SBS Radio rebrands to SBS Audio, with focus on expanding language offerings

SBS Radio has rebranded to SBS Audio, with major changes to its audio language services to serve multilingual Australia.

Announced at its Upfront in November last year, SBS Radio has now officially rebranded to SBS Audio, streamlining its audio offerings in one place. The move comes as the company aims to better showcase and improve access to its podcasts and live streaming services, and serve more multilingual Australians.

As part of the rebrand, SBS has invested more in Indo-Pacific and First Nations languages, following an extensive Language Services Review which examined 2021 Census data. The data showed that 5.6 million Australians use another language other than English at home, and SBS’ updated offerings will serve 92% of these users.

David Hua, director of audio and language content at SBS, said: “Today is a big day for SBS and how we respond to our listeners.

“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 said.

David Hua

New features have been introduced to SBS Audio’s website, including better showcasing of podcasts, improved discoverability of live language and music programming, and new individual pages for the different radio stations.

Adam Sadler, director of media sales at SBS, said that since the change was announced, there have been positive reactions from brands and agencies.

“There has always been a large, highly engaged audience tuning in on radio and digital,” said 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.”

SBS will serve 63 languages in total, including four new ones – Bislama, Malay, Oromo and Tetum. It will also commit to growing its Telugu, Punjabi and Nepali teams. Afrikaans-language audio will be commissioned and distributed through SBS Dutch, and SBS Dari will be renamed to SBS Dari (includes Hazaragi).

Hua said: “As SBS nears in 50th anniversary in 2025, we are reaching new audiences on a variety of platforms and continue to be a trusted voice for communities helping to build connection and belonging for all Australians. We serve communities both large and small and some of our most engaged audiences are from emerging communities. We’re proud of the great responsibility and opportunity that comes with being able to respond to our changing multicultural society, including the growth of South Asian migration.”

SBS plans to increase the prominence of First Nations voices to continue the growth of NITV, by commissioning content in Indigenous languages. It will also invest in Auslan accessible content.

“Today’s updates underpin SBS’ commitment to continuing to meet the evolving needs of communities and providing essential information for our newest Australians, as well as amplifying the voices of the world’s oldest living continuous culture and supporting the preservation and access to First Nations languages,” said Hua.

The rebrand will not impact individual programs on linear radio.

“Radio has always been at the heart of what we do and that won’t change,” said Hua. “What began more than 45 years ago as radio programs in a handful of languages has evolved to become an innovative, multi-platform media network that is meeting the needs of not just first-generation migrants, but also multilingual speakers who might be second or even third-generation and we are doing it on the platforms they prefer.”


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