SBS2 relaunches aiming at younger 'thinking' audience

SBS2 relaunches aiming at younger 'thinking' audience

SBS is to relaunch its secondary digital station to target "thinking 20 and 30 somethings" demographic, making some bold leaps for Australian TV along the way.

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

The relaunch, unveiled this morning, will happen on April 1, and will see the channel switch at 6pm every night to shows aimed at engaging people disaffected with mainstream TV options.

CEO Michael Ebeid said the move had been driven by the need to differentiate SBS2, which he described as a "mini me" of the main channel.

Part of the new package will be entire series offered on the stations's website back-to-back after the first episode has aired, allowing people to "binge" on the content.

Programming director Tony Iffland told B&T that idea went against his instincts as a programmer, but said he was inspired by the BBC iPlayer, which he launched in Australia.

He said: "Media consumption has changed so much and expectations of availability of on demand content. Which is why we have come up with back to back.

"It brings what we're offering in line with their expectation, how they like to consume media.

"What we have found is people discover shows in a linear fashion on TV and then are impatient to see the rest of it, so rather than sending the to poor quality streaming sites we're offering the high quality content in an SBS branded environment."

The new channel will be "cheeky, fun and adventuresome" and will "ask for forgiveness at times rather than for permission", something SBS marketing director Helen Kellie said the target audience have been crying out for, giving them "TV on my terms".

One new strand will be a modular 15 minute news bulletin, dropping in 30 second headlines in ad breaks, covering stories pertinent to the target demo.

New shows for the channel include Community, Russell Howard's Good News and Don't Tell My Mother, as well as Bullet in The Face and Brit sitcom Him and Her, with themed nights similar to the main channel.

The newly acquired A-League will also show on Friday nights as a "tentpole" for the channel.

Social media and digital will also be woven into the mix, but rather than focus on "gimmicks" the idea is for “meaningful interactions, with teal world outcomes, like influencing the schedule”.

Fast-paced mash-up promos in ad breaks laced with jokes or fun facts will be part of the new identity, with the station opting for an individual orange as its primary colour.

Iffland said the new concept had been “driven by reach” and he wanted the target audience to have more snackable content later into the evening, and “feel whenever they dip in there’s something for them”.