 Launch Partners

The digital outdoor media company, which launches it Paris 2024 network today, says it will bring Olympic and Paralympic content to 80 per cent of Australian adults. Lead image: A QMS City of Sydney digital billboard on Pitt Street, Sydney. QMS secured the rights as the official outdoor partner of the Australian Olympic and Paralympic […]

Publicis Groupe APAC Strengthens Its Senior Leadership Team With Key Appointments
  • Advertising

Publicis Groupe APAC Strengthens Its Senior Leadership Team With Key Appointments

Publicis Groupe Asia Pacific has announced four key appointments as part of its efforts to strengthen its senior leadership team to power growth in the region. Lead Image:  L-R – Jessica Farrell; Pauly Grant; Anushka Methananda These appointments are promotions from within the group, reflecting the organisation’s stance on talent recognition and its success in […]

Slew Of Promotions & A New Hire At History Will Be Kind
  • Marketing

Slew Of Promotions & A New Hire At History Will Be Kind

Award-winning creative communications agency History Will Be Kind (HWBK) has built a successful first quarter with two senior promotions and a new hire. Lead image: L-R – Lizzy Chadwick, Group Account Director; Rachael Gadgil, Group Account Director, Brooke Gascoigne, Senior Account Executive  Talented senior leads Lizzy Chadwick and Rachael Gadgil kick off the year strong […]

Latto “Talks Snack” With Menulog Via Thinkerbell
  • Campaigns

Latto “Talks Snack” With Menulog Via Thinkerbell

Australian-born on-demand delivery platform Menulog has today launched a brand new social series with US rapper Latto titled ‘Talking Snack with Latto’. Created via Thinkerbell, the social series was shot when Latto was in Australia for the first time ever, shortly after Menulog introduced the next chapter of the ‘Did Somebody Say’ Brand platform starring […]

ING Invests In Finance Partnership With Seven
  • Media

ING Invests In Finance Partnership With Seven

ING has launched a finance partnership with the Seven Network. ING’s head of consumer and market insights, Matt Bowen, will feature on daily and monthly Sunrise segments and, in weeks to come, join 7NEWS. Matt will provide viewers with expert insights into the day’s top money stories and deep dives into key finance topics to […]

Gregory Jewellers Elevates eCommerce Experience With Digital Transformation Platform Via Wonderful
  • Advertising

Gregory Jewellers Elevates eCommerce Experience With Digital Transformation Platform Via Wonderful

Jewellery brand Gregory Jewellers has launched a comprehensive digital platform with integrated eCommerce and enhanced search and discovery capabilities to deliver a more seamless experience for customers. Developed by independent digital agency Wonderful, the new platform has been optimised for mobile-first and features simplified navigation across Gregory Jewellers’ extensive product catalogue. This enables customers to […]

Carsales.com.au: We Are The Kings Of Intent
  • Media

Carsales.com.au: We Are The Kings Of Intent

With around 12 million addressable, opted-in, privacy-compliant emails of Australians, carsales doesn’t see itself as competing with other online auto classifieds businesses, instead it sees itself as in the fight with Meta, TikTok and the other global tech giants. Davor Vilusic, executive general manager – media carsales, and Stephen Kyefulumya, general manager – media product […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine