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Fairfax joins forces with Google to sell ads

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Fairfax Media has secured a partnership with Google to boost its digital advertising and publishing technology and drive digital subscription growth.

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The publisher said Google will help it sell and market advertising for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian Financial Review, WAtoday, Canberra Times, Brisbane Times, and lifestyle products.

Fairfax’s commercial team will begin working with Google in 2018, focusing on premium ad products, relationships with clients and innovative commercial solutions.

The two companies will also work together to improve publishing technology and digital innovation, grow digital subscriptions and extend the publisher’s use of data, Fairfax said.

Fairfax shares were up 0.75 cents, or one per cent, at 77.25 cents at 1210 AEDT, their highest level since June.

Fairfax managing director of Australian metro publishing Chris Janz said the Google partnership will provide advertisers with a new way to work with Fairfax.

“We are bringing the very best that Fairfax has to offer together with the smarts and capability of Google,” Janz said.

“The result will be a stronger Fairfax Media and continued investment in journalism.”

Fairfax Media made a net profit of $83.9 million in the 2016/17 financial year, after a writedown-heavy $893.5 million loss in the previous year.

Advertising revenue in its metro publishing business dropped 17 per cent in the year, while digital subscription growth offset a fall in newspaper circulation.

Earnings improved by 26 per cent, as the company made more than 100 newsroom redundancies.

The Google-Fairfax announcement comes only a week after Australia’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, started an inquiry into the impact of Facebook and Google on the nation’s media industry.

The ACCC said its inquiry would examine the effect of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms on competition in the media and advertising services markets.

– with AAP

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