SBS Adds Four Languages Amid Audio Rebrand

SBS Adds Four Languages Amid Audio Rebrand

SBS has added four additional languages to its audio offering as it moves to reflect Australia’s rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society. 

The announcement follows an extensive Language Services Review which examined the results of the 2021 Census. The number of Australians using a language other than English at home grew 16 percent to 5.6 million, with SBS’s updated services continuing to serve 92 percent of these users and reach more audiences than ever before. 

SBS will service 63 languages in total across radio, podcasting, online and social media. This includes welcoming four new languages to the SBS family – Bislama, Malay, Oromo and Tetum – to support growing and high needs migrant communities, as well as continuing services in 59 languages for existing audiences.

Responding to the growing number of people in Australia speaking a South Asian language, SBS will recommit to servicing Telugu, grow its Punjabi and Nepali teams, and launch an English-language podcast targeted at younger audiences across this broad community to assist daily life and strengthen belonging within Australia.

In addition to its continuing NITV Radio service, SBS will increase the prominence of First Nations voices by commissioning content in Indigenous languages to aid language preservation. SBS will also invest in Auslan accessible content and in the SBS Settlement Guide series for emerging migrant communities. This builds on the successful SBS Multilingual Coronavirus Portal which has helped over 11 million Australian unique visitors access our trusted COVID-19 content since the start of the pandemic.

The Language Services Review process is held every five years in line with the national Census and includes extensive public consultation, community engagement and data analysis. SBS also considered the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian community, as well as the different language services provided across the entire SBS network.

Six languages did not meet the selection criteria in the Language Services Review – Albanian, Bulgarian, Finnish, Romanian, Slovak and Slovenian. SBS has confirmed it intends to decommission these services*, with existing content accessible online for an extended period.

Yesterday, SBS went live with the wider rebrand of its audio offering by switching on SBS Audio.

Audiences can now access SBS’s full audio offering in one unified digital experience for the first time. Improvements include better showcasing of podcasts, individual station pages, and music search features.

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

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