SBS Radio gives listeners a ‘home’ in their pocket with new radio app

SBS Radio is saying ‘welcome home’ to its listeners, as part of the launch of the newly revamped mobile application.

The SBS Radio app – which includes news and current affairs, music and podcasts – was updated following a review of its languages, which saw Kannada, Tongan, Norwegian, Cook Island Maori, Fijian, Swedish and the English spoken African program all discontinued.

SBS’ new application officially launched on March 29.

Speaking to Mumbrella, acting chief content officer Mandi Wicks said the push followed the release of census data, which found there had been quite a shift in demographics of those who were arriving to Australia. At the same time, the census data found 1.3 million people had migrated in the last five years and almost 5m speak a language other than English at home.

“The concept is having a home in your pocket, in terms of downloading the app. Wherever you are you can catch up on the latest news and information in your language,” Wicks said.

“SBS radio is a great translator of life in Australia. It helps them navigate a new life in a new country. While they may also keep media in English on television and radio, they very much come to SBS to hear Australian news, Australian stories in their first language and there is something very special about the nuances of language and being able to understand what is going on in their new country.”

The launch is supported by a new piece of marketing work from the broadcaster. In the backdrop of each clip the word ‘home’ appears in various languages, to encourage those who speak a language other than English to feel ‘at home’ when listening to the application.

SBS employees from the Punjabi, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese and NITV programs, feature throughout the video. Languages included are Italian, Mandarin, Greek, Hindi, Somali and Samoan.

Wicks said she wants those watching the digital first campaign to “feel a sense of connection” bur noted it was difficult to communicate this across 68 different languages.

“One of the challenges with finding the word that resonates most that people connect to and this concept that home isn’t about where you are from it can be where you are now, it can be on the train on the way to work, it can be doing the shopping, it can be living everyday life. It’s about being relevant, it’s about creating connections and its about being really accessible,” she said.

“There’s always challenges when we are trying to communicate across such diversity, especially with 68 different languages that we offer via our services so the concept itself – making sure it worked across all languages.

“There’s quite a bit of research that has to go into it. Of course there’s production challenges around making sure we have the right fonts, the right translations and we’ve also subtitled some of the spots in digital as well. It’s just multiple layers and you’ve got multiple distribution channels and the most important thing is accuracy, making sure it is absolute accurate for those communities.”

The campaign will run across SBS’ TV radio and digital assets during April.


  • Director of Marketing: Jane Palfreyman
  • Head of Group Marketing: Uma Oldham
  • Marketing Manager: Anna Saunders
  • Brand Manager: Prinola Moodley
  • Digital Campaign Manager: Claire Dumont
  • Digital Marketing Strategist : Ken Lin
  • Head of Creative Services: Joel Noble
  • Creative Lead: Matt Coe
  • Creatives: Genevieve Graham, Vanessa Meagher
  • Support Designers: Emy Dossett, Gavin Barnett, Madeleine Dudley, Neera Sumer
  • Producer: Greer Bolomey
  • Production Coordinator: Brianna Lawrence
  • DOP: Tony Luu
  • 1st AD: Darin Berlin
  • Grade: Alyn Mykas
  • Audio: Bruce Dale
  • Media Agency: Bench Platform

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