Australians spent 36.3 million hours consuming news content online in December 2020, an increase of 22% compared to 2019. Nielsen Digital Content Ratings contends that there was a 43% increase in the cumulative time spent with the overall current events and global news categories.
So Australians go online to find their news. Nothing new there. What is new is the headlines making the rounds since late January regarding two separate topics that Google is contending with.

Here at Datisan, we’re keeping on top of all the news and sentiment around these headlines, so rather than have you read upwards of 100 opinion and news articles around these topics, we wanted to group them for your reference.

We have some key tips below on how to deal with questions you may get asked about the recent headlines and have conveniently grouped links for both in the following sections.


The NMBC Bill was introduced to Parliament in December 2020 but the news headlines around the major players impacted by this code has increased significantly since late January 2021.


Google's News Showcase launches in Australia. Could this be the compromise that the media publishers need to change the proposed code?


The ACCC interim report into ad tech services and supply chain was released in late January but is still open for submissions before the final report is published later in 2021.


Facebook news is back on now but why did it happen and what happens next?

Tell me more…

We reckon you’re probably being asked a bunch of questions regarding these two topics and many may come from colleagues who aren’t close to your digital strategy or are not across the particulars of how digital advertising works.


Be the subject expert

It’s important to be across these two topics in particular as they play in the current news cycle and be the SME in your business for it. Gather information, review news alerts daily to see what is happening but it’s also important to…


Remain objective

While you’re becoming the SME within the business, it will be easy to form your own opinion on the pros and cons of such legislation and report findings but it is also important to remain objective.  If you are seen as the expert, it could be that stakeholders take your opinion as the organisation’s opinion and may not appreciate that this could change over time, with additional information and insight.


Check your audiences

Both the NMBC and the ACCC investigation reference third-party cookies and Chrome. This change has been reported on a lot over the past 12 months and Google isn’t the first platform to instigate this change. However, with this additional focus on data, it is a good time to ensure you have ownership of your audiences and that you are clear about what first party data your business holds.


Limit strategy reactions

Now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions or to up-end your digital advertising strategy and media channels. It is critical to remain ready to speak to your customers wherever they are online. 


The next key date for the Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) is 12 February 2021, when the Economics Legislation Committee will provide their report back to Senate. So there will be more information coming shortly on what this will look like moving forward – this is still unclear due to negotiations with Facebook post-blackout (1 March), so this will be updated once we know more.

The ACCC Digital Advertising Services final report isn’t due to be published until August 2021. They are still accepting submissions from stakeholders or interested parties to the questions laid out from the release of the interim report (due 26 February 2021).



At the moment, we’re watching and waiting as well.  GIFs aside, do get in touch with the team at Datisan if you want to talk through any of this in more detail – we’re here for you.