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Audience-led evolution

SBS’s Audience Data and Insights team is charged with understanding SBS’s diverse audiences, sharing valuable insights into SBS’s contribution to the Australian media landscape and enabling the organisation to deliver the greatest impact across platforms.

In 2018-19, SBS grew to have 6.5 million registered users across digital platforms, offering unprecedented visibility into audience behaviours, what they are watching, when and on what platforms.

By leveraging these insights and focusing on personalisation, SBS has been able to improve the audience experience and deliver a more compelling offering. This contributed to a 39 per cent increase in active registered users per month when compared with last year.

In 2018-19, SBS continued to implement organisation-wide data strategies to build on its leadership in digital delivery. SBS focused on improving the consistency and quality of analytics data from all its platforms, to help drive a better audience experience and serve personalised content that extends SBS’s reach.

SBS’s data and analytics team was also involved in improving data literacy across SBS in 2018-19, through a series of training and awareness programs to help teams understand the data relevant to their area of business, to optimise SBS’s platforms.

As a national public broadcaster, SBS exists for all Australians and seeks to maximise its ability to engage and retain diverse audiences across the network, including audiences from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

SBS directly engaged with audiences and communities in a number of different ways throughout the year, including:

SBS Meet the Audience

In alignment with one of SBS’s key values: we are audience obsessed, in 2018-19 SBS continued its monthly Meet the Audience sessions, inviting audience members (both viewers and non-viewers of SBS) in metro and regional markets to meet with employees from around the organisation. This forum is an opportunity for SBS employees to gather valuable observations and insights directly from audience members as an input to content, product and marketing decisions.

The Exchange Panel

In 2018-19, two new online communities were added to SBS’s audience Exchange Panel, including a member base created to capture audience perceptions of NITV and give a voice to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. SBS’s Exchange Panel now includes over 13,000 panellists, approximately 7,500 of whom have an interest in SBS, 3,000 have a lighter brand affiliation and 2,700 support NITV and its programming.

The Exchange Panel hosted a number of studies, including in-depth analysis of a specific program, pilot testing a new concept, marketing campaign evaluations, post analysis for sales campaigns, and studies in languages other than English to guide SBS’s language services. Highlights included dedicated projects assessing Australia’s interest for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019TM, reviewing SBS’s key commissioned programs, and supporting the ongoing audience growth of SBS Arabic24.

More than one hundred activities were conducted and 45,000 responses were collected from online communities in 2018-19, which truly reflect Australia’s multicultural society with a strong representation of overseas-born and non-English speaking community members (one in three respondents).

SBS Brand Health

SBS monitors the brand health and impact of its content on audience engagement and perception via bespoke research, including the newly created SBS Brand Pulse, a monthly survey to gauge audience perceptions. Overall, SBS brand awareness has remained solid, with 80 per cent of Australians aware of the brand and 70 per cent believing that “it’s good that SBS exists”.

The SBS Brand Pulse provides independent confirmation that SBS is delivering against its core values, and demonstrating its ongoing relevance to Australian audiences. It gives the organisation a current view of media consumption habits, and explores perceptions of the SBS network and its channels. Research also enables SBS to gain a better understanding of external factors that may impact on current and future performance of the network.