(Australian Associated Press)
Daily downloads for ABC’s app increased ten-fold during Facebook’s ban on Australian news.
The broadcaster’s managing director David Anderson has confirmed to a Senate estimates hearing downloads reached about 36,000 a day for about a week.
About 3600 Australians usually download the news app each day.
Facebook pulled news in Australia last month amid a tense stand-off with the federal government about its news media bargaining code.
The social media giant restored the pages after reaching a deal with the government over the code, which forces digital platforms to pay for Australian content.
Mr Anderson said the broadcaster only started to negotiate with Facebook after the news ban.
He says it’s important for the ABC to engage with Facebook, but noted the ban showed how much power the digital giant had over connecting with audiences.
The ABC is also hoping to strike a deal with Google.
“I think their prioritisation was with regard to the commercial networks, before the ABC,” Mr Anderson said in Canberra in Tuesday.
Facebook has struck content deals with Australia’s two largest media companies, News Corp and Nine Entertainment, following the recent introduction of the bargaining laws.
News has signed a three-year agreement with Facebook for use of news articles from publications including The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and Sky News.
Nine has reportedly signed a letter of intent with the social media giant for use of its news articles.
Facebook has also sealed a partnership with Seven West Media.
Google has signed deals with multiple organisations including Nine, Seven West Media and News Corp.