- Google has signed a $30 million deal licensing deal with Australia’s Nine Entertainment.
- As part of the deal, users can access paywalled content for free via the Google News app.
- The agreement follows a tense few months of wrangling between Google execs and Aussie lawmakers.
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Google has reportedly struck a $30 million deal with Australian broadcaster Nine Entertainment amid growing political pressure to rebalance the relationship between tech platforms and legacy media outlets.
Nine has not officially confirmed the deal, although it was reported by its own Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. The company’s other print titles include The Age and the Australian Financial Review.
Under the terms of the deal, Google is understood to have agreed to pay Nine a little over $30 million annually for the next five years, and will provide Google users with free access to select content from Nine’s newspapers, TV, and radio networks across different products.
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The agreement comes just days after the tech giant announced a similar deal with Nine’s domestic rival Seven West Media, and comes amid months of wrangling with government officials over its relationship with the media.
Australian lawmakers are set to debate proposals that would give news publishers the opportunity to “bargain individually or collectively” with Facebook and Google, and charge them a set rate to display their content in their search engine and news feeds.
With the threat of this regulation looming, Google has set about making publishers counter-offers in the form of Google Showcase. This is a new, dedicated news feature whereby Google News users can access paid-for content for free, with the tech giant covering the price difference.
Google’s recent deals with Nine and Seven West Media give it greater control over the terms, compared with the forced arbitration proposed by Australia.
Google executive Mel Silva warned that the latter route might result in the firm shutting down its search engine locally altogether.
As Google continues to brand the legislation unworkable, it is actively luring publishers onto its Showcase platform.
The firm has thus far inked Showcase deals with more than 450 publications — the Financial Times, Le Monde, and Reuters among them — across 12 countries, including the UK, Germany, and Brazil. The firm plans to spend $1 billion in total bringing on new partners globally.
Insider approached Google and Nine Entertainment for comment.