SBS Upfront - Opt-out of gambling, alcohol and fast food advertising

By AdNews | 31 October 2023

SBS On Demand users will soon be able to opt-out of advertising for gambling, alcohol and fast food.

The broadcaster will launch the beta functionality in the first quarter of 2024, with users able to register their interest via the SBS Help Centre from today. The move has been endorsed by Endeavour Drinks and Tabcorp.

Managing director James Taylor said SBS already takes significant steps to ensure it is meeting the responsible advertising expectations of audiences.

“We have age restrictions on SBS On Demand and we remove certain ad categories from particular programming, especially shows that deal with difficult or sensitive topics, such as Addicted Australia," he said.

“For certain categories, SBS will utilise the benefits that digital provides and put greater control into the audiences’ hands. Audiences have always had complete control over what they watch on SBS On Demand. Now they will benefit further by having greater control over the ads they see as well.

"The advertiser benefits by not paying to reach people who have no interest in their product. This is responsible advertising at its best.”

SBS Media’s national technology manager, Lee Callagher, said that the opt-out preferences ensures that brand dollars are served to the most receptive and engaged audiences.

“While SBS On Demand already serves viewers fewer ads than competing services, which can boost campaign results, we’re also introducing Solus Impact, a product that eliminates all but one sponsored ad in a show, providing an uninterrupted viewing experience and unrivalled brand recall. This is a win-win for brands and viewers," he said.

SBS also used its Upfronts event to unveil a range of enhancements to its streaming platform, SBS On Demand.

Chris Tangye, head of product development for SBS On Demand, said central to the offering, alongside the introduction of new ad products and FAST channels, is an improved recommendation engine that inspires content exploration and serendipitous discovery packaged in world-class user experience.

“At SBS, we put the audience experience squarely at the forefront of all that we do. We all know what it’s like to be fed a stream of highly-targeted and dryly similar content based on our consumption habits," he said.

“A superior user experience comes from understanding how people's consumption behaviour changes throughout the day. Maybe it’s a podcast for the morning commute, livestreaming music on the way home, and then settling in for the latest drama hit on your smart TV after dinner. We want to deliver it all in one app.

“We want to help eliminate the choice paralysis that people often encounter on other major streaming platforms."

Callagher also announced SBS Measure which, in partnership with Experian, verifies the path to purchase.

“Now, with our partners at Experian and your data, we can measure the success of driving your target audience from SBS on Demand through to purchase. This proves the value of your investment with SBS. We’re excited for this one and believe it will make SBS a partner of choice for many brands," he said.

In 2024, SBS will introduce audio description for Australians who are blind or have low vision. The feature will be available on key platforms on which SBS On Demand is offered, with users able to select different audio tracks.

By the end of 2023, SBS On Demand will incorporate content-specific FAST channels, beginning with rolling programming from famed Vietnamese-Australian celebrity chef, Luke Nguyen, and SBS Chill, a previously-audio only music station that viewers will now be able to experience with visualisation through the video streaming platform.

Rounding out the suite of forthcoming updates to the platform is a new, personalised end-of-year viewing summary based on a user’s activity throughout the year. The feature, called SBS Rewind, provides viewers with a recap of interesting facts and figures relating to their consumption throughout the year.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus