SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) Radio has changed its name to SBS Audio and made significant improvements to its audio language programs, to better serve multilingual Australia.
SBS Radio has officially changed its name to SBS Audio, bringing all of its audio content under one roof, as was previously announced at its Upfront in November of last year. The company made the change in order to reach more multilingual Australians and better highlight and increase access to its podcasts and live streaming services.
Following a thorough Language Services Review that looked at 2021 Census data, SBS has increased its investment in Indo-Pacific and First Nations languages as part of the branding. According to the data, 5.6 million Australians do not speak English at home, and SBS’s enhanced offers will cater to 92% of these consumers.
“Today is a big day for SBS and how we respond to our listeners,” said David Hua, director of audio and language content at SBS.
He said, “we’ve always been in conversation with our audiences, speaking their language and sharing stories. Not only are we announcing an update on how we are reflecting contemporary Australia in our content, but we are also going live with changes to SBS Audio that demonstrate how we are better serving our audiences on their preferred platforms.”
“Every week we broadcast more than 262 hours of original audio content. The new SBS Audio digital experience across the app and website will further drive growth in a space where we are already seeing more than six million streams and podcast downloads every month,” he added.
The website for SBS Audio now has new features, such as improved podcast presentation, easier live language and music programming discovery, and unique web pages for each of the radio stations.
The shift has received excellent feedback from brands and agencies, according to Adam Sadler, director of media sales at SBS.
The audience has always been simulcast on radio and digital, according to Sadler. “We are heartened by the reaction of the market who recognise the benefit of this shift enabling us to reach specific and highly engaged communities in a way which is both highly effective and clearly measurable.”
In total, SBS will provide programming in 63 languages, including four new ones: Bislama, Malay, Oromo, and Tetum. Also, it will commit to expand its Telugu, Punjabi, and Nepali teams. SBS Dutch will be contracted to produce and distribute Afrikaans-language audio, while SBS Dari will henceforth be known as SBS Dari (includes Hazaragi).
SBS will increase its Punjabi and Nepali teams in response to the rise in the number of Australians who speak a South Asian language, continue to provide Telugu programming, and launch an English-language podcast aimed at younger audiences within this large community to improve daily life and foster a sense of belonging in Australia.
SBS will give First Nations voices more prominence in addition to its ongoing NITV Radio service by commissioning content in Indigenous languages to support language preservation. SBS will also make investments in the SBS Settlement Guide series for rising immigrant groups and on material that is Auslan accessible.
This expands on the successful SBS Multilingual Coronavirus Portal, which since the onset of the pandemic has assisted over 11 million Australian unique users in accessing the reliable COVID-19 content.
The Language Services Review process, which coincides with the national Census every five years, involves substantial community engagement, public consultation, and data analysis. SBS also took into account the various language services offered across the whole SBS network, as well as the socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian community.
The Language Services Review found that six languages, including Albanian, Bulgarian, Finnish, Romanian, Slovak, and Slovenian, did not meet the selection requirements. SBS has stated that it will discontinue these services*, with the remaining content being online for an extended length of time.
SBS activated SBS Audio yesterday to launch the broader rebranding of its audio service. For the first time, audiences may now access the entire SBS audio catalogue through a single integrated digital experience. The presentation of podcasts, station-specific webpages, and music search tools have all been improved.