Biggest challenge for SBS2 is sourcing content

Biggest challenge for SBS2 is sourcing content
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The head of SBS has admitted one of the biggest challenges facing the revamped digital station is sourcing enough original and engaging content early in its life cycle.

Today the broadcaster announced a bold new strategy for the digital station, looking at targeting the “thinking 20 and 30 something” demographic with a host of new shows from the UK and US.

This will include putting entire seasons of certain shows, initially Bullet in the Face, Don’t Tell my Mother and The Tales of Nights, will be put on the SBS2 website as soon as the first show has aired, capitalising on the habits of the demographic to "gorge" on content once they have discovered a show.

The station has a target reach of five million per month by the end of the year.

CEO Michael Ebeid (pictured) admitted to B&T one of the great challenges facing the project is the sourcing of those shows, adding: “It’s a challenge for us on the main channel as well.

“We need to do it in a creative way, and get in on the ground early in the life cycle and get sales deals in Europe and the UK, and particularly in the US. We’re picking things up from other places as well, which complement the channel well.”

Program director Tony Iffland, the creative force behind the changes, said the existing relationships the broadcaster has in areas like Asia and Scandinavia, for example, would also now come more into their own.

Advertisers will also be challenged to be more creative with their offerings to help engage the audience on the channel, with marketing director Helen Kellie saying she had already spoken to some around it.

She added: “Some of the conversations have been with brands we feel really fit with the channel, and we’ve been having really creative discussions with them about how brands sit in this space.”

She also admitted one of the biggest challenges is going to be marketing the brand to one of the hardest to reach demographics, admitting it “will not all happen in a week”.

Iffland said there will be a bigger focus on social media, but said they would not be creating companion apps like some stations.

He said the focus would be on existing platforms like Twitter and Facebook. He added: “For Eurovision last year we did some pretty innovative stuff.

“We’re building more individual competencies around that and we will be using that, not heavily, but more on a share to some basis than share to all.”

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