Seven West Media is the latest publisher to join Google’s News Showcase initiative, announcing a long-term agreement with the tech giant this morning.
Seven is now the eighth Australian publishers to sign on to the initiative, joining the likes of Australian Community Media (ACM), Schwartz Media, Solstice Media, The Conversation, and Private Media.
The Australian News Showcase is part of a multi-billion-dollar global initiative, which will see Google pay news publishers from around the world for their “curatorial expertise”.
Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, however, the Herald has reported the deal is worth upwards of $30 million a year.
Announcing the agreement, Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes [pictured] applauded the government’s effort in pushing for the News Media Bargaining Code.
“This is a great outcome for Seven West Media and for Google. Our new partnership recognises the value, credibility and trust of our leading news brands and entertainment content across Seven and West Australian
Newspapers,” he said.
“I’d like to thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, with particular recognition of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who has been instrumental in the outcome of this ground-breaking agreement.
“Their outstanding leadership on the implementation of the proposed News Media Bargaining Code has resulted in us being able to conclude negotiations that result in fair payment and ensure our digital future.”
And while the agreement has officially been made as part of the News Showcase, Seven West Media confirmed it still supports the proposed News Media Bargaining Code.
“Seven West Media remains a strong supporter of the News Media Bargaining Code and we look forward to seeing it pass into law in the coming weeks,” a SWM spokesperson told B&T.
It has previously been suggested by Google that payments for the Code could be made through the News Showcase initiative.
Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Mel Silva said the investment will help support journalism in regional areas.
“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,” she said.
“Showcase has been very well received since its launch in Australia a little over a week ago with our publisher partners receiving one million views of their content in just eight days demonstrating that Showcase offers a constructive path forward for publishers, readers, and Google.”
News Showcase or Bargaining Code?
The announcement follows reports that Google has been pushing to strike last-minute deals with local publishers, as the proposed News Media Bargaining Code edges closer to completion.
Google has argued that it should be able to pay publishers under the Code through the News Showcase.
And while the code is set to be passed through parliament in the next fortnight, the AFR has reported that the government may hold off on including Google under the code, if it can continue to get deals – like the Seven West Media one – done.
It was reported last week that Google had approached News Corp, Nine and other major publishers with revised deals for the News Showcase.
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