Local media outlets ink news sharing deals with Google, Facebook

Australian Community Media and Seven West Media have both reached multi-year agreements to share content on the platforms

Several local media outlets have reached agreements this week to share news across social media digital platforms.

Australian Community Media (ACM) today confirmed it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Facebook to establish a multi-year agreement to provide premium news and information through Facebook News. The agreement will bring new content to Facebook from major regional, rural and suburban newsrooms across the nation.

More than 40 ACM mastheads are named in the partnership, including Newcastle Herald, Canberra Times, Bendigo Advertiser, The Advocate, Katherine Times and Illawarra Mercury. ACM MD, Tony Kendall, said the agreement will help regional and rural news outlets to reach new audiences.

“The support also enables ACM to continue to build our digital platforms and grow our audience for our original news,” said Kendall.

Facebook A/NZ News Partnership Lead, Andrew Hunter, said the partnership gives the platform access to premium local news to support its upcoming Facebook News product that it plans to bring to Australia. “We are committed to help publishers reach news audiences and build sustainable business models. We are continuing to invest in programs to support journalism and our agreement with ACM continues our work with the news community in Australia,” Hunter said.

Separately, Seven West Media (SWM) also finalised its five-year partnership with Google this week and has signed a three-year agreement with Facebook, consistent with the respective Letters of Intent announced in February.

SWM MD and CEO, James Warburton, said the agreements underpin its sustainability and enable it to continue to build its digital platform. Pointing to the importance of the media reform, Warburton said: “These partnerships have been made possible by the introduction of the Media Bargaining Code”.

SWM anticipated the digital revenue associated with the agreements will commence before the end of the current financial year, with the majority to be derived in the next one.

“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,” Warburton added.

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