The ABC has signed letters of intent with both Google and Facebook for payments under the news media bargaining code, the broadcaster’s managing director, David Anderson, has revealed.
“When these commercial deals are concluded, they will enable the ABC to make new and significant investments in regional services,” Anderson told a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday.
“These investments will provide a huge boost to the regions at a time when many areas of regional and rural Australia have experienced a withdrawal of media services.”
Australia’s world-first mandatory media code, which became law in February, was designed to force Google and Facebook to pay for displaying news content on their platforms.
The ABC has indicated it will use any potential revenue to boost coverage of regional and rural Australia, telling local stories and celebrating unique Australian stories.
The national broadcaster is one of the last media organisations to sign up with the digital platforms. Wednesday’s announcement comes months after talks started between the ABC and Google.
In February, Seven West Media became the first large Australian media company to sign a multimillion-dollar agreement with Google. It was followed by Nine Entertainment, Guardian Australia, Junkee Media and others.
Nine, the publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, reported the Nine deal with Google was worth “more than $30m” but the company has refused to confirm the figure.
The ABC has yet to…